California Governor Gavin Newsom speaks to the media gathered at Barron Park Elementary School in Palo Alto, Calif. on March 2, 2021. (Jana Kadah/Bay City News)

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday visited Oakland and encouraged more residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The state is making progress against the deadly virus, with 48 million doses of the vaccine administered so far, 18 million more than in Texas, which has given the second-highest number of shots in the U.S., Newsom said.

More than 80 percent of all eligible California residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, a milestone Newsom lauded.

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“We still have work to do,” he told reporters Tuesday morning at La Clinica de La Raza, a medical clinic in Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood where the news conference was held.

“There is nothing more consequential than what brought me here (Oakland) today,” Newsom said.

The governor is facing a recall, and already ballots are being cast ahead of Election Day on Sept. 14. Newsom said at least one Republican candidate would end mask mandates if elected.

The governor touted California’s COVID-19 test positivity rate, which is the seventh-lowest in the nation at 4.6.

“That’s because we’re leading with science,” Newsom said.

He added also that COVID-19 hospitalizations are plateauing in the state.

Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan praised the governor’s leadership in addressing the pandemic.

She added that Alameda County is doing even better than the state when it comes to vaccinating residents. More than 88 percent of eligible residents in the county have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Still, more work needs to be done to vaccinate people in the Black and Latino communities, Chan said.

The county is reaching out directly to residents to get them vaccinated. Workers have made 20,000 door-to-door visits and talked to 6,000 people, Chan said.

Residents can call (510) 208-4VAX if they want information on getting vaccinated.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf also praised Newsom’s pandemic leadership. Like Alameda County, Oakland has a higher vaccination rate than the state, with 86 percent of residents having received at least one dose of the vaccine.

To protect the community further, Oakland city officials are requiring employees of the city to be vaccinated or have an allowed exemption.

“This policy is official,” Schaaf said Tuesday morning.

“We just want to encourage everybody out there to get the shot,” said Jane Garcia, CEO of La Clinica de La Raza.

Keith Burbank is currently a fulltime reporter covering Alameda County and Oakland news for Bay City News. He has also worked on the Data Points project for Local News Matters, finding trends and stories about the region through data. In 2019, he was a California Fellow at the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism, producing a series about homeless deaths in Santa Clara County. He worked as a swing shift editor for the newswire for several years as well. Outside of journalism, Keith enjoys computer programming, math, economics and music.