COVID rise still expected due to new Omicron strains
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to urge that COVID-19 vaccines offer high levels of protection against severe disease, hospitalization and death, particularly for those who have received boosters.
CDC informs that, during the recent Omicron surge, persons who had received boosters were 21 times less likely to die from COVID compared to persons who were unvaccinated and were seven times less likely to be hospitalized.
CDC now recommends second boosters of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines for three categories of people who received their first booster dose at least four months ago:
1) Those ages 50 and older who received any booster dose
2) Those of any age who received both primary and booster doses of J&J vaccine
3) Those ages 12 and older who are moderately or severely immunocompromised and received any booster dose
Moderately or severely immunocompromised persons include those who have
• been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood, or
• received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system, or
• received a stem cell transplant within the last two years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system, or who have
• moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency, such as DiGeorge syndrome or Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, or
• advanced or untreated HIV infection, or
• active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress their immune response.
CDC urges people to talk with their health care provider about COVID vaccination and their medical condition.
COVID cases in the U.S. continue to decline, although not as rapidly now as recently, and experts anticipate a rise owing to highly contagious, although less dangerous, Omicron strains.
As of Tuesday, April 5, Riverside County Public Health (RCPH) continued to report a total of 312 COVID cases in what it refers to as the “Idyllwild-Pine Cove community,” resulting in six deaths and 306 patients recovered, leaving no active cases. Anza has had 389 total cases with seven deaths and 381 recovered, leaving one active case there.
As of Sunday, April 3, the state of California reports 590,563 total cases in Riverside County with 2.8 new cases per 100,000 residents over a seven-day moving average. That works out to about a 17.6% reduction from last week. The state reports a total of 6,418 confirmed COVID deaths in Riverside County, 23 more than last week. The state also reports 51 currently hospitalized COVID patients in our county (12 fewer than last week), with 130 ICU beds currently available in our county, 25 more than reported last week.
As of Tuesday, April 5, the Dashboard of the Hemet Unified School District (HUSD) is unchanged. It continues to report no active cases of COVID at Idyllwild School among either students or staff members. At Hemet High, five students and no staff members were reported as active cases. Hamilton School reported one student and no staff members with active COVID.
CDC continues to rate Riverside County’s “community level” as Low. People in all community levels are recommended to stay up to date with their vaccines, and to get tested if they have symptoms.
As of Tuesday, April 5, RCPH reports that in Riverside County, 61.2% of the population is now “fully vaccinated” (two doses), while 31.5% have had at least one additional booster.
As of Sunday, April 3, California reported 8,494,005 total confirmed COVID cases statewide (10,437 more than reported last week, which is 42.7% fewer new cases than the previous week) with 88,207 total resulting deaths (253 more than reported last week, which is a 46.1% reduction in new deaths from the previous week).
As of April 5, CDC’s current seven-day national moving average of daily new COVID cases was 25,732, a 5.2% reduction from the seven-day moving average reported last week. The Omicron variants account for virtually all new cases in the U.S., with the more serious Delta variants at zero. As of March 30, a total of 79,904,464 COVID-19 cases and 977,495 COVID-19 deaths have been reported in the U.S.
On March 18, CDC released a new study showing that, “among adults hospitalized with COVID-19 during the Delta and Omicron waves, those who received two or three doses of the Pfizer BioNTech or Moderna vaccine had 90-95% less risk of dying or needing a ventilator compared with adults who were not vaccinated.”
CDC advises that vaccination, along with other important prevention strategies, continues to be the best defense against severe COVID disease. Everyone ages 5 and up is recommended to be vaccinated, with boosters for everyone ages 12 and older — specifically the Pfizer-BioNTech booster for those ages 12 to 15.
COVID vaccinations are available in Idyllwild by appointment at Idyllwild Pharmacy (1-951-659-2135). Riverside County is not listing any place on the Hill as a future county vaccination location, but other places are listed. Visit https://rivcoph.org/COVID-19-Vaccine-with-Registration to schedule vaccinations through RCPH.
Also, CDC suggests visiting 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/.