With COVID-19 Conditions Improving, State Public Health Leaders Modify Omicron Surge Policies

With COVID-19 Conditions Improving, State Public Health Leaders Modify Omicron Surge Policies title=
With COVID-19 Conditions Improving, State Public Health Leaders Modify Omicron Surge Policies
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Source: California Department of Public Health

As COVID-19 conditions continue to improve across California and the Omicron surge subsides, temporary measures the state had put in place will expire in the coming weeks.

COVID-19 cases and the rate of community transmission have steadily decreased statewide since early January, and hospitalizations are either plateauing or declining in most regions of the state. Since California's peak during the Omicron surge, the state has experienced a 65% decrease in case rates. 

 Additional visitation requirements that took effect on January 7 for long-term care facilities and hospitals will expire today. Definitions for indoor and outdoor mega events will return to pre-surge guidance (from 500 to 1,000 attendees for indoor events, and 5,000 to 10,000 attendees for outdoor events) after February 15. The indoor masking requirement will expire after February 15 reverting to the previous guidance which requires masking for unvaccinated individuals in all indoor public settings and required masking for all individuals regardless of vaccination status in higher risk settings like public transit and congregate living. Workplaces will continue to follow the COVID-19 prevention standards set by CalOSHA. 

The state is continuing to work with education, public health and community leaders to update masking requirements at schools to adapt to changing conditions and ensure the safety of kids, teachers, and staff.

Additional adjustments to the state's policies will be shared in the coming week.

"Omicron has loosened its hold on California, vaccines for children under 5 are around the corner, and access to COVID-19 treatments is improving," said Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer. "With things moving in the right direction, we are making responsible modifications to COVID-19 prevention measures, while also continuing to develop a longer-term action plan for the state."

Additional information on visitation requirements can be found here:

CDPH All Facilities Letter

CDSS Provider Information Notice

Statewide COVID-19 Data

Rates of cases, hospitalizations and deaths are highest among unvaccinated individuals and lowest among boosted individuals. This is true for all age groups. See additional data for unvaccinated and vaccinated cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

Vaccinations

  • 70,183,793 total vaccines administered.
  • 82.3% of the eligible population (5+) has been vaccinated with at least one dose.
  • 88,099 people a day are receiving COVID-19 vaccination (average daily dose count over 7 days).

Cases

  • California has 8,079,771 confirmed cases to date.
  • Today's average case count is 43,532 (average daily case count over 7 days).
  • Unvaccinated people are 7.5 times more likely to get COVID-19 than boosted individuals (January 10, 2022 – January 16, 2022).

Testing

  • The testing positivity rate is 9.5% (average rate over 7 days).

Hospitalizations 

  • There are 10,595 hospitalizations statewide.
  • There are 2,101 ICU patients statewide.
  • Unvaccinated people are 14.9 times more likely to be hospitalized than boosted individuals (January 10, 2022 – January 16,2022).

Deaths

  • There have been 80,539 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
  • COVID-19 claims the lives of 120 Californians each day (average daily death count over 7 days).

  • Unvaccinated people are 30.0 times more likely to die than boosted individuals (January 1, 2022 – January 9, 2022).

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Luvaduck Feb 11, 2022 07:03 AM
With COVID-19 Conditions Improving, State Public Health Leaders Modify Omicron Surge Policies

As long as hospitals and their personnel are overworked, at risk and burnt out (the majority being unvaxxed and not masking), restrictions need to stay in place, as onerus and only semi-protective as they are. As for personal losses: One senior cousin who caught pneumonia then Covid while in the hospital for an unrelated emergency and one acquaintance of many years in his 50's, don't know vax status.

Robert247 Feb 09, 2022 06:51 PM
With COVID-19 Conditions Improving, State Public Health Leaders Modify Omicron Surge Policies

Not going to side with either side of this issue. Just want to make a point about the lowering number of infections as reported. It seems logical that the numbers would be going down given that we now have some much more access to self tests. I had covid, self tested, isolated and self tested twice before venturing back out into the world. There is nobody to report this too because they say that is an unconfirmed result because I didn't go to any facility to get tested. Yet I know I was infected as I tested positive and had horrible symptoms that kept me in bed for 8 days straight. Tested lightly positive on day 10 and clear on day 12. How many others are in this same boat? Hence the supposed declining numbers. I was vaccinated twice, but hadn't got the booster. Now have gotten the booster(needed it to be able to work in a county health facility since I didn't get tested in a facility so no proof of having it) and felt horrible all over again from the booster.
Really the only way of knowing what the actual numbers are is by testing at the sewage treatment plants. Even that is limited as some still use septic systems.

sacjon Feb 10, 2022 09:16 AM
With COVID-19 Conditions Improving, State Public Health Leaders Modify Omicron Surge Policies

AHCHOOO - exactly. Masks help in varying degrees, but they help. When we had no other tools to fight the virus, the mandates were critical, yet still butted against. At this point, we know 1/4 to 1/3 of our population prefers risking death to making any effort, so let's just let them. I'm sick of trying to protect those who have no interest in reciprocating, and in many cases, going out of their way to obstruct others from wearing masks. Let them be and wish them luck (or not). I'm done trying.

Ahchooo Feb 10, 2022 08:57 AM
With COVID-19 Conditions Improving, State Public Health Leaders Modify Omicron Surge Policies

As I recall, for much of the pandemic it was hard to obtain N95 masks. That meant that masking was something we did mainly for others, to keep our breath moisture from spraying all over. We knew those masks didn’t stop all spread, but they helped. Then omicron arrived and was even more contagious, so the masks were less effective than before. But N95s became available, and vast numbers of people remained unvaccinated, so masking was heavily promoted again. Now we have come to accept that the unvaccinated intend to stay that way, and anyone who wants to avoid breathing virus particles can wear an N95 mask if they want. You can can’t compare the effectiveness of masks without considering 1) Type of mask, and 2) Conditions at the time.

dukemunson Feb 09, 2022 04:42 PM
With COVID-19 Conditions Improving, State Public Health Leaders Modify Omicron Surge Policies

Its ok to disagree, but Edhat deletes when you fly off the handle… and often rightly so! I’ve gotten deleted quite a few times (damn you still school board)… it’s important to realise debate is ok. And debating the point of making all people (and especially all kids) in all indoor settings is a necessary debate. The masks are having a tangibly negative effect on a lot of kids… if it’s no longer beneficial (or never was to begin with, but I digress) thats something that needs to be talked about.

sacjon Feb 09, 2022 04:03 PM
With COVID-19 Conditions Improving, State Public Health Leaders Modify Omicron Surge Policies

ZERO - buddy..... I think it might be the tone and verbiage getting you removed. I agree 100% with pretty much everything you say and am equally frustrated seeing outright lies being posted (and sometimes deleted) or worse - the racist and sociopathic rants of CONSERVATIVESB still being permitted. Best to keep the responses within the guidelines though. I've flown off the handle a lot recently due to some crappy things happening and have been deleted, but expected as much.

Stick around and continue to debate, your comments are usually a refreshing change to the outright lies, racism, and just plain evil that is regurgitated here by so many.

Voice of Reason Feb 11, 2022 08:37 AM
With COVID-19 Conditions Improving, State Public Health Leaders Modify Omicron Surge Policies

Politics is playing the entire part right now. While Omicron on an individual basis is less deadly, we're still seeing more daily deaths due to (or with) covid than anytime during the pandemic, except for last winter's surge, and the currently available vaccines are less effective. This wave of mask mandate pull backs throughout the blue states is the result of continually tanking polling numbers and politicians concern about the elections later this year. If they can roll things back early enough, regardless of covid stats, they hope the voters, who are notorious for their short-term memory, will forgot all about it and focus on whatever other emergency, scandal, hot-button issue, or war (Russia?) they create over the next 9 months.

Ahchooo Feb 09, 2022 08:14 PM
With COVID-19 Conditions Improving, State Public Health Leaders Modify Omicron Surge Policies

Politics certainly plays a part, but we must also consider that omicron has proven to be less deadly than earlier variants, death-reducing vaccines are available to all, and high-quality masks are available to all (for a price). All these things are in agreement with “the science,” and affect the decisions about mask mandates. Yep, it’s still a respiratory virus. But other conditions have changed.

Voice of Reason Feb 09, 2022 11:36 AM
With COVID-19 Conditions Improving, State Public Health Leaders Modify Omicron Surge Policies

Just like when they originally said no masks then yes masks because "the science changed", now they're moving away from masks because "the science changed". The "epidemiological science" never changed, it was a respiratory virus then, it's still a respiratory virus today. The "political science" is the only science that changed. Hopefully many who were unable to see this previously will now begin to open their eyes.

Channelfog Feb 09, 2022 10:30 AM
With COVID-19 Conditions Improving, State Public Health Leaders Modify Omicron Surge Policies

That more and more countries/municipalities are dropping all restrictions is beyond refreshing! All the mandates are short lived and we can all get back to normal relatively soon.
Sweden did virtually no lock-down/mask and their numbers are no worse than ours. We did however lose many jobs, businesses, marriages, education, child socialization and we have spikes in suicide, alcohol and drug use. The losses to the former shrink before the the mega-losses to the latter.

a-1644380487 Feb 08, 2022 08:21 PM
With COVID-19 Conditions Improving, State Public Health Leaders Modify Omicron Surge Policies

I am glad that we now have easy access to good N95 masks. Regardless of what others are doing, when I go to a place with random strangers, I can protect myself. I will keep wearing masks in markets, etc, until the new drug therapies are available—just in case I do get a serious case, despite my three vaccinations. I can vax, I can mask, but I can’t get younger, so I am still at risk for serious illness.

a-1644452094 Feb 09, 2022 04:14 PM
With COVID-19 Conditions Improving, State Public Health Leaders Modify Omicron Surge Policies

I’ve never weighed in on the masks-for-children issue. I do wish that our government, from the very start, had moved heaven and earth to get N95 masks manufactured and available to health care workers and civilians alike. And when it wasn’t done right away, it should have been done later. Good masks, worn properly, work well. If we had had access to N95s from the start, we could have worn them to protect ourselves, and wouldn’t have had to think so much about whether others were wearing them.

dukemunson Feb 09, 2022 12:59 PM
With COVID-19 Conditions Improving, State Public Health Leaders Modify Omicron Surge Policies

Sac - I'm not speaking to the efficacy of masks, I'm referring to that time of uncertainty in 2020 before vaccines when we needed to reopen schools and figure out how to go forward. At that point, masks made sense. We are (obviously) many many months past that point. So yes, the masks played a role. And sure, they might play a role again. But a blanket mandate now is illogical and counterproductive.

Voice of Reason Feb 09, 2022 11:41 AM
With COVID-19 Conditions Improving, State Public Health Leaders Modify Omicron Surge Policies

"with hindsight" ignores the silencing of any dissent from the accepted narrative the past two years, no matter how educated and experienced the person whose putting out the contrary view was. People were censored for talking about it originating from a lab, about the (lack of effectiveness) of masks, for saying that if you get vaccinated you can still catch and transmit covid. It isn't hindsight when so many knew this all along.

mm1970 Feb 09, 2022 10:48 AM
With COVID-19 Conditions Improving, State Public Health Leaders Modify Omicron Surge Policies

DUKE, I don't think the mask's role is completely done. I do think, with hindsight, mandating masks for all this time (except for a brief time in the summer), was a mistake.

We are all learning though. The fact of the matter is, masks effectiveness depends on type of mask, local case rates, specific strain of COVID, and how packed you are indoors. We are probably getting pretty close to not needing masks in schools (our numbers are dropping, our case rates are below last winter's peak and approaching the delta peak).

Hospitalizations are still high though, with ICU numbers near the delta peak.

sacjon Feb 09, 2022 10:28 AM
With COVID-19 Conditions Improving, State Public Health Leaders Modify Omicron Surge Policies

DUKE - "The masks played a role. That role though is done. " How do you figure? Did masks once work, but now no longer do?

Masking in close quartered indoor areas makes sense. Mandate it or not, I'm still probably going to do it to avoid infection, as wearing a mask is not even minutely inconvenient for me. Should everyone else have to, whether they want to or not? Nah, I think with the numbers going down we should be fine. BUT..... when we have out of control numbers, coupled with so many who refuse to vaccinate, masks should be required indoors. We're not there anymore though, I don't think.

dukemunson Feb 08, 2022 10:50 PM
With COVID-19 Conditions Improving, State Public Health Leaders Modify Omicron Surge Policies

Any case of walking across a street is potentially deadly. The question becomes how far and long can you mandate something despite its lack of tangible value. The masks played a role. That role though is done. How long are you going to ignore and defy the logic and science and try to mandate them? Our kids truly and definitively are suffering…

dukemunson Feb 08, 2022 07:49 PM
With COVID-19 Conditions Improving, State Public Health Leaders Modify Omicron Surge Policies

739pm - The “innocent” can and should get vaccinated and then will not have to worry about it, as while they will still be able to spread Covid, they will be protected from it. It’s kind of odd how imperilled you (a presumably vaxxed, boosted and perpetually masked person) think you are by unvaccinated people. It’s completely irrational.

Chip of SB Feb 08, 2022 02:09 PM
With COVID-19 Conditions Improving, State Public Health Leaders Modify Omicron Surge Policies

It seems the state leadership has seen the writing on the wall. There is a big election coming up later this year. Although a vocal minority of those who elected our state’s leaders support strict rules and mask mandates for the foreseeable future, the more moderate majority of their supporters are ready to move on. It is not politically expedient for the state leadership to give their supporters the choice of voting for their preferred political party or taking off their masks. This is particularly true when the leaders themselves have demonstrated that they do not believe wearing masks is important with their own behavior. Actions speak louder than words and people have noticed. Therefore, I expect the masks will disappear starting next week and it will be much harder to implement mask mandates again in the future.

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