According to the Alameda County Health Department’s COVID-19 dashboard, COVID case counts in Piedmont have popped up by 52 since Tuesday, from 764 to 816 on Friday. (As we’ve noted before, the county often adjusts numbers up or down as they reconcile their data every week so it’s hard to tell if this represents a true dramatic weekly increase or simply a record-keeping update.)
Regardless of Piedmont’s case numbers, the trends that now matter most, according to new CDC guidelines as reported by The Washington Post today are “metrics for the number of new hospital admissions with covid-19, and the number of hospitalized covid-19 patients, in addition to case counts, in every county.”
While not saying so explicitly, the new guidance provides a framework for living safely with a virus that is expected to remain at endemic levels for the foreseeable future — a goal that was out of reach for most of the last two years amid recurring surges and the arrival of new variants when far fewer people had gained immunity from vaccinations or infections.“CDC’s new approach to covid means most Americans can go without masks”, Feb. 25 The Washington Post
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “almost all Bay Area counties on Friday dropped suddenly out of the federally defined ‘high transmission’ category for COVID-19” after the CDC announced the new criteria. Alameda County is now in a “low transmission” category. It already dropped its indoor mask mandate for vaccinated people on Feb. 15.
According to the Chronicle, “California still requires masking in all K-12 schools, but is scheduled on Monday to announce a date for lifting the mandate. It was not immediately clear if the CDC’s new guidance would factor into the state’s school masking decision.”