Despite a rising COVID-19 case count, Stanislaus County was able to stay in the red tier because of a continued low testing positivity rate, according to the latest data from the California Department of Public Health.
On Tuesday, Stanislaus County posted a new COVID-19 case rate per day per 100,000 residents of 11.1 percent and a tier adjusted rate of 10.8 percent. The rate is an increase from the 9.3 percent from last week and would have put the county in the more restrictive purple tier, were it not for the testing positivity rate. That rate came in at 3.9 percent and 4.5 percent for underserved communities, which is the rate expected for the orange tier, when coronavirus spread is considered moderate, as opposed to substantial in red and widespread in purple.
Stanislaus County Public Health Officer Dr. Julie Vaishampayan said during an online community briefing last week that the county is seeing around 50 to 70 COVID-19 cases per day and two to three deaths each day.
"We're still seeing transmission, hospitalizations and deaths," Dr. Vaishampayan said.
Dr. Vaishampayan said in a briefing to the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors last week that a surge in cases is likely to be seen in the area. She pointed to a rise in cases on the East Coast and said it was only a matter of time before the same trend is seen on the West Coast.
"I don't have any reason to believe that despite our really big vaccination effort, California won't see an increase in cases," Dr. Vaishampayan said. "What I really hope is that this high vaccination rate we are getting, at least 50 percent statewide... that this surge will be smaller than the winter surge."
In the coming week Stanislaus County Health Services Agency is going to be phasing out the large vaccination sites, like the one at Stanislaus State, and replacing them with several mobile clinics. The hope is that by going into various neighborhoods and spots around the county, the SCHSA will be able to make a more targeted approach at getting people vaccinated. Additionally, the mobile clinics will be working with community groups, work sites and churches to reach out to those individuals with some vaccine hesitancy.
Until the mobile clinics start, vaccinations can still be done at the larger sites with walk-ins welcome. People can also make an appointment at myturn.ca.gov or call (833) 422-4255.