Rising Hospitalizations in Northern California Due to New Covid-19 Variant


SACRAMENTO– COVID-19 cases have begun up again, and so are hospitalizations in our area. This likely rise is caused by a new type of the coronavirus, which accounts for 44% of all cases in the country.

The new type, JN.1, may spread more easily, but evidence shows it is not as bad. Doctors say we should still keep an eye on it and do what we can to stop it from spreading.

“People were so scared during the pandemic that they just wanted it to end,” said Dr. Jerome Adams, who used to be U.S. Surgeon General. “They want to put it in the back window and never think about it again.”

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 246 people with COVID-19 were admitted to the hospital in Sacramento, Yolo, El Dorado, and Placer counties over the past week. These four counties had the most hospital admissions per 100,000 people in California.

So what’s the deal with this rise? A doctor in the area said there isn’t a clear reason for this, but it makes sense given the rise in cases on the East Coast over the last few weeks.

Cercelia Linder, who lives in Antelope, said, “I’ve had a sore throat and cough, and I felt like I was going to pass out when I took a shower this morning.”

Linder talked to CBS13 on the phone the night of Tuesday. Since she tested positive for COVID-19 last Friday, she has been stuck in bed in Sacramento County.

“I feel like this COVID has been worse than when I had it in March,” stated Linder.

She spent the holidays away from her family and chose to take the test when she got a cough and runny nose that wouldn’t go away.

Dr. Adams told them, “COVID is going to be with us for a while.” “That does not mean it has to dominate or rule our lives if we take sensible precautions.”

As the year comes to a close, more people are getting the flu. How can you tell the difference between the flu and COVID-19? A lot of the signs look a lot alike, so doctors say the only way to be sure is to get tested.

Placer County’s temporary health officer, Dr. Rob Oldham, told CBS13 the following about the virus and how the area is dealing with the rise:

“As predicted, respiratory viruses, like COVID-19 and influenza, have increased their spread in California during the winter. Locally, wastewater samples show a rise in SARS-CoV-2 the week of Dec. 16 to Dec. 21. While respiratory viruses are on the rise, local hospitals serving Placer and the Greater Sacramento region continue to report adequate healthcare capacity. Residents might consider wearing a high-quality mask when indoors in public, self-testing to detect infection, staying up to date on vaccines, and bringing in as much fresh air into their homes as possible during gatherings.

Although there’s not precise local data on the JN.1 variant, the emerging evidence suggests that vaccines, tests, and treatments work well against it.”

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