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97.7% of COVID cases in county tied to omicron
COVID test kit kid
Students are able to test for COVID thanks to the distribution of home testing kits.

 The omricon variant — undetected just over a month ago in San Joaquin County — is now responsible for 97.7 percent of all new COVID-19 cases.

No deaths, however, have yet been attributed to omricon.

There have been no new deaths in Manteca, Lathrop and Ripon in the past 10 days. Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020 lives lost have numbered 183 in Manteca, 33 in Lathrop, and 29 in Ripon, Overall 1,959 deaths on the county have been attributed to COVID-19.

Since Friday there have been 620 new cases of COVID detected in Tracy, 376 in Manteca, 143 in Lathrop, 76 in Ripon, and 82 in Escalon. During the past 2 months the county has tallied 144,173 COVID cases. That translates into 1 out of every 6 county residents being verified to having been infected.

On Tuesday, San Joaquin County Public Health Officer Dr. Maggie Park told the Board of Supervisors that COVID-19 case rates, hospitalizations and ICU admissions are currently high throughout the County. She noted that even though people in the hospital may have COVID-19, it may not be the primary reason they were admitted to the hospital.

Park told the Supervisors that COVID-19 case rates have increased from 87.8 to 237 cases per 100,000 since January 11, 2021. 

Sixty-five percent (472,162 residents) of vaccine-eligible residents are fully vaccinated and another 14.4% (104,204 residents) have received partial vaccinations through the County, as well as other multi-county entities, hospital systems, and pharmacies. Overall, 79.4% of San Joaquin County’s total population has received at least one dose.

ICUs in the seven hospitals in the county hospital are over 156% full, with 45% of hospital ICU beds are filled by COVID-19 patients

Park told the Board that over 97 percent of new COVID-19 cases are due to omicron stating.

“Omicron is clearly the dominant variant in the county and nationwide, and we are watching our numbers closely to see when we can confidently say that we have turned the corner from this surge,” she said. “Before we can claim victory over this virus, we still need to look ahead to new variants on the horizon to see what impact they may have on the community.

“Until then, we still need to use every tool at our disposal including testing, vaccines, masks and social distancing. It has made a huge difference in slowing and preventing the deadly spread of the Delta variant and could help prevent future outbreaks of imminent forms of the virus.”

 

Park said that over 2 million PCR tests have been conducted in the county with 30,000 to 40,000 tests being administered each week over the past couple of weeks.

 She said the state distributed 8 million at-home tests to schools throughout California for students returning from winter break. In addition, the state also distributed over 67,000 at-home tests for the county to distribute to the general public including clients of county agencies, higher education, childcare providers, community and faith-based organizations, congregate settings and homeless shelters.

She also noted that the federal government is distributing at-home tests (four per household) on a one-time basis to anyone who makes a request on COVIDtests.gov or by calling 1-800-232-0233.

The Board was given an update on therapies being used to treat COVID-19. Currently, Molnupiravir (33% effective) and Paxlovid (88% effective) are available at several pharmacies throughout the county.

While pharmacies are receiving the medications on a weekly basis, supplies are limited. Only patients who are at-risk and have a prescription from their physician are eligible to receive the treatment. In addition, monoclonal antibody infusions of Sotrovimab (MAB) are also available to treat people with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms with a referral from a physician. MAB therapy is available through each emergency department and infusion clinics operated by Sutter Health, Kaiser Permanente and San Joaquin County Clinics.

Residents are also encouraged to check www.SJReady.org or www.MyTurn.ca.gov to find testing and vaccine locations.