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A screenshot from the Sacramento County Public Health dashboard on July 22 shows a rapid increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations (dark blue), and also ICU patients (blue).

Sentinel staff report–
Latest data from county health officials show COVID-19 cases in Citrus Heights have tripled since June, while the death toll has not seen a similar increase.

On June 11, Citrus Heights surpassed the 100 confirmed cases mark, with a total of eight deaths. The number of confirmed cases as of July 23 is now 320, with the death toll rising to nine, according to the Sacramento County Public Health online dashboard.

From June: Citrus Heights COVID-19 cases surpass 100; related deaths remain at 8

The most recent death related to COVID-19 in Citrus Heights was reported earlier this month. Prior to that was an eight-week stretch of no new deaths in the city. A trio of deaths that brought the death toll to eight were reported mid-May, all of which officials confirmed were “related to a congregate care setting.”

Requests for additional data relating to Citrus Heights from Sacramento County’s COVID media team have been turned down, with spokespersons citing patient privacy laws.

Countywide, there have now been more than 8,000 COVID-19 cases and 98 deaths attributed to the virus. Nearly half of those deaths, 45, have occurred at congregate care facilities in the county.

In Sacramento County, hospitalizations of patients with COVID-19 have rapidly risen to 213, on July 21, up from just 28 in mid-June. ICU cases involving COVID-19 have also risen significantly, rising to 69, up from 13, during the same time frame.

Hospital availability is also tracked on the county’s health dashboard, showing a combined total of 510 ICU beds at area hospitals, with 430 of those currently taken. There are also 657 “surge capacity” beds available, with none currently being used.

The county’s health dashboard also shows area hospitals have a total of 750 ventilators on site, with 158 in use.

See County Health COVID-19 Dashboard: click here

The sharp rise in cases has been largely attributed to more widespread testing, but also to private gatherings. Sacramento County Health Chief Peter Beilenson told The Sacramento Bee this week that business openings don’t seem to be causing new infections to spike “anywhere near as much” as private gatherings.

Health officials continue to urge residents to avoid private gatherings and are still waiting to see whether a likely increase in gatherings around the July 4 holiday will result in an uptick in virus cases. Results are expected to appear within a few days.

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