FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE/KSEE) – Coronavirus cases are on the rise again and two new subvariants of the omicron strain are raising new concerns for health officials.
Two out of every three counties in California are now areas of high COVID-19 transmission.
In the Central Valley, health officials are seeing testing and positive cases double, while vaccination rates stay the same.
Vaccinations in Fresno County have remained stalled at 65%, even with younger children now having the green light to receive it.
Positivity rates for new infections are increasing again.
It’s these numbers that push Lashaye Leopold to get her child vaccinated as soon as possible.
Seven-month-old Kyus is fresh off getting his first vaccine.
Strapped in his car seat, playing with his ball, his parents feel their home is safer now that everyone has been vaccinated.
“Let’s go through the drive-thru and get him vaccinated real quick, it was really important to us,” said Leopold.
“We’ve had COVID hit our house a couple times already, and it was mostly terrifying because our whole family is vaccinated except for the toddler. If COVID got into our house it came through him,” she said.
“We’ve already been trending up for the last couple of weeks and now that we’re changing over to BA-2.12.1 to this BA4-5, that will kind of keep going up,” said Dr. Kenny Banh with UCSF Fresno Emergency Medicine.
Banh says even before the 4th of July celebrations, COVID cases were already on the rise.
“Then we just had the Fourth of July holiday so a lot of people are gathering, but on top of that we have a lot of people who say, ‘I just have the sniffles or a little fever’ and they say, ‘oh, it’s no big deal’, but they don’t understand that for some people it can be significant,” he said.
Dr. Banh says the best way to combat the virus right now is to get vaccinated and tested.
“The big thing that we’ve seen is unfortunately a big increase in the percentage that are positive,” he said.
“Even if we were okay the first few times, I mean, you never know. I don’t want to get COVID anymore,” concluded Leopold.
Dr. Banh did want to stress that there are other forms of fighting the virus, such as pills and treatments when you become infected and if you are immunocompromised.
UCSF has these options, vaccines and testing at their health sites.