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Public health expert in Tri-Counties say latest COVID-19 surge may peak in mid-to-late June

COVID-19 numbers are showing some improvement on the Central and South Coasts, but there's concern about potential impacts from the Thanksgiving holiday period.
National Institutes Of Health
The latest state projections show the most recent COVID-19 surge peaking in mid-to-late June.

Group gatherings, relaxed masking, increased transmissability of new COVID-19 variant among factors cited for surge

Once again, we are in the middle of another COVID-19 surge. Maybe you know someone who’s had the virus in the last few weeks. Depending on whether Memorial Day weekend events fuel the surge, experts say it could peak in the next few weeks.

"The modeling from the state is saying this is going to peak mid-to-late June," said Ventura County Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin.

He talks about factors behind the surge.

"People are becoming more lax with their wearing of masks. People are not taking advantage of all the vaccinations that are available. And, the new variations are not necessarily being fended by the vaccinations which are available," said Dr. Levin.

Ventura County has more than 1600 new cases in the last week, pushing its total since the start of the pandemic past 180,000. Santa Barbara County posted 245 cases in the last seven days. San Luis Obispo County will update its numbers Wednesday.

Public Health officials admit with the wide availability of home test kits, our numbers aren’t as precise as they were a year ago, when testing was largely done through official venues.

Dr. Levin says even with vaccinations, the latest variant is hitting home because it spreads easily.

"It's more successful in getting around people who are vaccinated," said Dr. Levin. But, he notes that unlike past surges, there are fewer hospitalizations and deaths.

The health expert says while masking isn’t currently required in most places, you should think about doing it if it isn’t a part of your routine.

While the latest state projections show this latest surge easing in a few weeks, there’s concern we’ll see another one this fall and winter, when cooler weather pushes people back indoors.

Ventura County’s Public Health Officer thinks another booster, a third booster, is likely, but at this point the Centers for Disease Control hasn't said anything officially about it.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.