Coronavirus cell

An colorized electron microscope photograph from Elizabeth Fischer shows viral particles being released from a dying cell infected with the coronavirus. Contact tracers reach out to people who test positive and those they've been in contact with and can help them with isolating. (Courtesy of Dr. Elizabeth Fischer/KHN/TNS)

Tuolumne County added 21 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, with 14 of those individuals unvaccinated and seven of them vaccinated.

Calaveras County added 20 more cases of the novel coronavirus Tuesday, but it does not disclose vaccination status of new cases or deaths attributed to COVID-19.

Tuolumne County’s daily case rate decreased Tuesday to 18.7 per 100,000 residents averaged over the previous two weeks, down from 19.2 per 100,000 on Monday.

There were 76 active cases in Tuolumne County as of Tuesday, including 11 COVID-positive people who were hospitalized: five of them unvaccinated and six vaccinated.

New cases in Tuolumne County were identified Tuesday as two girls between age 12 and 17; one woman and two men between 18 and 29; two women and one man in their 30s; one woman and two men in their 40s; two women and two men in their 50s; and three women and three men in their 60s.

Neither Tuolumne or Calaveras counties had recorded any new deaths attributed to COVID-19 so far this week. As of Tuesday, COVID-19 had contributed to 141 deaths in Tuolumne County and 89 deaths in Calaveras County since the pandemic began early last year.

As of Tuesday afternoon, 62.4% of people age 12 and older in Tuolumne County were fully vaccinated and 65.8% of people age 12 and older in Calaveras County were fully vaccinated, according to county data monitored by the CDC.

For more information about booster eligibility visit www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Vaccine-Booster-QA.aspx online.

The Mother Lode Fairgrounds testing site off Stockton Road in Sonora is supposed to be open seven days a week. The site is run by Logistics Health Incorporated, a subsidiary of OptumServe, which is a federal health services contractor being paid by the state of California.

The Tuolumne County Public Health Department shared information Monday about the new omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which had yet to be detected in the United States but has the World Health Organization warning it poses “very high” risk. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top medical officer advising President Biden, said on Sunday that the omicron variant could lead to a fifth wave of COVID-19 in the U.S.

In Tuolumne County, people should continue to focus on being fully vaccinated for COVID-19, masking indoors, testing, physical distancing, hand hygiene, and staying home when not feeling well. A fact sheet about the omicron variant is at www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Omicron-Variant-Fact-Sheet.aspx online.

Dr. Eric Sergienko, the interim Tuolumne County health officer, issued a local health order on Monday regarding isolation and quarantine measures to replace a state order that expired in June. 

A recent clarification from the state made the local order necessary, the county Public health Department said, as isolation and quarantine measures are vital to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Testing

When you should get tested: Five days after travel or close contact with others outside your household; as soon as possible if experiencing symptoms; and/or every 14 to 28 days if regularly working with the public.

Testing is available from:

• Local health care providers;

• Adventist Health Sonora, call first: (209) 536-5166;

• Rite Aid at 855 Mono Way, Sonora: www.riteaid.com/pharmacy/services/covid-19-testing

• Mother Lode Fairgrounds, 220 Southgate Drive, Sonora  — 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. Appointments are recommended and can be scheduled at www.lhi.care/covidtesting or by calling (888) 634-1123.

Vaccinations

• Book vaccine appointments at https://myturn.ca.gov or call (833) 422-4255.

• Homebound residents in Tuolumne County can contact health@tuolumnecounty.ca.gov or (209) 533-7440 for a mobile vaccination appointment. They or their caretakers can also go to https://myturn.ca.gov and select “homebound.”

• CVS and Rite Aid stores in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties: sign up at https://www.cvs.com/immunizations/covid-19-vaccine or www.riteaid.com/pharmacy/covid-qualifier

• Adventist Health Sonora: find more information at www.adventisthealthsonora.org/covidvaccine or call (209) 536-5165.

• Safeway pharmacy: register at mhealthsystem.com/3127tuolumne or call (209) 533-7812.

• Save Mart pharmacy: register at https://savemartluckysched.rxtouch.com/smsched/program/covid19/Patient/Advisory or call (209) 536-1118 for Sonora store.

• Twain Harte Pharmacy: call (209) 586-3225 for information and appointments.

• Groveland Pharmacy: call (209) 962-5211 for information and appointments.

• Information on VA Clinic vaccinations: https://www.va.gov/health-care/covid-19-vaccine.

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