Tulare County explains why its COVID-19 cases are rising rapidly

The number of coronavirus-related deaths in Tulare County are now at 64, and 50 of those are seniors.
TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- The number of coronavirus cases and deaths continue to exponentially grow in Tulare County.

On Friday, the number of cases grew to 1,338 with about 370 recoveries.

The number of deaths are now at 64, and Carrie Monteiro with the Tulare County Health Agency says 50 of those are seniors.

But behind every tragedy are loved ones who are grieving.

"There are a number of individuals that lost their lives, family members, friends and family who are hurting right now and we send our sincerest condolences to all of them," said Monteiro

Monteiro said a majority of their cases come from nursing homes.

Currently the county is facing outbreaks at five different county facilities.

RELATED: New deaths reported at Visalia, Lindsay nursing centers by health officials

According to Monteiro, a nursing home is considered to have an outbreak if there are 11 or more cases.

"At convalescent homes and nursing homes it is really a perfect storm for this virus," she said.

She said the other factors contributing to the overwhelming amount of cases in Tulare County are outbreaks at food processing plants like Ruiz Foods and Central Valley Meat.

RELATED: More Ruiz Foods employees test positive for COVID-19

Family to family transmission is also on the rise.

"Which is evident that individuals are gathering beyond their single households," she said.

Monteiro says they have ramped up contact tracing efforts and increased the number of testing sites.

At the moment there are more than 20 in the county and 2 free locations in the rural communities of Dinuba and Porterville.

For more news coverage on the coronavirus and COVID-19 go to ABC30.com/coronavirus
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