COVID-19 cases are surging again in California, but safety measures stay the same

·3 min read

Coronavirus transmissions continue to rise in California, just as the state warms up and families begin to prepare for summer vacations.

The statewide daily case rate is 20.9 per 100,000 residents, according to a Tuesday update from the California Department of Public Health.

The case rate has increased by 23% in the last week, as the state reported 50,000 more cases in the last week.

Transmission rates continue to remain the highest in the Bay Area, particularly San Francisco at 47 cases per 100,000, San Mateo at 40, and Santa Clara at 39, according to Tuesday’s state health update.

The state reported 1,527 COVID-positive patients in hospital beds as of Tuesday’s update, a 21% increase from the previous week. Los Angeles has the most COVID-positive patients at 327, followed by Santa Clara at 126 parents. Sacramento County trails behind San Diego in hospitalizations. About 100 of those patients are in Sacramento County, 46 in Placer, six in El Dorado and one in Yolo.

New coronavirus variants are driving an increase in cases around the country. New York City this week released a recommendation urging people to wear masks indoors as its COVID-19 case rate climbed to 308 per 100,000 residents.

California on March 1 lifted its indoor mask mandate, but continues to recommend that people wear face coverings indoors.

Sacramento-area numbers by county

Sacramento County’s latest case rate is 19 per 100,000 residents, state health officials said in Tuesday’s update, a 37% increase from one week earlier.

Hospitals in Sacramento County were treating 101 virus patients Monday, state data show, up from 72 the week prior. The intensive care unit total increased to 12 from 10.

Placer County’s latest case rate is 18 per 100,000, nearly doubling from one week earlier.

Hospitals in Placer County were treating 46 virus patients Monday, up from 27 one week earlier. Three of those patients are in the ICU.

Yolo County’s latest case rate is 21 per 100,000 residents, a 23% increase from one week earlier. One of those patients is being treated in a Yolo County hospital.

El Dorado County’s latest case rate is 12 per 100,000 residents, a 24% increase from one week earlier.

Hospitals in El Dorado County were treating six virus patients Monday, up from four a week earlier. One patient is in the ICU.

Sutter County’s latest case rate is eight per 100,000 residents and Yuba County’s is 14 per 100,000, state health officials reported Tuesday. Sutter’s case rate increased by 26% and Yuba’s by 42% in the past week.

The only hospital in Yuba County, which serves the Yuba-Sutter bi-county area, was treating four virus patients Monday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classifies all six counties in the Sacramento area as being in the “low” level of COVID-19 activity.

Sacramento County’s COVID-19 case rate peaked in January, when it recorded 245 cases a day.

Will schools change course?

Schools across the Sacramento region have seen COVID outbreaks in recent weeks as campuses hold end-of-the-year celebratory events, including proms and dances.

With case rates on the rise, local health officials told The Sacramento Bee that schools will likely only reinstate mask mandates and other COVID-19 related precautions if there was a change in severity of illness.

“If over the summer we see a new variant or increase in hospitalizations or death, and increase of severity, then we will more likely see a return of mitigation measures,” said Nick Mori, Sacramento County Public Health Program Planner.

Schools no longer require masks, and COVID-19 exposure notices have become more general--informing people that they should monitor symptoms and test. In previous months, those who were exposed were quarantined.

“Part of the reason of that shift was because Omicron was moving through groups much quicker than other variants,” Mori said. “By the time you asked someone quarantine, they already had it.”

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