Placer County Public Health extends its health warning as COVID hospitalizations surge


In an effort to support local hospitals impacted by the sharp rise in COVID-related cases, Public Health is extending its late summer Health Warning and urging all residents to use high-quality medical masks while in all indoor settings around others to protect against the highly infectious Omicron and Delta variants. The rapid increase in cases and hospitalizations in recent days strongly suggests Omicron is spreading widely in Placer as throughout the region. 

“Using high-quality masks can interrupt transmission, thereby lessening the impacts on our critical infrastructure, including the medical system we all share,” said Interim Health Officer Dr. Rob Oldham. “Throughout the pandemic, local hospitals have stepped up to provide our residents with the care they need; our health care workers now need our help to prevent as many hospitalizations as possible.” 

While many have used cloth masks and neck gaiters throughout the pandemic, these are proving to provide less protection against more recent and more aggressive variants of the virus that causes COVID-19. Instead, residents are advised to upgrade to higher-quality medical masks: surgical, KN94, KN95 or N95s, the last of which offers the most protection against aerosols. High-quality medical masks are readily available at local drug stores and online. 

Beyond high-quality masks, residents who have completed their first COVID vaccination series more than 6 months ago should schedule their booster appointment to gain further protection. Most patients hospitalized locally for COVID-19, including those in the intensive care unit, have not received a COVID-19 vaccination. Talk to your doctor to get your questions answered and schedule a vaccination or booster appointment at today.