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COVID-19 cases on the rise in Stanislaus

The risk of testing positive for COVID-19 is currently high in Stanislaus County as the region is contending with another surge of cases, brought on by the latest variants, according to the Stanislaus County Health Services Agency.

Even with the rise in cases, the possibility of returning to mask mandates or closures is quite slim because the area’s hospitals have been able to manage the uptick.

“It’s not like it was before during previous surges,” said Kamlesh Kaur, a spokesperson for the health agency. “The hospitals are not raising any alarms right now. The rate that the cases are coming in has been stable and manageable.”

The health agency is recommending that people who have not gotten their vaccinations and/or booster, do so. People should also consider wearing face masks in some scenarios.

“The outbreaks we have been seeing lately have to do with large gatherings that have been in closed spaces,” Kaur said. “We recommend that people wear masks in high congregation areas, especially if the ventilation is poor. People should also test themselves before going to any large gathering.

“Protection is a package deal and people should access their risk and how much it might impact them if they get sick,” Kaur said.

The omicron variant and the subvariants of BA.4, BA.5 and now BA.2.75 have been shown to be more transmissible than other variants, which is what is driving up the case count across the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, there are more options available for treatments.

“While all layers of protection can prevent severe infection, we now have so many tools to prevent hospitalization and death, including monoclonal antibodies, antiviral treatments, etc., “Kaur said. “Hopefully, everyone utilizes what works best for them to stay protected.”

That particularly applies to individuals who are immunocompromised and want to stay protected, but haven’t received a vaccine. It’s suggested they contact their primary care physician to determine what is the best option.

As of Tuesday, 57 percent of the population in Stanislaus County is fully vaccinated. There are 88 people currently hospitalized and there have been four recent deaths. The testing positivity rate for the seven-day average was 19.74%.

Starting Aug. 1, the health agency will be returning to a pre-pandemic model for vaccinations, in that people with private insurance will need to seek vaccinations and boosters from their healthcare provider.

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