The state of California is currently experiencing its fastest increase in COVID-19 cases during the pandemic with case rates increasing ninefold within two months. The highly contagious Delta variant is currently the most common COVID-19 variant causing new infections in California.

Health officials are reporting that Inyo County has seen a significant increase in COVID-19 cases over the past month. As of Aug. 6, the COVID-19 case rate for Inyo County was 13.2 cases per 100,000 individuals, with 25 new cases being reported over the past seven days. If case rates continue to increase, officials say the county's rural health care system could quickly become overwhelmed.

This week, Inyo County Public Health officials have confirmed one additional COVID-19-related death that occurred in June, 2021.

In light of the rapid case increases seen throughout the state, on Aug. 5, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued two new health officer orders. The first CDPH health officer order requires workers in health care settings to be fully vaccinated or receive their second dose by Sept. 30. The second CDPH health officer order directs hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and intermediate care facilities to verify that visitors are fully vaccinated or have tested negative for COVID-19 in the prior 72 hours before indoor visits. This order will take effect Wednesday.

Unvaccinated persons are more likely to become infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and spread the virus to others, according to health officials.

“We strongly encourage our unvaccinated residents and visitors to get vaccinated so we can minimize serious disease, hospitalizations, and death,” said Dr. Richardson, Inyo County Health officer.

For more on this story, see the Aug. 10 edition of The Inyo Register.

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