Tulare County may move into the yellow tier, after all — at least for one week.

The county narrowly missed all the criteria to move into the yellow tier, the least restrictive tier when the state released its official COVID-19 stats for Tulare County on Tuesday. So for one more week Tulare County will remain in the next least restrictive tier, the orange tier.

But there was a considerable improvement in the county's stats on Tuesday. Tulare County's case rate, which has gone up to 3.7 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day period last week, came down to 2.2 per 100,000 on Tuesday or .0022 percent. Tulare County Health and Human Services Director Tim Lutz predicted the case rate would drop at last week's Tulare County Board of Supervisors meeting.

The 2.2 per 100,000 narrowly misses the standard of less than 2 per 100,000 to move into the yellow tier. Tulare County's positive test rates also improved and both those rates meet the yellow tier guidelines.

Tulare County's overall test rate fell from 1.9 to 1.5 percent. But the county's positive test rate for its most disadvantaged areas moved back to meeting the yellow tier guideline after falling into the orange tier. That rate fell from 2.8 to 1.8 percent.

So if the county reduces its case rate to below 2 per 100,000 next week, it could move into the yellow tier. But it would be for only one week as the state is scheduled to fully reopen the economy anyway on June 15.

Another positive development has been another considerable drop on Tulare County's R number which measures the rate of spread of the virus. The county's R number last week was hovering close to 1 in the “likely stable” stable category.

But the county's R number has fallen to .72 and the county is back in the “likely decreasing” category, meaning the rate of spread of the virus is expected to increase at a lower rate than its current rate of increase. The number .72 is the average number of people who would be infected by one infected person.

The number of active cases in Tulare County also continues to come down. Tulare County Health and Human Services reported on Tuesday there are now 187 people in Tulare County who have tested positive for COVID-19.

The number of total cases also continues to fluctuate as what's considered a “presumed” case and what's considered a “confirmed” case continues to affect the number. Tulare County which had reported more than 50,000 cases is now below 50,000 again. Since March 11, 2020, there have been 49,918 cases in Tulare County.

There have been 48,885 in Tulare County who have recovered after testing positive for COVID-19. There have been 846 deaths in Tulare County due to COVID-19. Sierra View has Medical Center has had 164 deaths due to COVID-19.

Another positive trend is hospitalizations continue to remain low in Tulare County. The health department reported Tulare County has seven hospitalizations due to COVID-19.

On Monday, Sierra View reported it had two COVID-19 patients and three patients suspected of having COVID-19.

With a population of about 477,000 people Tulare County has had an overall case rate of 10.5 percent.

VACCINE UPDATE

On Monday Governor Gavin Newsom tweeted 70 percent of California's adults have received at least one vaccine shot. More than 37 million doses have been administered in the state.

The state reported on Tuesday 51.2 percent of those eligible in California have now been fully vaccinated.

The county health department reported 171,307 Tulare County residents have been vaccinated. The state reported on Tuesday 302,569 doses have been administered in Tulare County.

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