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photo credit: Pixabay

This week the county announced that 75 percent of all residents over 12 years old are fully vaccinated. And although COVID transmission is still widespread and driven by the delta variant, Supervisor David Rabbitt says cases are on a downward trend.

"The COVID case rate has continued to stabilize or decline after a surge this summer but as we move into fall and winter we need to stay vigilant, no one wants a repeat of what we went through last winter, the darkest days of the pandemic,"Rabbitt said.

The current case among unvaccinated people remain five times higher than vaccinated residents. With schools starting there has been 235 confirmed COVID cases in students throughout the county, the majority in elementary schools.

In an effort to slow the spread last month, the county has issued vaccine and/or testing mandates for employees including school staff, first responders, healthcare workers and most recently incarcerated people in detention centers.

With the increased testing requirements, the county saw an 88 percent increase in demand across testing sites. Health analyst Leslie Kimura says the county has greatly expanded testing opportunities for all residents.

"The demand for testing in our area is at levels that we haven't seen since last winter when our COVID cases were peaking," Kimura said. "The county has responded to this heightened demand by increasing testing capacity from 1,000 tests per week to 17,000 tests per week."

Vaccine officer Dr. Urmila Shende urges the remaining 17 percent of unvaccinated eligible residents to get their shot before vaccination eligibility expands in the next couple of months.

"We anticipate booster shots and vaccines for children under 12 to be available sometime this winter so vaccine supply could be spread thin," Shende said.

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