SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — COVID-19 is spreading in Santa Clara County this May.
The county’s health officer gave a COVID “weather report” Tuesday to keep residents and reporters updated on what’s happening with the virus.
“We have a lot of virus circulating now, and it’s on it’s way up. It is time to break out your mask and break out your tests. Be more cautious than you were a month ago,” Dr. Sara Cody told reporters.
“All metrics we follow are ticking up. What we are seeing now similar to what we were seeing in mid-February, and it’s more than what we were seeing at the height of Delta,” Cody said.
COVID outbreaks are happening now in schools and worksites in the county.
“Schools, worksites, and other congregate facilities. Many (outbreaks) are related to social gatherings. It’s spring, school is ending, and people are gathering. COVID is spreading,” Cody said.
“We are just beginning to see some early signs that this may be translating to an uptick in hospitalizations,” Cody said.
The variants spreading in May are more infectious compared to variants from earlier in the pandemic.
“Even if you got omicron during the omicron surge, you can still get COVID again, unfortunately,” Cody warned. “I wanted to make sure that everyone understood that.”
County health officials have been closely monitoring sewage wastewater systems to see how prevalent the virus is circulating in communities.
Cody encouraged unvaccinated Santa Clara County residents to get the vaccine.
“It’s still the best way to prevent severe illness and even death,” she said. “When you think about how much the variants circulating now have changed from the original, it’s remarkable how well the vaccines are performing.”
Cody said everyone should wear a mask indoors inside crowded or poorly ventilated settings.
“We all want to see each other and gather. If possible, gather outdoors. If you do get sick, seek treatment. There is treatment available. There are pills you can take to prevent severe illness from COVID. Most pharmacies stock them,” she said.
Santa Clara County does not have plans to re-impose COVID mandates in the near future. Instead, the county will continue to align its policies with the state’s policies and recommendations.
“At this point in the pandemic, no one wants to issue restrictions. But we have to think about the whole community, particularly people who are more vulnerable,” Cody said.
Two and a half years in, we are still not out of the pandemic, according to Cody.
Cody doesn’t recommend trying to estimate a timeline for when the pandemic will end.
Anyone 50 or older can receive a second booster shot. Cody said she “strongly” recommends second boosters for residents ages 60 and older.
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Statewide COVID statistics released by the California Department of Public Health Tuesday:
· California has 8,687,626 confirmed cases to date.
· Today’s average case count is 6,214 (average daily case count over 7 days).
· Unvaccinated people are 5.4 times more likely to get COVID-19 than boosted individuals.
· There are 1,203 hospitalizations statewide.
· Unvaccinated people are 9.3 times more likely to be hospitalized than boosted individuals.
· There have been 89,957 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
· COVID-19 claims the lives of 12 Californians each day (average daily death count over 7 days).
· Unvaccinated people are 8.8 times more likely to die than boosted individuals.