While Tulare County didn't make any substantial progress on Friday as far as its possible move to the red tier, active cases did go down in the county.

Tulare County Health and Human Services reported on Friday there are now 571 people in Tulare County who have COVID-19. That's a decrease of 37 from the previous day.

The number of overall cases also increased by a relatively low number on Friday as the health department reported an increase of 48 cases. Since March 11 there have now been 17,120 COVID-19 cases in Tulare County.

But there was little change in the standard that's keeping Tulare County from moving into the red tier. Tulare County is now in the most restrictive tier — purple — with the next least restrictive tier being red.

The case rate over a seven-day period in Tulare County remained virtually unchanged on Friday at 9.8 per 100,000. For Tulare County to move into the red tier it needs to lower that rate to 7 per 100,000.

Tulare County meets the standard when it comes to its positive test rate at 5.8 percent, well below the 8 percent threshold and in its latest update the county also meets the standard for the positive test rate in the most disadvantaged areas of the county.

On the first Tuesday Tulare County meets all the standards it must maintain those numbers for two weeks to move into the red tier. Then 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 a number of local schools can now reopen for grades K-6. Sunnyside and Strathmore Elementary Schools and Reagan, Lincoln, Jefferson, Washington, Roosevelt and Kennedy Schools can now all reopen for grades K-6.

They join Pleasant View, Rockford, Saucelito, Hope, St. Anne's and Zion Lutheran that were previously approved to reopen for grades K-6.

The Porterville Unified School District also became the latest district to apply for a waiver to allow all of its elementary schools to reopen for grades K-6. PUSD has applied for waivers for Olive Street, Belleview, John J. Doyle, Los Robles, Monte Vista, Roche Avenue, Santa Fe, Vandalia, West Putnam and Westfield Schools.

All those schools' waivers along with Woodville and Springville are currently under review.

The health department reported one more death on Friday, bringing the total number of deaths in Tulare County due to COVID-19 to 275.

The health department has data on 269 deaths with 209 deaths over 65, 56 deaths ages 41-64 and four deaths under the age of 64. There have been 119 deaths related to nursing homes and 150 deaths not related to nursing homes. The state model now projects Tulare County to have 304 deaths by November 15.

There was a jump in Tulare County's R number, indicating the average number of people infected by an infected person would again be more than 1 at 1.04. But that still indicates the increase in cases in Tulare County is “likely stable,” meaning the increase in cases is expected to continue at its current level.

The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Tulare County remained relatively low at 29. As of Thursday Sierra View Medical Center reported it had seven COVID-19 hospitalizations and eight patients suspected of having COVID-19.

Sierra View has had 46 deaths due to COVID-19. Sierra View reported four of its 10 ICU beds were in use and three of its 18 ventilators were in use.

Sierra View reported it now has three employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 53 employees who have recovered. Sierra View has had a total of 366 positive tests.

Since March 11 there have been 2,780 cases in the Porterville area, 173 cases in Terra Bella, 249 cases in Strathmore, 685 cases in Lindsay, 48 cases in foothill-mountain communities, 139 cases in Richgrove, 2,752 cases in Tulare, 1,859 cases in Dinuba, 28 cases in Alpaugh, 298 cases in Pixley, 98 cases in Tipton, 699 cases in Earlimart, 510 cases in Farmersville, 339 cases in Exeter, 304 cases in Woodlake, 363 cases in Cutler, 617 cases in Orosi, 44 cases in Goshen, 84 cases in Traver, 13 cases in the Reedley area and 11 cases in Orange Cove.

In Visalia there have been 2,127 cases in one region, 1,169 cases in another region and 1,413 cases in a third region.

There have been 68 cases reported as travel-related, 5,749 cases due to person-to-person contact and 11,303 cases are under investigation.

There have been 2,417 cases ages 0-17, 2,721 cases ages 18-25, 4,935 cases ages 26-40, 5,313 cases ages 41-64 and 1,724 cases ages 65 and older.

There have been 9,812 cases who have been Hispanic, 1,648 have been Caucasian, 308 have been Asian, 78 have been African American, 56 have been Native American, 328 have been multi-race and 4,890 are unknown.

There are 465 people in Tulare County who are under self-quarantine being monitored by public health officials.

With a population of nearly 470,000 people, Tulare County has had a rate of 3.65 cases per 100 residents or 3.65 percent.

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