Coronavirus cell

Coronavirus cell

As of Friday, 35.2% of Tuolumne County’s 3,800 total COVID-19 cases have involved inmates at Sierra Conservation Center outside of Jamestown since the pandemic began early last year.

The county Public Health Department counted 26 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, with 15 of them involving inmates at SCC. Nearly all of the prison’s 1,341 total cases have occurred since the start of November.

No inmates at the prison have reportedly died from COVID-19, but the deadly virus had claimed the lives of 52 county residents as of Friday.

County public health officials were still investigating whether COVID-19 caused the death of a woman in her 80s that was announced on Thursday.

The county’s 11 new community cases on Friday included two girls and one boy 17 or younger, a man and woman 18 to 29 years old, a woman in her 40s, a man and woman in their 50s; a woman in her 60s; and two men in their 80s.

There were 66 active cases and three COVID-positive individuals who were hospitalized as of Friday.

While the county’s daily case rate of 15 per 100,000 people was an improvement over the previous week, it was still double the limit to qualify for the less restrictive red tier.  The county remained in the state’s purple tier for widespread risk of coronavirus infection, with a testing positive rate of 5.5%

The county Public Health Department continues to distribute COVID-19 vaccine doses to people in Phase 1A and Phase 1B-Tier 1 of a state vaccine distribution plan, for individuals age 70 and older as well as education workers, childcare workers, and emergency services workers. Visit www.tuolumnecounty.ca.gov/1317/COVID-Vaccine online for more information.

A state vaccine dashboard shared on Friday showed 8,590 vaccine doses have been administered in Tuolumne County. The county’s estimated population is 54,660.

As of Friday afternoon, California had counted more than 3.38 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 46,000 coronavirus deaths. Nationally, the pandemic had resulted in more than 27.48 million confirmed cases and contributed to the deaths of more than 480,550 Americans.

A regional stay home order that was based on intensive care unit availability in the 12-county San Joaquin Valley region, which includes Tuolumne and Calaveras counties, was rescinded in late January.

The COVID-19 testing site at Mother Lode Fairgrounds, set up by the state and run by Optum Serve-LHI, is supposed to be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.

Once-a-week testing sites are being staged at Groveland Community Hall, 18720 Main Street in Groveland, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays; and at Tuolumne Memorial Hall, 18375 Fir Ave. in the town of Tuolumne, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays. Appointments can be scheduled at www.lhi.care/covidtesting or by calling (888) 634-1123.

People with concerns about new or worsening symptoms can call Adventist Health Sonora’s COVID-19 Triage Line at (209) 536-5166.

The county COVID-19 call center is open during normal office hours. People who have questions or concerns can call (209) 533-7440.

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

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