While COVID-19 booster shots are being delivered to those eligible, cases across California are on the rise, prompting concern among public health officials over yet another possible surge as the holidays near.
As of Tuesday, California had a 2.3% positivity rate, up nearly 0.5% since late October; the state's case rate stood at 15 per 100,000 people; and there’s been a 4% increase in hospitalizations in the past two weeks, almost all among unvaccinated people.
Booster shots could provide a layer of protection, but not many people are rushing out to get them. Nationwide, 20 million people have received a booster shot; in California, the number is 3 million.
Respiratory infections like COVID-19, along with the flu and common cold, thrive in the colder months when we spend more time indoors. So the question isn’t whether there will be a winter surge; it’s how bad will it be.
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Holiday travel is expected to be a factor too. More people are expected to travel this holiday season, and international travelers from 30 countries are now allowed into the U.S.
For more information on COVID-19 vaccine booster shots and how to get one, go to the state's COVID-19 website.