Sacramento County shows cautious optimism as cases plateau

“Vaccination remains the surest strategy to prevent future infection, severe illness and death,” Dr Kasirye said.

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. – Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye expressed cautious optimism Thursday as the latest surge of COVID-19 may approach a plateau in Sacramento County. Sacramento.

The county continues to average 3,000 reported positive cases per day, although the number of people who have died from the virus is down significantly from the same time last year, according to the county’s COVID-19 dashboard. The last reported coronavirus-related death occurred on January 8, 2022.

There are 588 people hospitalized with coronavirus in Sacramento County, 92 of whom are being treated in intensive care units in the area.

Of these nearly 600 hospitalizations, 22 are children.

The latest surge follows predictions of a high number of cases after the winter holidays when many people congregated with others outside their homes and moved away from home.

GENERAL GUIDANCE FOR THE PUBLIC:

Health officials continue to stress that getting fully vaccinated and boosted is the best way to protect yourself and your community from the threat of the coronavirus.

“Vaccination remains the surest strategy to prevent future infection, severe illness and death,” Dr Kasirye said.

She urged immunocompromised people to take extra precautions and reminded everyone to consider the risks of participating in large-scale events, but reiterated that the county will continue to follow state guidelines regarding large events, such as those held at Golden 1 Centre.

If you have symptoms, you should stay home to prevent the spread and, if necessary, seek medical attention.

PERSONNEL AND SUPPLIES REMAIN A CHALLENGE:

The county’s system continues to be challenged by a limited supply of COVID-19 tests, lifesaving therapies and N-95 masks, Dr Kasirye said.

The county distributed 91,000 rapid COVID-19 tests to area libraries in early January, but supplies quickly ran out. Sacramento County health officials are encouraging those seeking home testing to request it through a new federal program that allows 4 tests per household.

RELATED: Guide to free COVID testing from the federal government and Sacramento-area sites

Sacramento County Public Health is assigned a very limited supply of lifesaving therapeutics, including Paxlovid, Sotrovimab, Molnupiravir and Evusheld. Doses of these therapeutics are reallocated to hospitals and prisons.

Hospitals across the state have reported significant staffing challenges while dealing with the latest surge. Hospitals say staff are being hit hard by the coronavirus, forcing many into self-isolation and preventing them from being able to work.

This, in addition to a high turnover rate in the medical field across the country since the start of the pandemic. Some reports have estimated that up to 20% of healthcare workers have left the field, citing burnout and persistent health conditions like depression.

OFFICIALS WORK TO KEEP SCHOOLS OPEN:

Keeping children in school remains a high priority for county health and education officials, Sacramento County Public Health Program Planner Nick Mori said on the call.

Currently, there are no set case thresholds for school closures, Mori said. There have been a handful of brief individual classroom closures in Sacramento County, these have been conducted on a case-by-case basis.

“We know that schools are critical to the emotional well-being of children and that staying open for in-person instruction remains a priority,” Mori said.

Schools in the region continue to feel significant impacts from the latest wave of coronavirus after returning from winter vacation.

Mori says there is no specific indication that transmission is occurring on campuses. Contact tracing efforts revealed that many county students were likely exposed outside of school, likely at family social gatherings during the holidays.

CASES DROP AT DOWNTOWN PRISON, RISE AT RIO COSUMNES CORRECTIONAL CENTER

Cases at the Sacramento County Main Jail downtown rose from 76 cases last week to 47 cases on Thursday.

The number of positive coronavirus cases has more than doubled at Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center (RCCC) since last week, from 123 cases to 49 last week.

“We continue to provide consultation with Correctional Health to help ensure that identified cases are isolated,” Dr Kasirye said.

HOSPITALS IN THE REGION WILL BECOME EMERGENCY ESTABLISHMENTS

The University of California’s Davis Medical Center and Kaiser South Sacramento Medical Center are now state supplemental hospitals, part of a statewide effort to increase hospital capacity in the in case additional space is needed.

Nearly 200 facilities across the state will increase capacity statewide, according to the California Emergency Medical Services Authority. They are deploying 2,600 doctors to support facilities across the state.

Liz Gomes, health program manager for the Sacramento County Health Department, says the county is working directly with shelter partners to ensure test kits get to the homeless community. On a case-by-case basis, the county sends test teams to shelters as needed.

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