The Gastrognome restaurant closed Friday, Jan. 14, and reopened Thursday, Jan. 20, due to a kitchen employee who tested positive for COVID.
Johns Hopkins University (JHU), which has been tracking COVID daily since the beginning, reports that the U.S. is now experiencing more than 1,007,511 new, confirmed COVID cases daily — about 300,000 per day more than last week — along with 1,943 daily deaths. JHU data indicates that at least 20% of Americans have been infected with COVID-19.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently recommends the Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot for persons ages 12 to 15.
As of Tuesday morning, the Dashboard of the Hemet Unified School District (HUSD) reported active cases (last two weeks) of COVID at Idyllwild School as being 12 students and one staff member, 4.23% of its combined student/staff population, which is five students and one staff member more than was reported last week, not quite double the total active cases reported last week. At Hemet High, 105 students and six staff members are reported as active cases, which is 4.28% of its student/staff population, more than twice what was reported last week. The HUSD Dashboard states: “Positive cases will appear on the Dashboard for 14 days from the date they are reported and then will be removed after the 14th day.” Consequently, HUSD’s rolling Dashboard reports active cases confirmed during the previous two weeks.
As of Tuesday, Riverside County Public Health (RCPH) reported there have been 257 total cases of COVID in the Idyllwild-Pine Cove community, with five deaths and 240 recovered, leaving 12 currently active cases in our community.
County-wide, RCPH is now reporting a total of 437,812 confirmed COVID cases (13,980 more than last week, not quite double last week’s increase), with 5,746 total deaths (75 more than last week), and with 401,025 COVID cases having recovered, leaving 31,041 active cases in Riverside County, about a 77% increase over last week’s active cases.
The county reports 1,065 hospitalized COVID patients (74 more than last week), 174 of which are in intensive care units (ICU) (23 more than last week). On Tuesday morning, the state’s website reported 77 ICU beds available in Riverside County (11 more than last week). CDC continues to rate Riverside County as a “High” transmission area.
RCPH reports that, as of Jan. 25 in Riverside County, 12.3% of the population ages 5 to 11 are “fully vaccinated” — while 48.8% of ages 12 to 15, about 55% of ages 16 to 24, 59% of ages 25 to 44, 72.3% of ages 45 to 64 and 75.4% of ages 65-plus have been fully vaccinated. Currently, the term “fully vaccinated” still does not include boosters.
As of Jan. 24, California reported 7,419,643 total confirmed COVID cases statewide (683,663 more than last week), with 78,101 total resulting deaths (831 more than last week).
CDC reports that in December, COVID hospitalizations were 16 times higher in unvaccinated adults than in those vaccinated and nine times higher in unvaccinated youngsters ages 12 to 17 than in those vaccinated.
CDC reports that as of Jan. 19, the current seven-day national moving average of daily new COVID cases was 744,616. As of the week ending Jan. 15, the Omicron variant now accounts for about 99.5% of cases in the country, with Delta variant accounting for the remaining 0.5%.
Although COVID-19 tends to be milder in children than in adults, pediatric hospitalizations are now at their highest rate since the beginning of the pandemic. The highest pediatric hospitalization rates are among children from newborn to 4four years of age, none of whom are yet eligible for vaccination. However, pediatric hospitalizations do remain lower than for any adult age group.
CDC continues to advise that vaccination, along with other important prevention strategies, continues to be our best defense against severe COVID disease. Everyone ages 5 and up is recommended to be vaccinated, with boosters for everyone 12 years and older (specifically Pfizer-BioNTech booster shots for persons ages 12 to 15).
Again, CDC urges to: 1) get vaccinated as soon as possible, with a booster shot just as soon as you are eligible for one; 2) wear a mask that covers both your nose and your mouth when in indoor public places; 3) whenever possible, stay 6 feet apart from people you don’t live with; 4) avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces; 5) continue to wash your hands often with soap and water, using hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available; and 6) consider self-testing before attending indoor gatherings, and if you test positive, or you are sick and have symptoms, don’t go.
California’s mask mandate continues at indoor businesses, including restaurants where indoor patrons are mandated to wear masks “except when eating or drinking.”
COVID vaccinations are available free in Idyllwild by appointment at Idyllwild Pharmacy. As of Tuesday, Riverside County was still not listing Idyllwild School as a future vaccination location. Visit https://rivcoph.org/COVID-19-Vaccine-with-Registration to schedule vaccinations through the county.
Also, CDC suggests going to vaccines.gov, calling 1-800-232-0233 or texting your ZIP code to 438829 to find a vaccination site near you. Further CDC resources are available at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/COVID-data/COVIDview/.