Coronavirus cell

This transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab. (NIAID/TNS)

Tuolumne County counted three more COVID-19 deaths Monday, while the United States passed half a million coronavirus deaths since the pandemic began early last year.

A total of 59 residents have died from the virus with the three most recent deaths, who were identified all as women, two in their 80s and one in her 90s. Information about where and when the women died was not disclosed by the county Public Health Department.

The county also tallied 44 new cases on Monday, including 30 new inmate cases at the Sierra Conservation Center state prison outside Jamestown.

The 14 new community cases in the county included one boy 17 or younger; one man between 18 and 29; one woman in her 30s; two women and one man in their 50s; two women in their 60s; a woman and a man in their 70s; three men in their 80s; and one man in his 90s.

Extreme winter weather last week delayed delivery of at least 1,100 vaccine doses to the county. However, the department said it received word on Monday that shipments are now on their way.

“We are planning to hold a larger clinic to administer first doses this Thursday,” the department said.

Individuals age 70 and older who have not yet received COVID-19 vaccinations, do not have appointments scheduled, and want to be vaccinated, are being urged to call the county Public Health Department at (209) 533-7440.

As of Monday, the county had tallied 3,914 total coronavirus cases since early last year when the pandemic began, with 2,502 community cases and 1,412 inmate cases. Inmate cases accounted for 36% of the county’s cases. No inmates at the SCC prison have died from COVID-19, according to the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

There were 28 active cases and zero COVID-positive individuals were hospitalized in the county as of Monday.

The county’s daily case rate of 13.1 per 100,000 people and testing positive rate of 4% continued Monday from last week. The county still remained in the state’s purple tier for widespread risk of coronavirus infection.

The county Public Health Department continues to distribute COVID-19 vaccine doses to people in Phase 1A and Phase 1B-Tier 1 of a state vaccine distribution plan, for individuals age 70 and older as well as education workers, childcare workers, and emergency services workers. Visit www.tuolumnecounty.ca.gov/1317/COVID-Vaccine online for more information.

A state vaccine dashboard updated Monday showed 13,094 vaccine doses had been administered in Tuolumne County. The county’s estimated population is 54,660.

As of Monday afternoon, California had counted more than 3.44 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 49,335 coronavirus deaths. Nationally, the pandemic had resulted in more than 28.1 million confirmed cases and contributed to the deaths of more than 500,170 Americans.

A regional stay home order that was based on intensive care unit availability in the 12-county San Joaquin Valley region, which includes Tuolumne and Calaveras counties, was rescinded in late January.

The COVID-19 testing site at Mother Lode Fairgrounds, set up by the state and run by Optum Serve-LHI, is supposed to be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.

Once-a-week testing sites are being staged at Groveland Community Hall, 18720 Main Street in Groveland, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays; and at Tuolumne Memorial Hall, 18375 Fir Ave. in the town of Tuolumne, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays. Appointments can be scheduled at www.lhi.care/covidtesting or by calling (888) 634-1123.

People with concerns about new or worsening 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 people who have questions. Call (209) 533-7440.

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

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