Hospitalizations in the state hit a two-month high

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in California rose to 1,708 on Friday and has nearly doubled over the past month as omicron subvariants BA.2 and BA.2.12.1 become more widespread across the state. Hospitalizations are now as high as mid-March at the end of the winter surge. Across the Bay Area, there were 472 people in hospitals with COVID, up nearly 20% from 397 a week ago. San Francisco, which has the highest caseload in the state per 100,000 people, has 80 people hospitalized with the virus, compared at 67 last week. The nationwide mortality rate remains very low at 0.02 deaths per 100,000 people.

California’s positive test rate jumps nearly 2 points in a week

The average rate of positive coronavirus tests in California for the last week hit 6% on Friday, up 1.7 percentage points from the previous seven-day period. Earlier this week it surpassed the 5% threshold that infectious disease experts consider acceptable to stem the spread of the virus. The Bay Area remains the state’s COVID-19 hotspot, with San Francisco’s positive test rate reaching 11.2%. Public health officials have speculated that San Francisco’s high positivity rate could be due to the number of people being tested in the city, but figures show that San Francisco has about 625 residents per 100,000 tested daily, compared to 1,274 per 100,000 residents in Los Angeles County. which has a positive test rate of 2.57%.

US cases up 19%, hospitalizations up more than 24%

The seven-day moving average of daily new cases in the US rose 18.8% compared to the previous week, according to federal data released on Friday. The country now surpasses 100,000 daily cases, with about 101,130 new cases reported each day across the country. Hospital admissions are also on the rise, up 24.2% since last week. An average of 3,250 people per day are being admitted to the country’s hospitals with COVID-19, up from 2,617 a week ago. The number of deaths, a lagging indicator of pandemic trends, remains steady at about 280 people a day. The recent surge is driven by the Omicron subvariant BA.2 accounting for 50.9% of cases and its hypertransmissible sublineage BA.2.12.1 accounting for 47.5% of new cases. Demand for vaccines and boosters continues to stagnate, with only 66.5% of the US population fully vaccinated.

California is recovering more than 91% of jobs lost in the first month of the pandemic

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a report on Friday showing that California added 41,400 jobs in April and brought its unemployment rate down to 4.6%. “California continues to lead the country’s economic recovery, bringing more people back to work and off the jobless list than the rest of the country,” the governor said in a statement. Among his government’s achievements highlighted in the report were monthly job growth in 14 of the past 15 months – including recovering 91% of the jobs lost between March and April 2020 – and a 1.2-point drop in unemployment in 2022 alone.

“Rogue” COVID test pages appeared and then disappeared. These are the unlikely operators behind it

Petitioners, who normally make a living collecting signatures to qualify policies for voting, found a new, highly profitable cottage industry during the pandemic: operating pop-up coronavirus testing sites.

According to polls, a third of Americans believe the pandemic is over

Despite the increase in coronavirus cases in the US, a significant portion of the population believes the COVID-19 pandemic is over and has not changed their behavior to address the current threat. According to a new Axios Ipsos poll, 31% of respondents said the pandemic is over, while 63% believe there is little or no risk of catching COVID-19. About 40% of respondents said they had resumed their pre-pandemic life. Only 14% said the coronavirus is a serious crisis. But the proportion of people supporting government officials to lift all COVID-19 restrictions fell to 51%, down from 59% in April. And 62% said they follow local news reports on daily COVID trends. The mixed responses fell along sharp political lines: 59% Republicans, 27% Independents and just 10% Democrats said the pandemic was over.

The CDC director approves boosters for children ages 5 to 11

dr Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has signed the recommendation of a vaccine advisory panel offer a third COVID-19 vaccination for healthy children of primary school age. That means the extra shots are now available for the youngest eligible age group for the vaccines. The booster vaccinations are recommended for everyone over the age of 12. “Vaccination with a primary series in this age group has lagged behind other age groups and makes them vulnerable to serious diseases,” Walensky said in a statement. “We know these vaccines are safe and we must continue to increase the number of children protected.”

When Should Bay Area Kids Ages 5-11 Get Their COVID Boosters?

COVID-19 vaccine boosters could be available to Bay Area children ages 5 to 11 as early as this weekend, but Bay Area parents should take their eligible children to clinics and pharmacies immediately to get the vaccine ? With highly contagious omicron subvariants driving Bay Area coronavirus case rates to the highest levels in California — and with people who have received primary vaccinations increasingly vulnerable to infection — the short answer is yes, experts say. Read more about what medical experts advise.

Almost as contagious as measles: The corona virus spins worrying new mutations

The relentless evolution of the coronavirus, which has spawned new variants every four to six months to fuel new flare-ups, could see the virus overtake measles as the most contagious of all known infections in the not too distant future. Rising infectivity isn’t necessarily making the virus more deadly, but it could make it more difficult to control and leave communities vulnerable to the repeated waves of illness that have defined the pandemic. Read more about new variants that could lead to further outbreaks of COVID around the world.

Elite Bay Area private high school goes secluded as COVID infections surge

An elite private Oakland high school will go remotely for the final week of classes as a precaution to stave off rising COVID-19 infections in the student body, administrators said today. Beginning Thursday morning, teachers at the College Preparatory School held online classes in hopes that the school’s 372 students would return to campus on May 27 for final exams, followed by in-person events to celebrate graduation. Read more about why the school switched to distance learning in the face of rising coronavirus cases in the community.

As BA 2.12.1 sweeps California, state officials carry mandates in their back pockets

According to state epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan, the highly transmissible omicron subvariant BA 2.12.1 accounts for about half of the sequenced COVID-19 cases in California. Speaking to ABC 7 News, she said the strain is overwhelming other variants of the virus but is not yet of concern. “We could develop a variant that is more severe and eludes our immunity to an extent that we really have a much larger impact on our infrastructure,” said Dr. Pan. The Bay Area is currently California’s COVID hotspot, with San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin recording the highest number of new daily cases. Pan said state officials would be keeping a close eye on trends and would bring back virus mitigation measures like an indoor mask mandate if necessary. “I think we should always maintain that willingness and opportunity, especially when we’re again seeing a big impact on our healthcare system, when we’re seeing a really unusual spike in deaths,” she said. “Thankfully we’ve maintained low hospitalization rates, but those are all things we’re concerned about.”

Omicron infection offers little immunity to unvaccinated patients, the UCSF study found

Unvaccinated individuals infected with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus have little long-term immunity to other variants, according to a new study from UCSF released Wednesday. In laboratory experiments, the research team found that the Omicron variant triggers only a weak immune response. While this response may help improve overall protection against a variety of COVID-19 strains in vaccinated individuals, those who did not receive immunization against the virus did not have overall protection against other strains of the virus. “Our results show that omicron infection enhances pre-existing vaccine-elicited immunity, but alone may not provide comprehensive protection against non-omicron variants in unvaccinated individuals,” the team wrote.

COVID-19 deaths, hospitalizations are expected to increase in almost all states

Based on forecast models used by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there will be up to 5,300 additional COVID-19 deaths in the US over the next two weeks. Almost every state is expected to see a spike in deaths in the week ending June 11, with California, New York, Georgia and Florida expected to see the highest tolls. The US is now averaging about 273 COVID deaths per day, with the average daily new cases approaching 100,000. More than 24,300 Americans are hospitalized with COVID-19, the highest number since March, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. The CDC forecast models also show an increase in new hospital admissions of up to 11,000.

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