Monday turned out to be a brief respite when it came to Tulare County's COVID-19 case rate.
Tulare County Health and Human Services reported a huge surge in cases on Tuesday. The health department reported the number of overall cases in Tulare County increase by 419 on Tuesday. It should be noted the largest increase of the week is normally recorded on Tuesdays as that's when the recording of cases from the weekend is finished.
Since March 11 Tulare County has had 21,332 cases. There was also a big jump in the number of active cases as that amount increased by 195. There are now 1,783 people in Tulare County who have COVID-19.
The number of recoveries increased by 224. There are now 19,237 people in Tulare County who have recovered after testing positive for COVID-19.
After a significant decline on Monday, Tulare County's unofficial, preliminary case rate went back up by 4.2 on Tuesday to 22.5 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day period.
All of Tulare County's standards remain in the purple tier, the most restrictive tier. The state's last update had the county's case rate at 26.9 per 100,000.
According to a Harvard study that places Tulare County in a category in which it has reached the “tipping point” in which the study recommends a stay-at-home order is necessary. Governor Gavin Newsom also suggested on Monday an expanded stay-at-home orders similar to the one last spring could be implemented in the next few days in which people would only be able to go out for essential services and exercise.
Tulare County's last updated overall positive test rate was at 9.6 percent, which is above the eight percent threshold to move into the next least restrictive tier, the red tier. Tulare County's equity metric positive test rate for its most disadvantaged areas is also in the purple tier.
Tulare County must lower its case rate to 7 per 100,000 to move into the red tier. When Tulare County meets all the standards it must maintain those numbers for two weeks to move into the red tier.
When that happens restaurants can 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 for all students.
Sierra View Medical Center has also been hit hard as it reported almost all of its ICU beds were in use. As of Monday nine of Sierra View's 10 ICU beds were in use. Seven of its 18 ventilators were also in use.
Sierra View reported it had 18 COVID-19 patients and 10 patients suspected of having COVID-19. Sierra View has had 59 deaths due to COVID-19.
The hospital's employees have also been hit hard by COVID-19. Sierra View now has 18 employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 and one of those employees has been hospitalized.
Sierra View reported 66 employees have recovered after testing positive for COVID-19. Sierra View has had a total of 518 positive tests.
The health department reported no new deaths on Tuesday, leaving the total of deaths in Tulare County due to COVID-19 at 312. The state model projects Tulare County to have 341 deaths by December 31.
Tulare County has data on 308 deaths of which 240 were 65 or older, 64 were between the ages of 41 and 64 and four were under the age of 41. There have been 120 deaths related to nursing homes and 188 deaths not related to nursing homes.
There was also a significant jump in Tulare County's R number that measures the rate of increase of the virus. Tulare County's R number is 1.27, indicating the county is in the “likely increasing” category.
The number 1.27 represents the average number of people one person would be infected by one infected person. The state's R number is 1.13.
Since March 11 there have been 3,793 cases in the Porterville area, 240 cases in Terra Bella, 310 cases in Strathmore, 774 cases in Lindsay, 74 cases in foothill-mountain communities, 3,457 cases in Tulare, 2,180 cases in Dinuba, 159 case in Richgrove, 28 cases in Alpaugh, 371 cases in Pixley, 140 cases in Tipton, 880 cases in Earlimart, 623 cases in Farmersville, 467 cases in Exeter, 357 cases in Woodlake, 421 cases in Cutler, 741 cases in Orosi, 47 cases in Goshen, 110 cases in Traver, 16 cases in the Reedley area and 11 cases in Orange Cove.
In Visalia there have been 2,483 cases in one region, 1,470 cases in another region and 1,779 cases in a third region.
There have been 3,032 cases ages 0-17, 3,383 cases ages 18-25, 6,122 cases ages 26-40, 6,624 cases ages 41-64 and 2,160 cases ages 65 and older.
There have been 12,228 cases who have been Hispanic, 2,248 have been Caucasian, 394 have been Asian, 112 have been African American, 94 have been Native American, 441 have been multi-race and 5,785 are unknown.
There are 810 people in Tulare County under self-quarantine being monitored by public health officials.
With a population of nearly 470,000 people, Tulare County has a rate of 4.6 cases per 100 residents or 4.6 percent.