Benicia mayor asks Solano supervisors to move teachers to front of vaccination lineFairfield Daily Republic, By Todd R. Hansen, February 10, 2021
Benicia Mayor Steve Young asked the Solano County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday to move teachers to the front of the vaccination line so schools can open quickly and safely.
“And the key, as I see it, and absolutely to do that, is being able to vaccinate each teacher and member of the (schools’) staff,” Young said.
Educators are scheduled as part of the first tier of Phase 1B, the same as residents who are 65 to 74, agriculture workers, as well as child care and adult care workers.
The county is currently working through the groups in the final tier of Phase 1A.
Dr. Bela Matyas, the county public health officer, said the next group of seniors need to be the top priority since 80% of the county’s Covid-related deaths are residents who are 65 or older.
“So if we want to make a dent in our fatalities, we have to focus on (residents) 65 and older,” Matyas said in a phone interview after the board meeting. He was not part of the meeting agenda.
Matyas said he was aware of the pressure being applied to get teachers vaccinated more quickly, but does not agree that politicizing the issue is the best way to make health decisions.
Young’s comments came during the public comment period of the board meeting, during which Michele Guerra also called on the board to open the schools.
She said students, especially those who are deaf or hard of hearing, need to be back in the classrooms.
“Students are struggling with all this technology,” she said. “We need to get these schools open. Many of these students are falling behind.”
The board heard a similar message early in the pandemic from Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson.
She told the board she was concerned with the potential effects of having schools closed on students with disabilities because of the reliance on distance learning and technology.
The schools closed to in-class instruction at the start of the pandemic in March. The vast majority remain closed, with children and teens receiving instruction online from their teachers….