Contra Costa County’s COVID-19 numbers are almost back to where they were last fall, before the omicron variant struck in late November, county heath director Anna Roth told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.
Which doesn’t mean it can’t happen again, Roth said.
“We continue to see a decrease in rates across the board as we expect to reach pre-omicron surge, that is the most recent surge, levels very soon,” Roth told the board. “The average number of cases per day over this past week is 246 — that’s a 39.4 percent, nearly 40 percent, reduction from last week. The number of people hospitalized is 96, which is down 30 percent from a week ago.”
Roth said the numbers are a “very strong indicator that we are on the other side of the current wave.” But she also issued a warning.
“I do want to be mindful, however, this is not the case for everyone. Today there are still people suffering and there are people who have lost loved ones who are suffering,” Roth said. “We have lost 1,200 people in Contra Costa County — 86.3 percent of those people were unvaccinated.
“Today, 963,000 people in the United States have succumbed to this disease, and this spring we expect that to exceed 1 million Americans lost to COVD-19.”
Roth said, while omicron seems to be ending, the community needs to shift focus to what comes next.
“Even though things are looking up right now, there is no reason to believe that we’ve seen the end of the pandemic or the most severe phase of the pandemic,” Roth said. “We’ve all seen how rapidly new variants can appear, sparking a new wave of infections, hospitalizations, deaths, and even new challenges to our current thinking and us having to make adaptations.”
“As a community we need to be flexible, adaptable and prepared for the future — and future waves of Covid,” Roth said. “This could mean more temporary safety measures in the future. We really need to think about what we need to do to reduce transmission or to live with COVID within our communities.”