With coronavirus infections on the rise again, Sacramento County’s top public health director issued a call on Wednesday for families to think twice before assembling together for Thanksgiving, dinner day. ceremony or other celebrations.
The Sacramento and California area as a whole is still doing much better than most states at the moment and far better than the state’s COVID-19 summer surge when its intensive care units The hospital was nearly filled, said county medical director, Dr. Peter Beilenson.
But with rates rising and more people going indoors where virus transmission is easier, Beilenson warns of a winter spike.
“Thanksgiving will be a real problem,”; he said. “This is understandable. People want to get together with their families. We ask that you hold a virtual Thanksgiving reunion so that the whole family can enjoy 30 years of face-to-face reunion at Thanksgiving. Thank you. “
New data released by the state on Wednesday shows most counties in the Sacramento region and a few other parts of the state are in decline in higher infection rates. Only a few are trending in the right direction, noting progress toward more easing restrictions during the state’s opening up.
Sacramento, Yolo, El Dorado and Placer are all likely to face stricter health restrictions on certain types of businesses over the next few weeks.
These four cases have combined for more than 35,000 lab confirmed cases and 630 deaths from infectious respiratory disease since the onset of the pandemic, with recent data suggesting flare-ups. of these infections after falling from mid-August to most of September.
All four were informed in the state’s weekly COVID-19 risk assessment that they were not meeting the criteria required for their current levels as part of the reopening of state.
That means, unless a state-issued waiver or change to the process itself, each county will be demoted to a more stringent grade if the number is not improved. In that case, Red-tier Sacramento and Yolo counties will have to require restaurants to stop providing in-house dining at the limits allowed by the end of September.
COVID infection in California increased
Statewide, COVID-19 and hospital infection rates have increased since the second half of October. The California Department of Public Health reported more than 5,300 new cases on Wednesday, the most since late August in a date is not related to the input of backlog data.
The day tally brought the state’s total all-time cases to over 940,000 lab-confirmed cases, and the average daily total over the past two weeks is now more than 4,400. The daily rate maintained below 3,400 throughout the first half of October before starting to increase.
The statewide positive test rate, on the 14-day average, has increased from 2.5% to 3.3% in the past three weeks. That suggests that the true spread of the disease is on the rise, and the spike in cases is not just the product of higher screening capacity.
Additionally, the number of patients with confirmed COVID-19 in California hospitals, a figure that reached a high of 2,200 to 2,400 for most of October, is currently reaching 2,700 amid steady increases. Total numbers in intensive care units rose 5% on Tuesday and another 5% on Wednesday, and rose 28% in less than two weeks – from 610 to 779 ICU requests for care.
Those are the trends that have made everyone more interested by the influx of potential new cases that could possibly involve the Halloween weekend and Election Day live voting, both of which are not appearing in the data for comes around mid-November. And as Beilenson notes, the weather is colder and Thanksgiving awaits after that.
Business will have to close again?
Governor Gavin Newsom and state health officials introduced the degree-level reopening framework in early September, and it went relatively smoothly.
The levels define which businesses and other activities can remain open and under which set of restrictions. The switch from purple to red is most important, allowing restaurants, places of worship, and more to reopen indoors with strict capacity limits. Switching to the less restrictive orange and yellow tiers will increase those capacity limits and allow open up more realms, mostly based on entertainment.
This week’s level-list update from the state, delayed from the usual Tuesday through Wednesday due to elections, offers more omen than immediate change.
Health officials downgraded two counties in Northern California to more stringent levels and promoted another district with looser restrictions: Shasta County from red to purple, Plumas County from yellow to color orange and the Colusa District are promoted from red to orange.
There are 10 prefectures in purple level and nine in yellow level. The remaining 39 counties – most of California – are located in the middle two floors.
But 13 of California’s red, orange and yellow counties failed to meet the required criteria for their current grades this week, including four in the immediate metropolitan area.
The two main indicators considered in the classification by level are the number of new cases per day per 100,000 residents and the percentage of diagnostic tests that test positive. The state also looks at a health equity metric for counties with more than 106,000 people, considering test-positive rates in the neighborhoods of the county considered the most unfavorable.
Due to the integration delay in the open framework, this week’s update looking at data from October 18 to October 24 is the first to account for the statewide spike in arrest cases. early in the middle of the month. Infections have increased significantly in the larger Sacramento area since then, with nursing facility outbreaks and nursing home outbreaks considered as potential major sources, like The Sacramento Bee reported last week.
Sacramento and Yolo counties both meet the state positive test requirement of 4.9% or less for the orange grade. Sacramento is 3.4% and Yolo 2.7%, with both up half a point from last week.
But each case averages more than seven new cases daily per 100,000 residents, which is the threshold from red to purple.
El Dorado and Placer counties also failed to meet their criteria for the orange grade in this week’s update. Similar to Sacramento and Yolo, the two counties have too many new cases per capita; The positive level of the trial was higher than last week but still at the acceptable level.
In most cases, it takes two weeks in a row to meet the requirements of the less restrictive tier or fail to meet the requirements of the level currently assigned to be promoted or demoted accordingly.
Yolo County immediately released a press release announcing that they had met the purple level indicators in the first week, urging residents to follow health procedures such as staying away from society, using masks and avoiding crowds to minimize current spikes and avoid business shutdowns.
“We must all cooperate and take personal responsibility in reducing the spread of this virus,” said Yolo County Supervisory Board President Gary Sandy in a written statement.
There are exceptions that can prevent demotion. The CDPH and the county may participate in “level arbitration,” which is essentially an appeals process that allows the county to argue that data discrepancies or other factors have falsified their weekly data. in an unusual way.
Placer County remains orange despite the number of reds for two consecutive weeks because it sought arbitration from the state. Its official arbitration was not issued by the state until Thursday night.