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Another spike in COVID cases continues growing in Sonoma County, officials said late Wednesday afternoon, but widespread vaccinations appear to be mainly taming the worst aspects of the pandemic. 
 
Dr. Sundari Mase is Sonoma County's health officer.
 
"While our case rate is now twenty-six new cases per-day, per-100,000 residents, that's still just one tenth of the case rate that we had in January."
 
She said so far, the increase in cases pales when compared to the earlier Delta strain.
 
Mase said the jump was anticipated as cases were rising quickly in Asia and the east coast after indoor mask guidelines were dropped.
 
"Many of you, like us, are hearing about friends testing positive. And although we have not seen the tragic outcomes, including hospitalizations and deaths that we were experiencing before vaccines and boosters became available, we are seeing widespread disruption in our daily lives," she said.
 
The local death rate from covid is two-thirds lower than nationally, Mase said.
  
Currently, 23 people are hospitalized in the county. Four more are receiving intensive care.
  
Mase strongly encouraged people to always wear high-quality N95 type masks when in crowded places indoors.
 
 
This is especially important, she says, to protect children still ineligible for the vaccine, along with those allergic and those who have chosen not to receive it.
  
Mase said the evidence is very clear.
 
"Since the beginning of the year, Sutter Hospital in Santa Rosa has not admitted a single COVID patient who has been vaccinated. That alone underscores how important it is to get vaccinated right now."
 
Officials expect the current bump in cases to begin subsiding by the end of the month.
  
Vaccines should be available for children under age five by the end of June.
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