Tulare County maintained its stats on Friday that would place it in the orange tier.

The county is now in the red tier. Based on Tulare County's current stats it should be able to move into the least restrictive tier, the orange tier, when the state updates the official stats for the county on Tuesday. In the orange tier, various sectors in Tulare County would be able to increase the capacity of their indoor operations.

County officials, though, stress residents need to continue to be vigilant in the wake of the announcement on Friday that three cases of COVID-19 variants were found in Tulare County. Two cases of the UK variant, B.1.1.7 were found and one case of the South African variant, B.1.351 was found.

Tulare County Health and Human Services reported on Friday the county's unofficial, preliminary case rate remained virtually the same at 3.5 per 100,000 over a 7-day period or .0035 percent. That would place Tulare County under the threshold of 4 per 100,000 to move into the orange tier when the official rate is announced on Tuesday.

Even if the official rate doesn't fall to under 4 per 100,000, Tulare County should still move into the orange tier on Tuesday as the state is expected to announced it has administered four million vaccine doses to its most disadvantaged areas. When that happens the standard to move into the orange tier moves up to 6 per 100,000 cases.

There was another slight drop in the number active cases on Friday, Active cases declined by seven on Friday. There are now 371 people in Tulare County who have testes positive for COVID-19.

The health department reported 29 new cases on Friday. Since March 11, 2020 there have been 49,100 cases in Tulare County.

The health department reported no new deaths on Friday, leaving the total number of deaths in Tulare County due to COVID-19 at 813. Due to a different method in measuring deaths, the state has a total of 817 deaths for Tulare County. The state also has a lower total of overall cases for Tulare County at 48,279.

The county has data on 809 deaths of which 609 were ages 65 and older, 183 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 616 deaths not related to nursing homes. Sierra View Medical Center has had 162 deaths due to COVID-19.

The number of recoveries in Tulare County increased by 36 on Friday. There are now 47,916 people who have recovered after testing positive for COVID-19.

Tulare County's R number which measures the rate of spread of the virus and has been in the “likely decreasing” decreasing category for sometime remained stable at .75. “Likely decreasing” means the rate of the virus is expected to increase at a lower level than its current rate of increase. The number .75 represents the average number of people who would be infected by one infected person.

Since March 1, 2020 there have been 9,944 cases in the Porterville area, 43 cases in foothill-mountain communities, 158 cases in Springville, 713 cases in Terra Bella, 620 cases in Strathmore, 1,794 cases in Lindsay, 8,752 cases in Tulare, 4,193 cases in Dinuba, 324 cases in Richgrove, 79 cases in Alpaugh, 784 cases in Pixley, 366 cases in Tipton, 1,453 cases in Earlimart, 1,158 cases in Farmersville, 1,041 cases in Exeter, 52 cases in Three Rivers, 907 cases in Woodlake, 747 cases in Cutler, 1,471 cases in Orosi, 90 cases in Goshen, 267 cases in Traver, 60 cases in the Reedley area, 22 cases in Orange Cove and 497 cases in Ivanhoe.

In Visalia there have been 5,368 cases in one region, 3,525 cases in another region and 4,225 cases in a third region.

There have been 7,350 cases ages 0-17, 7,632 cases ages 18-25, 13,781 cases ages 26-40, 15,228 cases ages 41-64 and 5,082 cases ages 65 and older.

There have been 27,446 cases who have been Hispanic, 6,873 have been Caucasian, 988 have been Asian, 349 have been African American, 322 have been Native American, 1,629 have been multi-race and 11,493 are unknown.

As of Thursday, Sierra View Medical Center had three COVID-19 patients and 10 patients suspected of having COVID-19. Sierra View reported four of its 10 ICU beds were in use. Sierra View reported five of its 20 ventilators were in use.

Sierra View reported it now has one employee who has tested positive for COVID-19. There have been 173 employees who have recovered after testing positive for COVID-19. Sierra View has had a total of 1,197 positive tests.

With a population of about 477,000 people Tulare County has an overall case rate of 10.3 percent.

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