Coronavirus

Calaveras County public health staff counted 14 new cases of coronavirus Tuesday afternoon, while their peers in Tuolumne County added four.

The new numbers brought the total confirmed cases in each county to 161 in Calaveras and 159 in Tuolumne since the pandemic began. 

Calaveras County had 29 active cases and Tuolumne County had seven as of Tuesday afternoon. 

The California Department of Public Health staff are still working with local health jurisdictions to identify and resolve data gaps that became public last week. 

County data monitoring by the state has been thrown into temporary limbo due to state lab reporting system challenges, and those issues remained unresolved as of Tuesday.

Calaveras County would have met the criteria for the county’s monitoring list on Tuesday if the program were not on hold, with 53 new cases since July 28.

Counties qualify for being placed on the list if they exceed 100 new cases per 100,000 residents over a two-week period, which in Calaveras would be 45 or more based on the county’s population total of 44,289 that’s used by the state.

If a county met the criteria for more than three consecutive days, the state would not allow schools to reopen for in-person instruction and order additional types of businesses and indoor activities to be shut down.

Tuolumne County reported 28 new cases between July 28 and Tuesday, far under the 53 new cases over a two-week period that would qualify it for the monitoring list. 

Public health officials in the county have said they don’t believe the data over the past couple of weeks have been an accurate representation of the true case rate due to the problems in the state’s reporting system.

In Calaveras County, new cases announced Tuesday included two women and four men 18 to 49 years old; four men 50 to 64 years old; and one woman and three men over age 65.

“We must continue to practice preventive actions that help slow the spread of COVID-19,” Dean Kelaita, the Calaveras County health officer, said Tuesday. “Practice physical distancing, wear a face covering, get tested, wash your hands  often, and stay home if you are sick.”

In Tuolumne County, the four new cases announced Tuesday afternoon were described as one person recovered, one person hospitalized, and two individuals who were isolated separately.

Contact Guy McCarthy at gmccarthy@uniondemocrat.com or 770-0405. Follow him on Twitter at @GuyMcCarthy.

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