September 23, 2023

California’s sneaky summer time COVID wave is reaching heights not seen in additional than a 12 months as extremely contagious strains of the virus proceed to unfold with the promise of a brand new vaccine days away.

The state’s check positivity price has now topped 14%, the best since July of 2022 and the fifth highest mark for the reason that pandemic started in early 2020, in accordance with the most recent California Division of Public Well being information.

Since federal and state authorities have stopped monitoring COVID case counts, the proportion of lab-processed COVID exams which can be constructive has change into the most effective indicators of how a lot the virus is spreading in the neighborhood, just like how influenza has been tracked traditionally.

The virus has been energetic from coast to coast, with some East Coast faculties requiring masks, and First Woman Jill Biden testing constructive on the finish of the Labor Day vacation weekend. In an look on the White Home Wednesday, President Biden induced some confusion by contradicting CDC tips that really useful he put on a face masks indoors in public for 10 days after being uncovered.

“Let me clarify to the press: I’ve been examined once more at the moment. I’m clear throughout the board,” Biden mentioned, holding up a black face masks. “However they maintain telling me, as a result of this must be 10 days or one thing, I’ve acquired to maintain carrying it. However don’t inform them I didn’t have it on once I walked in.”

Biden’s obvious flouting of his personal administration’s steerage signaled how the virus has change into much less harmful in comparison with earlier delta and unique omicron waves.

In California, hospitalizations have elevated up to now a number of weeks, however they’re nonetheless removed from document highs, with 1,600 hospitalized COVID sufferers final week in comparison with over 20,000 within the first winter surge in late 2020 and early 2021.

As of early August, there had been no notable enhance in deaths lately, with a gentle degree of round 9 or 10 COVID deaths on common every day since Might. Thus far this 12 months, 4,461 Californians have died from COVID in comparison with 17,214 by means of finish of August in 2022.