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Central Valley teenager first minor in state to die from COVID-19
Stanislaus County deaths surpass 100
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For the first time California has recorded a COVID-19 death in a person under the age of 18 years, the California Department of Public Health reported on Friday.
The death was that of a teenager from the Central Valley who had been hospitalized at Children's Hospital in Madera. The CDPH did not release any other details about the deceased, other than that the teenager had underlying health conditions.
“Our hearts go out to the family and loved ones of this young person whose death is a tragic and powerful reminder of how serious COVID-19 can be,” said Dr. Sonia Angell, State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health.
The death of the minor comes as California continues to see a high-rate of COVID-19 cases, though the seven-day average did drop. The seven-day average number of new cases is 8,322 per day. The seven-day average from the week prior was 9,881. California has 493,588 confirmed cases to date.
There have been 9,005 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic in California.
On Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced $52 million for Central Valley counties – San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern – to help expand disease investigation, contact tracing and quarantine efforts. In addition, the state will deploy three Unified Support Teams to these counties, which are experiencing increased cases and hospitalizations. Locally, Stanislaus County is awaiting details on how much will be allocated of the $52 million Gov. Newsom said would be distributed to the Central Valley, and how it has to be spent.
Additionally, the state will be sending Unified Support Teams into the eight Central Valley counties to support and boost on-the-ground efforts to reduce transmission rates. The teams will work side by side with local public health, emergency, medical, community and business organizations to evaluate on-the-ground needs and develop strategies and interventions to address them. These assessments could include an evaluation and improvement in testing, contact tracing, disease investigation, data management, public education and surge planning for local health care systems.
The teams will review data and look at outbreaks in factories and congregate setting such as long-term care facilities, high-density housing developments and agricultural workplaces where individuals may be exposed to COVID-19.
The state's efforts will also seek to curb the rate of infection among the Latino community, which has been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Latinos make up 38.9 percent of the population in California, but comprise a disproportionate number of COVID-19 cases (56 percent) and deaths (45.7 percent). In Stanislaus County, Latinos account for 47 percent of the population, but account for 60 percent of the COVID-19 cases.
“The data is clear that COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting Latinos in California,” said Governor Newsom. “The rising community transmission rates we are seeing, particularly among Latinos in the Central Valley, are concerning. This is alarming and we are taking action."
In Stanislaus County the neighborhoods that have higher rates of COVID-19 cases are also those neighborhoods that are the most diverse in ethnicity, according to the data from the Stanislaus County Health Services Agency.
"Many of them represent essential workers in the main industries of our county, such as agriculture, farming, and food and beverage packaging and service," said SCHSA Health Educator Kamlesh Kaur.
Whites in Stanislaus County represent 41 percent of the population, but account for 20 percent of the COVID-19 cases. African-Americans make up three percent of the population and two percent of the cases. Asian-Americans represent five percent of the total county population, but account for three percent of the cases.
As of Friday, Stanislaus County has tallied 8,890 COVID-19 cases, with 1,044 presumed active. Earlier in the week, Stanislaus County surpassed the 100 mark for deaths. As of Friday, the death toll from COVID-19 had reached 104.
In the last 24 hours Stanislaus County recorded 145 new cases. The testing positivity rate was at 14.8 percent and the average days for tests results was at 4.5 days. The 7-day average was at 13.4 percent.
Of the current cases, 259 are in the area's five hospitals. Of those, 56 are in ICU. Hospital bed availability is at 36.2 percent and ICU bed availability has risen to 7.2 percent.