The 2,355-square-foot clinic has two large patient exam rooms, patient consult space and two stations in the separate pharmacy suite to assist patients and fill prescriptions. The clinic provides patients with medical care in specialties starting with cardiology, and will soon offer pulmonary and endocrinology services.
Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian has pushed the effort for a "collaborative endeavor" in Mountain View after years of a scarcity of services in the north county. Previously, residents in Mountain View and Palo Alto had to travel to San Jose. Many of the patients struggle financially and have difficulty accessing the south bay sites.
Valley Health Plan patients in the northern end of the county receive primary care at the existing Mountain View Planned Parenthood clinic. The new specialty clinic and pharmacy are located in the Planned Parenthood building and complement the primary care services currently being offered by Planned Parenthood, which owns the building where the county is leasing the clinic space.
To access the new specialty clinic, patients can receive a referral from community providers, Community Health Partnership clinics and Valley Medical Center Hospitals and Clinics.
— Sue Dremann
County eases vaccine mandates for some workers
On Tuesday, Santa Clara County health officials revised a health order that required all high-risk workers to receive COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots or be transferred to other jobs. Employees with religious and medical exemptions can now remain in their current positions but they must follow strict protocols, according to a new county health order.
The order revises a previous Dec. 28, 2021, mandate, which required that all personnel in high-risk settings such as jails and skilled nursing facilities be fully vaccinated and boosted when eligible, or be assigned to another position. The December order was instituted during a surge of the highly transmissible omicron variant. A significant drop in case numbers in recent weeks led county officials to revise the order, however.
The new order allows employees who are vetted and approved for a medical or religious exemption from vaccination to stay in their positions, provided they are tested regularly and are required to follow certain mask protocols.
— Sue Dremann
County seeks to strengthen rights of sexual assault survivors
The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to find ways to strengthen the privacy and rights of victims of sexual assault when they submit DNA evidence.
The unanimous decision comes just weeks after the San Francisco District Attorney's Office reported that the San Francisco Police Department had used DNA evidence from a victim, who had taken forensic medical exam following an alleged rape in 2016, to link her to a felony property crime.
The office accused the police department of lumping DNA evidence from sexual assault forensic exams into a larger pool of DNA evidence used to search for suspects, which could be a violation of Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office, which operates a forensic lab serving all criminal justice agencies in the county, prohibits the use of DNA evidence from rape kits from being used to prosecute survivors, according to a board referral by Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez. Still, she said the county should take a close look at its own policies and find ways to further strengthen the rights of survivors of sexual assault.
Supervisors voted at the March 8 meeting to have county officials come back with a report publicizing the crime lab's existing policies and practices for handling DNA evidence from survivors of sexual assault, as well as any possible ways to strengthen the privacy rights of victims. At the suggestion of county Supervisor Joe Simitian, the review will include both the Public Defender's Office as well as the Office of Correction and Law Enforcement Monitoring, the county's independent oversight agency.
— Kevin Forestieri
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