Just a couple of weeks ago, the State of California was labeled with a “substantial” COVID-19 transmission rate, seeing 50 to 99 new cases per 100,000 people over seven days. This is just one new case short of a “high” transmission rate, making California one of the centers of COVID-19 spreads.
However, the table seems to have turned for the State. As of October 22, 2021, California dropped to a “moderate” level of transmission, with an infection rate of only 10 to 49 cases per 100,000. California was briefly the only state to be classified with a “moderate” transmission rate and had the lowest infection rate among all U.S. States.
How did they do it? Experts attribute it to California’s forward-thinking attitude when it comes to safety policies and mandates.
Vaccination Rates in California
California is among the states with rapid vaccination rates, having administered about 53 million doses as of writing. Over 70% of the State’s population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
California has strict vaccine mandates, being the first State to require vaccination for healthcare workers, state employees, teachers, and other indoor gatherings. It has an aggressive vaccination campaign, leading to its standing as the State with the lowest COVID-19 death rate.
Super Immunity Prevalent in California
Doctors and scientists have found that individuals who were previously infected with COVID-19 have developed hybrid antibodies that are able to recognize and fight the current and future COVID-19 variants. They coined this phenomenon as super immunity.
In winter 2020, California had an influx of COVID-19 cases, which worsened in July when the delta variant was at its peak. Recovered individuals have acquired these hybrid antibodies, giving them a natural immunity to COVID-19 that is further strengthened through vaccination.
Strict Mask-Wearing Mandates
In addition to flourishing vaccination drives, California has also implemented strict policies on face masks, social distancing, and COVID-19 testing. Although vaccinated citizens are exempt from wearing masks in most settings, some establishments and facilities require them, including schools, healthcare institutions, restaurants, bars, theaters, and retail stores. Unvaccinated individuals, on the other hand, are required to wear their masks at all times and in all places
California in a Good Spot
How California went from the center of COVID-19 to the State with the lowest transmission rate shows the effectiveness of basic health and safety protocols, such as vaccination, mask-wearing, and social distancing. While the nation has a long way to go to fight COVID-19 once and for all, it’s in a relatively good spot and a whirlwind closer to achieving herd immunity.