An elderly man from Valley Springs has been hospitalized with COVID-19, bringing the countywide total or reported cases to 15.

Calaveras County Public Health reported the latest case on Tuesday—just one day after a 14th case was announced along the upper Highway 4 corridor.

The most recent COVID-19 diagnoses in the county have ended a nearly month-long stretch of no new reported cases.

So far, 13 of the total reported cases have recovered, and there have been no deaths within the county. The county health department reported 1,014 test results received as of Tuesday.

“Despite recently opened areas of Calaveras County we are still in a pandemic, we must do our part to ensure the health and well-being of our most vulnerable groups,” county Health Officer Dean Kelaita, MD, said in a press release Tuesday.

According to the health department, close contacts of the infected man are being contacted and monitored for COVID-19 symptoms.

“A person at any age can become seriously ill from COVID-19, that’s why it’s important to do everything you can to protect yourself, your family and your community,” Kelaita said. “We live in a county with a much older population, and older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness.”

On Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that most California counties, including Calaveras, could move deeper into the state’s four-stage reopening process by opening salons and barbershops

Kelaita told the Enterprise on Monday that the county must not exceed one 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.

Public Health reminded residents to take the following precautions:

• Stay at least 6 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

On May 29, Calaveras Public Health will host a Virtual Local Assistance Center (VLAC) from 9-11 a.m. According to Public Health, “the VLAC will provide a centralized location for older adults and people with chronic medical conditions to get information about services and resources available to them at this time.”

For COVID-19 information and resources visit the Calaveras County COVID-19 website at https://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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