San Joaquin County Public Health Services launched new website this week showing where the county is in relation to state guidelines for reopening businesses and other public spaces.
The county’s “COVID-19 Roadmap to Recovery” dashboard displays local statistics in relation to the state’s standards, as outlined by Gov. Gavin Newsom on April 28, required to lift the state’s stay-at-home order.
The first of four stages is assurance that essential workers are safe. Statistics posted on the dashboard this week show where the county is in Stage 2, which determines if it is safe to reopen businesses, including retail, manufacturing and logistics operations, and eventually open schools, child care centers and offices. Stage 3 will be the opening of higher-risk workplaces, and Stage 4 will be reopening of all businesses and public spaces.
On May 7, Newsom outlined standards to meet Stage 2 criteria. For example, counties across the state must slow the spread of the disease to just one case out of every 1,000 people over a two-week period. That would be 76 new cases in two weeks in this county, which has a population of about 762,000, but there have been 101 new cases since April 29
The state also requires that there be no COVID-19 deaths in any two-week period. Six people have died of COVID-19 in San Joaquin County since April 28, including five in the past week.
Counties also need to increase testing to a rate of 1.5 tests every day for every 1,000 people in the county. San Joaquin County is testing about 2,000 people every day, well above the state standard of 1,140 tests per day.
The county has yet to meet state standards for contact tracing, supplies of personal protective equipment for skilled nursing facilities, and sheltering of homeless people at risk for COVID-19.
The county continues to track detailed statistics on its separate COVID-19 dashboard, which is also updated daily.
As of Thursday, the county had reported a cumulative total of 644 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 31 deaths. Of those total cases reported, 511 people had recovered. The county also reported that 153 people have been hospitalized with COVID-19, and 22 remain in the hospital.
Tracy, with a population of roughly 90,000, has had 101 confirmed cases, including 58 within the 95376 zip code. Mountain House has had five cases.
David Thompson, CEO of Sutter Tracy Community Hospital, said that of 355 patients the hospital has tested, 27 have tested positive, including 24 people who have since been discharged. As of Wednesday afternoon, there were three COVID-19 patients at the hospital, but none in the intensive care unit.
Thompson said the local hospital is able to test people who show symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever and difficulty breathing, but is still limited as to how many people the hospital can test.
“For us, it’s really the swabs,” he said, referring to the long nasal swabs used to collect samples. “I’d say we have adequate but not abundant supplies.”
While new cases are reported every day, the rate of infection in the county appears to have slowed. The total of 644 cases reported as of Wednesday was about 10.5% more than a week before, (61 new cases since May 6). The county’s charts show the week ending April 11 as the peak for onset of new cases (121), and the single biggest daily increase (40) was reported April 13. That was the week after the county started offering free drive-up testing at the San Joaquin County Clinic in French Camp. The county has averaged just under 11 new cases a day since then.
About half the cases in the county (50.5%) have been in people ages 18 to 49, who make up 42.6% of the county population, with most of the rest (46.2%) in people over age 50, who are 31.4% of the population. All the people known to have died from COVID-19 in the county so far were 50 or older, split between those ages 50 to 64 (48.4%) and those over age 65 (51.6%). About two-thirds of them were men (67.7%).
California as a whole has confirmed 71,141 COVID-19 cases and 2,934 deaths. That’s an increase of about 21% in new cases over the week before. The biggest single-day increase in new cases was on May 5 (2,603). Los Angeles County has had the most positive cases in the state, 34,574 as of Wednesday, with 1,659 deaths.
The state has had 4,545 people hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, with little variation since the start of May. The number of deaths in a single day peaked April 22 (115), and the state has averaged about 71 deaths a day since then. The state reported 25 fatalities on Sunday, the lowest single-day total since April 5.
California, which has a population of about 39.5 million, has passed the 1 million mark in testing with 1,033,370 tests completed as of Monday.