Eight more county residents have tested positive for COVID-19, bumping the total number of cases up to 61, Calaveras County Public Health announced Tuesday afternoon.

Of those cases, 19 cases have since recovered, and 42 remain active.

Public Health reported zero hospitalizations related to COVID-19.

“As we continue to receive reports and learn about more cases, it is more important than ever for the public to avoid group activities and gatherings that can spread COVID-19 infection,” said Calaveras County Health Officer Dean Kelaita, M.D., in a press release. “We are seeing community spread, which means that the source of infection is unknown. It is best to act as if everyone you come in contact with has COVID-19.”

Per Public Health, the best ways to avoid exposure to the virus are to:

Stay at least six feet away from people outside of your household

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

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands

Wear a face covering over your nose and mouth if you are in public and around other people

“Stay home as much as possible. If you go out, practice physical distancing and wear a cloth face covering at all times when you are around others,” Kelaita said. “What we do now affects real people in our community whether we know that or not. We all share a collective responsibility to slow the spread of COVID-19 and prevent a surge of COVID-19 in our community.”

Calaveras Public Health staff is investigating the new cases to determine any possible individuals who may have had close personal contact with the positive residents. Close contacts may be contacted by the health department, assessed and monitored for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 illness.

Three “places of residence” are under investigation for contact tracing in Calaveras County.

A total of 2,844 county residents have tested for COVID-19.

Nearly half of those who have tested positive for the new coronavirus are between the ages of 18 and 49, while 18 residents over the age of 65 have tested positive.

Public Health started reporting an “alarming and accelerating trend of community spread” June 30, and its total case count has nearly doubled since that time.

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