Tulare County Health Officials Urge Residents to Not Gather for Holidays Celebrations

Note from the Editor: According to the Fresno Bee, “Fresno County ranks highest in the country for metro areas where the coronavirus pandemic is spreading the fastest, according to an analysis Monday from the New York Times. The list of metro areas with 50,000 or more residents shows Fresno County’s population of 1 million at the highest spot in the top 10 list, which is populated almost exclusively by California and Texas cities. Fresno had 3,188 new COVID-19 cases a week ago but has 11,672 in the latest count, according to the analysis. That’s an increase of 849 cases per 100,000 residents.”

A Press Release from Tulare County Health and Human Services

COVID-19 Cases and Hospitalizations Continue to Surge Overwhelming Local Hospitals and Healthcare System

The COVID-19 virus is rapidly spreading at alarming rates in Tulare County, overwhelming our healthcare system with COVID-19 positive patients needing to be hospitalized for the respiratory illness. Public Health officials urge residents to take necessary actions and warn everyone to stay home for the holidays this year. It is imperative to celebrate with only those who live within your immediate household, to protect yourselves and loved ones. COVID-19 continues to pose a significant risk to the health of our communities and to our most vulnerable populations.

Tulare County and the San Joaquin Valley remain under a Regional Stay Home Order requiring residents to stay at home as much as possible and prohibits private gatherings of any size. “Many traditional holiday celebrations and gatherings can be high-risk for spreading the COVID-19 virus,” shared Dr. Haught. “To protect those most vulnerable and slow the surge occurring in our local hospitals, we must refrain from participating in gatherings with people whom we do not live with.”

Officials strongly encourage everyone to get tested for COVID-19; testing is free and available to anyone. Tulare County has three community testing sites located in Dinuba, Porterville, and Tulare. Appointments for testing can be made by phone at 1-888-634-1123 and online at https://lhi.care/covidtesting. Public health officials encourage those going to get tested for COVID-19 to wear a face mask or facial covering for protection.

During the holidays, the most important thing is to keep your loved ones safe and healthy and to not risk their health by gathering with those outside your own home. COVID-19 cases have been seen to spike in Tulare County following holiday gatherings, so to avoid another spike in cases, public health officials are urging residents to cooperate.

To reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Tulare County, everyone must practice both social and physical distancing of six feet or more between persons and not participate in social gatherings of any kind. Residents must always wear a face mask or covering while in environments where physical distancing is not possible and while in public settings. In addition, everyone is encouraged to frequently wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer, regularly disinfect high-touch surfaces, and stay home if you are sick or instructed to isolate/quarantine by a medical or public health professional.

For more information about COVID-19, visit www.tchhsa.org/ncov and www.covid19.tularecounty.ca.gov


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