SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – State workers and health care employees in California will now be required to show proof of vaccine or get tested for COVID at least once a week.
The governor announced the new guidance today and is urging private employers to “replicate the example.”READ MORE: MDOT Update: Ramp Closures On I-94, I-275 As Part Of Rebuilding I-275 Project
This comes as the highly contagious Delta variant is now dominant in the state and COVID rates have skyrocketed in the month since California officially reopened, including breakthrough cases among vaccinated Californians.
A new analysis finds several counties with above-average vaccination rates also have higher COVID case rates, while case rates are falling in counties with below-average vaccination rates.
Statewide data analyzed by the Bay Area New Group found the five counties, Los Angeles, San Diego, Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco, have both a higher percentage of people who are fully vaccinated than the state average and a higher average daily case rate.
Compare that to these five counties: Modoc, Glenn, Lassen, Del Norte, and San Benito, which have below-average vaccination rates and decreasing case rates.
However, UCSF infectious disease expert Dr. Phillip Norris clarifies that the data doesn’t mean the vaccine is not working.
He notes, first, the counties referenced with higher vaccination and case rates are more densely populated.
“If there are a lot of people around you’re more likely to bump into one who has COVID,” Norris explained.
He, like other infectious disease experts, warns that vaccinated people may be unknowingly spreading the virus.READ MORE: Shifting Ground Prompts Utility To Shut Down Gas Main In Southwest Detroit
Julie: A lot of people think if they’re vaccinated, they can’t transmit. Is that true?
Phillip: So, originally we thought that might be true.
But he says that’s no longer the case, thanks to the Delta variant.
He points to data from China that indicates the viral load in the nose from the Delta variant may be 1,000 times higher than previous variants.
“If that’s the case, even a little bit in somebody who’s vaccinated could be a lot, he explains.
He notes that as case rates increase with the Delta variant, more vaccinated and unvaccinated people will get COVID, though the rates will likely remain much higher among the unvaccinated
Consider this: In Los Angeles County last month, vaccinated people made up one out of five new COVID cases.
That means, for every 100,000 people, 10 vaccinated people would test positive compared to 40 vaccinated people.
Infectious disease experts stress that vaccinated people also have fewer symptoms, are less likely to be hospitalized and are less likely to transmit.MORE NEWS: Lawsuit Seeks $1M After Michigan Teacher Cuts Girl's Hair
However, for those who have immune-compromised people in their life, it’s also important to remember that you can still get COVID and give it to them — even if you’re both vaccinated.