Yolo County seeing increase in cases in children under age 18

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Yolo County’s progress against the Delta variant has stalled, largely due to increasing cases among children.

After seeing case rates fall in September, the county has seen a reversal in the last couple of weeks, according to Yolo County Health Officer Dr. Aimee Sisson.

“The case rate in Yolo County,” she told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, “is now 12.5 per 100,000 residents per day.

“This case rate represents a 4 percent increase from two weeks ago when it was 12.0.”

The county’s upward trend in cases contrasts with a continued decline in new cases statewide. Fueling the local trend? Pediatric cases.

“Case rates are decreasing for those ages 18 to 64 and 65 and older,” Sisson said, “but are increasing for children under 18.”

The county has reported 202 cases in children under 18 since Oct. 1, 27.5 percent of all cases reported in the county during that time frame.

On Tuesday, an advisory committee to the Food and Drug Administration voted in favor of authorizing the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5 to 11. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s advisory committee is scheduled to meet Nov. 2  and full authorization could come at that time.

The inclusion of younger children in the pool of county residents eligible for vaccination is expected to increase the overall vaccination rates as well.

As of Oct. 11, 60.4 percent of all county residents are fully vaccinated and 69.7 percent of those ages 12 and up.

In the last two weeks, Sisson said, the county’s vaccination rates improved slightly, from 56.4 percent of the total population fully vaccinated to 60.4 percent.

Hospitalizations

Local hospitalizations for COVID-19 have held steady in recent weeks, with seven COVID-19 patients in the county’s two hospitals on Tuesday.

“Hospitalizations in Yolo County for COVID-19 have declined substantially from their high of 21 during the current wave, but have stopped falling,” said Sisson. “Yesterday, there were seven COVID-positive patients hospitalized in Yolo County, virtually unchanged from the eight hospitalizations recorded two weeks ago.”

The vast majority of hospitalized COVID patients continue to be unvaccinated, Sisson said, including six of the seven hospitalized on Monday.

Also on Tuesday, the county recognized Sisson for her work during this pandemic with an employee “SPIRIT” award.

Sisson, noted Supervisor Don Saylor, took over as the county’s health officer “right in the middle of a national health crisis.”

“From her first days with Yolo County,” Saylor said, “she’s been a strong leader through one of the most challenging times in our history. The right person at the right time.”

The COVID-19 pandemic, he said, has challenged the county’s health care systems, workforce, economy, educational systems and mental wellness.

Sisson thanked the board for the recognition and said, “it’s been an honor to serve Yolo County during the pandemic.

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