Coronavirus cell

Coronavirus cell

Tuolumne County marked another recent low in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic Thursday with zero new cases of COVID-19, while Calaveras County added eight.

No additional information was provided about the new cases in Calaveras County.

California health authorities updated their Blueprint for a Safer Economy data on Tuesday this week, and it showed Tuolumne County with a 1.6 case rate and 1.3% test-positive rate for the week ending March 13. There was also a slight increase in cases during the week ending March 20, which will show up in next Tuesday’s data updates, county Public Health staff said.

The county remained in a red tier for substantial risk of COVID-19 infection on Thursday. 

While the rates posted on Tuesday were good enough for the less restrictive orange tier, the county must meet qualifying metrics for three consecutive weeks to move down.

Getting vaccines when they become available, continuing to follow preventive measures like wearing face coverings, physical distancing, and staying home when sick or experiencing symptoms will help the county continue on a path to the less restrictive orange tier and avoid moving back to the more restrictive purple tier, Tuolumne County Public Health staff said.

As of Thursday afternoon, the county had tallied 4,020 total coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, with 2,604 community cases and 1,416 SCC inmate cases. SCC inmate cases have accounted for 35.2% of the county’s cases. There were 12 active cases and zero COVID-positive individuals were hospitalized in the county as of Thursday.

A total of 62 COVID-19 deaths have been counted by Tuolumne County Public Health since the pandemic began last year. Three previously uncounted COVID-19 deaths, from January and February, were added Monday this week to Tuolumne County’s toll of fatalities attributed to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

As of Thursday afternoon, California had counted more than 3.55 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 57,090 coronavirus deaths. Nationally, the pandemic had resulted in more than 30.06 million confirmed cases and contributed to the deaths of more than 546,055 Americans.

Meanwhile, people ages 45 and older can now get vaccinated against COVID-19 in Tuolumne County. Tuolumne County COVID-19 vaccination interest forms are online at https://bit.ly/3scMVFy.

A state vaccine dashboard updated Thursday showed 25,895 vaccine doses had been administered in Tuolumne County. The county’s estimated population is 54,660.

County residents who are 16 to 64 years old and have defined high-risk health conditions are also eligible to get vaccinated against coronavirus, county Public Health staff said.

Visit www.tuolumnecounty.ca.gov/1317/COVID-Vaccine online for more information on the county’s vaccination clinics.

According to county Public Health staff, Twain Harte Pharmacy, CVS, Rite Aid, the Sonora Safeway pharmacy, and Groveland Pharmacy are now providing COVID-19 vaccinations.

The COVID-19 testing site at Mother Lode Fairgrounds, set up by the state and run by Optum Serve-LHI, has reduced hours to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays. A once-a-week testing site at Groveland Community Hall has moved to Groveland Youth Center, 18950 Highway 120, with the same hours, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays.

For all Tuolumne County testing sites, appointments are recommended, and walk-ins will be accepted, according to county Public Health. Individuals can choose a site location when making appointments at www.lhi.care/covidtesting or by calling (888) 634-1123.

People with concerns about symptoms can call Adventist Health Sonora’s COVID-19 Triage Line at (209) 536-5166. The county COVID-19 call center is open normal office hours for questions at (209) 533-7440.

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

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