January 29, 2023

The spread of the delta variant among California threatens a new upsurge in COVID cases, officials warn

Nearly half of California’s residents are still not fully vaccinated against the highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19 and widespread circulation, despite generally high vaccination rates and the state could face up to two-thirds of last summer’s epidemic waves, health officials said Tuesday.

If such an uprising occurs, it will be much less deadly and destructive than the state endured in the winter, when more than 22,000 Californians died between Thanksgiving and the end of January, when the state closed for several months.

The vast majority of unvaccinated people carry the burden of the disease, which accounts for more than 99% of hospital admissions and deaths, and the trend is expected to continue.

New cases have risen slightly among those vaccinated over the past few weeks, and now there are only under 1 case per 100,000 vaccinated people per day. But they have increased among those who have not been vaccinated, down from about 3 cases per day per 100,000 people a month ago, to 5 cases per 100,000 people now.

“We really need to move the dial about vaccines,” said Dr. Erica Bonn, the state epidemiologist, during a meeting with the California Medical Association on Tuesday.

Ban noted that all measurements of the epidemic – including cases, hospitalizations, intensive care admissions and deaths – were slightly lower than before the state reopened on June 15. “So we have a lot of runways,” he said, even though the spread is now increasing across the state to control the spread.

But the reopening of the state coincided with the introduction of the delta variant in California, which is leading to faster progress in events than expected. The fourth meeting in July may have contributed to the rapid increase. “Do we think it’s as catastrophic as last winter? It seems unlikely,” Bonn said. “But we were able to see two-thirds of what we saw last summer.”

California averages 2,000 cases a day – more than twice as many since the beginning of June. During last summer’s uprising, the number of cases rose to about 9,600 a day. Hospital admissions have risen by about 78% in the past month to less than 1,600 as of Monday. About 7,000 people were hospitalized during the summer peak.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Erica Bonn with the California Department of Public Health at a news conference at Auckland College on March 11 in Auckland.

Santiago Magia / The Chronicle

Los Angeles County has recently announced particularly complex spikes, with more than 1,000 lawsuits for five consecutive days. The county has not had more than 1,000 cases a day since the beginning of March.

On Tuesday alone, San Francisco registered 153 new cases, according to Chronicle data monitoring, which said city officials did not represent the actual total for the day and that there may be expired cases. About 30 cases a day were reported in the city last week, doubling from the previous week.

Many Bay Area districts have doubled cases in the past week or two.

“The numbers outside of LA are very worrying, but the numbers in the Bay Area, especially in districts with low vaccination rates, are very worrying,” said Dr Kirsten Pippins, deputy dean of population health and health equity at UCSF. -Domingo said. “It’s hard to be completely depressed. We are only a month from the full opening. ”

Alameda County Health Officer Dr. Nicholas Moss said he expects cases to increase after the government reopens, but this is not happening quickly. “My biggest concern is that it will get worse before it gets better,” he said. “We have not yet reached the peak with this summer’s wave. But it is my hope that we will not see the impact of the serious disease from vaccination.”