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Napa County’s weekend COVID-19 count increases to 40

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COVID-19 update

Napa County reported 40 new coronavirus cases over the Saturday-to-Monday weekend, the county health department announced Monday afternoon.

The three-day total was up from the 24 infections Napa County reported over the previous weekend Oct. 23-25, a figure that had dropped from 41 cases Oct. 16-18 and 50 cases Oct. 9-11.

COVID-19 positive tests have gradually receded since a summertime increase driven by the virus’ faster-spreading Delta variant, according to the county Health and Human Services agency. From a one-week high of 324 cases in mid-August, infections have fallen into double digits in the last two weeks, dropping 27% to 72 cases during Oct. 22-28.

Nine people were hospitalized due to the virus as of Monday, down from 11 on Friday, and 24% of local intensive-care beds were available.

Napa County’s death toll from COVID-19 remains at 102 since the pandemic’s arrival in California in early 2020.

Heading into the later fall, California is entering the time of year that in 2020 ushered in the largest, deadliest spike of coronavirus cases.

Much has changed since then — 88% of those 18 and older in California have received at least one dose of a vaccine that didn’t exist last fall, and millions have survived contracting the virus and have a level of natural immunity, though it’s unclear for how long. (In Napa County, 93% of people 12 and older have received at least one vaccine dose and 85% have been fully inoculated – 68% of the total population.)

Still, millions are not vaccinated and statewide new cases and hospitalizations have flattened after a steady two-month decline that saw California boast the nation’s lowest infection rate. State models show a gradual increase in hospitalizations in the next month.

Last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom urged Californians to be aware of the virus’ continuing risks in the upcoming holiday season.

“This is an incredibly important time because what tends to happen this time — it happened last year — is our attention wanes,” he said Wednesday after receiving a vaccine booster shot in Oakland from Dr. Mark Ghaly, secretary of the state Health and Human Services Agency. “We start focusing on other things. And as a consequence, we can let our guard down.”

The state seems to have reached what Ghaly called a plateau after its steady decline in cases and hospitalizations since the summer surge of the delta variant of the virus. Models show coronavirus hospitalizations increasing slightly over the next month, from about 3,800 in hospitals last week to about 4,460 by Thanksgiving.

The models forecast a gradual drop in intensive care patients but with a troubling upward curve starting in about a week. Deaths are expected to continue their inexorable climb, adding nearly 3,000 to reach a pandemic total of 74,000 by Thanksgiving week.

The rate at which each infected person spreads the disease, known as the R-effective, remains below 1 statewide but had been creeping up since mid-September until another recent dip. Anything below 1 means the number of infected persons will decrease.

Still, the numbers are a far cry from what the state experienced less than a year ago.

At the end of last year and into January, there were single days when more than 50,000 new cases were recorded, compared to the state's average of about 5,900 new cases per day in the last two weeks. Nearly 21,000 Californians were hospitalized at the peak and more than 18,500 people died in January alone.

With reports from Register reporter Howard Yune and The Associated Press. 

The countdown is almost on for children to get vaccinated.  The White House says kids aged 5-11 are weeks away from getting the COVID-19 vaccine. The shots could be shipped as soon as November 2 and children will be able to get the jab at the pediatricians office, their pharmacy and possibly their school.  RJ Proy says hes getting his six year old vaccinated as soon as its possible after a recent COVID scare. Proy says his son - who was four when the pandemic began - needs to learn a life that's not under the shadow of this virus.  I'm going to be more comfortable taking him places, just going out and experiencing things with him when I know he, my wife and I area all vaccinated," Proy said.But not all parents feel that way. Many are still gun shy. Some say theres still more research that needs to be done before they make a final decision. The administration is banking on parents to come around - if they have not yet already. Theyve already ordered 65 million doses and signed up more than 25,000 providers to administer the vaccine.  For now though, there wont be a requirement in most places for kids to get the jab. California is the only state to mandate vaccines in children for school. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday he has no plans to do that during the remainder of his time in office. 

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