SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – It’s now been more than a month since California ditched most of its COVID-19 safety restrictions, but the state is starting to see increases across the board — again.
The California Department of Public Health Friday reported another jump in the state’s positivity rate. It’s at 3.7%, nearly triple from July’s 1.4% positivity rate. The state reported more than 4,600 cases, with more than 1,700 hospitalizations; it’s the most since April.
As cities and counties across California see an increase in cases, some are now encouraging masks. In Los Angeles County, they are mandating them.
State health officials urged everyone to get vaccinated, but they would not say if statewide restrictions are coming. A spokesperson said, in part, “We continue, as always, to support the ability of local health jurisdictions to enact stricter local public health guidance that is tailored to the situation in their communities, as some counties have done.”
Experts point to the rapidly spreading, infectious delta variant. The latest state data shows that variant has accounted for 48% of the most recent specimens sequenced.
“We have to realize this idea that somehow we’re vaccinated and done with the pandemic is not right,” said Dr. Yaneer Bar-Yam. “What we have to do is realize that we have to combine vaccines with the other precautionary measures that we know work.”
Dr. Bar-Yam, the founder of the Covid Action Group, warns that without restrictions the virus could be here to stay.
“The longer we wait, the more we’ll have more variants that are undermining the vaccines and it will be harder and harder for us to stop this virus,” Bar-Yam said.
FOX40 reached out to Gov. Gavin Newsom for comment but was referred to the Department of Public Health.