Yolo County falls behind statewide vaccinations

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As the state prepares to end most COVID-related restrictions on businesses and activities next week, sizable numbers of Yolo County residents remain unvaccinated and thus unprotected from the virus. County residents in their early 30s are the least protected, with just 32 percent of those between the ages of 30 and 34 having received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to Yolo County Health Officer Dr. Aimee Sisson. Also at risk are 63 percent of 12- to 15-year-olds who have yet to receive a vaccine dose and 59 percent of 16- to 19-year-olds. Children under 12 also remain at risk until a vaccine is authorized for that age group. Sisson said Yolo County leads the greater Sacramento region in the proportion of residents vaccinated so far, but has now fallen behind the statewide average. Through Sunday, 55 percent of county residents had received at least one dose and 44 percent were fully vaccinated. Statewide, 55.4 percent have received at least one dose. On the other end of the spectrum in Yolo County are young adults ages 20 to 24, 81 percent of whom have received at least one vaccine dose, the same percentage as those 55 to 64. Meanwhile, 82 percent of those over 65 have received at least one dose. Given the proportion of residents here who have been vaccinated, Sisson said she does not expect to see a spike in cases after the state eliminates its color-coded, tier-based blueprint and lifts restrictions on June 15, but she noted that the risk to those who are unvaccinated remains. “The majority of cases that are occurring now are among people who are unvaccinated,” she said. “I want to remind everyone that while the blueprint framework will go away on June 15, COVID-19 will still be with us. “Those who are vaccinated,” she said, “with the exception of those with compromised immune systems, will be highly protected against COVID and can safely participate in nearly all activities. “However, people who do not have immunity against COVID, namely those who are unvaccinated, will remain at risk of infection, hospitalization and death. “That is why I continue to strongly recommend that everyone ages 12 and over get vaccinated against COVID. The vaccine is the best way to protect yourself against COVID and get back to normal safely.” Yolo County residents will get their first taste of that “normal” next Tuesday when capacity restrictions and physical distancing requirements will be lifted in most settings and the state is expected to revise its rules on face masks, allowing vaccinated individuals to go without except in some circumstances. However, workplaces will have different rules under new standards from Cal-OSHA. Under those standards, effective June 15, face coverings will be required in indoor workplaces unless every person in a room is fully vaccinated and physical distancing will continue to be required for all workers — vaccinated or not — unless the employer provides N95 respirators for voluntary use. In businesses like stores, workers will have to continue to wear masks, Sisson said, but customers will not have to. “Cal-OSHA only applies to the workers,” she noted. Meanwhile, the state on Tuesday unveiled its final tier update, one which saw a handful of counties move to the least restrictive yellow tier. Yolo County met the metrics for the yellow tier on Tuesday but has to do so for two consecutive weeks in order to move forward. Instead, the county will remain in orange, skip yellow altogether and reopen along with the rest of the state next week.

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