4 Bay Area counties in ‘yellow stage’ as COVID cases surge
SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — COVID-19 cases are on the rise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there are more than 200 cases per 100,000 people in four Bay Area counties.
Although California has moved away from a color code system, the CDC still uses it to report community transmission levels: green for low, yellow for medium, and orange for high. The Bay Area is now considered a yellow zone for the CDC. San Francisco County has the highest transmission of COVID-19, with around 278 positive cases per 100,000 people. Santa Cruz, Marin, Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties are also in yellow.
“A time for increased awareness and vigilance regarding the things we’ve been doing over the past few years,” said Marc Meulman, director of public health for San Mateo County.
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Meulman said cases have been rising steadily in recent weeks, but hospitalizations are a lagging indicator, as about 20 San Mateo County residents are hospitalized with COVID-19.
“It’s increasing, of course that’s worrying, but right, the hospital systems are capable of handling it,” he said.
dr Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease expert at UCSF, said the Bay Area’s yellowing is alarming in terms of the likelihood of contracting COVID-19 but of particular concern for a specific group of people.
“People older than 65 and unboosted, immunocompromised, unvaccinated and unexposed,” he said.
He said there’s still a large population who haven’t had their first booster shot yet – but he hopes the changes will help flatten the curve. When it comes to treatment, says Dr. Chin-Hong that the drug Paxlovid is a game changer.
“Really puts people off going to the hospital even if you’re not vaccinated, but you have to take it early enough, so within three to five days is the sweet spot and it can put 88 to 89 percent of people off.” to go to the hospital hospital,” he said.
dr Chin-Hong says the surge in COVID cases should prompt employers to reconsider the office environment, from ensuring proper ventilation to limiting in-person meetings.