On Tuesday, July 20, 2021, Amador County Public Health reported 23 more cases of COVID-19 since the prior week's update, bringing the total laboratory confirmed case count to 1,901. The current cases include 10 males and 13 females, 2 children under the age of 18 years, 10 aged 18-49, 7 ages 50-64, 4 age 65 and above; 3 residing in Ione, 4 in Jackson, 1 living in Plymouth/surrounding areas, 9 in Pine Grove, 4 residing in Pioneer, and 2 in Sutter Creek/Amador City. 668 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in 2021 to date. Two additional Amador residents required hospitalization over the past week.
So, how bad is the Delta COVID-19 surge? If California was still using the four-color reopening blueprint for ranking counties by infection rates, Amador County would be in the red tier. What's more, at least a dozen, would be in the most-restrictive purple tier including Los Angeles, Alameda, Contra Costa and Solano, and many businesses would not be open.
Using the state's original tier definitions, 29 counties, including San Francisco, now would be purple, meaning the virus was widespread. California changed its metrics in March of 2020, making it easier for counties with higher case rates to move into less-restrictive tiers when the state reached what it considered equitable vaccination rates.
California dropped the four colored tier system on June 15, which up until that time was the reopening blueprint on gatherings, business activities and requirements for face masks in public to slow the spread of COVID-19.
California has one of the highest vaccination rates with almost 52% of its population fully inoculated. However, California is seeing a rapid spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19, most of it among those who have not been vaccinated according to California Department of Public Health.
One third of California counties are now urging even fully vaccinated people to wear masks indoors as coronavirus cases continue to rise across the states. And in Los Angeles County, indoor mask wearing isn't voluntary — it's now the law.
However, as in the past, tension over enforcement remains. On July 16, LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva released a statement stating, “Forcing the vaccinated and those who already contracted COVID-19 to wear masks indoors is not backed by science and contradicts the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) has authority to enforce the order, but the underfunded/defunded Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will not expend our limited resources and instead ask for voluntary compliance. We encourage the DPH to work collaboratively with the Board of Supervisors and law enforcement to establish mandates that are both achievable and supported by science.”
The breathtaking pace of the virus’ resurgence already has led many local health authorities to at least recommend measures such as wearing masks indoors in public for all, vaccinated or not. But state officials for now have not changed their guidance, including allowing the vaccinated to go without masks inside.
“Vaccines remain the best protection against COVID-19, including the highly infectious Delta variant,” the CDPH said in a recent statement. “As we continue to see the real and aggressive impact of the Delta variant in rising case rates, we cannot stress enough how critical it is for eligible individuals to get vaccinated.”
As of Friday evening, July 23, 2021, Amador County Public Health (ACPH) reports there are 45 active cases of COVID-19 of which 3 cases are hospitalized in Amador County. County case numbers released by ACPH do not include Mule Creek State Prison (MCSP) inmate cases.
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) currently reports there are no active cases amongst inmates. To date, there have been 1,862 total cases, 2 inmates released while active and 9 inmate deaths due to COVID-19. CDCR reports 88% of the 3,920 inmates are fully vaccinated.
California Department of Public Health (CDPH) reports numbers which include both Amador County residents and MCSP inmates. To view those numbers, visit: https://covid19.ca.gov/state-dashboard/#location-amador.