FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Over two years after the first cases of covid-19 were reported in California, officials with the Fresno County Department of Public Health are once again tracking a rise in COVID-19 cases. 

Officials with the health agency say since the week of April 23, which was six weeks ago, cases have been steadily rising. Six weeks ago the county reported less than 300 cases in a week, now they’re reporting over a thousand. 

Doctor Kenny Banh with UC San Fransisco in Fresno said, they’re watching the rise closely. 

“Case counts have been increasing over the last couple of weeks but in the last week alone we’ve seen definitely a big increase,” Dr. Banh said.

Dr. Banh said the current rise in cases is from a sub-variant of omicron. Omicron caused a huge spike in cases this past winter. 

With this rise, Dr. Banh said now is a great time to get a booster dose if you haven’t already, but many who are vaccinated and boosted can still get sick.

Dr. Banh also said if you did get covid over the winter with the first variant, you may have some natural immunity built up to this strain of omicron. 

“People who are vaccinated, boosted recently, may test positive but they are basically not feeling anything, or they might say oh I have a little runny nose, little cough, but there’s concern because that person may still be infectious,” Dr. Banh said. 

With summer travel on the horizon, as people pack planes without masks, Dr. Banh says consider your own individual risk when making decisions, and to stay home if you’re sick. 

“You can take some personal protections yourself, masking when appropriate, thinking about large groups, should you go to that concert if everyone’s going to be unmasked, maybe think about the current case numbers, if you’ve been infected, when you we’re boosted just think about your own risk,” Dr. Banh said. 

Hospitalizations are still lower than what they were this last winter, but getting vaccinated can reduce the strain on the health care system, according to Dr. Banh.

“We do not have the number of hospitalizations from this strain that we’ve had in January. Having said that, we are having more hospitalizations for non-COVID-related symptoms. In particular, we have a flu outbreak right now,” Dr. Bahn said.