Marin’s latest surge in COVID-19 cases different from precursors

Marin County is experiencing an uptick in COVID-19 cases, but this mini spike in infections is unlike previous surges, the county’s public health officer said Tuesday.

“It doesn’t mean the same thing in terms of the threat to our community, especially with regards to severe illness, hospitalization and death,” Dr. Matt Willis told the Board of Supervisors.

Willis said the number of hospitalizations has remained fairly stable despite a rise in infections that began in mid-June in large part because between one in four and one in five of the cases have involved people who were fully vaccinated.

The emergence of a new dominant strain of the virus, the delta variant, which is more infectious than previous strains, is causing the increase in cases. This strain of the virus, which is becoming the dominant COVID-19 strain nationally and internationally, now accounts for about 80% of all COVID-19 cases in Marin.

Fortunately, so far vaccines have proven effective in providing protection from serious illness.

“We’ve had 177 cases of people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 after they were fully vaccinated,” Willis said. “Among those only three have been hospitalized, and there have been no deaths.

“No one who has been vaccinated in Marin County has died of COVID-19,” Willis said. “All 185 of our deaths have been among people who were unvaccinated.”

Willis said, however, the majority of Marin residents who are becoming infected in this new wave have been unvaccinated, and remain vulnerable to serious illness and death. He said among unvaccinated Marin residents the case rate is 12  per 100,000 residents, compared to a case rate of about 2.5 per 100,000 residents for people who are vaccinated.

“Our surge in cases is really being driven by people who remain unvaccinated, which in some ways is remarkable given that right now only 8% of our eligible population has received no vaccine at all,” he said.

Currently, 92.4%  of Marin residents age 12 or older have received at least one vaccine dose and 85% are fully vaccinated. Marin’s percentage of vaccinated residents is higher than any other California county.

“We’re grateful to see that the majority of our population has demonstrated their understanding of the safety and efficacy of the vaccines,” Willis said, “both for protecting themselves and the community around them.”

Only about 17,000 of Marin’s 223,313 residents age 12 and older have received no vaccine at all. Nevertheless, a vocal group of residents vehemently opposed to vaccines and masking recommendations has been speaking out at recent Board of Supervisors’ meetings.

On Tuesday, Valeri Hood said, “The global mass vaccination rollout on the world’s adults has now extended its hand into the arms of children with disastrous effects” and said she believed the vaccination of youth was, “an overt attack on children, which can only be viewed as a planned pedicide.”

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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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