cases

The recent drop in confirmed “active” Covid cases in Calaveras County—from 189 on Aug. 20 to 97 on Aug. 23, and to 56 on Aug. 24—is not a decrease in actual confirmed cases, officials explained on Wednesday.

Due to the high numbers of positive cases hitting the county’s public health department, case trackers have begun following state and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for “prioritizing” case investigations and contact tracing in “high-burden” jurisdictions.

The aim is to reduce transmission within a community, as well as strain on local public health resources.

The CDC advises that health departments experiencing a surge or crisis situations due to Covid should prioritize case investigation interviews of people who tested positive for or were diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past six days “based on specimen collection date or symptom onset, if known.” Contacting efforts should be focused on households exposed in the last six days and people living, working or visiting high-density areas like congregate living facilities.

“What that means is if we have 120 positive cases hit all at once (say on a Monday when all of the weekend cases add up), we attempt to connect by phone with those who are within six days of their presumed isolation period to try to mitigate further spread,” said county Health and Human Services Agency Director Cori Allen. “If a person does not accept the phone call or is unreachable, there is no way to confirm they are a resident so they will not land in the ‘active case’ for Calaveras County. Anyone who is missed due to being unreachable or because they were not reached within a six-day isolation period window will land in the ‘recovered’ category without ever landing in the ‘active case’ category.”

Consequently, “recovered” cases within the county have increased by 185 since Aug. 20, totaling 2,571 on Tuesday.

Tuesday’s report also listed four Covid patients currently hospitalized—a stark increase from the one hospitalization listed just one day prior.

Calaveras County’s vaccination rate is 41.9%, according to an L.A. Times vaccine tracker. There has been a slight increase in the number of fully vaccinated residents since last week, when the rate was 41.2%.

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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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