Tulare County continues to see large COVID-19 case increases

TULARE, Calif. (KFSN) -- Health officials say there have been 383 new positive cases of COVID-19 in Tulare County within just the last week, and 12 new deaths.

Officials say they've seen significant increases in positive cases just about every day within that time frame, including 82 new cases from Monday to Tuesday.

Tulare County now has a total of 1,241 cases and 52 deaths. Many of the positive cases are connected to outbreaks at nursing homes, like Redwood Springs, and food plants, like Ruiz Foods.

But officials say they're also seeing an increase in what's known as community spread.

"Individuals who are gathering or getting together with others outside of their own households," Tulare County HHSA's Carrie Monteiro said. "We're seeing an increase of those cases as well beyond our skilled-nursing facilities and our food processing clusters, which is also evidence that we're seeing this virus move beyond single households and containment."

Monteiro says testing capacity has increased throughout the county.

The county public health lab is testing more specimens each day, more healthcare providers are collecting samples, and there are new state testing sites in Dinuba and Porterville.

For a full list of Tulare County testing sites, click here.

County health officials are asking more people to go get tested, especially essential workers, those returning to work, and those who may have been exposed to the virus.

As that happens, they say we can expect to see more positive cases.

They're also hoping the public can continue to stay vigilant.

"Stay home, wear a face covering if you must go out, do not gather, and as always wash your hands properly and use hand sanitizer when you're not able to wash your hands," Monteiro said.
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