Tulare County continues to hold steady as far as its COVID-19 statistics are concerned, with a continued week-to-week slight improvement.

That was the report given by Tulare County Health and Human Services Director Tim Lutz during his weekly update on the status of COVID-19 in the county at Tuesday's Tulare County Board of Supervisors meeting.

There was a slight drop in Tulare County's official case rate as released by the state on Tuesday. The case rate fell from 3.3 per 100,000 over a 7-day period to 2.9 per 100,000 or .0029 percent.

Tulare County is in the orange tier but its overall positive test rate and positive test rate for its most disadvantaged areas meets the guidelines for the least restrictive tier, the yellow tier. The county's overall positive test rate fell from 1.7 to 1.5 percent and its positive test rate for its most disadvantaged areas fell from 2.2 to 1.5 percent.

For the county to move into the yellow tier it must reduce its case rate to 2 per 100,000. But it may very well be before that happens the state will fully reopen the economy anyway. The state plans to fully reopen the economy on June 15.

It's expected the state will continue to keep its tiered system for events such as large public and private gatherings, theater performances and indoor sporting events. Lutz gave an update on the guidelines for large gatherings as the state began to allow large gatherings with restrictions depending on what tier a county is in last week.

In the orange tier in Tulare County large private gatherings such as weddings of up to 100 people are allowed or 300 people are allowed if it can be shown everyone in attendance has been vaccinated or has a negative COVID test. For public gatherings such as conferences the number of people allowed outdoors is 50 and the number of people allowed indoors is 25, Lutz said.

Tulare County's R which measures the rate of spread of the virus remains at .77. Tulare County is in the “likely decreasing category, meaning the rate of the virus is expected to increase at a lower level than its current rate of increase. The number .77 represents the average number of people who would be infected by one infected person.

The number of overall cases increased by 143 over the last week which is a .29 percent increase. That's a slightly lower increase than the increase from the previous week which was .7 percent.

The number of active cases in Tulare County went up slightly by four on Tuesday. There are now 262 people in Tulare County who have tested positive for COVID-19.

The health department reported 29 new cases on Tuesday. Since March 11, 2020 there have been 49,993 cases in Tulare County.

The health department reported 26 recoveries on Tuesday. There are now 48,350 people in Tulare County who have recovered after testing positive for COVID-19.

The health department reported no deaths on Tuesday, leaving the total of deaths in Tulare County due to COVID-19 at 831. Sierra View Medical Center has had 162 deaths due to COVID-19.

The county has data on 829 deaths of which 625 were ages 65 and older, 187 were ages 41-64 and 15 were ages 26-40. There have been two deaths under the age of 26, one a young adult and the other a child who died due to complications with COVID-19. There have been 193 deaths related to nursing homes and 636 deaths not related to nursing homes.

The state also has Tulare County with 831 deaths. The state isn't as up-to-date as the county is when it comes to overall cases and now has Tulare County with 48,630 cases.

Since March 11, 2020 there have been 10,021 cases in the Porterville area, 43 cases in foothill-mountain communities, 162 cases in Springville, 719 cases in Terra Bella, 621 cases in Strathmore, 1,793 cases in Lindsay, 8,791 cases in Tulare, 4,222 cases in Dinuba, 330 cases in Richgrove, 81 cases in Alpaugh, 785 cases in Pixley, 367 cases in Tipton, 1,456 cases in Earlimart, 1,167 cases in Farmersville, 1,048 cases in Exeter, 55 cases in Three Rivers, 919 cases in Woodlake, 751 cases in Cutler, 1,474 cases in Orosi, 91 cases in Goshen, 269 cases in Traver, 60 cases in the Reedley area, 23 cases in Orange Cove and 502 cases in Ivanhoe.

In Visalia there have been 5,411 cases in one region, 3,548 cases in another region and 4,276 cases in a third region.

There have been 7,412 cases ages 0-17, 7,678 cases ages 18-25, 13,855 cases ages 26-40, 15,330 cases ages 41-64 and 5,141 cases ages 65 and older.

There have been 27,625 cases who have been Hispanic, 6,965 have been Caucasian, 993 have been Asian, 354 have been African American, 330 have been Native American, 1,641 have been multi-race and 11,535 are unknown.

On Monday Sierra View reported it had two COVID-19 patients and eight patients suspected of having COVID-19. Sierra View reported four of its 10 ICU beds were in use. Sierra View reported two of its 21 ventilators were in use.

Sierra View still has no employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 as all 174 employees who tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered. Sierra View has had a total of 1,214 positive tests.

With a population of about 4770, 000 people Tulare County has had an overall case rate of 10.4 percent.

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