Latest on COVID omicron surge, school closures in California

California’s COVID-19 case rate topped 200 per 100,000 for the first time, continuing to shatter transmission rates on a daily basis as the omicron outbreak intensifies.

Officials from the California Department of Public Health on Thursday reported 108,000 new laboratory-confirmed cases, bringing the seven-day average to about 87,000, or 216 per 100,000 population.

That means about one in 66 Californians tested positive for COVID-19 last week, not counting unreported home test results.

The statewide case rate is now above the peak of the winter 2020 outbreak in California, which reached 112 per 100,000, by more than 100 daily cases per 100,000.

The CDPH reported a positivity of the test at an even 23%, a tiny good news because the state had recorded a positivity at 23.1% on Wednesday. California has processed nearly 4 million tests in the past week, the most of any pandemic week at a margin of more than a million, according to data from the CRPD.

About 12,900 are hospitalized with confirmed cases of the coronavirus statewide, including just over 1,950 in intensive care units, according to the CRPD. Hospitalizations have increased 49% and intensive care patients by 37% over the past week, according to state data.

At a press conference on Wednesday on pandemic budget priorities, Gov. Gavin Newsom predicted that the omicron wave would be the last major outbreak of the pandemic in California.

But he also said he predicted the coming weeks would see California break hospitalization records at a time when many healthcare facilities are understaffed due to the omicron, which will put “tremendous pressure on our hospital system “.

“All projections indicate that we will probably peak in January or early February,” Sacramento County health officer Dr Olivia Kasirye said on a Thursday call with reporters. These projections come from the state, she said.

When asked if Newsom’s prediction of omicron as the last push was reasonable, Kasirye referred to a point she often said is often made by Dr Anthony Fauci: “This is what we hope for. all that will happen … but the virus is the one that will dictate that.

“The important thing, of course, is to continue to be vaccinated because it is our protection. “

Kasirye said data shows COVID-19 “can be a very serious illness” for the unvaccinated.

At the state level, the CRPD reports that unvaccinated people are about eight times more likely to be hospitalized and 21 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than those who are fully vaccinated.

Just over 80% of Californians aged 5 and over have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with children under 5 not yet eligible.

Outbreak continues in Sacramento County

Transmission of COVID-19 continues to increase in Sacramento County, including in businesses, schools and the county’s two prisons, Kasirye said Thursday.

The number of cases in the county is about three times higher than at the same time last year, said Kasirye, the local health unit reporting a daily case rate of 190 per 100,000 from a record pre -omicron from 64.

Kasirye last week issued an order requiring offices, boards, commissions and similar public bodies to suspend in-person meetings and hold them virtually.

Kasirye did not introduce any new measures or restrictions this week, and on Thursday she stressed the need for individuals and families to do their own “risk assessments” before moving forward with gatherings or activities. .

She also reiterated calls for residents not to call 911 or go to the emergency room for the sole purpose of taking a COVID-19 test, or for a mild case of the virus.

Kasirye also said the county continues to work closely with K-12 school districts and is monitoring the situation while working to keep campuses open for in-person learning.

The county main prison had 76 confirmed inmate cases on Wednesday, up from 27 a week earlier, Kasirye said. Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center in Elk Grove has 48 active infections, up from zero last week. The county is not aware of any inmates currently hospitalized with COVID-19, Kasirye said.

Liz Gomez, the county’s health program coordinator, said the county’s partner community testing sites processed about 16,000 tests last week. While still very high, that number represents “a slight leveling off” in week-over-week growth, Gomez said.

Gomez said the county continued to add staff at community testing sites to reduce wait times.

“Unfortunately, more and more staff continue to be affected by COVID every day. “

Queues at community testing sites currently vary from one to four hours of waiting time, Gomez said.

Many PCR test results take between one and two days to come back, Gomez said, as state labs are inundated with record-breaking tests.

Kasirye said the county was consulting with companies looking for help implementing safety measures, which she said can include anything from recommending telecommuting to providing a disinfectant for them. hands.

“To a certain extent, it depends on the needs of their business. “

California to change thresholds for “mega-events”

From Saturday, the CRPD will lower its thresholds for what constitutes a “mega event”. This classification will now apply to any indoor event with at least 500 participants and outdoor with 5,000 participants.

Indoor mega-event sites should require vaccination verification or proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test; external sites are recommended, but not required, to do the same.

“This does not mean that an event organizer has to wait until they reach these figures to implement these measures,” Kasirye said Thursday. “This includes checking vaccines… before allowing clients to attend. “

Sutter County School Shuts Down Due to ‘Escalation’ of COVID Cases

Butte Vista Elementary School, a K-8 campus in Yuba City, announced Thursday night that it will close its doors for on-campus learning this Friday until at least next Tuesday due to outbreaks of cases of COVID-19.

The school of about 900 students has not disclosed the number of positive cases it has recorded, but in a statement posted on its website, the rate of COVID infections on campus is “rising” and “justifying a temporary closure of the school ”.

A COVID-19 dashboard for Yuba City Unified Thursday morning showed 206 positive cases among students and staff this week across the district, including 30 staff in quarantine.

“While we cannot rule out that other schools may face a similar situation, there are currently no plans to change the teaching model at another YCUSD school,” Unified School District officials wrote. from the city of Yuba. “This decision only concerns Butte Vista.”

Sutter County has the third highest COVID-19 test positivity rate among California’s 58 counties at 33.7%, the CRPD reported Thursday.

Butte Vista appears to be the first campus in the six-county Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba region to close for in-person learning amid the omicron wave.

Latest issues for the Sacramento area

Sacramento County has recorded a total of 207,805 laboratory-confirmed cases and 2,582 deaths from COVID-19 during the pandemic, according to local health officials.

The county added more than 3,600 new confirmed cases on Wednesday and nearly 3,500 on Thursday, bringing the daily case rate to 201 per 100,000 population, a record high. The case rate is now more than triple the pre-omicron record of 64 per 100,000 as of December 2020.

According to the CRPD, Sacramento County’s latest test positivity rate is 24.5%.

County hospitals were treating 483 patients with confirmed COVID-19 on Wednesday, up from 307 a week earlier. The total for intensive care increased from 65 to 80.

Placer County has counted 47,096 cases and 499 deaths from the virus so far, last updated Wednesday.

Local health officials last reported the daily case rate at 88.7 per 100,000 for the week ending Jan. 3.

Placer’s positivity rate is 25.4%, according to the CDPH.

Placer County hospitals had 211 COVID-positive patients on Wednesday, up from 151 a week earlier. The ICU went from 22 to 34.

Yolo County has confirmed 25,152 infections and 266 deaths from COVID-19, last updated Tuesday.

The latest reported case rate in the county is 110 per 100,000, for the week ending Jan.6.

The CRPD reports Yolo County’s positivity rate at 8.5%, among the lowest in the state.

Hospitals in Yolo County were treating 16 patients with COVID-19 on Wednesday, up from 12 a week earlier. The total intensive care stood at three patients.

El Dorado County has reported 20,334 cumulative cases and 178 deaths from COVID-19, last updated Wednesday.

The last reported case rate in El Dorado, for the week ending Jan. 5, was 101 per 100,000, expanding to an all-time high.

The county had a 24.3% positivity rate, the CDPH reported Thursday.

El Dorado County hospitals had 14 COVID-positive patients on Wednesday, up from 15 a week earlier. Only one was in intensive care, compared to five.

Sutter County has recorded 16,699 cases and 203 deaths, and Yuba County has recorded 12,708 cases with 90 deaths, according to an update Tuesday from the bi-county health unit.

The CRPD reported Sutter County at 76 per 100,000 daily cases and Yuba County at 79 per 100,000 on Wednesday.

Positivity was 33.7% in Sutter and 32.2% in Yuba, ranking third and sixth respectively among 58 counties in California, according to the CRPD.

As of Wednesday, the only hospital serving Yuba and Sutter counties, Adventist Health and Rideout in Marysville, had 40 patients with confirmed COVID-19, up from 21 a week earlier. Six were in intensive care, the same as a week earlier.

This story was originally published January 13, 2022 11:16 a.m.

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Michael McGough heads the Sacramento Bee Breaking News reporting team, covering public safety and other local stories. A native of Sacramento and a longtime resident of the capital, he interned at The Bee while attending Sacramento State, where he earned a journalism degree.

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