The number of hospital patients with COVID-19 in Sacramento County jumped nearly 50% in one week, reaching its highest level in five months, as the gradual increase in spread of the virus has yet to wane in California.
There were 1,722 total hospital patients with COVID-19 in California as of Sept. 2, according to the most recent state data. That’s the same number of patients statewide as one week earlier, according to a weekly update Friday from the California Department of Public Health.
The latest total is the state’s highest total since March 24, when CDPH recorded 1,725 hospital patients with COVID-19 in California. The number at that point had been on a steady decline from the state’s high point to date in 2023, of 4,605 hospitalized patients on Jan. 2. The hospital number stopped dropping on July 4, when the state reported 681 virus-positive patients.
The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Sacramento County saw a 48.3% increase in the past week, and the hospital tally in Placer County reached its highest level in nearly six months. Only one county in Sacramento’s four-county region had a decrease in test positivity rate compared to the preceding week, state health data showed.
California’s seven-day test positivity rate was at 13.7%, based on state health data updated Friday, reflecting data through Wednesday. That’s a 0.4% increase from the week before.
California’s positivity rate has been climbing since May 5, when it was at 3.4%, and recently reached its highest point since August 2022.
Increased spread of the virus comes as K-12 schools have recently returned from summer break, and the uptick has already affected at least one local youth sports team. Esparto High School in Yolo County was forced to cancel its planned Friday football game after seven of its players were out due to injury and six others were out due to a COVID-19 outbreak, according to the team’s coach.
Updated COVID vaccines available soon
As coronavirus spread continues in California, COVID-19 vaccines are getting a formula update to address the XBB-lineage of the omicron variant and are expected to hit pharmacies at the start of fall, according to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration news release. CNN reported last month that the vaccines could be available in mid-September.
Earlier this week, Placer County health officials encouraged residents to take advantage of the updated vaccines and antibody options for COVID-19, flu and RSV or respiratory syncytial virus.
Residents can get access to the updated vaccines through their regular health provider, according to a county news release. Depending on supply, Placer Public Health may also offer limited flu vaccines at community events, particularly for people who are uninsured or have Medi-Cal.
“These new and updated vaccines are especially important for vulnerable individuals, including seniors and those with compromised immune systems,” Dr. Rob Oldham, interim county health officer, said in the news release. “They offer protection against serious illness and can help keep you out of the hospital. It can be hard to keep track of changing guidelines and eligibility, so check in with your doctor if you have questions.”
Sacramento-region COVID numbers
There were 89 total hospital patients with COVID-19 in Sacramento County as of Sept. 2, according to the most recent state data. The county had 60 COVID-positive patients one week earlier, according to CDPH. The latest total is the highest since the county reached 99 patients on April 6.
The seven-day COVID-19 test positivity rate in Sacramento County was at 14.7%, based on state health data updated Friday, showing figures through Wednesday. That’s an increase by 0.1% from the week before. The county’s seven-day positivity rate has been climbing since it was 4% on June 28, its lowest point so far this year.
In Placer County, the number of hospital patients with COVID-19 climbed from 46 on Aug. 26 to 62 patients one week later. That is the county’s highest virus patient total since March 16. There were 38 hospitalized patients in the county on Aug. 19. The county’s seven-day test positivity rate increased by 2.9%, to 17.5% as of Wednesday. The county’s seven-day rate has climbed from its low point this year of 4% on June 22.
Yolo County’s seven-day COVID-19 test positivity rate had dropped slightly last week. But the number was moving up again this week, reaching 15.4% as of Wednesday. That’s an increase of 2 percentage points from the previous week; the number has been trending up since July 2, when it was 4.3%. The number of hospital patients with COVID-19, however, dropped to three people hospitalized in the county as of Sept. 2. There were seven patients a week earlier.
Through Wednesday, the seven-day test positivity rate for El Dorado County dropped to 9%, down from 16.5% one week earlier. The county’s rate had been on steep climb since it dropped to 2% on June 27. There were no hospital patients with COVID-19 in the county as of Sept. 2; the county had two patients a week earlier.
The Bee’s Hanh Truong contributed to this story.