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Coronavirus updates: 5 people die, fewer COVID-19 patients enter Shasta County hospitals

Redding Record Searchlight logo Redding Record Searchlight 8/24/2022 Jessica Skropanic, Redding Record Searchlight
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Five more people died of COVID-19, Shasta County Health and Human Service Agency confirmed on Tuesday afternoon.

They were a man in his 60s, a man and a woman in their 70s, and two men in their 80s.

The loss of those five people brought the total number of COVID deaths to 678 in Shasta County since the pandemic began in March 2020. Of those residents, 383 were men and 295 were women. Public health does not provide other identifying information to protect the privacy of patients.

COVID update Redding Record Searchlight © Michael Chapman and Jessica Skropanic/Record Searchlight COVID update Redding Record Searchlight

Also on Tuesday, the California Department of Public Health announced COVID outbreak in Shasta County dropped for the third week.

Case numbers are higher than recorded by the state because home test results are seldom reported, but the county's positivity rate — the percentage of tests sent to state labs that came back positive for COVID-19 — dropped to 4.9% between Aug. 16 and Tuesday.

The number of people hospitalized for COVID in Shasta County remained low from Aug. 16 to Tuesday, averaging 12 to 13 patients daily — and dropping to as few as three patients on Saturday and Sunday. Those sick enough to enter intensive care units numbered zero to two each day. 

For more information on COVID-19 in Shasta County or to schedule a test or get a vaccination go to bit.ly/3QzroTz.

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Shasta County man dies, COVID-19 hospitalizations drop

Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022

A Shasta County man age 89 or older is the latest person known to have died from COVID-19, Shasta County Health and Human Service Agency said Tuesday night.

He is the 673rd county resident killed by the disease, the agency said.

There was good news on the COVID-19 front, too.

Shasta County's COVID-19 outbreak dropped for the second week in a row, according to the California Department of Public Health.

Case numbers are higher than recorded by the state because home test results are seldom reported, but Shasta County's positivity rate — the percentage of tests sent to state labs that came back positive for COVID-19 — stayed at 5% since Aug. 2. 

That's down from 7.5% between July 26 and Aug. 1.

A 5% to 8% positivity rate represents moderate outbreak, according to the state, so Shasta County is heading in the right direction.

Last week, fewer people were sick enough with the virus to land in Shasta County hospitals, according to Public Health data. From Aug. 9 to Monday, an average of 22 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 per day — down from 37 per day from Aug. 1 to 8. 

Of those patients, an average of one COVID-19 patient per day was sick enough to stay in intensive care units, a drop from five per day the prior week.

2 more men die of COVID-19, outbreak drops in Shasta County

Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022

Two more people died of COVID-19, Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency announced Tuesday.

They were a man in his 60s and a man in his 40s — the first person under 50 years old reported to have died of the virus since January, according to county data.

Their deaths pushed the number of Shasta County residents known to have died from COVID-19 to 672 people: 294 women and 378 men.

There was also some good news from the California Department of Public Health on Tuesday: Shasta County's COVID-19 outbreak dropped over the past week.

Case numbers are hard to track since home test results are seldom reported, but the county's positivity rate — the percentage of tests that came back positive for COVID-19 from state labs — dropped to 5% from Aug. 2 to Monday. That's down from 7.5% between July 26 to Aug. 1.

The average number of people hospitalized with the virus also went down over the past week, averaging 36 patients per day, according to the state. That's a drop from an average of 47 to 48 per day during the last week of July.

Patients sick enough with COVID-19 to be in intensive care facilities also went down, dropping to four to five per day, compared to seven to eight per day the previous week.

This week, the state announced it launched a website offering information how COVID-19 affects people's ability to work. Topics include long COVID-19, testing and treatment options. The website is designed for employers, but is accessible to anyone at bit.ly/3p5BTBZ.

COVID-19 kills 6, hospitalizations go up

Monday, Aug. 8, 2022

Six more people in Shasta County died of COVID-19, Shasta County Health and Human Services announced last week.

They were:

  • A man in his 50s
  • A man in his 60s
  • A man in his 70s
  • A man and two women in their 80s

Case numbers are hard to track since home test results are seldom reported, Public Health said, but community spread went up in late July and early August. 

  • From July 26 to Aug. 1, Shasta County's test positivity rate — the percentage of tests that came back positive for the virus from state labs — reached 7.5%, according to the California Department of Public Health
  • That's up from 6.3% from July 19 to 25, but still lower than outbreak in early to mid-July.

Those percentages represent moderate levels of outbreak, according to the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

While outbreak went slightly down during the second half of July, the number of people sick enough with the virus to be hospitalized went up, according to the county. From July 15 to Aug. 1, COVID  patients numbered 38 to 49 people per day — numbers not seen since the end of the winter omicron outbreak in early March. 

As many as eight people per day were sick enough to be in intensive care units, up from zero to six ICU patients per day during the first half of July.

Summer brought good news, too. The county reported fewer COVID deaths in June (3 people) and July (8 people) than it had per month since last August. While those deaths may have occurred earlier in the year — cause-of-death investigations can take weeks, the county said — those numbers spell a drop in the overall seriousness of some COVID cases.

A reason why fewer COVID patients are dying from the disease in 2022 than in 2021 is more people are vaccinated against the virus, the CDC said.

Another reason is COVID treatments are more effective, the CDC said. 

So far this year, strains like omicron have been less deadly than those that hit populations in 2021. More deadly strains in 2021 included the delta variant, which caused widespread outbreak throughout the North State and nationwide in late summer and early fall.

For more information on the coronavirus in Shasta County including where to get vaccinated or tested go to bit.ly/3yhe91Y.

Jessica Skropanic is a features reporter for the Record Searchlight/USA Today Network. She covers science, arts, social issues and entertainment stories. Follow her on Twitter @RS_JSkropanic and on Facebook. Join Jessica in the Get Out! Nor Cal recreation Facebook group. To support and sustain this work, please subscribe today. Thank you.

This article originally appeared on Redding Record Searchlight: Coronavirus updates: 5 people die, fewer COVID-19 patients enter Shasta County hospitals

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