A new case of COVID-19 was confirmed Sunday in an asymptomatic man who lives along the upper Highway 4 corridor, bringing the case count in Calaveras County to 14.

The county has not reported any other new cases since April 23, and all 13 prior cases have since recovered, according to the local health department. Statewide, there have been 92,710 confirmed cases and 3,774 deaths.

“As people observe Memorial Day weekend, this serves as a reminder that coronavirus doesn’t take weekends off,” said Calaveras County Health Officer Dean Kelaita, MD, in a press release. “We urge people to take preventive actions to lower their risk of getting COVID-19 as we enjoy recently opened areas of Calaveras County.”

On May 13, the county obtained state approval to proceed through Stage 2 of the state’s reopening process – in part, due to the relatively low number of reported cases and adequate testing abilities within the county.

Amador and Tuolumne counties were also approved for accelerated reopening, reporting 10 and three COVID-19 cases, respectively.

Late last week, a state-commissioned testing site opened at the Calaveras County fairgrounds, serving residents of both Calaveras and Tuolumne counties.

Calaveras County Public Health did not state in its press release where the latest case of COVID-19 in the county was tested or where he may have been infected, though their website reports 948 tests results received as of Friday.

Kelaita has stated that a second surge of COVID-19 cases in the county – which recently reopened restaurants, retail stores and outdoor recreational venues – may result in the reinstatement of some local restrictions.

“Everyone should continue to do their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the county. Let’s avoid undoing everything we have built to protect the health of our community,” Kelaita said in the release.

The health officer told the Enterprise on Monday that the county must not exceed 1 case per 10,000 residents within a 14-day span in order to continue with its accelerated reopening, according to state guidelines. 

"That means five cases every two weeks or less before we have to consider delaying or scaling back reopening efforts," he said. 

Local health officials are investigating the new case to determine if any other individuals had contact with the infected man. Close contacts will be assessed and monitored for symptoms.

The health department recommended taking the following precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

• Stay at least six feet away from others

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissues, or your elbow (not your hands)

• Wear a cloth face covering when you are around people not in your household

For more information, visit covid19.calaverasgov.us

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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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