According to The Washington Post and NBC News, unidentified sources are telling them that the Pfizer-BioNTech partnership is expected to submit a request this week to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use authorization (EUA) of a vaccine for children 6 months to age 5. If so, the FDA could possibly issue an EUA before the end of February.
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 no staff members (three students and one staff member fewer than reported last week), which is 2.93% of its combined student/staff population, a 31% reduction from last week’s report. At Hemet High, 82 students and nine staff members were reported as active cases (23 fewer students, but three more staff members than reported last week), which is 3.51% of its combined student/staff population, an 18% reduction from last week’s report. Hamilton School reported 11 students and no staff members with active COVID, which is 2.44% of its student-staff population.
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 a total of 263 cases of COVID in the Idyllwild-Pine Cove community, with 240 recovered and six deaths, leaving 17 currently active cases — a nearly 43% increase in our community’s active cases over last week.
County-wide, as of Tuesday, RCPH reported a total of 451,267 confirmed COVID cases (13,455 more than last week, and 525 fewer than last week’s increase) with 5,868 total deaths (122 more than last week), and with 401,503 COVID cases having recovered, leaving 43,896 active cases in Riverside County, about a 41.4% increase over last week’s active cases.
The county currently reports 911 hospitalized COVID patients (154 fewer than last week), 163 of which are in intensive care (11 fewer than last week). On Tuesday morning, the state’s website reported 66 intensive-care unit beds available in Riverside County (11 fewer than last week). CDC continues to rate Riverside County as a “High” transmission area.
RCPH reports that, as of Jan. 25 in Riverside County, 13.9% of the population ages 5-11 are “fully vaccinated” — while 49.3% of ages 12 to 15, about 55.6% of ages 16 to 24, 59.2% of ages 25 to 44, 72.6% of ages 45 to 64 and 75.5% of ages 65-plus have been fully vaccinated. Currently, the term “fully vaccinated” still does not include boosters.
As of Jan. 31, California reported 7,878,621 total confirmed COVID cases statewide (458,978 more than reported last week), with 79,284 total resulting deaths (1,183 more than last week).
As of Jan. 28, CDC reported that, although cases and hospitalizations are beginning to decline in the United States, deaths continue to rise, and community transmission remains high. CDC’s COVID Data Tracker shows that, in December, unvaccinated adults ages 65 and older were 49 times more likely to be hospitalized than people in that age group who were up-to-date with their COVID vaccines, including boosters.
CDC reports that as of Jan. 26, the current seven-day national moving average of daily new COVID cases was 596,860, a 19.9% reduction from the previous week’s seven-day moving average — the same weekly drop reported last week. As of Jan. 22, the Omicron variant now accounts for about 99.8% to 99.9% of new cases in the U.S., with Delta variant accounting for the remaining 0.1% to 0.2%.
CDC continues to advise that vaccination, along with other important prevention strategies, continues to be the best defense against severe COVID disease. Everyone aged 5 and up is recommended to be vaccinated, with boosters for everyone ages 12 and older — specifically the Pfizer-BioNTech booster for persons ages 12 to 15.
Again, CDC everyone 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 in Idyllwild by appointment at Idyllwild Pharmacy (1-951-659-2135). As of Tuesday, Riverside County still was not listing any place on the Hill as a future county vaccination location, but places in Hemet, San Jacinto, Banning, Beaumont, Moreno Valley, Desert Hot Springs and Palm Desert are listed. Visit https://rivcoph.org/COVID-19-Vaccine-with-Registration to schedule vaccinations through the RCPH.
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/.