The number of active COVID-19 cases in Tulare County continues to increase.

Tulare County Health and Human Services reported on Monday there are now 595 people in the county who have COVID-19. That's an increase of 53 over the weekend.

The increase in total COVID-19 cases over the weekend, though, was relatively small, averaging about 30 per day. The health department reported an increase of 91 cases over the weekend. Since March 11 there have been 16,490 cases in Tulare County.

Tulare County has a positive test rate of 5.9 percent which meets one of the standards to move from the most restrictive tier — purple — to the next least restrictive tier — red.

Tulare County also has a rate of 9.2 cases per 100,000 residents over a 7-day period. For Tulare County to move into the red tier, it must reduce that number to 7 per 100,000 residents.

But at last week's Tulare County Board of Supervisors meeting it was also reported Tulare County will need to meet another standard to move into the red category in which its most disadvantaged area must also have a positive test rate of less than eight percent.

Once Tulare County can move into the red tier that means 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 to all students.

As far as schools applying for waivers to reopen for K-6 grades, a number of local schools have applied for a waiver.

St. Anne's, Zion Lutheran, Saucelito and Hope Schools have all had their waivers approved to begin in-person instruction for grades K-6.

Other local schools that have applied for waivers that are still under review are Springville, Roosevelt Elementary, Jefferson Elementary, Washington Elementary, Reagan Elementary, Lincoln Elementary and Kennedy Elementary all in Lindsay, Sunnyside, Strathmore Elementary, Rockford and Pleasant View.

Tulare County reported no new deaths over the weekend, leaving the total number of deaths due to COVID-19 in the county to 265. The state is now projecting Tulare County to have 293 deaths by November 4.

Of 263 deaths in the county, 204 were 65 or older, 55 were ages 41-64 and 4 were under 41. There have been 119 deaths related to nursing homes and 144 deaths not related to nursing homes.

The health department reported there are 39 COVID-19 hospitalizations in Tulare County.

Tulare County has also sustained another setback as far as the status of COVID-19 in the county. After being in the “likely decreasing” category for quite some time meaning the increase in cases would be lower than the current rate, the county's R number is now back up to the “likely stable” category, meaning the increase of cases is expected to continue at its current rate.

The county's R number is now .96. So now the average number of people one infected person in the county is expected to infect is back up to nearly one.

The health department reported on Monday the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Tulare County is 39.

As of Friday, Sierra View Medical Center reported it had 13 COVID-19 hospitalizations and six patients suspected of having COVID-19. Sierra View has had 45 deaths due to COVID-19.

Sierra View reported six of its 10 ICU beds were in use and four of its 19 ventilators were in use. Sierra View reported it now has four employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 47 employees who have recovered. Sierra View has had a total of 344 positive tests.

As of Friday Kaweah Delta Hospital reported it had 22 COVID-19 hospitalizations of which four were in ICU.

Since March 11 there have been 2,652 cases in the Porterville area, 163 cases in Terra Bella, 238 cases in Strathmore, 671 cases in Lindsay, 46 cases in foothill-mountain communities, 141 cases in Richgrove, 28 cases in Alpaugh, 298 cases in Pixley, 91 cases in Tipton, 663 cases in Earlimart, 2,642 cases in Tulare, 1,823 cases in Dinuba, 487 cases in Farmersville, 327 cases in Exeter, 43 cases in Goshen, 81 cases in Traver, 285 cases in Woodlake, 337 cases in Cutler, 593 cases in Orosi, 13 cases in the Reedley area and 11 cases in Orange Cove.

In Visalia there have been 2,060 cases in one region, 1,141 cases in another region and 1,359 cases in a third region.

There have been 68 cases reported as travel-related, 5,527 cases due to person-to-person contact and 10,895 cases are under investigation.

There have been 2,321 cases ages 0-17, 2,625 cases ages 18-25, 4,753 cases ages 26-40, 5,117 cases ages 41-64 and 1,664 cases ages 65 and older.

There have been 9,369 cases who have been Hispanic, 1,580 have been Caucasian, 299 have been Asian, 73 have been African-American, 50 have been Native American, 313 have been multi-race and 4,806 are unknown.

The number of people in self-quarantine has increased considerably and that's actually a good sign as that shows contact tracing efforts are working. The number of people in self-quarantine being monitored by public health officials is 516.

With a population of nearly 470,000 people, Tulare County has had an overall rate of 3.52 cases per 100 residents or 3.52 percent.

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