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News Digest: Contra Costa County opens vaccines to all | HPMS teacher wins award | 'Backyard Brief' debuts

Contra Costa County makes COVID-19 vaccine available to all

Contra Costa County officials announced Monday that the county now has enough COVID-19 vaccine supply to make doses available to anyone, regardless of whether they live or work in the county.

Since the county received its first vaccine shipments in December, doses have only been available to people age 16 and older who live or work within the county's borders.

That limiting factor continued even as the county's supply of vaccine surged in late March and early April, which enabled the county to open vaccine doses to everyone 16 and up on March 30, roughly two weeks before the state's April 15 target to do so.

Now, with more than 1.1 million doses administered and 70.4% of county residents 16 and up having received at least one dose, county officials said Monday that supply has officially surpassed demand within the county, with some appointments at county-run vaccine clinics going unfilled in the past two weeks.

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"We've always said that this virus doesn't recognize borders. Now we can say that Contra Costa County no longer cares about borders when it comes to getting people vaccinated against COVID," county Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano said in a statement. "To end the pandemic, we need to vaccinate as many people as possible -- not just people from Contra Costa, but from all over."

The expansion of vaccine eligibility will not hamper the county's ability to continue vaccinating people who live and work in Contra Costa County, according to officials.

Eligible people seeking to get vaccinated in Contra Costa County can schedule an appointment online at https://covidvaccine.cchealth.org/COVIDVaccine or by calling 833-829-2626.

Vaccinations are also available on a walk-in basis at several county clinics. Information on walk-in clinics can be found here.

-- Eli Walsh, BCN Foundation

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Harvest Park teacher awarded mini-grant

Harvest Park Middle School teacher Greg Dankwardt is one of 19 teachers statewide recently awarded a $100 mini-grant from the California Resource Recovery Association (CRAA) K-12 Technical Council.

"The purpose of these mini-grants is straightforward: we want to help teachers reduce waste in their classrooms," said council member Debbi Dodson in a statement. "California schools have a tremendous opportunity to reduce the amount of waste their communities send to local landfills, and that saves taxpayer money that could be used for educational purposes."

Representing the Bay Area, Central Valley, Central Coast, Inland Empire and Southern California, Dankwardt was among the four middle school teachers chosen by a panel of judges affiliated with the council, whose primary purpose is to reduce solid waste and promote sustainability in K-12 schools, and teach students about waste reduction, recycling, composting, and food waste recovery.

Dankwardt wrote in the application that "if awarded the grant, we would use the money towards signage to help advertise and promote our recycling program in our lunch area."

Pleasanton Unified School District spokesman Patrick Gannon told the Weekly, "Mr. Dankwardt and his students are doing incredible work keeping the Harvest Park campus 'green'."

"New signage and bins will raise awareness in our Harvest Park classrooms and common areas to reduce waste by encouraging students to recycle and separate food scraps," Gannon said. "This supports the district's overarching environmental sustainability efforts and our collective mission to empower students to make a better world."

Go Green Initiative CEO Jill Buck, who also sits on the technical council, said, "Even though teachers may not be in the classroom, they are still teaching and need resources."

Dankwardt could not be reached for comment at the time this story was published.

-- Julia Baum

Dublin city manager introduces 'Backyard Brief' newsletter

Dublin City Manager Linda Smith recently debuted her new monthly newsletter for the Dublin community, "Backyard Brief."

The newsletter aims to offer anecdotes and updates on all of the happenings in the "New American Backyard" -- a nickname embraced by Dublin.

To view the April or May newsletter or to subscribe, visit www.dublin.ca.gov and click on the "Keep Me Informed" button.

-- Jeremy Walsh

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— Pleasanton Weekly staff

Follow PleasantonWeekly.com and the Pleasanton Weekly on Twitter @pleasantonnews, Facebook and on Instagram @pleasantonweekly for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

News Digest: Contra Costa County opens vaccines to all | HPMS teacher wins award | 'Backyard Brief' debuts

Uploaded: Mon, May 3, 2021, 3:14 pm

Contra Costa County makes COVID-19 vaccine available to all

Contra Costa County officials announced Monday that the county now has enough COVID-19 vaccine supply to make doses available to anyone, regardless of whether they live or work in the county.

Since the county received its first vaccine shipments in December, doses have only been available to people age 16 and older who live or work within the county's borders.

That limiting factor continued even as the county's supply of vaccine surged in late March and early April, which enabled the county to open vaccine doses to everyone 16 and up on March 30, roughly two weeks before the state's April 15 target to do so.

Now, with more than 1.1 million doses administered and 70.4% of county residents 16 and up having received at least one dose, county officials said Monday that supply has officially surpassed demand within the county, with some appointments at county-run vaccine clinics going unfilled in the past two weeks.

"We've always said that this virus doesn't recognize borders. Now we can say that Contra Costa County no longer cares about borders when it comes to getting people vaccinated against COVID," county Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano said in a statement. "To end the pandemic, we need to vaccinate as many people as possible -- not just people from Contra Costa, but from all over."

The expansion of vaccine eligibility will not hamper the county's ability to continue vaccinating people who live and work in Contra Costa County, according to officials.

Eligible people seeking to get vaccinated in Contra Costa County can schedule an appointment online at https://covidvaccine.cchealth.org/COVIDVaccine or by calling 833-829-2626.

Vaccinations are also available on a walk-in basis at several county clinics. Information on walk-in clinics can be found here.

-- Eli Walsh, BCN Foundation

Harvest Park teacher awarded mini-grant

Harvest Park Middle School teacher Greg Dankwardt is one of 19 teachers statewide recently awarded a $100 mini-grant from the California Resource Recovery Association (CRAA) K-12 Technical Council.

"The purpose of these mini-grants is straightforward: we want to help teachers reduce waste in their classrooms," said council member Debbi Dodson in a statement. "California schools have a tremendous opportunity to reduce the amount of waste their communities send to local landfills, and that saves taxpayer money that could be used for educational purposes."

Representing the Bay Area, Central Valley, Central Coast, Inland Empire and Southern California, Dankwardt was among the four middle school teachers chosen by a panel of judges affiliated with the council, whose primary purpose is to reduce solid waste and promote sustainability in K-12 schools, and teach students about waste reduction, recycling, composting, and food waste recovery.

Dankwardt wrote in the application that "if awarded the grant, we would use the money towards signage to help advertise and promote our recycling program in our lunch area."

Pleasanton Unified School District spokesman Patrick Gannon told the Weekly, "Mr. Dankwardt and his students are doing incredible work keeping the Harvest Park campus 'green'."

"New signage and bins will raise awareness in our Harvest Park classrooms and common areas to reduce waste by encouraging students to recycle and separate food scraps," Gannon said. "This supports the district's overarching environmental sustainability efforts and our collective mission to empower students to make a better world."

Go Green Initiative CEO Jill Buck, who also sits on the technical council, said, "Even though teachers may not be in the classroom, they are still teaching and need resources."

Dankwardt could not be reached for comment at the time this story was published.

-- Julia Baum

Dublin city manager introduces 'Backyard Brief' newsletter

Dublin City Manager Linda Smith recently debuted her new monthly newsletter for the Dublin community, "Backyard Brief."

The newsletter aims to offer anecdotes and updates on all of the happenings in the "New American Backyard" -- a nickname embraced by Dublin.

To view the April or May newsletter or to subscribe, visit www.dublin.ca.gov and click on the "Keep Me Informed" button.

-- Jeremy Walsh

— Pleasanton Weekly staff

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