Shortly after 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Tulare County Health and Human Services reported there are now 116 positive cases of coronavirus in the county.

There have been five deaths in the county due to COVID-19. On Saturday, the county reported two more deaths as a result of the coronavirus.

The county reported both of the people who died were over the age of 65. One case was the result of personn-to-person contact and the other was travel related.

The county reported there are eight positive cases of the coronavirus in Lindsay and seven positive in Porterville.

There are 62 positive cases in Visalia, 25 in Tulare, 12 in the Woodlake-Dinuba-Kingsburg area and one in Pixley.

Five are ages 0-17, 16 are ages 18-25, 30 are ages 26-40, 28 are ages 41-64 and 37 are 65 and older. Nineteen of the cases were reported as travelers, 75 were person-to-person contact and 22 are still under investigation.

The number of cases since Friday has jumped by 35 from 81 to 116.

The County reported 5 people who have had the coronavirus have recovered. There are 234 people in the county who are under self-quarantine and are being monitored by public health officials.

‘Multiple Clusters’

Tulare County Health and Human Services on Saturday stated there are ‘multiple clusters’ of COVID-19 in the county.

The department stated it “has confirmed community spread of COVID-19 in Tulare County as there are multiple clusters of COVID-19 and several cases with unknown source. Community spread, or transmission, means the spread of an illness for which the source of infection is unknown or cannot be directly traced back to a known exposure.”

The county stated it has been conducting investigations on every case to find how its transmitted, referring to the process as contact tracing. “This serves to contain the spread of the virus by ensuring contacts of affected cases are notified,” the county stated.

The county also stated those with symptoms are tested.

“As the amount of confirmed cases climb, the number of contacts rises too, increasing the difficulty of tracking cases,” the county stated. “All confirmed case patients are isolated, those who had close contacts with the patients have been quarantined, and contacts with symptoms are tested.

“Tulare County Public Health continues contact tracing and are focusing on efforts to curb the surge’s growth by keeping people apart and ensuring a high level of transparency and community messaging about the risks and ways to avoid COVID-19.”

The county health department’s Karen Haught has advised everyone where a mask when in public. “If an individual has to go out for an essential function a cloth face mask should be used if social distancing cannot be fully maintained to decrease the spread of the virus and the possibility of transmitting the virus to others,” she said. “This is consistent with new CDC recommendation. The most important thing is to stay home except for essential functions like grocery shopping and getting medications.”

The county also stated to self-isolate when sick even with mild symptoms. “Remember, one of our primary goals is to flatten the curve and limit the number of new cases so as not to overwhelm medical resources,” Haught said. “Everyone should be assured that public and private agencies are working hard to provide a high-level response to this pandemic. We need the community and individuals to continue to take personal responsibility. Public health officials launched a seven-day-a-week hotline for questions about COVID-19, please dial 2-1-1.”

Updates continue to be available at www.tchhsa.org.

Lindsay Health Office closed

Two public employees at the Tulare County Human Services branch in Lindsay at 900 Sequoia Avenue were diagnosed tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday. The employees began to show signs and notified supervisors. Protocol was followed to have the employees tested and quarantined pending results. 

The County has instructed all employees at this branch during this time they shouldn’t go to work if they show any symptoms of illness. 

The Lindsay location was closed to be cleaned and all county workers who have been in contact with other workers at the office have been notified. Public access to that office had been by appointment only since March.

It’s not unexpected to have employees become ill as the novel coronavirus continues spreading throughout the community, the county stated. The county stated it has protocols in place to address this and similar situations involving employees who become ill. These protocols include: asking employees to stay home if they show any symptoms, reporting any symptoms that develop during working hours, asking non-essential employees to work from home and maintaining sufficient social distancing in the workplace..

The Lindsay office will be closed through at least this week. Those who need services from this office should call 1-800-540-6880.

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