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Public Health Officials Urge Californians to Stay Vigilant and Get Vaccines and Boosters to Help Prevent a Possible COVID-19 Winter Surge

Date: November 8, 2021

Number: NR21-323

Contact: CDPHpress@cdph.ca.gov

SACRAMENTO – With the combination of colder weather keeping people indoors, the waning of vaccine and natural immunity, and more mingling among non-household members, public health officials urge Californians to get vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible to help prevent a possible winter surge in COVID-19 cases. In certain parts of the state, COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are beginning to go up, signaling the need for Californians to get their booster shots and for the 5-11 age group to get vaccinated.

"With cases ticking up in most parts of the state, we cannot let our guard down and we cannot underestimate this deadly virus," said Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, California Department of Public Health Director and State Public Health Officer. "While we have a nation-leading vaccination effort, children ages 5-11 years have just become eligible, and last year at this time our COVID-19 cases increased at a dangerous rate, so we can't underscore enough the importance to vaccinate and boost to protect yourself, your family and all of our communities against this virus."

While California made considerable progress in the fight against COVID-19, in large part due to its successful vaccination program, last year daily cases quickly rose from less than 3,000 in October to more than 58,000 in December.

"Vigilance is our best defense against another challenging COVID-19 winter," said Dr. Aragón. "Get vaccinated if you haven't yet. Get your booster if you completed your vaccination series more than six months ago, especially if you or someone in your home has a medical condition or works around other people. Continue to be safe in public and in crowded spaces by wearing a well-fitting mask that has good filtration. Keep in mind that your mask also protects you against other respiratory illnesses, including the flu."

Upgrade your Mask

Good fit and filtration continue to be the best way to get the most out of your mask. The best masks for preventing COVID-19 include the N95, KN95 and KF94. If you don't have access to one of these masks, wear a surgical mask or a surgical mask with a cloth mask on top. If you choose a fabric mask, opt for one with three of more cloth layers. No matter what kind of mask you wear, check the fit by avoiding gaps above the nose or on the sides.

Tips for Protecting Yourself and Others This Holiday Season

Take commonsense steps to protect yourself, your family and your community as you celebrate the holiday season.

Statewide COVID-19 Data

The most up to date data is available on the state's COVID-19 data dashboard.

Cases

  • California has 4,707,178 confirmed cases to date.

  • Today's average case count is 5,232  (average daily case count over 7 days).

Hospitalizations

  • There are 4,064 hospitalizations statewide.
  •  There are 996 ICU patients statewide.

Deaths

  • There have been 71,979 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
  • COVID-19 claims the lives of 51 Californians each day (average daily death count over 7 days).

Vaccinations

  • 54,199,459 total vaccines administered.
  • 81.4% of the eligible population (12+) has been vaccinated with at least one dose.
  • 153,967 people a day are receiving COVID-19 vaccination (average daily dose count over 7 days).

Testing

  • The testing positivity rate is 2.4% (average rate over 7 days).

Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are largely occurring among unvaccinated populations. See the data for unvaccinated and vaccinated cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

  • Unvaccinated people were 6.8 times more likely to get COVID-19 (data from October 18 to October 24, 2021).
  • Unvaccinated people were 9.5 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 (data from October 11, 2021 to October 17, 2021).
  • Unvaccinated people were 18.2 times more likely to die from COVID-19 (data from October 4, 2021 to October 10, 2021).
California COVID-19 by the numbers

ADDITIONAL DATA & UPDATES

Tracking COVID-19 in California

Stop the Spread: Get Vaccinated for COVID-19

The risk for COVID-19 exposure and infection continues as a number of Californians remain unvaccinated. Real-world evidence continues to show that the vaccine is preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death. With the more transmissible Delta variant, there is additional urgency to get all eligible Californians fully vaccinated as quickly as possible, completing a two-dose vaccination process if they are receiving Pfizer or Moderna.

CDPH is working with local partners and health care providers to administer booster doses to all Californians who are eligible, including those aged 65+ and the immunocompromised, to ensure they maintain optimal protection from COVID-19 heading into the winter season. Boosters are recommended for all Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipients aged 18 and older who were vaccinated two or more months ago. The CDC and Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup have declared the following groups of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna recipients eligible for a booster dose six months or more after their initial series:

  • 65 years and older
  • Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings
  • Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions
  • Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings
  • Age 18+ who are at increased risk due to social inequity

Vaccination appointments for eligible individuals can be made by visiting myturn.ca.gov or calling 1-833-422- 4255. The consent of a parent or legal guardian may be needed for those under the age of 18 to receive a vaccination. Visit Vaccinate All 58 to learn more about the safe and effective vaccines available.

Health Care Workers

As of November 4, local health departments have reported 128,757 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 520 deaths statewide.

Testing Turnaround Time

The testing turnaround time dashboard reports how long California patients are waiting for COVID-19 test results. During the week of October 24  to October 30, the average time patients waited for test results was 1.0 days. During this same time period, 78% of patients received test results in one day and 95% received them within two days.

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)

As of November 1, there have been 690 cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) reported statewide. MIS-C is a rare inflammatory condition associated with COVID-19 that can damage multiple organ systems. MIS-C can require hospitalization and be life threatening.

Your Actions Save Lives

Protect yourself, family, friends and your community by following these prevention measures:

  • Get vaccinated for COVID-19 and flu, it's your turn now! It's recommended for everyone over six months of age to be vaccinated for the flu. For COVID-19, Californians age 12+ are eligible to make appointments or go to a walk-in site for vaccination. You can get your flu and COVID-19 vaccines on the same day.
  • California’s Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record is an easy way to show vaccination status at venues or businesses that require proof of vaccination. Visit myvaccinrecord.cdph.ca.gov today to get your vaccine record
  • If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches), get tested, call your health care provider, and stay home and away from others.

  • If you believe you have been exposed, get tested. Free, confidential testing is available statewide.

  • Wear a mask when required. Read the latest face covering guidance.

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

  • Delay travel (both domestic and international) until you are fully vaccinated. Read the CDC's full travel guidance.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home from work and school if you feel ill.

  • Avoid crowded venues or areas when cases are high.

  • Add your phone to the fight by signing up for COVID-19 exposure notifications from CA Notify.

  • Answer the call or text if a contact tracer from the CA COVID Team or your local health department tries to connect.

  • Local health jurisdictions can implement protocols that are stricter than state guidance. Check with your local health department about local conditions.

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