Once again, COVID cases are rising in San Diego County. But how quickly are they increasing? With San Diego County's high vaccination rate, just how concerned should we be about another wave?
According to the county’s data, the number of newly reported COVID-19 cases has increased by more than 1,100 in the last couple weeks.
But with that said, there are tools available that detect, prevent and treat the virus.
Dr. Abisola Olulade, a family medicine practitioner with Sharp Rees-Stealy, said COVID-19 is very much present and circulating in our community. There is a possibility we might experience a surge following the upcoming Mother’s Day weekend.
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“Well all we have to, you know, look to is the past. The past tends to be predictive of the future and after holidays, we definitely have always seen an increase in cases. That is significant because people are gathering more and they're spending more time with each other and now they're doing it without masks,” said Olulade.
She told NBC 7 another factor could be that not enough people have received their booster shots. County data shows hospitalizations rates for those not fully vaccinated is 2.5 times higher than those who are fully vaccinated and boosted.
“There's also the concept of waning immunity, which is that although we know the vaccines are still holding up in terms of their protection against severe illness, that protection against infection definitely has gone down over time. It is still important and significant but it has gone down over time,” said Olulade.
While the current numbers may provide a blurry snapshot of the cases reported, other tools like wastewater detection have proven an early indicator of spread.
“So it's something that can tell us where cases where things are going to trend because again wastewater is something that we're going to get from everyone in the population. And so it's certainly predictive potentially of what's going to happen in the future with cases or what is happening at the time when it was collected,” said Olulade.
Dr. Olulade also stressed the importance of other tools that can help keep people out of the hospital that include antiviral and monoclonal antibody treatments.
"And so if someone takes it preventatively without testing, for example, because they have symptoms, then that of course could affect the case counts. We don't encourage that. We recommend that people do get tested. But we should also make sure that these treatments are not being underutilized. They are readily available at many pharmacies."
Marking the long way we have come in the fight against COVID-19.