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Tuolumne County Public Health tallied six new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, afflicting six unvaccinated individuals, and it was the county’s lowest daily case total since July 20, according to data compiled by the county.

Whether the dip in daily cases is the start of an encouraging trend remains to be seen. There were still 126 active cases in the county Thursday, which included 10 unvaccinated individuals who were hospitalized for COVID-19.

Tuolumne County’s case rate dropped Thursday to 30.9 per 100,000 residents averaged over the previous two weeks, down from 33 per 100,000 on Wednesday.

There were 17 new COVID-19 cases counted Thursday in Calaveras County, which does not disclose vaccination status of new cases or deaths.

New cases in Tuolumne County on Thursday were identified as two men between 18 and 29 years of age; two women in their 30s; a woman in her 40s; and a woman in her 70s.

Tuolumne County Public Health is planning to stage a Moderna COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Columbia from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 12:45 to 2:30 p.m. this Saturday at the First Presbyterian Church, 11155 Jackson St. Initial vaccine shots will be available for those 18 and older. Additional doses and boosters will be available for those eligible. 

Walk-ins will be welcome at Saturday’s clinic. Appointments are encouraged and can be made at https://myturn.ca.gov. For more information call (209) 533-7440.

As of Thursday, COVID-19 had contributed to 138 deaths in Tuolumne County and 85 deaths in Calaveras County since the pandemic began early last year. At least 65 of Tuolumne County’s COVID-19 deaths — more than 47% — had occurred in the past 16 weeks.

A recent federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study in 13 states showed individuals who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 account for more than 90% of new coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.

As of Thursday afternoon, 61.7% of people age 12 and older in Tuolumne County were fully vaccinated and 64.9% 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 Calaveras Public Health Division has a vaccination van offering COVID-19 boosters, in Murphys on Friday, West Point on Saturday, and Mokelumne Hill on Sunday, from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. each day. Eligibility can be verified athttps://myturn.ca.gov. COVID-19 tests are free to individuals.

The Mother Lode Fairgrounds testing site off Stockton Road 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.

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.

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