COVID-19 cases starting to ease in some states, still surging in SLO County

COVID-19 omicron
Posted at 6:51 PM, Jan 26, 2022

The omicron variant swept across the United States, causing COVID-19 cases to surge around the country, but now, according to an NBC News analysis, that surge may be easing in some areas.

According to state numbers, California is seeing the seven-day case count average begin to fall, but locally, health officials say it's a different picture.

"We're right now seeing more cases per day and per week than we have seen at any other point in the pandemic," explained Michelle Shoreman, Public Information Officer for the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department.

Those cases, shown below on a graph from the county’s website, detail the dramatic increase over the past few weeks - steeper and more dramatic than last January’s surge.

SLO Daily New Covid Cases.png

Currently, California has a positivity rate of 18 percent.

San Luis Obispo County's positivity rate is 22 percent, but officials say it could actually be higher.

"It’s a pretty good bet that our numbers are underreported from what they actually are in the community," Shoresman added.

She says many positive at-home tests are likely not being reported to the county.

Covid CA Case Count & Positivity.png

A statement from Dr. Anthony Fauci says things could start to ease even more as we head into February, but until that time, he's urging people to listen to the science.

"If you look at the data, you can't walk away from the facts, and the facts are stunningly obvious when you look at the hospitalization and deaths among unvaccinated versus vaccinated versus vaccinated and boosted," Dr. Fauci said.

That data shows that in California, unvaccinated people are over four times more likely to test positive for COVID-19.

In San Luis Obispo County, since June 15, 2021, health officials say the unvaccinated have made up 66.2 % of cases, 78.8% of hospitalizations, and 76.1% of deaths.

As a whole, California has more than 81% of people vaccinated with at least one dose, while in SLO County that number, according to the Public Health Department, is at just 73%.