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Tuolumne And Calaveras Open At Purple Tier Levels

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Tuolumne County reports 30 new community cases since Friday and four new Sierra Conservation center inmate cases. Two of the new cases are hospitalized and the rest appear to be isolating according to Tuolumne Public Health. Thirty-three previously identified COVID-19 positive individuals have been released from isolation.

A total of 7 Tuolumne residents are in the hospital with COVID-19. The new community cases include 1 male and 1 female under 20, 1 male and 3 females in their 20s, 3 females in their 30s, 2 males and 1 female in their 40s, 2 males and 3 females in their 50s, 3 females in their 60s, 1 male and 2 females in their 70s, 1 male and 3 females in their 80s, and 3 female in their 90s.

Tuolumne County has a total of 3,477 cases split between 2,261 community cases and 1,216 inmate cases. Total recovered community cases are listed as 2,098 with 123 active community cases and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation reports 56 active inmate cases today. Total tested 23,957.

Calaveras County reports 191 newly identified COVID-19 cases, 181 were added to its recovered count and 10 were added to the active count for a total of 93 active COVID-19 cases in Calaveras County. There are four hospitalizations down from five on Friday. Calaveras public health reports it has been given 2,080 vaccinations and continues to distribute doses to those eligible.

Mariposa County reports a 5th death and four new cases. More details are in the chart below.

With the Regional Stay at Home Order lifted by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) officials counties are back in the color Tier System. Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties report they are in the Purple Tier as of today, January 25, based on the tier they were assigned last Tuesday. Tomorrow, CDPH will reevaluate the Blueprint tiers, with all but a handful of counties likely to remain in the purple tier. Mariposa has been placed into the red tier.

Under the State’s guidance purple tier means:

  • Restaurants may open for outdoor dining
  • Certain low-risk youth sports competitions may resume
  • Nail salons and hairdressers may reopen indoors with modifications
  • Gyms may operate outdoors with modifications

The Tiers are updated each Tuesday based on a county’s case rate and test positivity rate.

Dr. Sergienko, interim Tuolumne County Public Health Officer states, “As the state relaxes regional guidance, it becomes critical for us to take those community and individual actions, like wearing a mask, that we know we reduce transmission.” Tuolumne Public Health says, “This is still a precarious moment. Although we anticipate increased ICU availability by early February, we are at near-zero percent of ICU bed availability in our region.”

Calaveras Public Health says, “Please be patient as this is a fluid situation and moving from one color tier to another will take time and require that our test positivity comes down significantly.” They ask the public to continue to act responsibly with safety as the top priority for the community. They recommend getting tested for free at a testing center, days and times are listed here in the event calendar.

As detailed here, the regional stay-at-home order was lifted due to ICU bed availability in four weeks projected to be above 15 percent. The statewide Surge Order will remain in place to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. Public Health notes ICU capacity is a lagging indicator meaning even if ICU capacity is below 15% today, those hospitalizations are results of infections that were weeks ago, not because of current transmission rates. Public Health will continue to keep track of hospital capacity daily, noting that rural areas may be more susceptible to dramatic swings in data, including ICU capacity and projected ICU capacity, due to their smaller populations. Deaths from COIVD-19 lag behind newly identified cases, hospitalizations and ICU admissions. Public health says deaths are “tragically expected to remain high for a period of time even as case rates and hospitalizations are declining, and then they will begin to decline.”

Tuolumne Public Health notes they hope “the State will not need to resort to such strict measures to keep our health care system protected and to save lives, but it remains a possibility.” Tuolumne County Public health’s statement also says, “For seven weeks the San Joaquin region including Calaveras and Tuolumne hospitals and front-line medical workers were stretched to their limits.” Of the Regional Stay at Home Order they add, “Without a question, the Regional Stay at home order helped limit disease transmission during the toughest time of the year, helping us avoid even higher hospitalizations and fatalities. We have seen case rates, test positivity, hospitalizations and ICU admissions all begin to slow and then decrease a few weeks after the order. Despite the cold weather, the winter holidays and overall pandemic fatigue.”

Although reopening brings risks of increased transmission, public health says the health care system has adapted to manage the higher rates of hospitalizations. Tuolumne Public Health says COVID-19 remains “extremely prevalent in California, and the risk of spread is very real.” Their recommendation, “continue to follow all health precautions – avoiding crowds, wearing a mask whenever you leave home, keeping activities outside.” Public Health encourages all residents to get a vaccine when it is available adding, “We believe California is better protected because some vulnerable Californians, including older Californians and critical health care workers, have been vaccinated.”

Active New Cases (Total)
% County’s Pop
Hospital/ ICU (may include non-residents) Released (presumed Non-Infectious total) Deaths Est. County Pop. (Ave. Deaths All causes/mo.)

Alpine 1/25

0 0  (73)
6.5% of pop.
0 0 (72) 0 1,117 (10*)

Amador 1/25

57 3 (1,418)
3.7% of pop.
16 4 (1,333) 28 37,325 (30.5)

Calaveras 1/25

93 191 (1,598)
3.6% of pop.
4 181 (1,482) 23 44,286 (30)

Madera 1/25

2,676 111 (13,943) 8.7% of pop. 34 544 (11,116) 151 160,089 (73)

Mariposa 1/25

10 4 (355)
1.9% of pop.
1 8 (338) 5 17,778 (11*)

Merced 1/25

3,220 527 (25,575) 8.7% of pop. 60 842 (22,024) 331 287,420 (111.7)

Mono 1/25

119 10 (885) 6.3% of pop. NA 55 (762) 4 13,961 (10*)

San Joaquin 1/25

3,470 270 (59,665) 7.5% of pop. 288/87 1,486 (55,360) 835 782,545 (440)

Stanislaus 1/25

3,320 258 (44,442)
7.8% of pop.
291/72 510 (40,326) 796 562,303 (419.6)

Tuolumne 1/25

123 30 (3,477) 6.5% of pop. 7 33 (2,098) 40 52,353 (53.1)
Amador excludes Mule Creek State Prison from their report the % of pop. would be 8.1%
If the Sierra Conservation Center cases were excluded Tuolumne’s would be 4.2%.
10* means less than 10 deaths per month on average in that county. For other county-level statistics view our page here.

From Mariposa County Public Health:
What does it mean to be “recovered”?
Remember that recovery from COVID-19 means a person is no longer considered contagious based on Public Health criteria. The individual themselves may still have lingering health effects, but they do not pose a risk for further spread.
If you had symptoms during your infection, you can be around others after:
-10 days since symptoms first appeared
-24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications
-Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving*
*Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation​
If you do not develop symptoms during your infection, you can be with others after 10 days have passed since you had a positive viral test for COVID-19.

Calaveras Public Health says to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus:
• Wear a face mask that covers your nose and mouth when you leave home, including public places and anywhere you will be around people who do not live with you.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
• Stay at least 6 feet away from other people. • Stay home if you are sick. • Avoid gathering with other households.
Testing for COVID-19 is advised, especially:
• People who have symptoms of COVID-19
• People who have had close contact with someone that is confirmed to have COVID-19
• People who have been asked or referred to get tested by their healthcare provider
Symptoms can appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. The symptoms of COVID-19 include:
• Fever or chills • Cough  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• Fatigue • Muscle or body aches • Headache
• New loss of taste or smell • Sore throat

• Congestion or runny nose • Nausea or vomiting • Diarrhea

Look for emergency warning signs for COVID-19. If someone is showing signs, seek emergency care immediately:
• Trouble breathing • New confusion or weakness
• Bluish lips or face • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
• Inability to wake or stay awake