Four more COVID-19 deaths and 20 new cases were added by Calaveras County on Tuesday, while Tuolumne County had 29 new cases and announced an outbreak at an unspecified local care facility.
The deaths in Calaveras County were identified as two men in their 60s, a woman in her 70, and a woman in her 90s, though the county doesn’t provide the vaccination status of new cases or deaths.
As of Tuesday evening, Calaveras County had counted 80 COVID-19 deaths since early last year.
Out of the 29 new cases in Tuolumne County, eight were reportedly vaccinated individuals.
Michelle Jachetta, the Tuolumne County public health director, confirmed there have been 11 cases among residents and staff in the outbreak at the local care facility. She said that includes two unvaccinated individuals who are now hospitalized.
Jachetta said the department’s epidemiology and infection control teams were working with the care facility, the name and location of which was not disclosed, to mitigate the outbreak.
“An outbreak is generally defined as three or more cases within a 14-day time period,” she The county’s running average of cases for the past two weeks decreased fractionally to 35.5 per 100,000 residents on Tuesday, down from 35.8 on Monday.
There were 160 active cases in Tuolumne County on Tuesday, including nine individuals who were hospitalized with COVID-19.
Vaccination data compiled by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed 58.7% of Tuolumne County’s population fully vaccinated as of Tuesday afternoon, and 60.9% of Calaveras County’s population fully vaccinated.
New cases in Tuolumne County on Tuesday were identified as two girls and two boys under age 12; two boys between 12 and 17; one woman and two men between 18 and 29; four women and three men in their 30s; two women and one man in their 40s; one man in his 50s; three women and two men in their 60s; one woman and two men in their 80s; and one man in his 90s.
A flu shot clinic hosted by the Tuolumne County Public Health Department is planned between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. this Wednesday, Oct. 13, at 1890 Main St. in Groveland. Tuolumne County Public Health will also offer flu shots 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays. Call (209) 533-7401 to make appointments.
Black Oak Casino Resort in Tuolumne is planning to host Pfizer vaccination clinic from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. this Thursday, Oct. 14. Appointments can be made at www.MyTurn.ca.gov.
As of Tuesday evening, the Tuolumne County Public Health Department had counted 106 coronavirus deaths since the pandemic began early last year. More than 30 of those deaths had occurred since Aug. 1, when delta variant cases began surging in the Mother Lode. Three of the county’s 106 confirmed coronavirus deaths were people who were fully vaccinated when they died. The other 103 deceased individuals were unvaccinated.
Deaths of unvaccinated individuals in Tuolumne County in the past two months have included people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. The two people who were fully vaccinated and died were in their 80s and 90s.
The largest testing site in Tuolumne County, at Mother Lode Fairgrounds in Sonora, is supposed to be open seven days a week. The testing 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 appointments can be scheduled online at www.lhi.care/covidtesting or by calling (888) 634-1123. Testing is also available through Adventist Health Rapid Care and the hospital emergency department if you are experiencing symptoms.
“Thank you for continuing to take positive actions to protect ourselves and those around us from illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19,” Tuolumne County Public Health said Tuesday. “Vaccination is the most important step we can take to reduce the spread of disease, and reduce the impact to our healthcare system.”
Preventive actions like wearing a mask in public, keeping your distance, avoiding crowds, washing hands, cleaning surfaces, and staying home when sick will help slow the spread of COVID-19, Tuolumne County Public Health emphasized.
Booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine have been approved for certain populations, primarily those who are age 65 and older and those at higher risk. Pfizer is the only vaccine approved for booster shots for now. They are intended only for those who completed their Pfizer vaccination series at least six months earlier, Tuolumne County Public Health said in September.
Local health authorities are sharing federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for the Pfizer-BioNTech booster shots:
• People 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series.
• People ages 50 to 64 with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series.
• People ages 18 to 49 with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks.
• People ages 18 to 64 who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks.
The county Public Health Department says upcoming clinics and appointments can be accessed at MyTurn: https://myturn.ca.gov/ or by calling (833) 422-4255. Some pharmacies and healthcare providers are also providing vaccinations.
“Being fully vaccinated lowers your risk of severe symptoms, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19,” Calaveras Public Health said in September. “People should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID. It has not yet been shown how long you are protected from getting COVID again after you recover from COVID. Vaccination helps protect you even if you’ve already had COVID.”
A Calaveras Public Health mobile vaccination van is now offering free COVID-19 testing. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Register to reduce wait times at https://bit.ly/3wpNEUU online. People who do not have internet access can register at the site.
Anyone 12 and older is eligible for the COVID vaccine. Individuals may register for notification of upcoming clinics and schedule appointments on MyTurn at https://myturn.ca.gov/ or by calling (833) 422-4255. For information on the various avenues to obtain a vaccination in Tuolumne County, visit www.tuolumnecounty.ca.gov/1317/COVID-Vaccine online.
For information and guidance on isolation and quarantine, visit https://bit.ly/3sf3bGM online.
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.
• Book vaccine appointments at https://myturn.ca.gov or call (833) 422-4255.
• Homebound residents in Tuolumne County can contact email@example.com 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.
• The Safeway pharmacy: register at mhealthsystem.com/3127tuolumne or call (209) 533-7812.
• The 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 770-0405. Follow him on Twitter at @GuyMcCarthy.