AUBURN (CBS13) — A surge in the coronavirus delta variant is overwhelming hospitals and temporarily closing down classrooms in Placer County.

The uptick in cases has health officials recommending high-quality masks for everyone, whether they’re vaccinated or not.

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“Really urging people to kind of double down on all the layers of protection,” said Placer County Interim Health Officer Dr. Rob Oldham. “I toured one of our hospitals earlier this week and they’re exhausted.”

Dr. Oldham says more young unvaccinated people in their 20s and 30s are being hospitalized as the delta variant surges. COVID cases are taking up nearly one-third of hospital beds in the county, which is the second-highest rate in California. The uptick is also taking hold in schools and forcing some to temporarily close down classrooms.

“That almost never happened last school year, and it kind of reinforces for us how delta is so different and is able to spread much more efficiently,” said Dr. Oldham.

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A high school in Sutter County is echoing those concerns. Just as students got back into the swing of things at East Nicolaus High School, a spike in COVID cases shut down the campus for almost two weeks. The superintendent posted a letter online reading. in part:

“I want to stress that this campus closure is only for 8 days of instruction and we are hoping and expecting our students and staff to proceed through this period with our eyes on returning to fulltime in person instruction on Sept. 7th.”

The struggle to get past the pandemic is taking a toll across Northern California as health officials continue to urge vaccinations and masking up.

“People need to know that there are consequences. Our hospitals are really struggling and potentially our schools, they’re stretched too,” said Dr. Oldham.

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Dr. Oldham points out while many were hard-pressed to find surgical and KN95 masks at the start of the pandemic, you’re now able to find them in many local pharmacies.