Coronavirus cases climb in Inland Empire one year after state’s ‘reopening’ – San Bernardino Sun

One year ago, on Wednesday, June 15, California celebrated what many thought was the end of the coronavirus pandemic and cast aside most health-based restrictions on people’s everyday lives.

The number of people being infected by the virus had plunged to low levels. In Los Angeles County, for example, only about 200 new cases were being reported each day as the much-publicized “reopening” approached.

Few were getting sick enough to require medical treatment.

Hospitalizations linked to COVID-19 dwindled to 27 in Riverside County, 41 in San Bernardino County and 212 in LA County, following a months-long decline from a frightening holiday spike in late 2020 and early 2021 that still stands as the pandemic’s worst wave.

Then the delta variant crashed last summer’s party.

Large numbers contracted the virus. Many landed in the hospital. People died.

Another sharp spike in cases and hospitalizations hit in December and January as the omicron variant took center stage. Then the Inland Empire enjoyed a long period of relative good health.

Now cases are rising again. Since early May, reports of new infections have climbed at a steep clip, roughly doubling in San Bernardino County and tripling in Riverside County.

Epidemiologist Andrew Noymer, an associate professor of population health and disease prevention at UC Irvine, said those reports likely are undercounting the magnitude of the wave because many families are relying on home tests.

“Those, for all intents and purposes, are not being reported,” he said.

What is more accurately and completely reported, Noymer said, is the number of people in the hospital with COVID-19.

“Hospitalizations have been modest, thank goodness,” he said.

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