News

Coronavirus central: State warns of 'Vax for the Win' program scams

Scammers impersonate California officials, ask for fees and bank information

Latest updates:

STATE WARNS OF SCAMS INVOLVING VACCINE INCENTIVE PROGRAM: The state Department of Public Health is asking Californians to be on the lookout — and to report — any incidents of potential fraud involving scammers trying to take advantage of the state's recently announced COVID-19 vaccination incentive programs. Read more below.

CAL/OSHA REVISES WORKPLACE GUIDANCE ON MASKING: The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health on Thursday approved revised workplace guidelines that would require workers to continue wearing a mask in some situations even if they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Read more below.

VACCINE ELIGIBILITY EXPANDS TO RESIDENTS AGES 12 AND UP: Residents ages 12 and older can schedule a COVID-19 vaccination appointment after the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was endorsed for people ages 12-15 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They can get vaccinated at upcoming clinics, including Los Robles and Belle Haven elementary schools in early June. Read more about the upcoming clinics below.

YOUR COVID-19 VACCINE QUESTIONS — ANSWERED: We've compiled a list of who can currently get vaccinated in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, plus answers to common questions and links to resources. Read more here.

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COVID-19 TESTS AVAILABLE BY APPOINTMENT: Santa Clara County is operating appointment-only COVID-19 test sites on a rotating basis. Read more here.

Coronavirus, by the numbers

State health department warns of scams involving vaccine incentive program

The state Department of Health is asking Californians to be on the lookout — and to report — any incidents of potential fraud involving scammers trying to take advantage of the state's recently announced COVID-19 vaccination incentive programs.

The public notified the department of scammers impersonating state officials shortly after Friday's announcement of the first cash prize drawing of the Vax for the Win program, which is intended to motivate people to get vaccinated before the state's reopens on June 15.

People reported that scammers impersonating state officials contacted them by telephone, email, text messages and through social media, asking for fees and bank information.

State officials urge people who have been approached by such scams to email [email protected] or call the Vax for the Win incentives hotline at 833-993-3873.

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Below are facts about the program and how to recognize legitimate contacts from fraudulent ones:

• There is no process for entry in the Vax for the Win program. All vaccinated individuals are automatically entered.

• Winners can decline the prize and/or remain anonymous. The privacy of winners is protected. Only the California Department of Public Health knows the identity of the person associated with the random number drawn.

• Winners will be notified by CDPH officials through an official "State of CA CDPH" caller and text ID, a CDPH email address or in person by CDPH staff.

• Winners will not be asked to pay any fees associated with verifying eligibility for the cash prize.

• Winners will not be asked to provide their bank information.

• CDPH will email winners an official state government form to be awarded their winnings. A check will be mailed to the winner by the State Controller's Office.

For reliable information and details of the Vax for the Win program, visit covid19.ca.gov/vax-for-the-win.

Most vaccinated workers must continue masking under revised Cal/OSHA workplace guidance

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health approved revised workplace guidelines that would require workers to continue wearing a mask in some situations even if they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

In a marathon hearing that lasted more than six hours Thursday, Cal/OSHA's Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board voted to adopt the revised guidance, which mandates that fully vaccinated workers need to wear a mask if a co-worker in the same room is unvaccinated.

In addition, masks are not required in rooms in which all workers are vaccinated. Outdoors, vaccinated and unvaccinated workers without symptoms only need to wear a mask when working at an event with more than 10,000 attendees.

Employers will also be able to get rid of distancing requirements and protective partitions if they provide N95 respirators to unvaccinated employees.

The board took a circuitous route to approve the revised guidance, voting first against the rules after some business groups argued they're too strict and then voting again to adopt them roughly an hour later.

Those against the revised guidance noted that it is more strict than the guidance for fully vaccinated people issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which allows them to forego a mask in most indoor and outdoor settings if they are more than two weeks past receiving their last vaccine dose.

Board members and business and labor advocates backing the revised rules stressed that they are temporary, only codified until Oct. 2.

The board also said it would work to develop a replacement set of rules. Since last year, all workers have been required to wear a mask at all times, regardless of vaccination status, a rule that would have remained in place had the board voted down the revised rules.

The board also voted to establish a three-member subcommittee to advise Cal/OSHA officials about developing a new set of workplace rules that would likely take effect in August at the earliest.

Most of the rules approved Thursday will take effect June 15 — the same day the state is expected to remove all capacity restrictions and reopening tiers — if the state's Office of Administrative Law finds them legally sound in the next 10 days.

Some additional portions of the revised guidance, like the removal of protective partitions and barriers between employees, will take effect July 31.

On Friday, Gov. Gavin Newsom was cagey when asked whether he would issue an executive order by June 15 to override the revised rules, saying only that he felt the board was "moving in the right direction" and that he looked forward to working with business and labor groups to develop future workplace safety guidance.

"We're processing this ... what happened last night just happened last night," Newsom said. "We look forward to updating you more as we make progress towards eventually getting (the pandemic) 100% behind us."

Vaccination clinics scheduled at local schools

Ravenswood City School District students ages 12 and older can receive a dose of the Pfizer vaccine when their parents drop them off to campus on dedicated days in early June, according to the Ravenswood Family Health Network.

Vaccination opportunities have been lined up at Belle Haven Elementary on June 8, 10 and 11, from 8:15-9:15 a.m.

For coverage by subject — how the virus is affecting public health, residents, schools, cities, businesses, nonprofits, arts groups, etc. — please go to our Wakelet page.

View an archive of previous updates here.

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Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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Coronavirus central: State warns of 'Vax for the Win' program scams

Scammers impersonate California officials, ask for fees and bank information

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Thu, May 28, 2020, 11:23 am
Updated: Tue, Jun 8, 2021, 11:31 am

Latest updates:

STATE WARNS OF SCAMS INVOLVING VACCINE INCENTIVE PROGRAM: The state Department of Public Health is asking Californians to be on the lookout — and to report — any incidents of potential fraud involving scammers trying to take advantage of the state's recently announced COVID-19 vaccination incentive programs. Read more below.

CAL/OSHA REVISES WORKPLACE GUIDANCE ON MASKING: The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health on Thursday approved revised workplace guidelines that would require workers to continue wearing a mask in some situations even if they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Read more below.

VACCINE ELIGIBILITY EXPANDS TO RESIDENTS AGES 12 AND UP: Residents ages 12 and older can schedule a COVID-19 vaccination appointment after the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was endorsed for people ages 12-15 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They can get vaccinated at upcoming clinics, including Los Robles and Belle Haven elementary schools in early June. Read more about the upcoming clinics below.

YOUR COVID-19 VACCINE QUESTIONS — ANSWERED: We've compiled a list of who can currently get vaccinated in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, plus answers to common questions and links to resources. Read more here.

COVID-19 TESTS AVAILABLE BY APPOINTMENT: Santa Clara County is operating appointment-only COVID-19 test sites on a rotating basis. Read more here.

The state Department of Health is asking Californians to be on the lookout — and to report — any incidents of potential fraud involving scammers trying to take advantage of the state's recently announced COVID-19 vaccination incentive programs.

The public notified the department of scammers impersonating state officials shortly after Friday's announcement of the first cash prize drawing of the Vax for the Win program, which is intended to motivate people to get vaccinated before the state's reopens on June 15.

People reported that scammers impersonating state officials contacted them by telephone, email, text messages and through social media, asking for fees and bank information.

State officials urge people who have been approached by such scams to email [email protected] or call the Vax for the Win incentives hotline at 833-993-3873.

Below are facts about the program and how to recognize legitimate contacts from fraudulent ones:

• There is no process for entry in the Vax for the Win program. All vaccinated individuals are automatically entered.

• Winners can decline the prize and/or remain anonymous. The privacy of winners is protected. Only the California Department of Public Health knows the identity of the person associated with the random number drawn.

• Winners will be notified by CDPH officials through an official "State of CA CDPH" caller and text ID, a CDPH email address or in person by CDPH staff.

• Winners will not be asked to pay any fees associated with verifying eligibility for the cash prize.

• Winners will not be asked to provide their bank information.

• CDPH will email winners an official state government form to be awarded their winnings. A check will be mailed to the winner by the State Controller's Office.

For reliable information and details of the Vax for the Win program, visit covid19.ca.gov/vax-for-the-win.

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health approved revised workplace guidelines that would require workers to continue wearing a mask in some situations even if they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

In a marathon hearing that lasted more than six hours Thursday, Cal/OSHA's Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board voted to adopt the revised guidance, which mandates that fully vaccinated workers need to wear a mask if a co-worker in the same room is unvaccinated.

In addition, masks are not required in rooms in which all workers are vaccinated. Outdoors, vaccinated and unvaccinated workers without symptoms only need to wear a mask when working at an event with more than 10,000 attendees.

Employers will also be able to get rid of distancing requirements and protective partitions if they provide N95 respirators to unvaccinated employees.

The board took a circuitous route to approve the revised guidance, voting first against the rules after some business groups argued they're too strict and then voting again to adopt them roughly an hour later.

Those against the revised guidance noted that it is more strict than the guidance for fully vaccinated people issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which allows them to forego a mask in most indoor and outdoor settings if they are more than two weeks past receiving their last vaccine dose.

Board members and business and labor advocates backing the revised rules stressed that they are temporary, only codified until Oct. 2.

The board also said it would work to develop a replacement set of rules. Since last year, all workers have been required to wear a mask at all times, regardless of vaccination status, a rule that would have remained in place had the board voted down the revised rules.

The board also voted to establish a three-member subcommittee to advise Cal/OSHA officials about developing a new set of workplace rules that would likely take effect in August at the earliest.

Most of the rules approved Thursday will take effect June 15 — the same day the state is expected to remove all capacity restrictions and reopening tiers — if the state's Office of Administrative Law finds them legally sound in the next 10 days.

Some additional portions of the revised guidance, like the removal of protective partitions and barriers between employees, will take effect July 31.

On Friday, Gov. Gavin Newsom was cagey when asked whether he would issue an executive order by June 15 to override the revised rules, saying only that he felt the board was "moving in the right direction" and that he looked forward to working with business and labor groups to develop future workplace safety guidance.

"We're processing this ... what happened last night just happened last night," Newsom said. "We look forward to updating you more as we make progress towards eventually getting (the pandemic) 100% behind us."

Ravenswood City School District students ages 12 and older can receive a dose of the Pfizer vaccine when their parents drop them off to campus on dedicated days in early June, according to the Ravenswood Family Health Network.

Vaccination opportunities have been lined up at Belle Haven Elementary on June 8, 10 and 11, from 8:15-9:15 a.m.

For coverage by subject — how the virus is affecting public health, residents, schools, cities, businesses, nonprofits, arts groups, etc. — please go to our Wakelet page.

View an archive of previous updates here.

Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

Comments

Whatever
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 28, 2020 at 7:52 pm
Whatever, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 28, 2020 at 7:52 pm

The higher Hispanic covid rate in SM County. Is there a breakout in the MP figures for Bel Haven residents? When populations have to segregate in certain areas to afford housing etc, it almost always has resulted in more crowded living. This has been going on for centuries. Also one would suspect covid numbers are low for the group since a larger % of the population is unable to afford or obtain health care. And a greater % needs to keep working to support family because many of the jobs don't have the work at home option or even sick leave, so there is greater chance of infection from work.
Also now that construction has started up again will the figures increase?
Does the State or county have programs in place to address this covid inequality issue?

By the way editor how about a new topic choice: Covid- 19.


Menlo Voter.
Menlo Park: other
on May 29, 2020 at 8:41 am
Menlo Voter., Menlo Park: other
on May 29, 2020 at 8:41 am

I can't say I'm surprised. I drive through the North Fair Oaks area fairly regularly and I routinely see street vendors with no face mask, no gloves and not practicing social distancing. And their clientele aren't either. I often wondered driving by these scenes if we would see higher rates of infection in that community. Now we know.


Bay Area Residents
another community
on Jul 8, 2020 at 12:28 pm
Bay Area Residents, another community
on Jul 8, 2020 at 12:28 pm

Protestors. I can't believe not a single word blames the protestors. So quick to blame the people doing their best to live a normal life and quick to throw stone at business owners.

Stop the protesting then it stops the spread. It got worse the very moment people protested.


Menlo Voter.
Menlo Park: other
on Jul 8, 2020 at 2:16 pm
Menlo Voter., Menlo Park: other
on Jul 8, 2020 at 2:16 pm

Bay Area REsidents:

perhaps no one is blaming protesters because they're not to blame.

"Research Determines Protests Did Not Cause Spike In Coronavirus Cases"

Web Link

But don't let facts get in the way of your opinion.


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