SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. — When Californians were allowed to remove their mask if they were fully vaccinated, public health officials were concerned unvaccinated people would take it as a sign they can relax and that the pandemic was over.
The coronavirus continues to spread throughout the world, and Sacramento County is starting to see a small rise following California's reopening on June 15.
On June 19, Sacramento County's 7-day average case rate dropped to 3.7 average new cases per 100,000 residents, the lowest it had been since June 2020. Since that day, the case rate has risen back up to 7 average new cases per 100,000 residents. Sacramento Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye said the new cases aren't the biggest concern right now.
"We did expect an uptick in numbers after the opening on June 15. But I think the concern we have right now is with the increase in cases that are genotyped as the Delta variant because the Delta variant, we know, is more contagious. And so we do have concerns especially for areas or communities where the vaccination rate is still low," Kasirye said.
Currently, Sacramento County has 75 cases that were genotyped as the Delta variant. Sacramento County epidemiology program manager Jamie White said the county expects it will soon be the most common variant.
"Right now, the Alpha and Epsilon are still the most commonly circulating, and locally. However, we are seeing more and more of the Delta variant," White said.
White continued by saying people should remember that vaccination is the number one defense in catching the coronavirus or having a severe illness if you catch the coronavirus.
Sacramento County has fully vaccinated roughly 55% of the population over 12-years-old.
White confirmed the new cases in the county are most likely connected to reopening, and the epidemiology team expects to see the new coronavirus cases transmitted over the Fourth of July weekend would be added in the coming weeks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 97.5% of people who contract symptomatic COVID-19 will feel symptoms within 11.5 days after the infection.
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