June 11, 2020, Fort Detrick, Maryland, USA: Colorized scanning electron micrograph of a cell heavily infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (orange/red), isolated from a patient sample. The image was captured at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF). (NIAID via ZUMA Wire/TNS)

Calaveras County reported its 18th death linked to COVID-19 and three new cases of the disease on Friday, while an upward trend in Tuolumne County continued with six new cases.

The Calaveras County Public Health Division said in a biweekly update that the new death was connected to an outbreak among residents at Avalon Health Care in San Andreas, where 14 have now died from the coronavirus since last month.

“Avalon infection control staff continue to work closely with Calaveras Public Health to monitor and track any new cases of COVID-19 among residents and staff,” the division stated in its update.

No other information was provided by the division regarding the person who died due to medical privacy laws.

Three additional cases were also confirmed between division’s updates on Tuesday and Friday, including a woman and man who are both over 65 years old and one woman between 18 and 49 years old.

“Everyone is at risk for COVID-19 and should take precautions to avoid getting exposed to the virus,” the division stated. “Older adults and people with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness and death from COVID-19.”

The county’s total number of cases since counting began was at 342 as of Friday, including eight that were still active, 316 that had recovered, and none hospitalized. 

Tuolumne County’s six new cases on Friday brought the total since last Saturday to 19, a noticeable uptick from previous weeks since late September. The county can’t exceed 14 cases a week for three consecutive weeks to qualify for the minimal (yellow) risk tier.

There were 12 new cases reported between Oct. 10 and Oct. 16, though there were only 10 total new cases in the two-week period before that between Sept. 25 and Oct. 9. 

County public health staff does not provide information on where new cases are linked, so there was no way to tell what could be driving the increase in recent weeks based on the information provided Friday.

Four of the newly identified cases on Friday were in isolation, while two had already recovered.

The county’s total number of cases since counting began was 268 as of Friday, which included 14 that were still active, two that were in the hospital, 236 that had recovered, and four deaths.

Contact Alex MacLean at or (209) 768-5175.

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