COVID-19 cases in San Joaquin County starting to level off

·3 min read

Jun. 22—The county's top health official told supervisors Tuesday that the number of cases in the fifth COVID-19 surge are leveling off, even though new variants of the disease are starting to emerge.

"It's going to take some time to tell whether we are plateauing and will rise again with BA.4 and BA.5's arrival, or if we will continue to decline," Dr. Maggie Park, San Joaquin County Public Health officials, said during Tuesdays' board of supervisors meeting.

"But it does look like that at the moment, our numbers are starting to decrease," she added.

When Park last spoke to supervisors in May, the variants of concern were the BA.2 and BA2.12.1. Now, the BA.4 and BA.5 variants are on the rise, she said, as they account for 25% of cases in the southwestern region of the United States.

There was one report of the BA.4 variant reported in the county in May, and two cases of the BA.5 variant reported this month, she said, adding an increase in both variants can be expected in the next couple of months.

There have now been 178,083 cases of COVID-19 in the county since the pandemic began in March of 2020, as well as 2,247 related deaths, according to county public health's COVID-19 dashboard.

The county's new case rate is now at 33 per 100,000 residents, and its test positivity rate is at 12.3%. If the state was still using last summer's Blueprint for a Safer Economy severity scale, the county would be in the most restrictive "purple" tier, which would mean virus transmission was widespread.

However, according to the California Department of Public Health, the county's transmission rate is now .76, meaning every resident currently infected with the virus has the potential to give it to .76 people. That's down from the 1.26 reported last month.

According to county public health's' dashboard — which now has new features — there have been 18,789 cases in Lodi and 301 deaths,

The number of cases in Lodi is the third-highest in the county behind Stockton's 93,592 and Tracy's 24,503. Deaths from COVID-19 in Lodi are the second highest in the county behind the 1,366 in Stockton.

In the 95220 ZIP code that includes Acampo, there have been 1,347 cases and 19 deaths, and in the 95227 ZIP code that includes Clements, there have been 142 cases and one death.

In the 95258 ZIP code that includes Woodbridge, there have been 903 cases and 13 deaths, and in Lockeford's 95237 ZIP code, there have been 738 cases and seven deaths.

Lockeford shares the 95240 ZIP code with Lodi, where there have been 11,202 cases — the third highest in the county — and 183 deaths.

In Lodi's 95242 ZIP code, there have been 5,909 cases and 94 deaths. In Thornton's 95686 ZIP code, there have been 214 cases and four deaths.

County public health said there are 39 patients being treated in seven hospitals for COVID-19, with two additional patients suspected of having contracted the virus.

Some 472,226 eligible county residents have been fully vaccinated, accounting for 65% of the population.

"One of the things I appreciate is that I hope we've learned form our past experiences with regard as to how we treat this in the future," board chair Chuck Winn said. "Because all the things that were tried ... some we later found out didn't work or maybe were negative in results."

Sacramento County Public Health reported Tuesday that there are now 305,629 cases and 3,229 deaths. Of those, 7,094 cases and 79 deaths have been reported in Galt.

Nearly 1.05 million residents in the county have been fully vaccinated for 66.7% of the population, and 78,647 are partially vaccinated. In Galt, 16,355 residents, or 63% of the population, are fully vaccinated.