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Sentinel staff report–
Latest data from county health officials show a little over one percent of the population in Citrus Heights has now tested positive for COVID-19 at some point during the pandemic, with a total of 15 associated deaths reported.
The Sacramento County Public Health Department’s online dashboard shows a total of 952 cases have been confirmed in Citrus Heights, as of Oct. 9. The city has an estimated population of just under 90,000.
Rancho Cordova has had a similar number of cases, 942, but a higher number of deaths: 24.
Cases in Citrus Heights have risen by about 200 over the past month, when there were 764 cases reported Sept. 5th. The total has climbed rapidly since early June, when Citrus Heights hit the 100-case mark.
Although case numbers have risen more quickly than at the beginning of the pandemic, the death toll has not seen a similar increase in Citrus Heights. At the beginning of June there were eight deaths reported, with 101 total cases.
In September, the reported death toll in Citrus Heights actually dropped: moving down from an initial report of 15 total deaths to 14 later in the month, and then rising back to 15 last week.
Sacramento County Public Information Officer Brenda Bongiorno confirmed the change in an email to The Sentinel last month, but indicated data is subject to change as more information comes to light.
“The number of deaths includes cases where city of residence has been determined. However, this can change as additional information is obtained from case investigations,” said Bongiorno.
Countywide there have now been 23,649 cases of COVID-19 out of a population of 1.55 million, with 21,315 listed as “likely recovered.” A total of 450 deaths are listed on the county’s online dashboard.
Of the deaths, 348 involved residents age 65 and older, with 102 deaths involving those under age 65.
As of Oct. 9, there are 396 ICU beds in Sacramento County, with 315 in use. An additional 494 surge capacity beds are also available, according to the health department’s online dashboard.
Only 29 ICU cases currently involve COVID-19, with a total of 85 hospitalized cases. That number has dropped dramatically since July 30 when there was a peak of 281 hospitalized cases and 91 ICU cases involving COVID-19 patients.
Due to a recent decline in the case positivity rate, Sacramento County moved into the state’s less-restrictive “Red Tier” classification on Sept. 29, which allowed more businesses to reopen.
The State’s tier system includes four risk levels. The most restrictive tier is “Widespread,” shown in purple. From there, the tiers are Red for “Substantial,” Orange for “Moderate,” and Yellow for “Minimal.”
In order to move through the tier system, a county must show a decrease in criteria such as case rate and positivity rate. Counties showing an increase may move into a more restrictive tier.
The county-by-county approach to reopenings was criticized in a letter to the governor’s office by a group of elected leaders, including Citrus Heights resident and Sacramento County Supervisor Sue Frost. The group is urging the state to allow reopenings by zip code instead of countywide criteria.
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