The Delta surge has resulted in record numbers of COVID-related hospitalizations this week and is leaving our local hospitals with less room to absorb more patients requiring hospitalization. Hospitals in Placer County are providing critical care in areas not typically designed for that purpose, report a high level of acuity in their patients, and are experiencing strains on their workforce. COVID patients occupy nearly one third of licensed beds, a higher share relative to hospitals in other communities.
Beyond hospitalizations, cases in school settings are rising too among students and staff, resulting in increasing numbers of classroom outbreaks that, in some cases, have led to the temporary cancellation of in-person instruction. School-related cases were uncommon and largely isolated with previous COVID-19 variants, yet early signs point to more students and staff who are turning up positive as a result of a COVID exposure.
To preserve critical infrastructure that serves all, including hospitals and schools, Placer County Public Health is advising residents regardless of vaccination status to use high-quality masks while in all indoor settings to protect against the highly infectious Delta variant.
“Our individual actions during this Delta surge are impacting everyone, including those seeking health care or in-person instruction,” said Interim Health Officer Dr. Rob Oldham. “Placer County Public Health stands behind organizations who take precautions to support our community’s efforts to preserve key infrastructure such as implementing universal indoor masking, which is much less disruptive than other restrictions experienced during the pandemic.”
To provide a sufficient layer of protection, residents are also advised to use higher quality masks, like a surgical or KN95 mask. Higher quality masks were largely in short supply during the beginning of the pandemic but are now more readily available at local drug stores or online.
For those who are 12 and older and unvaccinated, talk to your doctor right away about questions you have about COVID-19 vaccines. Most patients currently hospitalized locally for COVID-19, including those in the intensive care unit, have not received a COVID-19 vaccination. While vaccination may not fully prevent infection, it’s one of the best tools we have to reduce the risk of severe illness and hospitalization. Please visit myturn.ca.gov to schedule your appointment today.