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Eight New COVID-19 Cases In Calaveras County Has Health Officer Alarmed

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San Andreas, CA – Warning of a serious potential outbreak with eight new coronavirus cases reported in Calaveras County, its health officer is sounding the alarm and urging the public to follow state restriction orders to slow the spread.

This newest spike brings the total number of cases for the county to 40. Dr. Dean Kelaita says his department is “seeing an alarming and accelerating trend of community spread in the county.”  The eight new confirmed positive cases reported today (Tuesday, June 30) is the single largest one-day case count in the county since the pandemic began.

“What we are seeing in Calaveras County is the beginning of a significant outbreak of COVID-19 in several regions of our community. Widespread community transmission is now taking place in the Valley Springs area, and other locations are also reporting increasing disease activity,” said Dr. Kelaita. “If things continue at this rate, we are in very serious risk of overwhelming our local hospital and limited ICU capacity.”

He cautions that the county is at an important crossroads and needs to take immediate action to slow the spread of COVID-19. He adds, “As of now, I am not ordering any further closures, but additional community mitigation actions may be reintroduced if these disease trends continue.

However, Dr. Kelaita is calling on businesses that have reopened to closely adhere to health directives. For the public, he says to always practice physical distancing and wear a cloth face-covering around others. Those at higher risk of complications from COVID-19 are encouraged to avoid going out unless “absolutely necessary.”

The health department also targets travel as a problem with neighboring counties seeing spikes in coronavirus activity, noting that San Joaquin County reported 294 new cases on Monday (June 29th) alone, with 3,856 total cases and 133 currently hospitalized.

“This increased disease burden experienced in larger nearby counties is contributing to higher rates of infection among our populations traveling to these areas to work or shop,” stressed Dr. Kelaita. “Those infected in neighboring jurisdictions can bring the virus home and infect others around them.”

To prove his point, Dr. Kelaita, says look no farther than San Joaquin County which this weekend was placed on a state of California watch list and ordered to re-close all bars, and to better monitor mass gatherings, as its rise in cases are attributed to those decisions. Also, the state warns that more businesses and places could be shut down if the cases continue to spike.

“Calaveras will be in a similar position as our neighbors if we don’t get a handle on this outbreak quickly”, warns Dr. Kelaita.

Regarding the latest cases, all are being investigated through contact tracing. Anyone found to have had close contact with any of the individuals will be quarantined. Health officials ask that anyone in the county that test positive for coronavirus, contact the department immediately at (209) 754-6460.

Dr. Kelaita concluded that following the state guidelines can stop the spread of the virus, stressing, “If our community can do these simple actions every day, we can beat this pandemic and protect the most vulnerable members of our community.”

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