When California Governor Gavin Newsom recently announced that the state would mostly reopen by June 15, 2021, skeptics harrumphed. Not many believed the June 15 date, and for good reason; Newsom has repeatedly reneged on loosening restrictions during the last 400+ days of his statewide COVID lockdowns.
Wednesday, the Sacramento Bee reported the Sacramento region “has seen coronavirus activity stagnate above statewide levels.”
Here’s what the Bee reported:
“California has made a comeback in the pandemic, boasting one of the nation’s lowest infection rates in recent weeks. But its capital region is struggling.”
“California Department of Public Health data updated Tuesday showed Sacramento’s rate of daily new COVID-19 cases over the preceding week at 8.9 per 100,000 residents, which ranked seventh-highest among the state’s 58 counties. It’s close to triple the latest rates in Los Angeles or San Francisco, which were near three per 100,000.”
Statewide data shows 4.5 per COVID-19 “cases” 100,000 residents.
Again, they are reporting “cases” when in fact, they are only positive tests for coronavirus. An actual “case” is someone sick in a hospital needing treatment, or someone who has died from the coronavirus.
Shockingly, Sacramento County health officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye blamed “the return of students to schools and resumption of sports events in the past few weeks have bumped up Sacramento’s numbers.” Three separate studies have demonstrated the low risk of COVID-19 infection and spread in schools.
California Globe looked at the Sacramento County data, noting they want people to focus on “cases” – those testing positive for coronavirus – rather than deaths.
Sacramento County has 1,578,680 residents. The County Coronavirus dashboard shows 1,662 deaths, with this qualifier: “Includes the total number of confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths from congregate facilities,” casting doubt on the truth of the actual COVID deaths.
On April 24, 2021, the chart below shows there were 137 positive tests and 4,117 negative tests.
The blue color in the graph is non-positive tests; the gold is positive tests.
- 1,653,995 Sacramento County residents have been tested for coronavirus.
- 1,662 Sacramento residents have died from/with coronavirus.
- Sacramento County is no longer showing the total number of positive COVID tests (“cases)
There is no way that Sacramento County has a “6.2% positivity rate.” Last week the positivity rate was 2.5%.
- April 1st the positivity rate was 2.9%
- April 6th the positivity rate was 2.2%
- April 12th the positivity rate was 2.6%
- April 18 the positivity rate was 4.8%
- April 24th, the positivity rate was 3.2%
“Neither Sacramento nor Placer has recorded the first of two necessary weeks with a case rate low enough (below six per day per 100,000 residents) to advance into the orange tier.”
Sacramento County is stuck in the Red tier apparently which is “keeping a few types of entertainment businesses closed, as well as imposing tighter capacity limits at places such as restaurants and movie theaters. It also means tighter attendance caps for both indoor and outdoor live performances and sports events.”
But here is the kicker: “Kasirye and Placer County health chief Dr. Rob Oldham said the key way to turn the tide back in a positive direction is to get more people vaccinated quickly.”
This is an attempt to vaccinate more Sacramento County residents. Because the threat is, unless more are vaccinated, Sacramento County won’t fully reopen.
CDPH data show that just over 600,000 people in Sacramento County have received at least one dose of vaccine – about 38% of the county’s total population, and 48% of its 16-and-older population. Remember, Sacramento County has 1,578,680 residents.
“None of the vaccines currently in use are authorized for children younger than 16,” the Bee reported, but all signs from the CDC and the CDPH indicate that they want to vaccinate children given the school reopening restrictions, mandatory mask wearing, social distancing, and restricted activities.
The CDPH also says, “Large counties with populations greater than approximately 106,000 must also meet the health equity metric described on the Health Equity Metric page in order to advance to a less restrictive tier.”
The CDPH specifies what it takes for a county “To advance:
- A county must have been in the current tier for a minimum of three weeks.
- A county must meet criteria for movement to the next less restrictive for the prior two consecutive weeks in order to progress to the next tier; which can be achieved by either or combination of criteria described below:
- Meeting the Adjusted Case Rate, Test Positivity, and Health Equity metric criteria for a less restrictive tier. For small counties with a population less than 106,000, Adjusted Case Rate and Test Positivity will be used for the default assessment. If a small county does not meet the adjusted case rate to earn a week towards a less restrictive tier (but does meet the test positivity criteria), CDPH will review absolute new case counts, and whether vaccine administration coverage in the county within or equal to 5% (absolute value) of the statewide average. More information can be found under the Small County Framework section.
- Meeting the criteria for movement to the next less restrictive tier through health equity accelerated progression.”
The Health Equity metric is far more dubious. The CDCH “documented that certain communities – low-income, Black, Latino, Pacific Islander, and essential workers – have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 in terms of higher rates of infection, hospitalizations, and deaths.”
The CDPH explains the Equity Metric – For a county with a population of greater than 106,000, the county must:
- Equity Metric. Ensure that the test positivity rates in its most disadvantaged neighborhoods, referred to as the Health Equity Quartile of the Healthy Places Index* census tracts, do not significantly lag behind its overall county test positivity rate, as described in detail below.
This list of criteria makes it so subjective for a county to reopen, clearly by design.
June 15th is not looking good for reopening. At all.
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