COVID cases soaring at Stanford


“We’re not out of it yet.” Bay Area officials urge more masking

The COVID-19 death toll in California is inching close to a dark milestone of 90,000 lives lost, as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations keep pushing up across the state and health officials urge people to take more precautions. With cases rising, read more about the latest advice from Bay Area health officials here.

Santa Clara County warns people to be wary

Santa Clara County’s health officer Dr. Sara Cody said Tuesday that the county is starting to see “early signs” that hospitalizations may be on the rise after remaining flat even while case counts have steadily increased in recent weeks. The 7-day rolling average of reported COVID-19 cases in the county rose from 193 on April 3 to 589 on May 3, she noted, and the levels of COVID detected in wastewater across the county “are rising in a similar fashion.” “We’re not out of it yet,” Cody said at a news conference, urging people to continue exercising precautions.

Original omicron variant all but gone in the U.S.

The original BA.1.1 omicron coronavirus variant that drove the winter surge in the United States accounted for just 0.6% of the new COVID-19 infections last week, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data showed Tuesday. It has been crowded out by its own subvariants: BA.2 is now dominant in the U.S., making up over 56% of new cases, with its hyper-transmissible sublineage BA.2.12.1 accounting for 42.6% of cases sequenced and is rapidly spreading. “Most of the country has yet to see its full impact,” Eric Topol, a scientist at Scripps, said in a tweet.

COVID-19 cases soar at Stanford

Stanford University has the highest number of COVID cases since its spring quarter began in March, the Stanford Daily is reporting, with a one-week increase of 56% among students and 9% among employees. The spike follows several gatherings, including “Admit Weekend” April 29, when more than 2,600 admitted students and guests converged onto campus. Of those infected, 328 students are in isolation. Students’ rate of positive tests rose from 6% to just over 9% in one week. California’s overall rate is 3.9%. Since June 2020, 3,581 students and 2,114 employees have tested positive for the coronavirus through the university’s testing system, the newspaper reported.

Equity metric in Alameda County is more even in this wave

Alameda County’s health officer, Dr. Nicholas Moss, found a reassuring equity trend in the current wave of coronavirus spread. This wave does not appear to be disproportionately affecting disadvantaged communities as the pandemic did in earlier surges, he told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. The positive test rate, which in almost every other surge has been higher in lower income neighborhoods, is currently about 6% and fairly even across the county, he said.

California hospitalizations not mirroring increase in other states

The BA.2.12.1 variant of the omicron coronavirus strain now makes up about half of California’s cases, according to state modeling described Tuesday by state epidemiologist Erica Pan. She noted the state’s 7-day average number of cases continues up, but deaths are still decreasing and the number of COVID intensive care unit cases has been stable. During a COVID update with the California Medical Association, Pan said it was “somewhat reassuring that our hospitalizations have not increased at the same pace as some of the other states,” including in the Northeast where the BA.2 subvariant is surging,

California nears 90,000 COVID deaths, the most of any state

The cumulative COVID-19 death toll in California hit 89,957 on Tuesday, according to public health data — the most pandemic-related fatalities recorded by any state. That number increased by 106 since Friday, with California, the nation’s most populous state, now averaging about 12 virus deaths daily.

Do masks work against COVID in a classroom where not all kids are wearing them?

The Chronicle’s Pandemic Problems advice column tackles a question from a reader who asked about masking in schools: “How protective are masks on kids in a room with unmasked kids?” With kids apparently catching colds in school, is there any way a mask, even a high-quality one, “would actually fend off catching COVID from a child in the same classroom all day?”