SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – As much of the country is now in the midst of a third wave of the coronavirus, California is in a much better position.
During an online forum today, medical experts at UCSF warned California could also find itself in trouble if people let their guard down.
“It’s certainly not over,” Dr. Rutherford said.
UCSF Virology Professor Dr. George Rutherford is talking about the 3rd wave of COVID-19.
“With the exception of New York, parts of New England, a few mid-Atlantic states, California, Oregon, and Hawaii everyone is seeing big case increases,” Dr. Rutherford said.
Rutherford took part in an online forum Thursday afternoon, along with physicians from Wisconsin which is in the midst of that third wave.
“The last 7 days we have had a statewide positivity rate of 18-20 percent; we passed 100,000 cases about 4 weeks ago and are nearing 200,000 in the last 4 weeks,” Dr. Rutherford said.
That 18 to 20 percent positivity rate in Wisconsin compares to a 2.6% positivity rate in California, where experts say cases have plateaued and there is no evidence a third wave has begun.
Rutherford credits a greater acceptance of mask-wearing social distancing and the state’s slow reopening.
“All those things add up and we’re not only not seeing an increase of cases but not seeing an increase of severe cases,” Dr. Rutherford said.
But Rutherford says as travel picks up and if mask-wearing and social distancing are not adhered to during the holidays, California can find itself in a very different place.
“The real advice is don’t do it. have thanksgiving by yourself, see relatives on Zoom, make a virtual thanksgiving, don’t go to the store get groceries delivered, don’t do Black Friday, minimize your risk and your family’s risk if you are going to push beyond that, do it outside have different tables for different families, different bubbles if you will,” Dr. Rutherford said.
A recent study projects an additional 167,000 people will die of COVID-19 by February, but the study also indicates you can cut that number in half with universal mask-wearing.
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