BY CHARLES WHISNAND

cwhisnand@portervillerecorder.com

The large increase in deaths due to the most recent surge continues in Tulare County.

Tulare County Health and Human Services reported there were 12 more deaths Thursday, bringing the total number of deaths due to COVID-19 in the county to 684. The county has data on 645 deaths of which 498 were ages 65 and older, 133 were ages 41-64 and 13 were ages 26-40.

One child in Tulare County has died due to complications with COVID-19. There have been 182 deaths related to nursing homes and 463 deaths not related to nursing homes. Sierra View Medical Center has had 137 deaths due to COVID-19.

The number of active cases in Tulare County continues to go down. The health department reported a decrease of 84 active cases from the previous day. There are now 1,834 people in Tulare County who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Tulare County's case rate has remained at essentially the same level in recent days. The health department reported the county's unofficial, preliminary rate is 27.6 cases per 100,000 residents over a 7-day period.

Tulare County is in the most restrictive tier, the purple tier. For Tulare County to move into the next least restrictive tier, the red tier, it must reduce its rate to 7 per 100,000.

Tulare County's R number which measures the rate of spread of the virus has also remained essentially the same as it's now at .78, putting the county in the “likely decreasing” category. That means the rate of increase is expected to continue at a lower level than it is now. The number .78 represents the average number of people would would be infected by one infected person.

The number of recoveries increased by 191 on Thursday. There are now 44,090 people in Tulare County who have recovered after testing positive for COVID-19.

The number of overall cases increased by 131 on Thursday. Since March 11 there have been 46,608 cases in Tulare County.

There have been 9,397 cases in the Porterville area, 41 cases in foothill-mountain communities, 142 cases in Springville, 679 cases in Terra Bella, 610 cases in Strathmore, 1,751 cases in Lindsay, 8,227 cases in Tulare, 3,972 cases in Dinuba, 312 cases in Richgrove, 77 cases in Alpaugh, 348 case in Tipton, 748 cases in Pixley, 1,379 cases in Earlimart, 1,124 cases in Farmersville, 985 cases in Exeter, 861 cases in Woodlake, 729 cases in Cutler, 1,375 cases in Orosi, 87 cases in Goshen, 235 cases in Traver, 57 cases in the Reedley area, 20 cases in Orange Cove and 482 cases in Ivanhoe.

In Visalia there have been 5,099 cases in one region, 3,353 cases in another region and 4,030 cases in a third region.

There have been 6,904 cases ages 0-17, 7,248 cases ages 18-25, 13,115 cases ages 26-40, 14,479 cases ages 41-64 and 4,837 cases ages 65 and older.

There have been 25,623 cases who have been Hispanic, 6,381 have been Caucasian, 918 have been Asian, 324 have been African American, 297 have been Native American, 1,536 have been multi-race and 11,529 are unknown.

There are 311 people in Tulare County under self-quarantine being monitored by public health officials.

On Wednesday Sierra View reported it had 24 COVID-19 patients and seven patients suspected of having COVID-19. Sierra View reported nine 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 seven employees who have tested positive for COVID-19, including six who are hospitalized. There are 162 employees who have recovered after testing positive for COVID-19. Sierra View has had a total of 1,067 positive tests.

With a population of 477,000, Tulare County has had a rate of 9.8 cases per 100 residents or 9.8 percent.

VACCINES UPDATE

The CVS pharmacy at 53 E. Olive Avenue in Porterville is beginning to provide vaccines on Friday. Vaccinations are also being offered at Tulare's CVS pharmacy, 109 South West Street. Healthcare workers and those ages 65 and older are eligible for the vaccines at CVS.

Appointments must be made. No walk-ins will be accepted. Those interested in vaccines also shouldn't call the CVS pharmacies. To make an appointment visit www.cvs.com/immunizations/covid-19-vaccine. Once on the website, scroll down to click on California to make an appointment. Those without online access can call (800) 746-7287.

In addition those who need a second dose and don't yet have a scheduled appointment for a second dose or those seeking information on vaccines can call (559) 685-2260. There's no need to call for those who have received an appointment for a second dose.

Those who need a second dose who don't yet have a scheduled appointment for a second dose are also encouraged to check their spam folders for an e-mail from the health department.

Information on vaccines is also available at https://covid19.tularecounty.ca.gov/covid-19-vaccine/

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