If you are worried about COVID, it may be time to dig out the mask again.
In California, the incidence has tripled since the end of March, and in the emerging trend, the Bay Area rates are higher than normal.
“This is the first time we’ve seen this,” said John Swartzberg, an honorary professor of infectious diseases and vaccines at the University of California, Berkeley. “It was always the opposite.”
As new, highly contagious variants continue to spread, the cases here are the worst in California. In San Francisco, the disease rate is more than double the state’s average, according to data released on Friday, with more than 30 new cases per 100,000 residents over an average of 7 days.
In January 2022, the death toll from the sharp peak of the omicron will still be one-tenth. But with most vaccine restrictions and mask mandates past, the Bay Area is seeing three times as many positive cases as it did six weeks ago after the winter waves subsided. Public hospital admissions increased by 12%, to more than 1,369 from 1,224 COVID patients admitted on April 25.
The situation in the Bay Area and California is due to increased work in most parts of the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of cases across the country has risen by 170% since the end of March to an unprecedented level since February. Hospitalization increased by 16% compared to the previous week, and COVID mortality began to increase after a steady decline since February.
According to the CDC, infection rates are high along the West Coast, along the Northeast and Great Lakes, and in southern Texas and Florida. To demonstrate the impact of the virus on regional health, the community level in the Bay Area and the country as a whole is at a yellow average of 10%. This is the level at which the CDC says those at high risk should consider wearing a mask. Most of the northeast is at a high level, where the CDC recommends that everyone wear a mask in public.
San Francisco was the first county in the region, and during the current wave, in mid-March, Santa Clara, San Mateo, and then others increased. All of these counties were above the state for several weeks, but historically the pandemic was less than the rest of the state in almost all cases.
Today’s problem: Experts say that the rate of spread of the virus, especially now.
“There is a really big gap between the reported cases and the current ones,” Swartzberg said, referring to studies that show that a smaller proportion of cases are currently being identified and counted than other recent waves.
This is because more people use non-calculated express tests at home, such as laboratory PCR tests.
What is driving the new growth?
Dr. George Rutherford, an infectious disease specialist in UC-San Francisco, linked growth to a combination of factors.
The highly contagious omicron variant of BA.1, which created a massive wave of infections during the winter, has produced even more infectious names called BA.2, now 62% of cases in the country and BA.2.12.1, now 37%, according to the CDC. In addition, many of our defenses against previous infections and vaccinations are becoming obsolete.
“For those who were naturally infected in December or January, that immunity is now starting to decline,” Rutherford said. “Previous infection with another strain of BA.1 is almost unprotected from BA.2.12.1.”
Despite the fact that the Gulf region is one of the highest vaccinated areas in the country, protection against infection has still declined, but they still protect against severe disease. The computer was unvaccinated – and we were less energized than when we first received the vaccine – and their protection against infection is now much weaker.
“Vaccines have been excellent for preventing serious illness and death, but their ability to prevent infection has been declining over time,” Rutherford said of those who need an amplifier.
You may want to dig up your N95 when you get home. Most of the mask orders were, of course, raised in March, and federal officials last month abolished mask requirements for public transportation, including airlines, intercity trains, buses and transportation services such as Uber.
“People have stopped wearing masks and are taking risks,” Rutherford said.
Severe illnesses and hospitalizations have not increased as many as infections, but Rutherford said there was no cause for concern for the virus. Even a mild infection can lead to quarantine and isolation for a week or more because of the rules to prevent the spread of the virus at work and at school. However, doctors still do not fully understand the long-term symptoms – there is a risk of developing a disease called Long COVID.
“I think that’s the most convincing thing,” Rutherford said, citing figures that 30 percent of those infected said “there will be more in a year.”
“It’s unfortunate,” Rutherford said. “If I went to a movie theater or a grocery store, I would wear a mask. In most indoor buildings, the best thing is to wear a mask, at least for a while.