By Debra Moore
Public Health Director Dana Loomis is “cautiously optimistic” about the trend of Plumas County’s COVID-19 case rate. Just a couple of weeks ago, the county was leading the state with rates of 60 to 70 per 100,00, but that has dropped to 33.8 per 100,000.
Loomis presented the latest figures during his update to the Board of Supervisors on Nov. 2. As of that date there were 277 active cases; with three current hospitalizations. To date there have been 1,801 total cases and 14 deaths of Plumas County residents.
What is concerning Loomis is that the statewide decline in cases has leveled off. The statewide case rate is now 12 per 100,000; it had been down in the single digits.
As for vaccines, Loomis reported that 62 percent of Plumas County adults have had one dose and 57 percent are fully vaccinated. Statewide, the percentage has dropped, because now 5- to 11-year-olds are included in the eligible recipients, though no vaccine can be administered until it is approved by the state review team.
Loomis reported that Public Health is holding flu and vaccination clinics at the county high schools, which should increase the number of that age group that have been vaccinated.
He also addressed booster shots, which are now available for all three vaccines, with mixing and matching approved by the CDC. The booster is available for those 65 and older, those with compromised immune systems, and those in high-risk occupations.
When asked by an audience member to describe the difference between a booster and a regular COVID shot, Loomis said that booster shots are the same for Pfizer/Johnson, but for Moderna, it’s a half dose. That’s because Moderna had a higher original dose.
He was also asked about receiving the flu shot simultaneously with the booster shot and if there would be a conflict. “In terms of flu/Covid simultaneously, that’s new territory,” Loomis said, noting that it’s just been done for a short time period this year, but “there is no evidence that it would be harmful or lead to any more adverse effects.”
When asked how many tests have been performed in Plumas County, Loomis referred the individual to the Public Health website, where there are links to many different types of data. According to the website, 34,609 tests have been performed.
More information about COVID-19 in Plumas County can be found by calling the Public Health hotline at 283-6400 or by visiting its covid website here.