On Tuesday, January 4, Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Steve Rosansky released a video announcement to Chamber members and other businesses and community members that offered an update on local coronavirus statistics and what we can expect going forward.
“The weekly Orange County Healthcare Agency coronavirus numbers are out, and they are quite shocking,” said Rosansky in the video. “Across the board, we are seeing numbers that have risen exponentially over the last several weeks. Compared to December 14, the coronavirus indicators have increased 300 to 600 percent. The number of cases has gone from 6.4 cases per 100,000 to 42.6 per 100,000. The test positivity rate has increased from 3.3 percent to 13.2 percent, and the health equity positivity rate has gone from 3.3 percent to 12.6 percent. In that same time frame, the number of Covid patients in Orange County hospitals has tripled from 206 to 614. And the number of ICU patients has roughly doubled from 64 to 110.”
Rosansky added that the infections that occurred over the New Year’s holiday haven’t hit yet, and with kids back to school this week. There will be significant cases occurring, especially among the youngest unvaccinated children.
“People I have talked to know multiple people who either have an active coronavirus infection or are recovering from one over the holidays,” said Rosansky. “Significantly, when you look at the people who are the sickest, the ones requiring hospitalization or are in the ICU, 90 percent are unvaccinated. The statistics also show that unvaccinated individuals are contracting coronavirus at a rate that is four times higher than vaccinated individuals.”
The only bright spot, said Rosansky, is that with the omicron variant, fewer people are dying, and people are generally experiencing less severe illness.
“Looking forward, the indoor mask mandate announced by the California Department of Public Health on December 15 that is set to expire on January 15 will undoubtably be extended,” predicted Rosansky. “And there’s a good chance that if this trend continues, other short-term restrictions may be layered on as well. Certainly the best protections haven’t changed: wear a mask, keep your distance, avoid large groups. Get vaccinated, and get a booster shot if eligible.”
Anecdotally, said Rosansky, the business community is already feeling the impact.
“Restaurants saw significant cancellations of New Year’s reservations as diners elected to stay home and avoid public situations,” said Rosansky. “Most businesses and organizations I have been in touch with have canceled in person meetings and events. The city of Newport Beach has also closed city hall to the public and closed all city community rooms.”
Rosansky added that he has cancelled in-person Chamber board meeting and switched them to Zoom meetings, and the Christmas Boat Parade dinner scheduled for January 21 has been postponed until a date to be announced in March or April.
Rosansky concluded his video remarks by stating “ get vaccinated or boosted, and be safe.”
For more information on the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, visit www.NewportBeach.com.