Angels Camp testing site

The state-sponsored coronavirus testing site at the Calaveras County Fairgrounds in Angels Camp.

Two women over age 65 have died of coronavirus in Calaveras County, both linked to an ongoing outbreak among residents of Avalon Health Care in San Andreas, the Calaveras County Public Health Division announced on Friday.

To date, 13 people have died of COVID-19 complications associated with the outbreak at the nursing home, Kristin Stranger, director of the Calaveras County Health and Human Services Agency, said Friday afternoon.

The two women tested positive for COVID-19 and were unable to recover. Monitoring of new cases of COVID-19 among residents and staff and infection control measures at Avalon Health Care was continuing, Calaveras County public health staff said.

“To family members and friends who are grieving a loved one who passed away from COVID-19, our thoughts are with you during this difficult time,” Dr. Dean Kelaita, the outgoing Calaveras County health officer, said Friday in a statement. 

Kelaita did not respond to requests for more information about the outbreak at Avalon Health Care San Andreas. He informed the county Board of Supervisors that he would resign next Friday after 20 years due to the current political climate.

Jeff Henson, an administrator at the nursing home, declined to answer questions Friday about coronavirus cases at the facility. Corporate spokespersons for Avalon Health Care Group in Salt Lake City, Utah did not respond to efforts to reach them.

In addition to the two fatalities linked to Avalon Health Care San Andreas, one additional case of coronavirus involving a man between 50 and 64 was counted in Calaveras County. Eight cases of COVID-19 remained active in Calaveras County.

As of Friday afternoon, a total of 330 confirmed cases of COVID-19 had been counted by Calaveras County public health staff. Of those cases, 306 individuals had recovered. There have been a total of 16 confirmed deaths related to COVID-19 counted in Calaveras County.

In Tuolumne County, there were two new cases of coronavirus counted Friday. Both individuals were in isolation.

There were six active cases of COVID-19 in Tuolumne County with no individuals hospitalized as of Friday afternoon. One previously isolated individual had recovered. Since March, there have been 237 total cases of COVID-19 in the county, with 213 individuals recovered and four deaths.

No-cost COVID-19 testing is available at Frogtown outside Angels Camp five days a week, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. The test site at Calaveras County Fairgrounds offers testing for children 3 and older, accompanied by a parent or guardian. Walk-in opportunities for testing are limited. Appointments can be scheduled ahead of time at www.lhicare.com/covidtesting online.

The Frogtown testing site will be moving to Mother Lode Fairgrounds in Sonora in early November. The move is expected to happen Nov. 1 to Nov. 2, with a start date for appointments and testing on Nov. 3. Hours of operation are expected to remain 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday.

Local, state and federal public health authorities have warned this flu season could strain healthcare resources in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that has killed more than 212,500 Americans since early this year.

Free flu shots are available at the Tuolumne County Health Department building at 20111 Cedar Road North, Sonora, 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays for anyone 2 and older. Face coverings are required, social distancing guidelines must be followed, and visitors will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19.

Tuolumne County public health staff are planning to offer drive-thru flu shots from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday at Sonora Library/Senior Center, 480 Greenley Road, Sonora. Free flu shots will be available for ages 2 and up, while supplies last.

People will be asked to fill out registration/consent forms before arriving, and to remain in their vehicles to receive flu shots. Forms can be found online at www.tuolumnecounty.ca.gov/publichealth, on the reverse side of printed event flyers, and at the county health department, 20111 Cedar Road North, Sonora. Public health staff urge anyone with questions to call (209) 533-7401.

There will be no immunization or TB clinics at the Health Department on Tuesday due to the drive-thru flu clinic at Sonora Library/Senior Center.

Calaveras County public health staff also plan to offer no-cost drive-thru flu shots from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday at Calaveras High School. The clinic will be for those 10 years of age and older.

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

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