COVID variants are on the rise in Santa Clara County. These variants are worrying as they’re more transmissible than the initial form of COVID-19. Meanwhile, vaccine supplies remain limited, with only 35,000 county residents getting appointments to receive their initial shots during this past week.
Said Health Officer and Director of Public Health for the County of Santa Clara Dr. Sara Cody in a statement, “Genomic sequencing is allowing us to confirm what we already presumed based on national trends, which is the presence and unfortunate increase of variants in our community. We’re already seeing surges in other parts of the country, likely driven by variants. Combined with the data we are seeing locally, these are important warning signs that we must continue to minimize the spread. We can still stop a surge from happening here if we hold onto our tried and true prevention measures for a little longer while we increase our vaccination rates.”
One case apiece of notable variants first detected in New York — B.1.525 and B.1.526 — have been found in Santa Clara County, along with 92 cases of B.1.1.7 (first found in the United Kingdom), 3 cases of B.1.351 (South Africa), 1 case of P.1 (Japan/Brazil), and over 1,000 cases of B.1.427 and B.1.429 (throughout California).
Said the County in a statement, “County residents are therefore urged to avoid travel, quarantine if travelling, and consistently use face coverings…County health officials remind the public that although most activities are now allowed, many are high-risk and not recommended, and it remains critical for the community to minimize exposure.”