COVID is having its moment in Plumas County, with positive case numbers quickly climbing. And those are just the reported numbers. PCR tests are difficult to schedule and antigen tests are in short supply so many are unable to test.
Need a PCR test? Plumas District Hospital is already scheduling appointments for next week; this week is filled to capacity. Seneca Healthcare District narrowed the window of who is eligible to get a test, to manage the demand.
At-home tests are difficult to come by as well. The 600 that the Plumas County Public Health Agency made available last week were quickly snatched up. Another 3,000 were expected to arrive this week, but now it appears that it will be next week.
Dana Loomis, director of the Plumas County Public Health Agency, said that the increase in positive cases and demand for testing is due to omicron which now accounts for 80 percent of the cases being reported nationally. Omicron is highly transmissible, but while numbers are rising, the variant is less virulent.
During a presentation to the Plumas County Board of Supervisors on Jan. 18, Loomis said COVID remains a pandemic, and is not at the endemic phase yet. The seasonal flu is endemic and accounts for 300 to 600 deaths in California each year. “Compare that to COVID,” Loomis said, which will account for “16,000 deaths this year at the current rate.” He added, “We have a long way to go to get to that point.”
However, it’s not all bad news. “There are a lot of good signs,” Loomis said. “We’re doing much better with treatment and prevention.”
As of Jan. 18, Plumas County has a total of 2,396 reported COVID cases; there have been 20 deaths. Demographic information about those who have contracted COVID, as well as their symptoms, and other details can be found at https://infogram.com/plumas-county-covid-19-1hke608o5zjy145
Below is a graph provided by Chester resident Dale Knudsen that charts Plumas County COVID cases back to March 2020.