Updated 4:30 p.m., 3/26/20: 

The Valley Springs resident who tested positive for COVID-19 is an adult of an unspecified age who was most likely exposed to the novel coronavirus while traveling outside of the county for work, Calaveras County Health Officer Dr. Dean Kelaita stated during a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

According to Kelaita, the individual traveled to Southern California, as well as a neighboring state, and returned to Valley Springs in the two weeks before they developed symptoms.

"(They) had community interactions with others and household contacts during the time that they could have been contagious to other people," Kelaita said.

Calaveras Public Health was notified of the case on Tuesday by a medical facility in a neighboring county where the individual was tested and is now hospitalized.

Kelaita said that health departments in both jurisdictions are now identifying all those who were in contact with the infected Valley Springs resident and requiring that those individuals remain quarantined for 14 days. Those who present symptoms will be tested for the coronavirus.

Currently, roughly 70 to 80 people have been tested for the coronavirus in Calaveras County, according to Kelaita, though he could not provide a number of total pending tests. 

"We only know about the cases that we process through our public health lab system," he said. "The private system tests only get reported back to us if they're positive."

Original article:

Calaveras Public Health has confirmed a third case of COVID-19 in the county, after a Valley Springs resident tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The health department announced the test result in a Thursday afternoon press release, which states that the afflicted individual is currently receiving care outside of the county.

“Immediately after being notified, Calaveras Public Health launched a case investigation,” the release reads. “Public Health staff are identifying persons who may have had close personal contact with this individual, including any friends, family members or healthcare professionals, to assess and monitor them for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 illness. Close personal contacts identified during this investigation will be under quarantine.”

County Health Officer Dr. Dean Kelaita and other representatives of Public Health could not be reached for further comment, though a press conference is scheduled for late Thursday afternoon.

The health department has not specified whether the Valley Springs resident contracted the virus via community spread, or if they came into contact with an infected individual outside of the county. However, Kelaita stated in the news release that further cases of COVID-19 in Calaveras County are “expected.”

On March 10, the first two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Calaveras County were announced after a father and his young daughter in Copperopolis tested positive for the virus. The father was reportedly exposed while working outside of the county and infected the daughter at home.

In Amador County, there has been one confirmed case in an elderly resident who was reportedly exposed to the virus while in Santa Clara County. A second case was confirmed in a resident who was traveling abroad but did not return home.

There have been no confirmed cases in Tuolumne County, though the county’s health department reported 118 total tests with 20 pending on Wednesday.

Calaveras Public Health has not disclosed the number of pending tests in the county, though Kelaita stated during a Tuesday Board of Supervisors meeting that approximately 60 residents have tested negative for the virus.

Kelaita also announced during the meeting that Public Health is working with Mark Twain Medical Center to double the number of hospital beds in the county from 25 to 50 in anticipation of a surge of COVID-19 patients.

According to the CDC, there are currently 68,440 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States and 994 resulting deaths. California has reported 2,982 cases with widespread community transmission.

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Dakota graduated from Bret Harte in 2013 and went to Davidson College, NC where she earned a bachelor's degree in Arab studies. After spending time studying in the Middle East and Europe, she is happy to be home, writing about the community she loves.

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