When it comes to the status of COVID-19 before Black Friday, it was Black Tuesday in Tulare County.

Tuesday, Nov. 25 could go down as the day when Tulare County had its worst overall stats when it came to COVID-19.

Tulare County Health and Human Services reported its unofficial, preliminary case rate soared to 25.7 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day period. That's an increase of 8.6 over the previous day after the county had reported a decline of 2.4 on Monday. And on Tuesday, the state's official adjusted case rate for tier assignment is 21.1 per 100,000.

Another troubling state is the state's official overall positive test rate for Tulare County as of Tuesday is back up to 8 percent, which is right at the threshold to move from the most restrictive tier, purple, to the next least restrictive tier, red.

With an unofficial, preliminary rate of 25.7 cases per 100,000, that would mean Tulare County has reached the “tipping point” when it comes to its status as far as COVID-19 is concerned, according to a Harvard University study.

When areas reach the level of 25 cases per 100,000, the Harvard study states that area is at a “tipping point” and that a stay at home order is necessary.

In its most recent evaluation, the Harvard study still has Tulare County “accelerated spread” category which indicated “stay at home orders and/or rigorous testing and tracing programs are advised.”

Counties in the “accelerated spread” category have a case rate of 10-24 per 100,000. In its latest reported, the Harvard study has Tulare County with a case rate of 23.8 per 100,000.

Tulare County continues to meet the red tier standard as far as its overall positive test rate and its equity metric positive test rate for its most disadvantaged areas, although it now barely meets the standard for its overall positive test rate.

But Tulare County is far away — and continues to move further away — from the case rate standard for moving into the red tier which is 7 per 100,000.

When Tulare County finally meets the standards it must maintain those numbers for two weeks before it can move into the red tier. Restaurants can then open indoors at 25 percent capacity, churches can open indoors at 25 percent capacity, movie theaters can open on a limited basis and schools can reopen to all students.

As far as schools, Springville's waiver to reopen for grades K-6 that has been approved by the county is still being reviewed by the state. Woodville's waiver is still being reviewed by the county.

The number of active cases in Tulare County soared by 251 on Tuesday. There are now 1,350 people in Tulare County who have COVID-19.

The number of overall cases also soared on Tuesday by 470. Since March 11 there have been 20,352 COVID-19 cases in Tulare County. It should be noted Tuesday is the day in which the most cases are reported as that's the day the recording of cases from the weekend is finished.

There was also a huge increase recoveries as recoveries increased by 218 on Tuesday. There are now 18,697 people in Tulare County who have recovered after testing positive for COVID-19.

The health department also reported one more death on Tuesday, bringing the total number of deaths in Tulare County due to COVID-19 to 305. The county has data on 303 deaths of which 235 were 65 or older, 64 were between the ages of 41-64 and four were under the age of 41.

There have been 119 deaths related to nursing homes and 181 deaths not related to nursing homes. The state model now projects Tulare County to have 341 deaths by December 24.

Tulare County's R number is 1.14, indicating the spread of the virus is “likely increasing.” The number 1.14 represents the average number of people who would be infected by one infected person. The state's R number os 1.20.

Since March 11 there have been 3,544 cases in the Porterville area, 224 cases in Terra Bella, 295 cases in Strathmore, 760 cases in Lindsay, 64 cases in foothill-mountain communities, 151 cases in Richgrove, 28 cases in Alpaugh, 129 cases in Tipton, 357 cases in Pixley, 816 cases in Earlimart, 3,321 cases in Tulare, 2,100 cases in Dinuba, 597 cases in Farmersville, 444 cases in Exeter, 345 cases in Woodlake, 409 cases in Cutler, 722 cases in Orosi, 47 cases in Goshen, 107 cases in Traver, 16 cases in the Reedley area and 11 cases in Orange Cove.

In Visalia there have been 2,406 cases in one region, 1,386 cases in another region and 1,690 cases in a third region.

There have been 2,892 cases ages 0-17, 3,232 cases ages 18-25, 5,830 cases ages 26-40, 6,348 cases ages 41-64 and 2,039 cases ages 65 and older.

There have been 11,764 cases who have been Hispanic, 2,095 have been Caucasian, 378 have been Asian, 105 have been African American, 84 have been Native American, 426 have been multi-race and 5,500 are unknown.

There are 799 people in Tulare County who are under self-quarantine being monitored by public health officials.

As of Monday Sierra View Medical Center had 13 COVID-19 patients and 12 patients suspected of having COVID-19. Sierra View has had 58 deaths due to COVID-19.

Sierra View reported six of its 10 ICU beds were in use and four of its 16 ventilators were in use.

Sierra View reported it now has seven employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 62 employees who have recovered. Sierra View has had a total of 468 positive tests.

With a population of nearly 470,000 people, Tulare County has a rate of about 4.3 cases per 100 residents or 4.3 percent.


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