California Sees COVID-19 Wave In Time For Holidays; Omicron Cases Quadruple In A Week – CBS San Francisco
SAN CARLOS (KPIX 5) – The omicron variant surge that health experts predicted would hit California has arrived, according to the state’s data, and it comes just as millions of families and friends are expected to gather for the holidays.
“I think it’s going to get probably even more intense in the week to two weeks coming,” said University of California San Francisco Prof. of Medicine Dr. Peter Chin-Hong.
READ MORE: 2 Suspects Arrested In Murder Of TV News Crew Security Guard Kevin Nishita; 3rd Suspect Sought
In just one week, COVID-19 cases in California more than doubled with nearly 11,000 new confirmed cases as of Tuesday compared to about 5,400 cases last Wednesday. Dr. Chin-Hong said although more Californians are testing, the positivity rate is climbing because of more widespread transmission.
“I think given the experience in South Africa and in the UK that there are real cases increasing,” he said.
The highly transmissible Omicron variant also quadrupled from 49 cases last week to nearly 200 cases on Wednesday.
• ALSO READ: Marin County Reports Highest Cases Since January – ‘Deep Into Transition To Omicron’
Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a news conference that more than 50% of positive cases that had been sequenced have been identified as the Omicron variant.
READ MORE: San Francisco City College Trustee Looks To Save Cantonese-Language Classes
But this holiday season is much different than last December when cases as well as hospitalizations and deaths surged.
Now vaccines, boosters and testing are available. Americans feel more confident about being out and gathering.
“My plans for the holidays have changed only slightly in terms of maybe the size of the group,” said Chin-Hong. “I’m making sure everyone is vaccinated and or boosted in an indoor setting. I’m still engaging with life and I know as a boosted person, and even if I was just vaccinated and not boosted, that I will be protected from getting seriously ill. That confidence hasn’t really wavered with Omicron.”
The country’s artillery just got its own boost as well on Wednesday when the Food and Drug Administration gave Pfizer emergency authorization for use of its antiviral COVID-19 pill for those at high-risk.
“We should be so excited about this pill for so many reasons,” Chin-Hong said. “First of all, it democratizes treatment, and take it out of the realm of the hospital system, to the community.”
In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced expanding hours at state test sites, including offering millions of students’ free tests before returning to the classroom after winter break.
MORE NEWS: COVID: Meta, Twitter, Amazon Among Tech Giants Pulling Out Of 2022 CES Convention
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden promised to open more test sites as well and also announced that he would provide Americans free at-home COVID-19 tests at the beginning of the year. A half billion tests would be sent to the homes to those who ordered them online, he said.
Denial of responsibility! Vertical Lobby is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – email@example.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.