COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

The COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed in a series of phases and tiers as recommended by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

The Amador County Board of Supervisors received an update on the COVID-19 situation in the county and debated the future of a pair of housing developments in Kirkwood at their first meeting of the new year on Tuesday, January 5.

County Health Official Dr. Rita Kerr gave the Board a mixed report on the Coronavirus. Case counts continue to climb locally with 150 cases per week reported in the first three weeks of December and at least 100 new cases have been confirmed in each of the past two weeks.

All told, the number of cases in Amador County doubled in the month of December alone. With the case positivity rate on testing remaining high and the region’s supply of ICU hospital bed low, current lockdown restrictions on activities such as large gatherings of people or indoor dining are expected to remain in place for now.

On a more positive note, Kerr noted that a total of 1,100 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine has been received in Amador County with most already being distributed, primarily to medical workers, and more doses expected to arrive soon.

Amador County Public Health (ACPH) released a chart on vaccine distribution within the county (see related story here). Currently in phase 1A, which is projected through late February, hospital staff, medical first responders, long-term care staff and residents, and then all other health care providers will be given the option to be among the first to receive the vaccine. According to the chart, phase 1B is expected to begin in early February.

Also at Tuesday’s board meeting, Supervisors debated granting an extension to a pair of housing subdivisions proposed in Kirkwood. First approved by the county in 2005 and 2014, the subdivisions would create 37 new housing units if fully developed. The county Planning Commission had approved extensions for both projects, but that approval had been appealed to the Board of Supervisors.

After a free-wheeling discussion that focused on traffic and safety issues in the Kirkwood area, as well as the contrasting requirements of the Kirkwood Specific Plan approved in 2003 and the County General Plan approved in 2016, the Board voted 4-1 to grant the developments more time, with Board Chair Frank Axe, who formally took the gavel at the start of the meeting, the only no vote.

The Board also reviewed a draft plan for improving economic development in the county and received an update on plans for an expanded County Jail.

The next meeting of the Amador County Board of Supervisors is scheduled for January 26.

Sutter Creek City Council swears in newly-elected members

In other local government news this week, the Sutter Creek City Council officially welcomed two new council members and elected a new mayor for 2021 at its meeting on Monday, January 4. Newly-elected city council members Claire Gunselman and Julia Sierk were sworn in at the start of the meeting and the council then elected Jim Swift to serve as mayor for 2021 with Linda Rianda serving as vice-mayor.