Coronavirus

One new case of coronavirus was reported in Tuolumne County between Friday afternoon and Monday afternoon, though an error in the state’s new data monitoring system that went into effect Monday means that local bars will not be able to open indoors just yet.

The county Public Health Department reported the new case Monday afternoon and noted that the county’s risk level for the disease was actually supposed to be categorized as “moderate” rather than “minimal” as the state’s website showed all weekend.

“We realize that the map on the state website shows us as yellow (minimal), and this may be confusing,” the department stated in its daily update. “The state has informed us that they are working on correcting the issue for Tuolumne County and other counties.”

Tuolumne County was one of three counties listed as being in the minimal tier, which is the lowest of four under the state’s new system and the only tier in which bars are allowed to operate indoors at half capacity.

Bars can only operate outdoors for counties in the moderate tier, but restaurants can offer dine-in at half capacity or up to 200 people, whichever is fewer.

The new tiered system, unveiled by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday as the so-called Blueprint for a Safer Economy, is based on the number of new cases each day per 100,000 people and testing positivity rate in each of the state's 58 counties.

Tuolumne County’s case rate as of Monday was 1.6 new cases each day per 100,000 people, with a testing positive rate of 1.4 percent. Counties must have less than one new case per 100,00 and a testing positivity rate of less than 2 percent to meet the criteria for the minimal tier.

Counties can move down to a lower risk tier if they meet the criteria for three consecutive weeks, or they could be moved to a higher risk tier if they exceed the criteria for two consecutive weeks.

The new case on Monday brought the county’s total to 182 since counting began in March, which would be well within the criteria for the minimal risk level if the county can keep that up for three straight weeks.

There were 10 active cases in the county on Monday, but nobody was hospitalized. Two people have died from the virus since tracking began in March, while 170 have recovered.

Contact Alex MacLean at amaclean@uniondemocrat.net or (209) 768-5175.

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