CALIFORNIA- California is approaching 3 million coronavirus cases as the state tries to smooth out the volatile vaccine release during a continued spike in COVID-19 deaths.
The state reported 432 deaths on Sunday, a day after posting the second-highest daily count of 669, according to the Department of Public Health. The death toll in California since the start of the pandemic rose to 33,392, while the total number of cases reached 2.94 million.
Hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions remained on a slight downward trend, but officials warned that it could reverse when the full impact of the broadcasts is felt during the Christmas and New Year’s meetings.
“As the number of cases continues to rise in California, the total number of people who will have severe outcomes will also increase,” the health department said in a statement Sunday.
There have been around 500 deaths and 40,000 new cases daily in the last two weeks.
Lawmakers and public health officials have said the increase will not abate without mass vaccinations, but California has lagged the rest of the country when it comes to vaccinating its residents. So far, the state has vaccinated just 2,468 people per 100,000, a rate that falls well below the national average of around 3,300, according to federal data cited Saturday by the Sacramento Bee.
Governor Gavin Newsom said he and other governors were informed last week that a reserve supply of 50 million doses would be distributed, but no timeline was given.
After California adjusted its vaccination plan to include all people 65 and older, some public health experts expressed concern that there will not be enough vaccines available for the important second doses, which must be given within three to four. weeks after the first dose, depending on the brand.
“Righting the ship by pushing all we have is an unforced error,” said Andrew Noymer, an infectious disease and public health expert at the University of California, Irvine al Bee. “The second dose will not arrive in time.”
Sacramento County warned last week that most residents 65 and older, a group numbering more than 200,000, will not get shots right away because they simply don’t have the supply, the newspaper reported.
“We ask for your patience as we work to navigate the rapidly changing landscape of vaccination best practices and availability,” said Dr. Olivia Kasirye, the county’s Public Health Officer, in a statement.
Adding to the concerns, Los Angeles County announced Saturday that it had detected its first case of a more communicable variant of COVID-19. It was identified in a man who recently spent time in the most populous county in the country. The patient has traveled to Oregon, where he is in isolation.
Although his is the first confirmed case of the variant, health officials believe it is already spreading in a county that surpassed 1 million coronavirus cases this weekend. While the new strain, first detected in the UK, does not appear to make people sicker, it spreads more easily, potentially leading to more infections and with them additional hospitalizations in a region hard hit by the increase.
“The presence of the UK variant in Los Angeles County is concerning as our health care system is already severely affected with more than 7,500 people currently hospitalized,” said Barbara Ferrer, director of the county Department of Public Health. of the Angels.