Coronavirus cell

An electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S.

A man in his 80s who was previously hospitalized has died of COVID-19, the Tuolumne County Public Health Department said Thursday.

No other information about the man was provided by the department. He’s the 56th county resident who’s died from the coronavirus since the pandemic began early last year.

Extreme weather across the United States this week was also continuing to delay COVID-19 vaccine deliveries, which could impact immunization clinics in Tuolumne County next week, the county Public Health Department reiterated Thursday.

Individuals age 70 and older who have not yet received COVID-19 vaccinations, do not have appointments scheduled, and want to be vaccinated, are being urged to call Tuolumne County Public Health at (209) 533-7440.

Tuolumne County Public Health also counted nine new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday. Five of those new cases involved inmates at the Sierra Conservation Center state prison outside Jamestown.

New community cases Thursday were identified as a girl age 17 or younger; a woman between 18 and 29; a man in his 40s; and a man in his 50s.

As of Thursday, Tuolumne County had counted 3,866 total coronavirus cases since early last year when the pandemic began, with 2,485 community cases and 1,381 inmate cases. Inmate cases accounted for 35.7% of the county’s cases. 

No inmates at the SCC prison have died from COVID-19, according to the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

There were 30 active cases and two COVID-positive individuals were hospitalized in the county as of Thursday.

The county’s daily case rate of 13.1 per 100,000 people and testing positive rate of 4% were down slightly from the previous week. The county still remained in the state’s purple tier for widespread risk of coronavirus infection.

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 updated Thursday showed 10,295 vaccine doses had been administered in Tuolumne County. The county’s estimated population is 54,660.

As of Thursday afternoon, California had counted more than 3.42 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 47,920 coronavirus deaths. Nationally, the pandemic had resulted in more than 27.88 million confirmed cases and contributed to the deaths of more than 492,640 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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