US-NEWS-CORONAVIRUS-ANTIBODIES-TEST-MCT

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. This virus was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. (CDC/TNS)

Coronavirus cases in Tuolumne County were rising at a higher rate than in Calaveras County, according to numbers from both released Friday afternoon.

Nine additional cases were identified in Tuolumne County between Thursday and Friday, which brought the county’s total to 62 over a two-week period and 126 since the pandemic began. Calaveras County reported five new cases between Tuesday and Friday.

Tuolumne County must stay below 53 cases over a two-week period to remain off the California Department of Public Health’s monitoring list, which it exceeded for the first time on Thursday when eight were identified and brought its total over two weeks to 57.

Counties on the list for three consecutive days must close indoor operations of gyms, places of worship, weddings, funerals, shopping malls, offices for noncritical industries, and personal care services, such as nail salons, body waxing, and tattoo parlors. 

Schools also can’t open for in-person education in counties on the list. 

The county must get below its state-mandated limit for three more consecutive days to get off the list, though it will have to stay off the list for two weeks in order to open schools again.

Tuolumne County’s hospitalizations dropped from a high of six earlier in the week to four on Friday. There were additional 30 active cases that were in isolation. The county hasn’t recorded any deaths from the virus.

Meanwhile, the total number of cases in Calaveras County reached 99 on Friday. The county reported 32 new cases over a two-week period as of Friday, which was below the state-mandated limit of 45 that would place it on the monitoring list.

The county had one person hospitalized as of Friday and recorded its first death from the virus on Monday.

Dr. Dean Kelaita, health officer for Calaveras County, offered some advice for residents to help slow the spread of the virus that included wearing a face covering and getting tested or staying home when feeling sick.

“The virus easily spreads among people who are in close contact with each other,” he said. “Local businesses and people in Calaveras County must do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19. Wear a face covering when you must go out. Face coverings block the amount of virus that gets released into the air when an infected person speaks, coughs, or sneezes.”

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

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