Four employees at Sierra Conservation Center outside of Jamestown have recently tested positive for COVID-19 as the total number of cases for Tuolumne County rose to 84 on Thursday.
The county Public Health Department released a daily update after identifying five new cases and removing one from the total who was previously an inmate at the jail but lives in a different county.
There were a total of 22 active cases in the county Thursday afternoon, including two who were hospitalized, which was one more than the previous day’s update.
Three of the new cases identified Thursday and one from Wednesday are reportedly staff at Sierra Conservation Center, where a prisoner previously tested positive on May 25 and has since recovered.
The department stated it was working closely with SCC officials on testing and conducting contact tracing investigations, while the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has secured a vendor for ongoing mandatory testing of staff at prisons throughout the state to reduce the burden on county resources.
A former inmate at the county jail was announced to have tested positive Wednesday afternoon, but the person was in custody for less than 48 hours on suspicion of a felony charge and released before the results were received.
Inmates and staff at the county jail have reportedly been tested every seven days since an employee there tested positive on July 2, which the public health department said would continue until there were no cases.
The department said staff and residents at Avalon Care Center in Sonora are also being tested every seven days after 10 employees previously tested positive through an employee screening process at the skilled nursing facility, though no new cases have been identified.
As a reminder, the department stated that the vast majority of new cases are not connected to previous ones and sources of infection are often unknown because the county is experiencing community transmission.
“We rely on those we contact, including individuals and employers, to share information to the best of their ability for us to identify and contact others who may have been exposed,” the department said. “This is done in an effort to protect the public and slow the spread of COVID-19.”
Anyone who thinks they may have been exposed to the virus was advised by the department to call its center at (209) 533-7440.
The department also stated that people in the community should remain vigilant about taking measures to protect themselves in all situations, which includes wearing a face covering, staying 6 feet apart, and frequently washing their hands.
Contact Alex MacLean at email@example.com or (209) 768-5175.