Coronavirus cell

Tuolumne County’s COVID-19 recent case rates and test positivity rates have improved on the California Department of Public Health’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy as of Tuesday, but it still remained in the state’s purple tier for widespread risk of coronavirus infection.

The county’s daily case rate as of Tuesday was 15 per 100,000 people, while it’s  test positivity rate was 5.5%. As of Tuesday, those numbers were still too high for it to move down into less restrictive red or orange tiers for substantial risk and moderate risk, respectively.

Eight new cases of COVID-19 were also reported in the county on Tuesday, with none of them involving inmates at the Sierra Conservation Center state prison outside Jamestown. The county’s coronavirus de’ath toll remained at 51 as of Tuesday afternoon.

New community cases counted Tuesday included one man in his 70s; and a man and woman in their 80s.

The county Public Health Department and Office of Emergency Services have scheduled an online information seminar about the county’s response to COVID-19 at 6 p.m. Wednesday. More information and how to participate are online at https://fb.me/e/gOAT5f3NP.

County public health officials said last week they were helping oversee outbreak investigations at the new county Jail and several unnamed local care facilities. Epidemiology, infection prevention, testing, and case investigation teams were coordinating with facilities to address the outbreaks. No new information on those outbreaks and the investigations was released Tuesday.

As of Tuesday, the county had counted 3,734 total cases of coronavirus since the pandemic began early last year, with 2,423 community cases and 1,311 inmate cases.

There were 95 active coronavirus cases, and six COVID-positive individuals were hospitalized as of Tuesday.

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 licensed childcare workers and emergency services workers. Visit www.tuolumnecounty.ca.gov/1317/COVID-Vaccine online for more information.

As of Tuesday, California had counted more than 3.35 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 44,475 deaths. Nationally, the pandemic had resulted in more than 27.16 million confirmed cases and contributed to the deaths of more than 466,990 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 last week.

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 to speak to a nurse or clinician.

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

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

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