SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Two weeks after many Californians came out of quarantine for a sunny Memorial Day weekend, cases of COVID-19 were on the rise in Sacramento County, according to local health officials.
Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove, who is also a certified physician, held a telephone town hall Monday to let Californians know the health threat is far from over.
“Sacramento is actually seeing a slight uptick in cases,” said Bera. “As we’re slowly reopening, let’s continue to be vigilant. Let’s continue to be safe, wear face coverings, continue to physical distance. We are still in the middle of a pandemic.”
Sacramento County Public Health Director Dr. Peter Beilenson said that it is not so much the number of COVID-19 cases that is concerning but the number of hospitalizations.
As of June 15, 28 patients have been admitted to Sacramento County hospitals with COVID-19, with 11 in intensive care.
Compare those numbers to late May when there were only eight hospitalizations and two ICU admissions.
Back in April, Sacramento County medical staff treated a high of 77 cases in the hospital and 25 ICU patients.
“The cases that have ended up in the hospital and the ICU are almost exclusively due to four large gatherings,” explained Beilenson. “Two birthday parties, a funeral and a church gathering outside of the church.”
The health director said to date, there have been 1,794 reported COVID-19 cases in Sacramento County, including over one thousand recoveries.
So far, Beilenson said only three cases are linked to recent protests against racial injustice but it is still too soon to tell how large demonstrations have affected infection rates.
“I do worry that with some of the rallies and protests that we saw over the last two weeks, this coming week or the week after we might see an uptick in cases,” said Bera.
Bera encouraged those protesting to continue taking the necessary safety precautions to ensure families stay healthy and cases stay manageable.
“Let’s just make sure we’re keeping the 6 feet and wearing face coverings and trying to protect one another,” said Bera.
Beilenson said the spike in overall cases is partly linked to more coronavirus testing. Currently, the county offers seven community-based testing sites.