COVID cases are rising in California, reaching February levels

Coronavirus infections have continued to rise steadily in California since early April, and while the new case curve is still less pronounced than the increase in the winter omicron variant, the increase in the spread of two contagious subvariants is still raising concerns about a new wave of virus cases.

The California Department of Public Health reported the statewide daily rate of COVID-19 cases at 14 per 100,000 residents on Friday, a 27% increase last week and a 71% increase in the past two weeks. .

Test positivity has risen from 2.8% to 3.9% last week for California’s highest reading since Feb. 18, when the state was down on the rise in omicron .

The California case rate dropped to 5.2 per 100,000, and the positivity to 1.2% in mid-March.

Hospitals across the state were treating 1,112 patients with confirmed COVID-19 on Thursday, after hitting 950 on April 25, a 17% jump in the last 10 days. Patients with viruses in intensive care units during the same window increased by 50%, from 112 to 168, CDPH reported on Friday.

Some of the highest transmission rates in the state in the Bay Area are now being recorded. San Francisco now has the highest daily case rate of 32 per 100,000, up 66% from two weeks earlier.

The next four counties by case rate on Friday’s update were San Mateo with 28 per 100,000, Santa Cruz with 28 per 100,000, Santa Clara with 25 per 100,000 and Alameda with 22 per 100,000.

San Francisco also has the fourth highest positivity rate in the state, with 8.6%, just behind Imperial County, with 10.3%, and the two least populated counties in the state. Alpine and Sierra, both with 14.3%. Marin and Sonoma counties each had a 7.8% positive rate, double the state average.

More worryingly, the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in San Francisco has more than doubled in the past 10 days, from 26 to 55, according to state health figures updated Friday. The San Francisco ICU fired three to 10.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in an update this week on its three-tier national map of “community levels” for COVID-19, showed Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa counties Clara and Santa Cruz at the “average level of coronavirus activity. The remaining 53 counties in California are at the” low “level.

Virus metrics vary between counties in the Sacramento region, currently better than most counties in the Bay Area, but slightly worse than the state average.

Sacramento County Hospitals reported 67 patients with the virus on Thursday, up from 56 last week, and the number of ICUs rose to 11 out of eight.

High schools in both the Sacramento area and the Bay Area are reporting outbreaks or groups of COVID-19 cases, some of them arriving a couple of weeks after many schools held similar dance or dance events. and a few weeks after the spring break.

“We are seeing an increase in cases in general and we have seen an increase in cases and outbreaks reported by schools in recent weeks,” Sacramento County Health Office spokeswoman Samantha Mott said in a statement. emailed Thursday.

Latest contagious omicron subvariants

A pair of highly transmissible omicron subvariants, known as BA.2 and BA.2.12.1, now make up the vast majority of U.S. cases, with the prevalence of the latter increasing. Both variants are likely to be largely responsible for the increase in California transmission rates.

BA.2.12.1, the more contagious of the two, accounted for approximately 37% of cases nationwide during the week of April 24 to April 30, according to a weekly CDC Tuesday update, 27% more than the previous week. BA.2 decreased from 70% to 62%, suggesting that BA.2.12.1 could soon surpass it.

For the CDC region, which includes California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, and the Pacific, BA.2.12.1 rose from 12% to 18% last week, while BA.2 fell from 85% to 81%.

Health officials have estimated that BA.2 is approximately 40% more transmissible than the original omicron variant, BA.1; and BA.2.12.1 is believed to be 25% more contagious than BA.2.

BA.2.12.1 broadcast at UC Davis

Yolo County health officials last week, in a joint press release with the Healthy Davis Together testing initiative, said BA.2.12.1 “now accounts for nearly half of all campus cases” at UC Davis after be detected for the first time in late March.

“The data show that COVID-19 is spreading in Yolo County, especially in Davis. Yolo residents are advised to take extra precautions to protect themselves from infection,” said Dr. Aimee Sisson, head of Yolo County Health, in a prepared statement.

“I strongly recommend that you mask yourself inside with a high-quality mask and get tested if you have symptoms, have a known exposure, or have recently attended a large gathering such as Picnic Day,” which was held. on April 23, Sisson said. “If you’re eligible for a reinforcement, now is a good time to get it. Don’t wait.”

It is not yet clear what immune protection Californians can maintain from the huge wave of infections during the rise in omicrons, which pushed the case rate above 300 per 100,000 and positivity above 22%. in early January, while experts study the capacity of the new subvariants. to evade previous immunity.

Sacramento area numbers by county

The latest Sacramento County case rate is 9.9 per 100,000 population, state health officials said in a Friday update, up 26 percent from a week earlier.

CDPH reported that the positivity rate for the Sacramento tests was 4.5% on Friday, up 3.8% a week earlier.

Sacramento County Hospitals treated 67 patients with the virus on Thursday, according to state data, compared to 56 a week earlier. The total ICU went from eight to 11.

The latest Placer County case rate is 8.1 per 100,000, 33% more than a week earlier.

CDPH reported that the Placer test positivity rate was 5.3%, up from 4.1% last week.

Placer County Hospitals treated 23 patients with the virus on Thursday, down from 26 a week earlier. The ICU total remained at four.

The latest case rate in Yolo County is 13.6 per 100,000 population, 30% more than a week earlier.

CDPH reported that the positivity rate of the Yolo test was 2.2%, up from 1.6% last week.

Hospitals in Yolo County were treating two patients with the virus on Thursday, below three a week earlier. The ICU total fell from zero to zero.

The latest case rate in El Dorado County is 7.7 per 100,000 population, state health officials said in an update Tuesday, a 27 percent increase from a week earlier.

CDPH reported that the positivity rate for the El Dorado test was 5.3%, up from 5.2% last week.

El Dorado County Hospitals were treating two virus patients Thursday, more than a week earlier. The total ICU dropped from zero to zero.

The latest Sutter County case rate is 6.8 per 100,000 population and that of Yuba County is 5.0 per 100,000, state health officials said Friday. Sutter’s case rate rose 115% while Yuba’s rate dropped 20%.

The CDPH reported that Sutter had a 4% positive test, 4.5% less last week. Yuba’s positivity was 4.6%, up from 3.2%.

The only hospital in Yuba County, which serves the Yuba-Sutter County, was treating four patients with the virus on Thursday, more than two the previous week. The total ICU remained in one patient.

The CDC classifies the six counties in the Sacramento area as a “low” level of COVID-19 activity.

This story was originally published May 6, 2022 10:47 AM

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Michael McGough presents The Sacramento Bee breaking news team, which covers public safety and other local stories. A native of Sacramento and a lifelong resident of the capital, he did an internship at The Bee while attending Sacramento State, where he graduated with a degree in journalism.

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