Calif. Hospital’s COVID-19 Infection Rate Drops to Single Digits Among Staff as 90 Percent Receive Vaccine

As the U.S. rushes to administer COVID-19 vaccines, one California hospital has seen its infection rates among staff drop to single digits after likely achieving herd immunity.

So far, 90 percent of the staff and 100 percent of emergency physicians at the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to CBS News.

The UC Davis Medical Center did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Hospital officials told the news station that they're already seeing the impact.

At the peak of the pandemic in December, UC Davis Medical Center had 231 employees with confirmed cases of COVID-19. As of Wednesday, that number was less than 10, CBS News reports.

RELATED: 'Why I'm Getting Vaccinated:' A Pharmacist Whose 'Positive, Hopeful' Manner Changed a Hesitant Patient's Mind

So far, the U.S. has administered more than 57 million doses of the vaccine. Around 16 million of those were second doses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the World Health Organization, the percentage of the population that needs to vaccinated against COVID-19 to achieve herd immunity is unknown — though, it will need to be a majority.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free weekly newsletter to get the biggest news of the week delivered to your inbox every Friday.

Dr. Nate Kuppermann, director of the emergency department, told CBS News that having a majority of his staff vaccinated eases staffing concerns and feels like "this pressure lifted from our shoulders."

"So before the vaccine came out, on any given day, we would have between 100, 150 employees that were sick with COVID and were calling in sick who were not coming in," he said. "And now I think it's single digits. I mean, there's less than 10."

RELATED: American Life Expectancy Drops a Full Year Due to COVID Pandemic, Largest Decline Since WWII

Across the entire University of California Health System, the number of COVID-19 cases among staff has dramatically dropped in recent weeks from 431 per week to 171 per week, CBS News reports.

Fewer health care workers out on any given day can ease the strain on the entire system.

As of Feb. 18, California ICUs were at about 85 percent capacity, according to the New York Times' hospital tracker.

However, there are still regions across the state where the ICU capacity for COVID-19 patients remains above 90 percent, including across much of Southern California.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

Source: Read Full Article