As the number of COVID-19 cases remain high in Stanislaus County and in Ceres and Turlock specifically, the state has worked to reduce testing turnaround times.
The California Department of Public Health reported that during the week of Aug. 23-29, the average time patients waited for test results was 1.3 days. During this same time period, 66 percent of patients received test results in one day and 88 percent received them within two days.
There have been 12,451,660 tests conducted in California as of Friday. This represents an increase of 61,669 over the prior 24-hour reporting period. California has 746,191 confirmed cases, with 3,326 newly recorded confirmed cases Thursday.
A total of 96,636 tests have been done in Stanislaus County where there are 16,024 positive cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday. Since the pandemic started, 313 deaths in the county have been reported as COVID-19 related. The county reported 15,161 recovered cases and 81,253 negative test results. Turlock has the second largest number of positive cases with 2,073, following Modesto (5,640).
“While there is a widespread COVID-19 throughout our entire community, not all the areas are impacted at the same level,” said Kamlesh Kaur, a public health educator, during Stanislaus County’s Office of Emergency Services update on Thursday. “The three communities with the highest rate of COVID-19 cases in Stanislaus County are in the zip codes of 95351 of west Modesto, 95307 of Ceres and 95380 area of Turlock.”
The Ceres zip code area of 95307 had 1,813 positive cases as of Tuesday. Turlock’s two zip code areas had 2,290 positive cases as of yesterday. The less populated Hughson and east Stanislaus County zip code of 95326 saw 187 positive cases.
“At the end of July when there was a surge of cases in COVID-19, these zip codes saw higher case rates than any other parts of the county. One of the main reasons is that many residents in these areas are essential workers in the main industries of our county such as agriculture, farming and food and beverage packaging and servicing. These individuals have a higher risk of being exposed to COVID-19 due to close interactions and working conditions where physical distancing may be harder to maintain. Many of these residents also live in multi-generational households where parents, grandparents and children live together, which can make it difficult to isolate when one person in the household is not feeling well,” Kaur continued.
Under Gov. Gavin Newsom’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” which outlines criteria for loosening and tightening restrictions on activities, Stanislaus County remains in the “widespread” category mandating the closure of many non-essential indoor business operations.
The county’s category under the blueprint relies on two leading health metrics: number of cases per 100,000 residents and percentage of COVID-19 tests that come back positive. In addition, counties will also be required to show they are targeting resources and making the greatest efforts to prevent and fight COVID in communities and with individuals with the highest risk, and demonstrate improvements in outcomes.
The health department is also tracking the number of cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) reported in the state. As of Sept. 7, 73 cases of MIS-C have been reported statewide. MIS-C is a rare inflammatory condition associated with COVID-19 that can damage multiple organ systems. MIS-C can require hospitalization and be life threatening. Parents should be aware of the signs and symptoms of MIS-C including fever that does not go away, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes or feeling tired. Contact your child’s doctor immediately if your child has these symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment of patients is critical to preventing long-term complications.