The re-opening of Placer County is not going well. As of June 25, Placer County reports 579 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Almost half have occurred in the last 14 days.
One metric that was recommended for use in determining when to re-open is whether counties have kept the number of new cases reported over the last 14 days to less than 25 per 100,000 residents. Those 252 cases over the period June 12 to June 25 represent 63 cases per 100,000 in population.
The CDC just testified that they expect the actual number of cases to be ten times the number of reported cases, due to the low level of testing in general. That implies that there are over 5,000 residents of Placer County that are unknowingly positive for COVID-19. If you are in a grocery store with 80 people walking around it, the odds are, one of them has COVID-19.
That is why wearing a mask is so important. There is more and more evidence that wearing a mask is the single best thing you can do to prevent COVID-19. For example, a CDC study of the almost 5,000 sailors on the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt concluded that the best preventative against contracting the disease was wearing a mask. But, wearing a mask when others are not doing so is not nearly as effective as having all parties wear a mask. That is why USA Today called for masks to be made mandatory in a recent editorial.
However, gaining more compliance with wearing masks in public requires our leaders to take action. Instead, leaders in Placer County, from county supervisors up to and including our congressional representative Tom McClintock, are doing just the opposite. They are not leading by example and wearing masks, and they are not supporting the places of business trying to gain compliance. Instead, they seem to be saying that personal freedom should include a right to infect others.
In November, we need to vote in leaders that won’t play politics with our lives.