New Tuolumne Covid-19 Cases, Some From The Sierra Conservation Center
Sonora, CA – Tuolumne County Health officials released the Thursday Coronavirus testing update. There were five new cases identified today, three of the cases are associated with the Sierra Conservation Center (SCC) prison plus one of the four positive cases reported yesterday bringing the total associated with the prison to four. Tuolumne County Public Health says Sierra Conservation Center officials are working with them as a partner on testing and contact investigations. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has also secured a vendor for ongoing mandatory staff testing statewide to help reduce the burden on county resources. According to the CDCR on July 6th 87 inmates were tested, with 99 more tested on the 7th, 192 tested on the 8th, 102 on the 9th, 93 on the 10th and 15 on the 11th.
As reported here a jail inmate tested positive and Public Health says they were identified through follow-up testing done due to a staff member testing positive. The individual is not a Tuolumne County resident, has been removed from our case count and transferred to their county of residence. As is standard for cases in correctional facilities, inmates and staff have been getting tested every 7 days, which will continue until all results come back negative. The jail case is currently under investigation, and Public Health and law enforcement agencies are exhausting all tracing resources to mitigate further exposure.
New information regarding Avalon Care Center cases, Public Health states; as is standard for cases identified in skilled nursing facilities, the staff and residents have been getting tested every 7 days. Ten staff in total were identified through Avalon’s employee screening. No further cases have been identified at this time, and continued testing is ongoing.
Tuolumne residents tested 6,929*, positive 84, hospitalized 2, active cases 22, total recovered 62. Tuolumne’s “Active Cases” includes all positive cases that are under investigation, in isolation, or hospitalized.
**Active cases as reported by the county or recovered and deceased known positive cases minus total known cases or for Merced, Mono and San Joaquin Counties a rolling 14-day total.
* Tuolumne County testing numbers include those routed through Public Health to a Public Health Laboratory and those reported through the State infectious disease reporting system. All positive cases of Tuolumne County residents must be reported to Public Health. State data is here.
Tuolumne County Public Health Updates
- 5 new cases are being reported today. One of the cases is currently hospitalized for COVID-related illness. 3 of the cases and 1 case from yesterday are staff at the Sierra Conservation Center. Sierra Conservation Center officials are working closely with Tuolumne County public health on testing and partnering with them to conduct contact investigations. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has also secured a vendor for ongoing mandatory staff testing statewide to help reduce the burden on county resources.
- The vast majority of the cases we are seeing are not connected to previous cases, and the source of infection is often unknown. As a reminder, Tuolumne County is experiencing community transmission, which means that we may not be able to identify where a person acquired the virus, and we may not be able to identify all contacts. We rely on those we contact, including individuals and employers, to share information to the best of their ability for us to identify and contact others who may have been exposed. This is done in an effort to protect the public and slow the spread of COVID-19. If you think you have been exposed to a positive case, please call our call center at 533-7440. People should be vigilant about taking preventive measures to protect themselves in all situations. Stay 6’ apart. Wear a face covering. Wash your hands.
- The jail inmate who tested positive was identified through follow-up testing that has been conducted after the jail staff person was identified previously. As is standard for cases in correctional facilities, inmates and staff have been getting tested every 7 days, which will continue until all results come back negative. The case is currently under investigation, and Public Health and law enforcement agencies are exhausting all tracing resources to mitigate further exposure. The individual is not a Tuolumne County resident, has been removed from our case count and transferred to their county of residence.
- Regarding Avalon Care Center cases: As is standard for cases identified in skilled nursing facilities, the staff and resident have been getting tested every 7 days. 10 staff in total were identified through Avalon’s employee screening. No further cases have been identified at this time, and continued testing is ongoing.
- The no-cost state testing site is open at the Calaveras County Fairgrounds Tuesday – Saturday 7am to 7pm. Appointments can be scheduled ahead of time at: https://lhi.care/covidtesting
- Wondering about face shields? People who are exempted from wearing a face covering due to a medical condition, who are employed in a job involving regular contact with others should wear a non-restrictive alternative, such as a face shield with a drape on the bottom edge, as long as their condition permits it. Here’s what that looks like. Using a face shield without an apron or using a smaller, partial shield is inadequate as it still allows for droplets to escape from the wearer.
They should only be worn by those who meet the state medical exemption and the CDC does not recommend use of face shields for normal everyday activities or as a substitute for cloth face coverings. A link to the state face covering document is here. More helpful info about cloth face coverings: https://covid19.ca.gov/masks-and-ppe/
- In regard to antibody testing, Public Health cannot speak to the accuracy of the tests being offered by commercial laboratories and we are not currently making a recommendation for the testing. Individuals should contact their healthcare provider to determine if testing is recommended. It is important to note that the relationship between antibody presence and immunity is not currently known. This means that if a person tests positive for antibodies, it does not necessarily mean that the person is immune to COVID-19. It is unknown if people who test positive for COVID-19 antibodies are at risk of infection. Also, antibody tests have not been shown to definitively diagnose or exclude SARS-CoV-2 infection.
It is important that people continue to follow prevention guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, including:
- Practice physical distancing at all times. Keep 6 feet space between yourself and others who are not part of your household. Stay in your household bubble!
- Wear a face mask if you aren’t sure you can maintain physical distancing while in public.
- Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Avoid unnecessary travel, and limit your outings to essential tasks.
LINKS TO MORE INFORMATION & RESOURCES
Community Resources Portal: https://bit.ly/TCcovidPortal
Tuolumne County Public Health Website: www.tuolumnecounty.ca.gov/publichealth
Public Health COVID-19 Call Center: (209) 533-7440
California COVID-19 website: www.covid19.ca.gov
State Testing Site info and Appointments: https://lhi.care/covidtesting
Tuolumne County Business: www.tcdisasterassistance.com
CDC COVID-19 website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Thank you for your support and efforts to protect the safety and health of our community