Getting vaccinated

First responders get COVID-19 vaccinations earlier this week as the first stages of vaccines were brought out in Del Norte County.

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While California remains one of the hotbeds for COVID-19 in the nation, Del Norte County and much of Northern California are bucking the trend.

Cases continue to climb in Del Norte County, with 70 new cases reported in the last two weeks and six new cases reported Tuesday. But the vast majority are recovering with few problems, according to information released by Del Norte County Public Health.

There are currently 126 active cases in the county, with three people in the hospital. Since the pandemic began in March, two people with the virus have died in the county.

While the majority of California remains in place with stay-at-home orders, there is a little more freedom in Northern California. Last year, the state was broken into regions, with rules in place saying each region would be ordered to stay at home as soon as ICU capacity in the region fell below 15 percent.

Every region in the state, with the exception of Northern California, has been under the stay-at-home order since then. But things remain relatively calm in Northern California with close to 35 percent ICU capacity still available.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Del Norte County has reported 783 total cases with 19 hospitalizations. The majority of those cases, 59 percent, were in people ages 18 to 49 years.

The majority of the cases, 420, have been reported in the Crescent City area. In the southern half of the county, 278 cases have been reported, with fewer cases south and west.

There were no new cases linked to Pelican Bay State Prison this week. The prison has reported 176 cases among employees and inmates during the pandemic.

Dr. Warren Rehwaldt, the county’s public health director, announced in late December that vaccinations had begun. He said the first wave of vaccinations are geared toward front-line healthcare workers and employees and residents and senior assisted living facilities. According to California’s vaccination plans, Phase 1A residents, healthcare workers and those living in assisted living facilities, will be the first vaccinated. That work is ongoing.

When the state gets to Phase 1B, it will include anyone over age 75 and people employed in the education, childcare, emergency services and food and agriculture industries. 

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