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Tuolumne County Health Department Delivers COVID-19 Update

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Sonora, CA — The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors heard some positive developments from the Interim Public Health Officer, and members of the public health department.

Tuolumne County Health and Human Services Director Rebecca Espino opened up today’s COVID-19 presentation by noting numbers have “thankfully stabilized” in recent weeks.

Dr. Eric Sergienko, Interim Health Officer, added, “We’re seeing a positive trend and a decreasing number of cases,” citing that there was no notable bump after Labor Day.

Tuolumne County is only seeing around 1-2 new cases per day, and it has been caused by a mix of person to person contact, local community transmission and travel-related exposure. Between both Tuolumne and Mariposa counties, Dr. Sergienko noted that some of the recent cases have been of people visiting Las Vegas, and he joked that just because people visit Vegas, doesn’t mean the virus stays in Vegas.

He stressed the importance of local residents continuing to practice good hygiene, mask-wearing, and social distancing. He added that the current turnaround time to receive results from the regional COVID testing site in Angels Camp is 56 hours. The testing site will move to the Mother Lode Fairgrounds on November 3. Testing is recommended immediately for anyone who is symptomatic, after five days of traveling outside the area, and periodically for people who have regular contact with the public.

The state is still anticipating the number of cases to go back up at some point over the coming months, and it will overlap with the flu season. Dr. Sergienko is encouraging people to receive a flu shot this year, adding that it typically has a 40-60 percent effectiveness. A positive development is that the flu season has been somewhat minimal along the southern hemisphere due to COVID-19 preventative measures.

Tuolumne County remains in the Orange Moderate Tier when it comes to business restrictions. Dr. Sergienko noted that the state is strongly considering giving small counties’ variances if the numbers spike. Meaning, if counties can isolate the large clusters, and show that actions are being taken to minimize the spread, it may prevent them from moving to a more restrictive tier.

It was also noted that around 144 local businesses have received complaints about COVID-19 safety protocols and 74-percent of those have taken needed actions to address those issues.

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