On Dec. 17, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released the most recent statistics on COVID-19 and updates on the state’s pandemic response. The most up to date data is available on the state’s COVID-19 data dashboard.

Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are largely occurring among unvaccinated populations. Unvaccinated people were 7.1 times more likely to get COVID-19 (data from Nov. 28, 2021 to Dec. 4, 2021). Unvaccinated people were 12.8 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 (data from Nov. 21, 2021 to Nov. 27, 2021). Unvaccinated people were 15.8 times more likely to die from COVID-19 (data from Nov. 14, 2021 to Nov. 20, 2021).

There have been 62,219,708 total vaccines administered; 78.1% of the eligible population (5+) has been vaccinated with at least one dose; and 201,045 people a day are receiving COVID-19 vaccination (average daily dose count over 7 days).

California has 4,909,188 confirmed cases to date (Dec. 17). The average case count is 5,370 (average daily case count over 7 days). The testing positivity rate is 2.8% (average rate over 7 days), with 3,932 hospitalizations statewide and 971 ICU patients statewide.

There have been 74,996 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic. COVID-19 claims the lives of 49 Californians each day (average daily death count over 7 days).

Beginning Dec. 15, CDPH requires masks to be worn in all indoor public settings irrespective of vaccine status through Jan. 15, 2022, at which point California will make further recommendations as needed in response to the pandemic.

CDPH has updated requirements for attending mega events, like concerts and sporting events. Prior to attending an event, attendees will now be required to provide either proof of vaccination, a negative antigen COVID-19 test within one day of the event, or a negative PCR test within two days of the event.

A travel advisory is now in effect. It is recommended that all travelers arriving in California test for COVID-19 within three to five days after arrival, regardless of their vaccination status.

The recent emergence of the Omicron variant emphasizes the importance of getting a vaccine, booster and taking prevention efforts needed to protect against COVID-19. As of Dec. 14, 2021, 48 confirmed cases associated with the Omicron variant have been reported to the state. This number will be updated weekly with the other variants California is currently monitoring at https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/COVID-Variants.aspx.

The risk for COVID-19 exposure and infection continues as a number of Californians remain unvaccinated. Real-world evidence continues to show that the vaccine is preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death. With the combination of colder weather keeping people indoors, the waning of vaccine and natural immunity, and more mingling among non-household members, public health officials urge Californians to get vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible to help prevent a possible winter surge in COVID-19 cases.

It is recommended that every vaccinated adult 18 years or older should get a booster as long as they received their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least six months ago or they received their Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago.

Vaccination appointments can be made by visiting myturn.ca.gov or calling 1-833-422-4255. The consent of a parent or legal guardian may be needed for those under age 18 to receive a vaccination. Visit Vaccinate All 58 to learn more about the safe and effective vaccines available for all Californians 5+.

Celebrate safely this holiday season to protect yourself, your family and your community as you celebrate the holiday season:

Upgrade your mask: Good fit and filtration continue to be the best way to get the most out of your mask. The best masks for preventing COVID-19 include the N95, KN95 and KF94. If you don’t have access to one of these masks, wear a surgical mask or a surgical mask with a cloth mask on top. If you choose a fabric mask, opt for one with three of more cloth layers. No matter what kind of mask you wear, check the fit by avoiding gaps above the nose or on the sides.

Get vaccinated for COVID-19 and flu: It’s your turn now! It’s recommended for everyone over six months of age to be vaccinated for the flu. For COVID-19, Californians age 5+ are eligible to make appointments or go to a walk-in site for vaccination. You can get your flu and COVID-19 vaccines on the same day.

My Vaccine Record is an easy way to show vaccination status at venues or businesses that require proof of vaccination. Visitmyvaccinerecord.cdph.ca.gov today to get your vaccine record.

Stay Home & Get Tested if Sick: If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches), or believe you have been exposed, get tested, call your health care provider, and stay home and away from others. Free, confidential testing is available statewide. Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home from work and school if you feel ill.

Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Travel tips: Delay travel (both domestic and international) until you are fully vaccinated. See the CDC’s full travel guidance. If you decide to travel, it is recommended that all travelers arriving in California test for COVID-19 within three to five days after arrival, regardless of their vaccination status.

Avoid crowded venues or areas when cases are high.

Add your phone to the fight: Sign up for COVID-19 exposure notifications from CA Notify.

Answer the call or text if a contact tracer from the CA COVID Team or your local health department tries to connect.

Check with your local health department about local conditions. Local health jurisdictions can implement protocols that are stricter than state guidance.

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