COVID-19 infections hit a record high in Sacramento County at the end of the holiday season.  

Sacramento County’s public health department on Jan. 3 reported that the county’s COVID-19 case rate rose to 72.4 cases per 100,000 residents on a seven-day daily average. This is a jump from the case rate that was 23.1 cases per 100,000 residents in the county’s Dec. 29 online report.

Sacramento County’s public health department on Jan. 3 reported that the county had 1,871 confirmed cases during the episode date of Dec. 30. That number surpassed the previous county record of 1,267 cases on Dec. 14, 2020.  Sacramento County has a population of more   1.5 million residents.

On Jan. 3, the county reported that 267 people were hospitalized for COVID and that 61 of them were in Intensive Care Units.

Sacramento County’s mask mandate for indoor public places has been in effect since last July. In a response to the winter surge in COVID infections and the arrival of the highly infectious Omicron variant, state public health officials announced on Jan. 5 that the state’s indoor mask mandate was extended to Feb. 15.

COVID testing campaigns this week boosted their efforts in Sacramento County as well as the Elk Grove Unified School District.

The Sacramento Public Library system on Jan. 4 announced their staff will distribute free, home COVID test kits at their 28 branches during regular business hours. These locations include the Elk Grove Library at 8900 Elk Grove Blvd., and the Franklin Community Library, 10055 Franklin High Road.

More than 91,000 test kits were reportedly distributed to the Sacramento public libraries. They’re offering the iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test kit that each contain two tests and can detect a COVID-19 infection within 15 minutes, library officials stated in their announcement.

“Testing before and after gathering in groups or attending large events help lessen the spread of COVID and the new Omicron variant,” Sacramento County Public Health Officer Olivia Kasirye said in a press statement. “Thank you to our library partners for helping get these kits out to the community.”

In the Elk Grove school district, COVID-19 test kits were supplied to schools on Jan. 5 for students to use at home. Testing is recommended, but not required, for students, district officials stated this week when schools reopened after the winter break.

The district also opened COVID testing sites at their nine high schools and the Trigg Education Center for students, district employees, and their family members.

Students and staff who test positive for COVID will be asked to quarantine themselves at home for at least 10 days. Following recent changes to state health guidelines, students and staff who have been exposed to a COVID-positive person can end their quarantine after five days if they do not show symptoms or tested negative for COVID on their fifth day of quarantine.

Elk Grove Unified displays the current number of students and staff members infected or quarantined at their website, www.EGUSD.net. As of Jan. 5, they reported there were 62 students and 28 employees infected with COVID. There were also 133 students and 12 staff members quarantined. Elk Grove Unified has an enrollment of more than 63,000 students.