Health officials urge caution, say infection rate still elevated
The number of new COVID-19 infections in the area that includes most of Curtis Park has declined by more than half over the last month, according to the latest Sacramento County data.
The Curtis Park area had logged a total of 788 COVID-19 cases as of Feb. 22. Of the total, 66 had occurred in the previous 30 days, down from 138 in the 30 days prior to Jan. 25.
However, health officials caution that infections locally and throughout Sacramento remain at elevated levels, so we all need to continue to take precautions to protect ourselves and others. Given that there are likely two to three additional infections for every confirmed case, we can expect that there are currently between 10 to 20 active infections among the 5,500 people who reside in Curtis Park.
Local cases peaked in December, when about 45 infections per week occurred among the 22,000 residents of the Curtis Park, Land Park, Newton Booth and Poverty Ridge neighborhoods in the 95818 ZIP code. Weekly infections averaged about 28 during January, and dropped further to about 18 per week in February, reaching a low of 14 cases during the most recent week reported on Feb. 22.
Local infection rates are still below those in most adjacent areas, but those areas have improved at a faster pace than in the 95818 ZIP code area.
While progress has been significant, case rates are still high. If the 95818 ZIP code area were a county, it would remain in the Purple tier, California’s most restrictive zone where transmission is widespread.
To progress from Purple to the next tier (Red – Substantial Transmission), our daily average new cases per 100,000 would need to drop from the February rate of 12 to below 7. Sacramento County’s average daily infection rate for the same time period was about 18.
Progress is being made on vaccinating everyone, but slowly. Through Feb. 18, an estimated 124,000 residents of Sacramento County (8%) had received at least one dose, 48,000 of whom had received both doses. An average of 6,500 vaccine doses are being administered daily. Unfortunately, at this rate it will take months before a majority of the vulnerable population will be protected.
COVID-19 is the name of the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The highly infectious virus has rampaged throughout the United States since approximately mid-January 2020, researchers believe. California’s stay-at-home order took hold approximately March 15, 2020.
The virus predominantly affects the respiratory system, which means individuals with pre-existing conditions involving the respiratory system are at greatest risk once infected.