As far as its effort to move into the red tier, Tulare County is moving in the wrong direction. But numbers of the weekend did provide hope.

Tulare County Health and Human Services reported on Monday the county's case rate continues to rise. Tulare County's now has a rate of 9.2 per 100,000 over the past seven days. That's an increase of .5 over the 8.7 per 100,000 that was last reported.

So the county is heading in the wrong direction when it comes to moving from the most restrictive tier — purple — to the next least restrictive tier — red. Tulare County must have a case rate of 7 per 100,000 to move into the red tier.

But the number of overall cases reported over the weekend was less than 100. There were 95 more cases reported over the weekend, bringing the total number of cases in Tulare County since March 11 to 17,590.

The 95 cases reported over a three-day period was about at the 32 per day Tulare County Health and Human Services Director Tim Lutz said the county will need to move into the red tier. But it also should be noted the county doesn't complete its total count from the weekend until Tuesday.

Another good sign came when there was a slight decline in the active number of cases. There are now 556 people in Tulare County who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, a decline of 7 from the previous number reported.

The number of recoveries increased by 100 over the weekend. There are now 16,746 people in Tulare County who have recovered after testing positive for COVID-19.

Tulare County continues to meet the positive testing standards to move into the red tier. It's overall positive test rate is at 5.1 percent, well below the 8 percent threshold to move into the red tier. The county's equity metric positive test rate for its most disadvantage areas is 6.3 percent, also below the 8 percent threshold.

On the first Tuesday Tulare County meets all the standards it must maintain those numbers for two weeks before it can move into the red tier. Restaurants would then be able to open indoors at 25 percent capacity, churches would be able to open indoors at 25 percent capacity, movie theaters would be able to open on a limited basis and schools would be able to re-open to all students.

As far as schools, waivers for Springville, Woodville, the Porterville Unified School District, Burton School District and Hot Springs School in California Hot Springs were all still under review. They are waiting to join the numerous other local schools that have been cleared to reopen for grades K-6.

The health department reported two more deaths over the weekend, bringing the total number of deaths in Tulare County due to COVID-19 to 288. The county has data on 276 deaths of which 214 were ages 65 and older, 58 were ages 41-64 and four were under the age of 41.

There have been 119 deaths related to nursing homes and 157 deaths not related to nursing homes. The state model projects Tulare County to have five more deaths in the next month, projecting the county to have 293 deaths by November 25.

Another encouraging sign is Tulare County's R number continues to come down and is down to .91 which still indicates the increase of cases is “likely stable,” meaning the increase of cases is expected to continue at its current rate. The number .91 represents the average number of people one infected person would infect.

Tulare County's COVID-19 hospitalizations also remain low at 27. On Friday, Sierra View Medical Center reported it had 13 COVID-19 hospitalizations and no patients suspected of having COVID-19.

Sierra View has had 48 deaths due to COVID-19. Sierra View reported none of its 10 ICU beds were in use and one of its 18 ventilators was in use.

Sierra View reported it now has three employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 55 employees who have recovered. Sierra View has had a total of 384 positive tests.

Since March 11, the Porterville area has had 2,913 cases, Lindsay has had 693 cases, Terra Bella has had 181 cases, Strathmore has had 250 cases, foothill-mountain communities have had 51 cases, Richgrove has had 140 cases, Tulare has had 2,825 cases, Dinuba has had 1,894 cases, Woodlake has had 307 cases, Exeter has had 359 cases, Farmersville has had 525 cases, Alpaugh has had 28 cases, Pixley has had 312 cases, Tipton has had 101 cases, Earlimart has had 709 cases, Goshen has had 45 cases, Traver has had 87 cases, the Reedley area has had 14 cases, Orange Cove has had 11 cases, Cutler has had 372 cases and Orosi has had 648 cases.

In Visalia one region has had 2,144 cases, another region has had 1,207 cases and a third region has had 1,447 cases.

There have been 68 cases reported as travel related, 5,934 cases due to person-to-person contact and 11, 588 cases are under investigation.

There have been 2,495 cases ages 0-17, 2,786 cases ages 18-25, 5,070 cases ages 26-40, 5,469 cases ages 41-64 and 1,759 cases ages 65 and older.

There have been 10,151 cases who have been Hispanic, 1,716 have been Caucasian, 326 have been Asian, 81 have been African American, 57 have been Native American, 345 have been multi-race and 4,914 are unknown.

There are 412 people in Tulare County who are under self-quarantine and being monitored by public health officials.

With a population of nearly 470,000 people, Tulare County has had a rate of 3.75 cases per 100 residets or 3.75 percent.

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