As 2020 drew to a close, the number of COVID-19 cases throughout California continued to increase. The Central Valley has been especially hard hit. A surge in cases of COVID-19 has had a very significant impact on Central Valley communities with hospitalizations at an all-time high.
In fact, the San Joaquin Valley has the least available ICU space of any region in California. As of Sunday, January 17th, the region’s ICU availability was 0.0%. As a result, much of the Central Valley is under a stay-at-home order which will remain in effect until the projected ICU capacity meets or exceeds 15%.
In counties under a Regional Stay Home Order due to an increased incidence of coronavirus, residents are required to stay home between 10:00 PM and 5:00 AM, with some exceptions. You can go outside on your own or with members of your household as long as you aren’t gathering with other households. You can also go out, if necessary, to do essential activities or if required to go out by law.
Keeping the community safe
The beginning of 2021 saw a rollout of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, with California receiving more than 3.5 million doses. However, the distribution and administration of the vaccine has been slower than originally anticipated; the state has only administered about one-third of the total doses received.
As the number of coronavirus cases continues to surge, and now that the new, more contagious variant of COVID-19 first observed in the UK has been found in California, it’s more important than ever that you follow the CDC guidelines for keeping you and your family safe from COVID by continuing:
- Social distancing
- Mask wearing
- Hand washing
Even after you have received both doses of the COVID vaccine, it’s important to continue following these guidelines for the foreseeable future until there is a good level of herd immunity. While the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine have prevented 95% of illnesses caused by COVID, no vaccine is 100% effective.
In addition, full protection from the virus won’t happen until about 5-6 weeks after the first shot. And, while the vaccines prevent illness, like other vaccines, they may not prevent you from passing the COVID virus to others. This could be especially dangerous for people with compromised immune systems.
So, do your part to get the number of cases to start going down in the Central Valley. Do it for yourself, your loved ones, and your community.
What to do while at home
While you’re staying at home and staying safe from COVID-19, try these few tips to help relieve stress and anxiety and to stay engaged:
- Engage in a variety of fun activities with your family such as, watching a movie, playing board games or doing jigsaw puzzles
- Get your whole household involved in taking a walk or doing an online fitness class
- Stay in touch with family and friends by talking on the phone or Zooming
- Make a list of books to read and dive in!