Cases continue to rise, but more slowly than before. This week, California reported about 11,800 new cases per day, up 7 percent from last week but a slower increase than the 30 percent jump in daily cases from the week before. As of Wednesday at 10:25 a.m., cases in California numbered 4,136,055 and hospitalizations stood at 7,414. The statewide average for ICU bed availabilitywas 23.6 percent.
As schools across California begin to open up this week, experts advise that wearing masks and getting everyone vaccinated who can be (students 11 years old and younger cannot yet be vaccinated) will be crucial to protect vulnerable populations from the spread of the super-infectious Delta variant. Joining Marin County in mandating vaccinations for faculty and staff, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) recently announced that all teachers and staff who regularly steps on a school campus must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 15. The requirement was approved by the teachers union, and is in addition to the state’s mandate that all California school employees must be vaccinated or submit to weekly testing.
The Delta variant is the main driver of case increases, which has caused some officials to reinstate masking requirements and to mandate vaccines for some workers. Another new variant, the Lambda variant which was first reported in Peru and is spreading across South America, has been confirmed in California, though it is not yet of major concern.
As of today, 63.7 percent of Californians have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccinations, and 44,772,063 doses have been administered.
Sources: KTLA, Los Angeles Times, Cal Matters, California Department of Public Health CAR.com
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