Latest and more infectious subvariants of Omicron are driving community transmission levels back to those seen in February
Santa Clara County, CA- May 11, 2022– COVID-19 cases are anticipated to significantly rise locally and nationally in the coming weeks. County of Santa Clara health officials urge residents and visitors to be mindful that the virus is spreading at an increasing rate, and that risk to health from the pandemic continues.
Strong vaccination rates in Santa Clara County have helped keep COVID-19 hospitalizations flat, but the 7-day rolling average of reported COVID-19 cases in the County rose from 193 on April 3 to 589 on May 3. SARS-CoV-2 levels in wastewater from across the county are rising in a similar fashion.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has forecasted that the number of COVID-19 deaths nationwide will increase over the coming weeks, with 1,600 to 4,600 new deaths likely reported in the week ending May 28, 2022. That is 5 to 14 times the seven-day average of 325 recorded on May 3 and indicates that the U.S. will reach the grim milestone of 1 million total deaths in the coming weeks.
While the latest national increase in cases is currently most prominent in the eastern United States, local metrics indicate that a significant uptick in cases has begun here as well, driven by the latest and more infectious subvariants of Omicron.
“We came out of the difficult winter Omicron wave and had a brief lull before seeing our numbers begin to slowly rise,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Health Officer and Director of Public Health for the County of Santa Clara. “The level of transmission in the community is currently on the rise, reminding us that unfortunately the pandemic is not over. And we expect to see new variants emerge and spread.”
Dr. Cody stressed that vaccination and boosters continue to offer an extraordinary level of protection against hospitalizations and death.
Second boosters are available for anyone 50 and older, and also to anyone 18 and older with compromised immune systems. People who are 60 years and older or who have compromised immune systems are strongly encouraged to get their second booster shot.
In addition to vaccination, masks continue to be very effective at preventing transmission and remain strongly recommended in indoor public spaces by both the County and State. The Public Health Department also strongly recommends additional layers of protection including testing after potential exposure or with the onset of symptoms, and not gathering in large groups unless in a well-ventilated space or outside.
Dr. Cody praised the community for the individual sacrifices and efforts made by residents throughout our county, which have made our region a leader in preventing hospitalization and deaths from COVID-19. She urged continued commitment to this effort.
“The people of Santa Clara County have done a fantastic job of keeping each other safe through this pandemic,” said Dr. Cody. “We know we will need to take COVID seriously for a long time to come. As a community and as individuals, we will not be perfect all the time, but every layer of protection we take helps the overall effort. We need to stay strong and committed to the health of the community.”