Angels Camp testing site

The state-sponsored coronavirus testing site at the Calaveras County Fairgrounds in Angels Camp.

Calaveras County had two new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, while Tuolumne County had one.

The new cases in Calaveras County were identified as two women between 18 and 49 years of age, who tested positive sometime since the last update released by the county’s Public Health Division on Tuesday.

“We’ve seen a drop in the number of coronavirus tests conducted at the testing site in Angels Camp, which has prompted its move to Tuolumne County in November,” Dean Kelaita, the Calaveras County health officer, said Friday. “Testing is a key step in fighting community spread and moving forward, especially as schools and more businesses reopen, flu season rolls in, and the cooler weather drives people indoors.”

Kelaita also said everyone, every person and every business, must do their part and take preventive actions to slow the spread of COVID-19. Progress could be hindered if new reopenings result in more community spread.

Since March, Calaveras County public health staff have counted 324 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 300 individuals recovered and 10 active cases. There have been 14 confirmed deaths related to COVID-19 counted in Calaveras County.

In Tuolumne County, an individual who was in isolation has recovered. 

Tuolumne County public health staffS have counted 230 total coronavirus cases since March. That total includes 14 inmate cases, 210 recovered individuals, and four deaths. 

There were two active cases in Tuolumne County on Friday. No one who has tested positive for COVID-19 in Tuolumne County was hospitalized as of Friday afternoon.

Both counties are now counted in a moderate risk category of a state four-tier COVID-19 rating system.

No-cost COVID-19 testing is still available at Frogtown outside Angels Camp five days a week, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday.

The test site at Calaveras County Fairgrounds offers testing for children 3 and older, accompanied by a parent or guardian. Walk-in opportunities for testing are limited. Appointments can be scheduled ahead of time at www.lhicare.com/covidtesting online.

The Frogtown testing site will be moving to Mother Lode Fairgrounds in Sonora in early November. Tuolumne County public health staff announced Tuesday they anticipate the move will happen Nov. 1 to Nov. 2, with a start date for appointments and testing on Nov. 3. The hours of operation are expected to remain 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday.

Local, state and federal public health authorities have warned this flu season could strain healthcare resources in the midst of the ongoing pandemic that has so far killed more than 207,000 Americans since early this year.

Late Thursday, President Donald Trump tweeted that he and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19. Friday afternoon he was flown about nine miles by Marine One helicopter from the White House in northwest Washington, D.C. to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

There is no vetted, proven vaccine or treatment for coronavirus.

“As COVID-19 continues and we head into flu season we encourage everyone to protect themselves from the flu by getting the flu vaccine,” Kelaita said. “It’s likely that flu viruses and COVID-19 will both spread this fall and winter. Getting a flu vaccine this year is more important than ever as we wait for a COVID-19 vaccine.”

While getting a flu vaccine will not protect against COVID-19, it is shown to reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization and death, Kelaita said. It can save healthcare resources to help take care of patients with COVID- 19.

Free flu shots are available at the Tuolumne County Health Department building at 20111 Cedar Road North, Sonora, 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays for anyone 2 and older. Face coverings are required, social distancing guidelines must be followed, and visitors will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19.

Tuolumne County public health workers are also planning to offer at least two drive-thru flu clinics, Oct. 7 in Groveland and Oct. 13 in Sonora:

• 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 7 at Groveland Library/Youth Center, 18990 Main St., Groveland

• 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 13 at Sonora Library/Senior Center, 480 Greenley Road, Sonora

Free flu shots will be available for ages 2 and up, while supplies last. People will be asked to fill out registration/consent forms before arriving, and to remain in their vehicles to receive flu shots. Forms can be found online at www.tuolumnecounty.ca.gov/publichealth, on the reverse side of printed event flyers, and at the county health department, 20111 Cedar Road North, Sonora. Public health staff urge anyone with questions to call (209) 533-7401.

Calaveras County will host a no-cost drive-thru flu clinic 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 15 at Calaveras High School. The clinic will be for those 10 years of age and older.

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

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