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County residents urged to help slow spread of COVID-19

With COVID-19 cases and deaths mounting in Stanislaus County, health officials and local leaders are looking to state assistance to help turn the tide and imploring residents to behave responsibly.

“Ultimately it is up to each one of us individually to change our behaviors and take responsibility for social distancing, frequently washing our hands, wearing our face coverings when out in public and limiting the time we are mixing outside our household,” said Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors Chair Kristin Olsen. “So many people are still participating in large gatherings and this is where we are seeing significant community spread that ultimately leads to the kinds of hospital numbers we are seeing today.

“We all want to get our schools open again, our businesses open again, but that’s not going to happen until we slow the spread enough to reduce the numbers in our healthcare system,” Olsen said.

Currently, Stanislaus County has reported 8,288 COVID-19 cases and 98 deaths. Of the 8,288 cases, 1,136 are presumed active.

Within the last 24 hours the Stanislaus County Health Services Agency has recorded 60 new cases and three deaths.

There are currently 254 people hospitalized in Stanislaus County and of those, 58 are in ICU. Stanislaus County only has 33 percent of the hospital beds available and 2.5 percent of the ICU beds. The ventilator availability is at 61 percent.

The county’s testing positivity rate is at 14.2 percent and the average turnaround time for test results is 4.5 days.

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.

In collaboration with local partners, the state will deploy 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 mission will be supported by various state agencies and departments including the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, Department of Public Health, Department of Food and Agriculture, Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency, Cal/OSHA and the Department of Social Services.