Tulare County inched closer to the case rate that would effectively allow many sports that have been shut down to open on Friday.

Tulare County's preliminary, unofficial case rate on Monday as announced by Tulare County Health and Human Services was 16.0 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day period or .016 percent. That was a drop of 2.4 from the previous number that was reported last Friday.

The state should update the official rate for Tulare County today. If the rate drops to 14 or below per 100,000 that would open the way for high school, youth and adult recreation sports leagues that have been effectively shut down to begin again on Friday.

The state guidelines now allow counties with case rates of 14 or below 100,000 to hold sports such as baseball and softball with far less restrictions, beginning this Friday. Other sports such as football, water polo and soccer would also be allowed beginning this Friday, but with far more restrictions. Those restrictions would include all athletes ages 13 and above having to be tested on a weekly basis and test results to be known 24 hours before a competition.

As far as more sectors being able to open in Tulare County, the county is in the most restrictive tier, the purple tier. For the county to move into the next least restrictive tier, the red tier, Tulare County's case rate must come down to 7 per 100,000.

The other metrics released by the health department for Tulare County on Monday also headed in the right direction. There was a huge drop in the number of active cases in Tulare County.

Active cases dropped by 236 over the weekend. There are now 1,182 people in Tulare County who have tested positive for COVID-19.

There was also a huge increase in recoveries. The number of recoveries increased by 397 over the weekend. There are now 45,658 people in Tulare County who have recovered after testing positive for COVID-19.

The increase in deaths over the weekend was also far lower than it has been. The health department reported two more deaths, bringing the total number of deaths in Tulare County due to COVID-19 to 722.

Tulare County has data on 720 deaths of which 547 were ages 65 and older, 158 were ages 41-64 and 14 were ages 26-40. One child in Tulare County has died due to complications with COVID-19.

There have been 187 deaths related to nursing homes and 532 deaths not related to nursing homes. Sierra View Medical Center has had 146 deaths due to COVID-19.

Tulare County's R number which measures the rate of spread of the virus remained about the same at .74, keeping the county in the “likely decreasing” category. That means the rate of the virus is expected to increase at a lower level than its current rate. The number .74 represents the average number of people would would be infected by one infected person.

The overall increase in cases also continues to be lower than it has been. The health department reported 163 cases over the weekend or less than 55 cases per day over the three-day period. Since March 11 there have been 47,562 cases in Tulare County.

There have been 9,625 cases in the Porterville area, 43 cases in the foothill-mountain communities, 687 cases in Terra Bella, 149 cases in Springville, 615 cases in Strathmore, 1,763 cases in Lindsay, 319 cases in Richgrove, 78 cases in Alpaugh, 762 cases in Pixley, 356 cases in Tipton, 1,420 cases in Earlimart, 8,451 cases in Tulare, 4,047 cases in Dinuba, 1,139 cases Famersville, 1,016 cases in Exeter, 51 cases in Three Rivers, 880 cases in Woodlake, 735 cases in Cutler, 1,408 cases in Orosi, 87 cases in Goshen, 238 cases in Traver, 56 cases in the Reedley area, 21 cases in Orange Cove and 485 cases in Ivanhoe.

In Visalia there have been 5,162 cases in one region, 3,421 cases in another region and 4,087 cases in a third region.

There have been 7,065 cases who have been ages 0-17, 7,402 have been 18-25, 13,374 have been 26-40, 14,764 have been 41-64 and 4,931 have been 65 and older.

There have been 26,340 cases who have been Hispanic, 6,569 have been Caucasian, 940 have been Asian, 329 have been African American, 304 have been Native American, 1,576 have been multi-race and 11,504 are unknown.

There are 209 people in Tulare County under self-quarantine being monitored by public health officials.

On Friday, Sierra View reported it had 20 COVID-19 patients and eight patients suspected of having COVID-19. Sierra View reported eight of its 10 ICU beds were in use. Sierra View reported 10 of its 33 ventilators were in use.

Sierra View reported it now has four employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 168 employees who have recovered after testing positive for COVID-19. Sierra View has had a total of 1,102 positive tests.

About 1 in 10 people in Tulare County has tested positive for COVID-19. With a population of 477,000 people, Tulare County's overall case rate has been just under 10 percent.


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