Yolo County Exceeds COVID-19 Case Threshold
A message from Mayor Christopher Cabaldon:
Some bad news, and some less bad news. First the bad news.
Yolo County no longer meets the "epidemiological stability" test that was needed to move further through the State reopening stages. Our county didn't just inch past the limit of 55 new cases over 14 days, it blew past it to 77 new cases. The county reported 60 cases in just the last seven days--the biggest outbreak yet and more than at what was supposed to be the peak back in April.
This isn't due mainly to more testing. Many of these cases have been linked via contact tracing to social events in private homes, like family birthday parties or other get-togethers. Our asymptomatic testing isn't close to universal, so this type of spread is only a hint of what's really happening.
Next, the less bad news. West Sacramento's spike is not as severe, and we no longer account for a majority of Yolo's countywide cases. And positive rates from the initial asymptomatic testing here are within expected ranges. But we've seen 9 cases over the past five days--the highest number since the April peak. And our COVID hospitalization rate is still the highest in the county.
Only we can save ourselves. The county and the city don't issue permits for birthday parties or licenses for family gatherings. Courts aren't going to issue warrants to break into homes to see if you're having a dinner party with friends. Sure, the state or county could move back to a full shelter-in-place order with no exceptions, but even then at some point we'd have to act responsibly. So please, maintain distance at all times, avoid gatherings of any kind, and wear that mask.
Preventing deadly outbreaks is on all of us, and each and every one of us.
Learn more in this news relase from Yolo County.
(Woodland, CA) – A recent increase in confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases has resulted in Yolo County exceeding one of the State of California’s attestation metrics for epidemiological stability.
As of 5:00 p.m. on June 17, Yolo County reported 76 confirmed COVID-19 cases over the past 14 days. One of the State of California’s attestation metrics evaluates the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases over a 14-day period, with a threshold of no more than 25 cases per 100,000 residents. For Yolo County this translates to no more than 55 cases, which has now been exceeded. Exceeding the attestation metric threshold does not result in an automatic rollback of re-opened activities or State withdrawal of the County’s attestation plan approval. Yolo County will be reviewing case data, including the source of community spread infections, to target communication to those most affected and determine if other protective measures are necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The State approved Yolo County’s attestation plan on May 20 which allowed the County to move further into Stage 2 of the State’s four stage reopening plan. At the time of plan approval, the County met all the required attestation plan metrics, including stabilization of health data and increased level of preparedness for opening business sectors. Since plan submittal, the County has continued to monitor these metrics, including posting them on a publicly available Attestation Dashboard.
A significant number of the recent cases have been attributed to social gatherings and a lack of social distancing, where friends or family met, gathered, and contracted COVID-19 or individuals who traveled to other counties, states, or countries and contracted the virus then brought it back to their residence in Yolo County. This increase in confirmed cases due to social gatherings and the lack of social distancing is happening throughout the region and in surrounding counties as well. Communities and residents are being asked to continue to social distance and reduce close contact with people, including family members and friends from other households.
After announcing the attestation plan, the State created supplemental criteria called County Data Monitoring for counties whose attestations have been approved and have since developed areas of concern. In other words, the State is looking at slightly different data points than the attestation criteria for counties who experience surges after attestation approval. Specifically, the State monitors increasing hospitalizations, limited hospital capacity, and elevated disease transmission, which evaluates the case rate with a threshold of 100 cases per 100,000 population or the case rate with a threshold of 25 cases per 100,000 population and a testing positivity less than 8%. Counties that do meet this supplemental criteria are placed on the Data Monitoring List in which the California Department of Public Health will reach out to provide the county with technical assistance and support. However, being on the Data Monitoring List does not trigger any pullbacks or further restrictions. While Yolo County has exceeded the 25 cases per 100,000 population threshold, testing positivity remains below 8% at 3.26% as of June 17. Therefore, at this point in time Yolo County is in compliance with the metrics on the Data Monitoring List.
“It is important not to become complacent. The virus is still alive and well and shows no signs of abating,” said Yolo County Board Chair Gary Sandy. “Many of the recent Yolo County cases are from people gathering in groups and ignoring social distancing or face coverings. Protect yourself. Protect your family. Protect others. Use common sense and follow medically established guidelines to prevent the virus from spreading.”
In response to the increase in cases, Yolo County continues to be vigilant in its COVID-19 contact tracing investigations and is prepared to increase contact tracing staff as needed. For each confirmed case, Yolo County Public Health immediately isolates the individual, conducts a thorough investigation to identify and notify close contacts, and places those individuals on quarantine pending test results.
COVID-19 is mainly spread among people who are in close contact with each other for a prolonged amount of time. Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” is one of the best ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by helping to limit the opportunities for the virus to infect others by staying at least six feet away from other people. Social distancing is important for everyone to follow, especially for people who are considered high risk or have compromised immune systems.
In addition to social distancing, the Center for Disease Control, the World Health Organization and the California Department of Public Health have all stated that face coverings are an additional protective measure to help slow the spread of the virus, especially when social distancing is not possible. Face coverings are mandatory in Yolo County and should be worn as directed in public situations and as detailed in various Yolo County guidance for reopened activities.
For additional information about the attestation metrics, visit Yolo County’s Attestation Dashboard at: www.yolocounty.org/coronavirus-dashboard. Residents can also call Yolo 2-1-1 for resource information.