Coronavirus

Coronavirus Cell

An eighth person has died of COVID-19 in Tuolumne County and was one of 11 new cases reported on Friday, breaking the county's record for the most in a single day since the pandemic began.

The new cases brought the number of active cases in the county to 45 as of Friday, along with a local public health warning about the upward trend in the spread of the disease locally.

The county’s newest cases were identified as three girls or women under 20, two women in their 20s, a woman and a man in their 30s, and two women and one man in their 40s. All 10 individuals were in isolation, the public health department said.

“The 11th case is a male in his 80s who passed away at home and the death is currently under investigation,” the department said. “We offer our condolences to his family and friends.”

The county's previous record for new cases in a single day was 10, which first occurred on Aug. 26 and again last Sunday.

Several of Tuolumne County’s recent case clusters include people associated with Halloween gatherings at households, as well as at several bars in the Sonora area, the department said.

“We have also learned that several individuals who had been identified as close contacts and were given instructions to quarantine, did not do so, which has resulted in subsequent new positive cases,” the department said. 

It’s vital that individuals follow the isolation and quarantine instructions to prevent exposing others to the virus and further spreading the disease, according to the department.

People who have participated in gatherings, whether at a private home or otherwise, should get tested five days after potential exposure. 

There have been 329 total cases of COVID-19 in Tuolumne County since March, with 262 individuals recovered, 45 active cases, and eight deaths. There were two individuals hospitalized with COVID-19 in the county on Friday.

Five new cases of COVID-19 were counted Friday in Calaveras County. The new cases confirmed in Calaveras included one man 18 to 49 years old, two women and one man between 50 and 64, and one woman over age 65.

As of Friday,  a total of 366 confirmed cases of COVID-19 had been counted in Calaveras County, with 332 individuals recovered and 13 active cases.  There have been a total of 21 confirmed deaths related to COVID-19 counted and confirmed in Calaveras County. 

There were more than 951,000 cases of COVID-19 in California and 17,865 deaths statewide as of Friday afternoon. Nationally, the pandemic has resulted in more than 9.7 million cases and contributed to the deaths of more than 235,750 Americans.

No-cost COVID-19 testing is available at Mother Lode Fairgrounds in Sonora five days a week, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. The test site offers testing for anyone age 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. Anyone who wants to be tested for COVID-19 can register online or call (888) 634-1123.

Local, state and federal public health authorities have warned this flu season could strain healthcare resources in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Getting a flu vaccine will not protect anyone against COVID-19, but it can reduce an individual’s risk of flu illness, hospitalization, and death.

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 all visitors will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19. Public health staff urge anyone with questions to call (209) 533-7401.

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

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