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A vial of COVID-19 vaccine.
(File photo)
COVID Today

Vaccination rates are up, but Santa Cruz County sees another COVID-19 death

On Tuesday morning, Santa Cruz County announced an additional death related to COVID-19, the fifth since August. All were unvaccinated, something health officials said would have likely prevented the deaths. However, county vaccination rates have increased and the daily case rate has decreased.

Santa Cruz County health officials announced Tuesday a new death related to COVID-19, the fifth death since early August and the 212th in the county since the start of the pandemic.

The individual — who died on Sept. 14 — was a male in his mid-30s and had underlying health conditions. He visited one of the county health systems once he began feeling ill. He was unvaccinated against COVID-19.

In the release, the Health Services Agency said that four of the five deaths since August were related to the arrival of the Delta variant, and that each individual was unvaccinated.

“These deaths are preventable,” the agency stated.

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As of Tuesday, Santa Cruz County reported 509 currently COVID-19 cases, with approximately 20 new daily cases, a decrease in the daily case rate since last week.

Additionally, the county’s vaccination rates have slightly increased. Currently, 70.18% of the total county population has received at least one dose, with 63.27% fully vaccinated, per HSA data. Of the eligible population — persons aged 12 and up — 79.9% have received at least one dose and 72% are fully vaccinated.

Spokesperson Jason Hoppin noted that, once children aged 5 to 11 are approved for vaccines and boosters are readily available, getting the shot will feel routine.

“We’re starting to shift over to vaccinations becoming just a part of the regular medical system,” he said.

For more information on vaccinations and where to receive one, visit the Santa Cruz Health homepage.