As the drumbeat for vaccination requirements grows louder in California, cases are increasing statewide, largely among unvaccinated populations.
There were 8,552 newly reported confirmed cases Tuesday. That’s actually down from over 10,000 on Thursday, but the raw case numbers have been rising and falling for the last week, at times changing even after they’re officially reported as the actual infection dates of cases cause backdating.
After weeks of big jumps in cases, Covid-related hospitalizations in California were up 97% in past 10 days, bringing the total of hospitalized Covid-19 patients in the state to 5,282 on Wednesday. The number of Covid patients in state ICUs was up at close to the same rate — 88% — to 1,135. Those are the highest totals for those measures since the first week of March. That’s likely not the end of it, since hospitalizations and ICU patients are lagging indicators and cases are still rising rapidly.
The 7-day average case rate per 100,000 bears that out. One week ago it was reported to be 12.7 per 100,000. On Wednesday, California’s case rate clocked in at 18.3 per 100,000, an increase of 44% in one week. That rise has been driven predominantly by unvaccinated Californians.
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On July 20, the 7-day average case rate among unvaccinated Californians was 20.7 per 100,000 per day. The average case rate among vaccinated Californians on that same date was just 3.5 per 100,000 per day.
Put another way, the vast majority of new cases in the state are among the unvaccinated. Their case rates are 600% higher than those of the vaccinated. What’s more, about 90% of the patients hospitalized with Covid in the state are unvaccinated, as vaccination also provides protection from serious illness, even among those with breakthrough infections.
By the week ending July 31, the average case rate among unvaccinated Californians had risen 60%, to 33 per 100,000. The average case rate among vaccinated Californians was still significantly lower, albeit up 50%, at 7 per 100,000 per day.
The 7-day positivity rate — another trusted indicator of spread — was up over 20% in 6 days, from 6.2% on Thursday to 7.0% today.
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