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County making strides to bring down COVID-19 rate
Stanislaus meets one metric in lower tier
nail salon
As of Tuesday, nail salons were allowed to reopen in Stanislaus County with modifications (Photo contributed).

Stanislaus County is showing some improvements in the fight against COVID-19 and is making progress towards re-opening more of the economy, though the area remains in the widespread tier, according to the latest data from the California Department of Public Health.

The county met one metric needed for the next tier down in California's Blueprint for a Safer Economy. However, in order to move out of the purple widespread tier and into the red substantial tier, the county must meet both metrics and sustain that level for two consecutive weeks.

As of Tuesday, Stanislaus County has a seven-day average number of new COVID-19 positive cases per day per 100,000 residents of 7.5 percent, which still falls into the widespread tier. The positivity rate was at 5.5 percent, according to the CDPH. That rate is within the substantial tier.

Under the purple tier most non-essential indoor business operations have to remain closed or make modifications to operate outdoors, like restaurants, or decrease capacity. Under the red tier, some non-essential indoor business operations can open and/or increase capacity.

The CDPH is allowing expanded personal care services, like nail salons, to reopen in widespread tiers, as of Tuesday. The care services allowed to operate indoors are nail salons and electrolysis operations for physician-ordered procedures only. Outdoor operations for other non-invasive services are permitted and must continue to follow the modifications set by the CDPH. Electrology, tattooing and piercing services must not be provided in the outdoor setting because they are invasive procedures that require a controlled hygienic environment to be performed safely.

"Realistically, we should expect our county's progression through the next level to take longer than three weeks and not be completely surprised if we slide back at some point," said Stanislaus County Health Services Agency Epidemiologist Chelsey Donhoo. "But if at any point our county's numbers get worse and we slide backwards to the next level, our county will have to implement restrictions again. That is why it is so important to continue practicing those basic public health prevention strategies that have helped us get this far."

The SCHSA is encouraging residents to stay the course and continue wearing face coverings, keep six feet social distance from those not in your household, watch your hands frequently and if you are sick to stay home.

Stanislaus County has recorded 16,398 COVID-19 cases, as of Tuesday. Currently, 416 are presumed active. There have been 339 deaths.

Of the 416 current cases, 84 are in hospitals, with 30 in ICUs. The hospital bed availability has grown to 37.1 percent and the adult ICU bed availability is at 10.5 percent.

On Tuesday, the nation surpassed 200,000 COVID-19 deaths.

Stanislaus County Public Health is collaborating with CDPH to provide free COVID-19 pop-up testing in select neighborhoods from Saturday to Monday. Drive through tests will be held at the following locations:

— Ceres High School 2320 Central Ave, from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday; and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

— Stanislaus County Library 1500 I St, Modesto, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday.

“I encourage everyone who has COVID-19 symptoms or who has been exposed to someone who has COVID-19 to get tested,” said Dr. Julie Vaishampayan, Stanislaus County Public Health Officer. “Testing for COVID-19 is essential to limiting spread and protecting your family, friends and community.”

COVID-19 symptoms include fever, shortness of breath, cough, runny nose, muscle aches, headache, fatigue, loss of taste or smell, diarrhea and vomiting.