Roughly one-third of county residents ages 65 and up have received the updated booster compared to just 24.3% of residents statewide in the same age group.
As of Oct. 26, 18.4% of county residents ages 50-64, 10.8% of those ages 18-40 and 7.4% of those ages 12-17 also have received the updated booster.
Countywide, nearly 16% of eligible residents have received the booster compared to roughly 11% statewide, according to county Health Officer and Public Health Director Dr. Sara Cody.
The booster vaccine, which is available to everyone ages 5 and up, protects against the original COVID-19 strain as well as the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of the omicron variant.
Cody noted that data from the county's main sewershed in San Jose, which covers more than 75% of the county, has shown that COVID-19 transmission levels remain higher than they may seem by just observing the number of reported cases.
In addition to encouraging residents to get vaccinated and take steps to reduce virus transmission like staying home when sick, Cody said there are also ongoing efforts to better understand long COVID and how to measure how widespread it is going forward.
Sheriff Laurie Smith resigns amid corruption trial
Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith announced Monday she would retire, as a jury deliberates a verdict in a civil corruption trial involving jail mismanagement and a "pay-to-play" scheme involving gun permits issued by her office.
Undersheriff Ken Binder will take over as acting sheriff, Smith office said in a brief release.
Misconduct allegations against Smith by a Santa Clara County civil grand jury include doling out concealed carry licenses to campaign donors, and of accepting San Jose Sharks tickets and not reporting them as gifts.
Smith, whose civil trial began in September, has denied the claims. A guilty verdict on any of the charges results in removal from office and a ban on running for public office.
Smith started with the sheriff's office in 1973 and has been sheriff for the last 24 years.
Earlier this year, Smith announced she wouldn't run for reelection and would retire at the end of her term in January.
In a letter to the community in March, she called criticism of her tenure as "specious attempts by unsavory political opponents in retribution for serving the public with honor."
Santa Clara County Deputy Sheriffs' Association President Ryan Elder said in a statement that the organization supported Smith's decision and looked forward to "turning the page and moving our department forward."
County hires new CEO amid backlash
Santa Clara County officials have confirmed a new county executive after quietly appointing him to the position two weeks ago behind closed doors and without a public process.
The county publicly announced last Thursday that longtime CEO Jeff Smith — often a controversial figure in local government — is retiring on July 1. But county leaders failed to mention supervisors had apparently unanimously voted to appoint James Williams, the county's attorney, to replace Smith during a closed session meeting on Oct. 17.
The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 Tuesday to officially confirm Williams as the new executive. Supervisor Cindy Chavez voted no, and said her decision came after hearing concerns from dozens of disappointed community leaders.
Williams is expected to receive a 10% raise over Smith's salary — bringing his compensation to $460,373 annually. He'll also accumulate up to 2,592 hours of vacation time, according to the agreement.
The appointment has generated fierce backlash from community leaders who urged a public hiring process. Williams, who was appointed county counsel in 2016, is considered a county insider, longtime bureaucrat and ally of Smith. To many, his appointment signifies more of the same leadership in one of the south bay's most powerful agencies. He's worked for the county since 2010, working in several capacities including as a deputy county executive.
Williams' appointment comes just months after the county appointed Greta Hansen — the second highest-ranking official in the county counsel's office — as the county's chief operating officer. That means two attorneys would hold the county's most powerful management positions.
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