Stanislaus County saw a significant jump in positive COVID-19 cases on Thursday when a backlog of tests was recorded, bringing the county's data in line with the state reporting.
Stanislaus County currently has recorded 4,633 positive coronavirus cases. Between Wednesday and Thursday, the positive case county grew by more than 1,300 as the backlog was reconciled, according to the Stanislaus County Health Services Agency. In the last 24 hours, the county recorded 269 new cases.
The death toll from COVID-19 in Stanislaus County is at 51. Between Tuesday and Wednesday the number of deaths grew by five.
The number of presumed active cases is at 1,813, with 228 currently hospitalized, of which, 56 are in ICU, the SCHSA reported.
"More concerning is that our hospital numbers continue to go up," said Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors Chair Kristin Olsen. "Our hospitals are stretched very thin right now and running very tightly."
Olsen said all the hospitals in the county are bringing in additional staff so that they can serve as many patients as the number of licensed beds. The County also has a plan to use Scenic General Hospital in Modesto to handle cases should a surge start to overwhelm the area's hospitals.
A look at the county's data shows that social distancing is being practiced routinely by no more than 10 percent of the population and that if that rate continues, the county will surpass the current number of hospital beds available for COVID-19 patients by the beginning of August.
Currently, Stanislaus County only has 38 percent of the hospital beds available and 32 percent of the ICU beds open. The county has 73 percent of the ventilator supply available, according to the SCHSA.
A surge in transmission and positive tests can result in a spike in hospitalizations, which runs the risk of overwhelming the local healthcare operations. The peaks work like dominoes, with one aspect falling into another. Typically, symptoms appear within two to 14 days of being infected. Once symptoms start showing, it's usually in the second week of the illness that people experience the worst of the symptoms. Weeks after the peak of transmission is when we would see the peak of hospitalizations. The average rate of hospitalization is around seven days, unless a person has to be put on a ventilator and then the average is about 10 days. The peaks in deaths would hit a couple weeks after the peak in hospitalizations.
As the number of cases has grown locally, so has the mode of transmission. Contact spread from one person to another accounts for 59.69 percent of the cases. Community transmission, which had been down in the 20s, is now at 39.27 percent. Community transmission means there is no known exposure source.
Stanislaus County has conducted 41,324 tests and has a test positivity rate of 11.2 percent.
The increase in cases also is sending more people to the three free testing sites in Stanislaus County, which is causing a wait list. The health department is asking people who believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19, but are currently asymptomatic to schedule a test through their healthcare provider.
Additionally, anyone who has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 should self-quarantine for at least 10 days.
"By remaining at home, you are helping reduce the spread," Olsen said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified the most common symptoms of COVID-19 as fever, dry cough, fatigue, muscle aches, headaches, loss of sense of smell and/or taste and shortness of breath.
Severe cases of COVID-19 might experience difficulty breathing, pain or pressure in the chest, confusion or inability to arouse, and bluish lips or face.
Modesto has 1,150 reported cases, followed by 440 in Ceres, 425 in Turlock and 264 in District 5. District 3 has 231 cases, Patterson and Riverbank each have 151 cases and District 2 has 111 cases. Waterford has recorded 60 cases, followed by Oakdale with 57, District 1 with 50 and Newman with 46. Hughson has logged 27 cases and District 4 has 18.
Individuals 20 years old or younger make up 14 percent of the cases in Stanislaus County and 2 percent of the hospitalizations. Those between the ages of 21 years to 30 years represent 20 percent of the cases and 6 percent of those hospitalized. People between the ages of 31 years to 40 years account for 19 percent of the cases and 11 percent of the hospitalizations. Those from 41 years to 50 years make up 17 percent of the cases and 13 percent of those in the hospital. Individuals between 51 years to 60 years represent 14 percent of the cases and 20 percent of those hospitalized. People in the age group from 61 to 70 years have 7 percent of the cases, but make up 20 percent of those hospitalized. People from 71 years to 80 years represent 4 percent of the cases and 15 percent of those in the hospital. Those 81 years to 90 years account for 4 percent of the cases and 11 percent of the hospitalizations. People 91 years and older represent 2 percent of the cases and 3 percent of the hospitalizations.
COVID-19 cases have disproportionally impacted the Hispanic community in Stanislaus County. The Hispanic community makes up 47 percent of the population, but represents 72 percent of the cases, while whites account for 41 percent of the population and 19 percent of the cases. The remaining 9 percent of cases in Stanislaus County are dispersed relatively equal to race demographics.