The service disruption was caused by a car that crashed into a utility pole at the U.S. Highway 101 off-ramp near Embarcadero Road. Most of the affected customers had power restored by around 7 a.m., except for 50 customers near Edgewood Plaza, who remained without service until 4:50 p.m., Elvert said.
Sunday's power disruption was the fourth major outage in the city in less than a week. On Sept. 5, there were 4,500 customers who lost power around 10:30 p.m. in the city's downtown and neighboring areas due to a bad transformer and cable resulting from a heat wave. Another outage affected 1,700 customers in the Midtown, Old Palo Alto and Industrial Park neighborhoods for about 30 minutes on the evening of Sept. 6. In a statement the next day, the city said the interruption was made in error. The city was asked to cut off service by the Northern California Power Agency, but officials later learned that a NCPA dispatcher misunderstood a directive from the state's grid operator. On Wednesday morning, a squirrel that made contact with an underground line led to an outage for 4,462 customers downtown. The Utilities Department determined it was the same circuit that resulted in the Sept. 5 outage.
County rescinds COVID vaccine mandate
Workers at Santa Clara County health care and long-term care facilities, homeless shelters and prisons will no longer be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 after the county's health officer on Monday rescinded a health order mandating that they do so.
Vaccination or frequent testing has been a requirement for workers in settings with a high-risk of viral transmission since last summer, when most counties in the Bay Area responded to the rise of highly contagious variants by mandating vaccination and, once they became available, booster vaccine doses.
Santa Clara County Health Officer and Public Health Director Dr. Sara Cody said Monday that the county's high vaccination rate and easy access to COVID-19 testing made the existing mandate unnecessary.
"COVID-19 remains a serious threat to our community, and I urge everyone to continue to protect each other and the most vulnerable among us by masking and staying up to date on their vaccinations with the latest bivalent booster," she said in a statement.
Cody also rescinded health orders requiring large health care providers like Kaiser Permanente and Sutter Health Palo Alto Medical Foundation to provide requisite COVID-19 testing and requiring all health care workers to get a flu vaccine.
Under state public health rules, masks are still required in high-risk settings.
As of Wednesday, 87.1% of county residents have completed their initial vaccination series. In addition, 69% of residents ages 5 and up have received at least one booster vaccine dose.
County to supply high schools with Narcan
The county's Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to allocate $135,000 in state funds to supply high schools with Narcan, the medicine used to reverse opioid overdoses in emergencies.
Per request of supervisors Cindy Chavez and Otto Lee, the county Behavioral Health Services Department (BHSD) analyzed options to increase naloxone kits to high-priority populations.The report recommended funneling state funds to supply each high school in the county with 28 pre-assembled, user-friendly Naloxone kits.
BHSD officials said they're ready to kick off the distribution and training of Narcan this fall, dependent on the schools' interest. The report said some high schools "have been slow to accept the need to have naloxone kits available for youth of all ages."
But the department wants to encourage schools to adopt these resources on campus, "especially with the emergence of certain fentanyl products which are targeted at youth," the report reads.
The county has seen a rise in overdose deaths among young people over the last 20 years as opioids become increasingly available to purchase on social media and online sites, according to the Santa Clara County Office of Education.
The decision is a part of the county's larger goal to make Narcan vastly accessible and prevent overdose-related deaths. Since 2015, the county's opioid overdose prevention project has given over 10,000 Naloxone kits to community organizations, first responders, businesses and residents, according to the BHSD.
More information can be found at bhsd.sccgov.org.
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