Dr. Sergienko Gives Overview On COVID Situation In Tuolumne
There are four more newly identified COVID cases and local samples are being tested for the UK or B117 variant but Tuolumne County may be close enough to qualify for the Orange Tier of the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy next week. Tier assignments will be made Tuesday, March 30. California is approaching a benchmark of 4-million vaccine doses which will make qualifying for a lesser restrictive tier easier. Interim Tuolumne County Health Officer, Dr. Eric Sergienko says he will review the numbers with the State on Monday, “We will probably not make that [4 million mark] before this next Tier. What I am hopeful for is, we are looking at the data, and we may be missing [the Orange Tier] by that much but we’re going to talk with the state and see if we can squeak in there.”
An Orange Tier level allows for some indoor businesses to increase their capacity from 25% to 50%. There are currently nine counties in the state in the Orange Tier as viewable on our COVID page here. As reported here the State’s Framework for the week ending March 13 was a 1.6 Case Rate per 100,000 population and a 1.3 Test Positivity Rate. Calaveras had a 3.2 Case Rate and a 1.5 Test Positivity Rate. Tuolumne qualified to move from the most restrictive Purple Tier to the Red Tier on March 14th due to the State changing the metrics as detailed here. Calaveras met the metrics to move from the Purple Tier on March 10th.
More Vaccines: In addition to their regular availability, Twain Harte Pharmacy will be holding a COVID vaccination clinic tomorrow, Saturday, March 27 from 10 AM to 2 PM. Call 586-3225 for an appointment. Adventist Health is also holding a vaccine clinic tomorrow the 27th and has many appointment openings. They have lowered the eligibility to 35. Information and appointments can be viewed by clicking here.
As detailed here Governor Newsom announced California will be expanding vaccine eligibility statewide to everyone 50 and older beginning April 1st and everyone 16 and older beginning April 15th.
Variant News: Dr. Sergienko also spoke about the more transmissible UK or B117 variant of COVID that has been confirmed in other counties in California including Fresno Madera, Merced, and Stanislaus. He confirms samples from Tuolumne County have been sent out for evaluation but the results have not come back yet. Sergienko says, “Just knowing that there are a number of counties in the San Joaquin Valley area that have had the UK variant, or the B117 variant, suggests that we will eventually see it here if we don’t have it already.” He went on to add, “We do know that the vaccines are effective against the B117 strains. So it is important to get those vaccines into people who are eligible.”
Spring Break: When addressing Spring Break Dr. Sergienko says he knows people will be traveling and wants people to think consciously about the risks. He suggests finding out what the prevalence of COVID is in the place you plan to visit and mitigating the risks by getting fully vaccinated before traveling, wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, limiting time indoors, and by washing hands and high-touch surfaces frequently.
Tuolumne County: Tuolumne Public Health reports four new COVID cases; a man age 18 to 29 a woman age 30 to 39 a woman age 70 to 79 and a man age 80 to 89. One person was released from isolation. Tuolumne County has a total of 4,024 cases split between 2,608 community cases and 1,416 Sierra Conservation Center (SCC) inmate cases. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation reports the SCC has no currently active COVID-19 positive inmates at the prison. Total community cases released from isolation are 2,531 and the total number of tests administered is 79,361. The county reports 26,215 vaccine doses administered.
Calaveras County: Calaveras public health reports four new COVID-19 cases since yesterday with the county’s total cases at 1,995 and active cases decreasing by four to 12. Recoveries increased eight to 1,932. The report has no active COVID-19 hospitalizations. In total there have been 920 men, 1,057 women and 18 with no gender reported infected with COVID-19. The total number of people over 65 years old identified with COVID remains at 437 since the pandemic began.
Testing: The Mother Lode Fairgrounds testing site will be open Sunday to Thursday from 7 AM to 7 PM, closed Friday and Saturdays. The Groveland site is at the Youth Center, 18950 Hwy 120 on Thursdays from 7 AM to 7 PM. Individuals can select the site location when making their appointment at www.lhi.care/covidtesting or by calling 888-634-1123. More details, including Calaveras testing dates, are in our events calendar here.