SAN BENITO COUNTY, Calif. (KION) In recent weeks, health officials have reported an uptick in COVID-19 cases around the state and country, and San Benito County also reports an increase in cases.
The county had 1 at one point in May and as recently as October, there were 12 active cases. As of Monday, the county reports that it now has 121 active cases.
The county's Public Information Officer, David Westrick, says they have seen an "unprecedented surge" in cases in the past few weeks, and the number of new cases increased by 113 in the last week.
“Unfortunately, the entire country is experiencing the worst spread of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, with a death in the US occurring every minute. While California and San Benito County have been doing relatively well, it appears that these large numbers of cases are making their way to us. With travel and gatherings associated with the holidays there is every indication that this situation will become far worse by Christmas," Dr David Ghilarducci, the Interim Health Officer for San Benito
Most of the cases are still under investigation, so the source of the transmission has not been identified, but so far, most transmission comes from contact between people in the same household.
The county reports that 27% of the cases that have been traced were transmitted through contact, and 42% of those cases were from household contacts. A close second is contact with family or friends outside of the household at 39%. Some of those cases have reportedly been traced to baby showers, weddings, parties or dinner gatherings. The remaining 19% of contact transmission is attributed to work contact.
To avoid contracting COVID-19, county officials are reminding the community to avoid gatherings or spending time with people outside your household, wear a face covering, practice social distancing and wash your hands often.