CDC’s mask guidelines for California apparently used old data – Times-Herald

Federal health officials reported that nearly half of Californians living in “high-risk” counties for COVID-19 relied on old data, and only a small number of counties fall into that category, according to local officials.

Whether high-risk counties should maintain their internal masking requirements under the new guidelines of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or whether the state should follow orders to remove almost all masking requirements.

Federal Agency on Friday he released a map More than half of all 58 California counties and 49% of residents were in the high-risk category using these three measures.

But a study of state data by CalMatters that defines the first two criteria suggests that only 19 counties, with a population of 5.8 million or 14% of the population, should be considered high risk under CDC thresholds, so it is recommended that they maintain internal mask orders. (The California Department of Public Health only reports full hospital admissions, not new ones).

Kamlesh Kaur, a spokeswoman for the Stanislaus County Public Health Department, said the county was surprised that the CDC had a high-risk designation. The most recent COVID-19 case in Stanislaus County is 13 times lower than the CDC reported on Friday, he said.

The CDC’s calculations appear to be out of date for more than a month.

“I’m not sure when (CDC) received their data. They are showing just over 200 cases per 100,000 population. Right now our cases are 18.2 per 100,000 population, ”he said.

The CDC’s new guidelines for measures to protect residents are based on three criteria: the percentage of hospital beds occupied by a COVID-19 patient, the 7-day case rate per 100,000 population, and the 7-day hospital admission rate.

The 19 high-risk counties are Kings, Fresno and Imperial, along with the less populated Central Valley and other northern counties.

Kaur said the current data from Stanislaus County puts it in the middle class, where the CDC sees no need for internal masking for people who have been vaccinated and not vaccinated. The county is following state guidelines and will not issue stricter guidelines, Kaurre said, although public health officials strongly recommend masks.

The CDC did not respond to questions about the data sources. The agency is expected to update the tool weekly, starting Thursday.

Los Angeles County, which has implemented some of the most stringent measures to alleviate COVID-19 in the state, said its policies would be aligned with the new CDC County guidelines.

The CDC put Los Angeles County at the highest risk, but county numbers suggest otherwise.

It has the most populous counties in the state an average of 10 new cases per week and 7.4 hospital admissions per 100,000 residents, and about 6% of all hospital beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients. These numbers put the county below the thresholds set by the CDC for low-risk counties.

Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said she expects the county to fall to a less stringent level this week.

“You can see that last week (too) we were on the verge of moving to low thresholds, and we’re pretty clear that when the CDC updates its dashboard we’ll be at low risk,” Ferrer told the Los Angeles County Board of Inspectors. Tuesday. “On Friday, when we move to low- or medium-risk, almost all of these (mask) requirements will become strong recommendations.”

Los Angeles County still requires people to get vaccinated and unmasked people wearing masks inside, but it wants to ease those rules as soon as Friday, once the county falls out of the CDC’s high-risk category.

The term for the California Inner Mask expired on February 15 for people who have not been vaccinated. schools from March 12th.

The CDC’s use of outdated data and confusion about various state and federal guidelines calls into question how effective or useful the CDC’s cost-benefit recommendations will be. In California, most other counties in Los Angeles seem to be following the state’s masquerade guide, not the new federal guidelines.

Dr. Norma Perez, a pediatrician at AltaMed in Los Angeles, said the different guidelines – at the national, state and local levels – are confusing to the public.

“We practice in Los Angeles and Orange County, and we see that different levels of masking are sometimes recommended between those two counties,” he said. While providers try to follow changing rules, the message to patients is that masking is highly recommended, especially if they are at higher risk for serious illness, Perez said.

Raising state and federal mask rules has allowed scientists and community advocates to avoid vaccination rates or to account for differences between hard-hit communities.

For most of the pandemic, protections across the state of California – and established by some counties – have been more cautious and often more stringent than those provided by federal health officials. California was the first to order residents to take refuge in the area; guidelines for reopening schools were stricter than those of the CDC; and recently, at a time of rising omicron, state guidelines for returning people to work required a negative test, while the CDC only requested five days of isolation.

But in recent months, masking orders have become increasingly divisive in communities and among legislators.

Last month, nearly 100 health workers and community advocates in Sonoma County sent one letter urges the regional health department to join the state in ending the masquerade of vaccinated people. In any case, Sonoma and 11 other Bay Area counties, with the exception of Santa Clara, removed masking restrictions in accordance with state guidelines.

Dr. Jennifer Fish, the doctor who signed the letter, said the Latino community continues to suffer disproportionate damage from COVID hospitalizations and deaths. Although Latinos make up less than 24% of the local population in Sonoma County, they account for 50% of cases, 40% of hospitalizations and 31% of deaths.

“It is important to understand that the impact goes beyond these measures. They are members of a community at greater risk of losing their jobs, losing their homes and lacking food insecurity, ”Fisch said.

African American and Pacific Islands they are also dying at a disproportionate rate across the state, despite efforts to increase vaccinations and testing.

A group of Sonoma County health workers and advocates expect the county to reconsider the removal of mask requirements from schools, where one-third of student cases have occurred among the poorest students.

“Even though the risk is lower than it was at the peak of the rise, the risk is still higher vulnerable communities. We want a policy that prioritizes the most influential students, ”Fisch said.

Santa Clara County is one of the few counties that has set its masking thresholds, including the vaccine. On Tuesday, Dr. Sara Cody, the county health officer, reported that the measures had been complied with.

Cody said the county could remove the masking requirement from now on because hospitalizations are low and stable and the average number of new daily cases has been below 550 for 7 days. Almost 85% of the region’s population is vaccinated.

Cody said while the mask requirement is not in effect, residents are still advised to wear a mask indoors, especially to protect those at higher risk of disease.

“Preventing infection is still a decent goal,” Cody said. “And we know that masks are effective in preventing infections; they are still a very important layer of protection against a respiratory disease in the air. ‘

CDC’s mask guidelines for California apparently used old data – Times-Herald Source link CDC’s mask guidelines for California apparently used old data – Times-Herald

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