Lake County, CA (June 25, 2020) — While the COVID-19 infection rate remains manageable in Lake County, there have been some recent areas of concern. Here are COVID-19 Updates in 3 key areas.
42 Confirmed Cases in Lake County, 5 Active, 0 Hospitalized
Since our last COVID-19 Update on Friday, June 19, 8 new cases have been identified in Lake County. Of those, 5 are considered active at this time, and none are hospitalized. In total, 42 cases have been documented, and just 4 have required hospitalization.
Most of the cases have had recent contact with a known case that is presumed to be the source of the infection. Now that there is more movement, the number of contacts is higher. So far, we have generally been able to locate the family and friends who have been in contact with these cases and had them get tested. We have been very fortunate that most of the contacts have been using masks and social distancing, so the community transmission has not been identified. Regrettably, two of the recent cases may have had more community involvement without masks, so we are concerned about possible spread. We are continuing to pursue the investigations and testing
We have fared much better, thus far, than many regional counties. Neighboring Sonoma and Napa Counties have 3 times Lake County’s population-adjusted infection rate, and Yolo County has a similar infection rate (2.73 times Lake County’s 1:1,609 ratio) and a mortality rate of 6.56% (24 total deaths). For comparison purposes, Los Angeles County’s mortality rate is 3.59%, and their infection rate is 5 times that of Yolo County.
COVID-19 is present in our region and Lake County communities. Large social gatherings, particularly in combination with increased regional travel, congregate living situations and high-traffic and interaction-intensive work settings are among the situations that carry significant risk. While the spread of COVID-19 has been slow in Lake County, to date, this is a highly contagious virus, and those with underlying medical conditions, particularly, may experience severe complications. Clusters of severe cases could quickly stress our local healthcare system.
Continued vigilance in hygiene and sanitation practices and compliance with the statewide face covering mandate are key to keeping the spread in Lake County manageable.
Free Testing is Available, Now in Upper Lake, Lakeport, Clearlake and Middletown
Free COVID-19 testing is now regularly available in Lakeport, Clearlake, Upper Lake and Middletown through the Health Services Department’s partnership with Verily. The next testing dates in Middletown are July 8 and July 22, and testing will be available in Upper Lake Wednesday, July 1, and Wednesday, July 15. More information on testing is available here:
Go to the Verily website to get screened and register: https://www.projectbaseline.com/study/covid-19/
Cases and Positivity Rate Rising in California
Cases, on the whole, are rising in California. This can be attributed, in part, to increased testing capacity. However, the 14-day “positivity rate,” the percentage of tests conducted that have a positive result, has shown a moderate upward trend, of late.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has indicated this suggests increased community spread, and the reintroduction of many business and social activities over the past month and greater prevalence of large gatherings may inform that analysis. We are also learning more about activities and work environments that carry increased risk of COVID-19 transmission, and performing targeted testing of relatively high-risk groups.
Despite an upward trend in the past 14 days in documented positive cases, and corresponding increases in statewide hospital-based care (29% statewide) and suspected cases of COVID-19 treated in Intensive Care Units (up 18%), the percentage of COVID-19-positive patients requiring inpatient Intensive Care has generally trended downward since early April in California.
Tragically, 5,632 Californians had lost their lives to COVID-19 as of June 23. Since early April, there have been multiple spikes in COVID-associated deaths, and daily deaths over the past two weeks have been at a sustained moderate-high level, including 105 deaths on June 10, the 3rd highest daily total.
These Statewide trends have relevance for Lake County residents, in that they often inform State-level decisions with regard to reintroduction of business and social activities. While almost all business sectors are now open, State guidance still discourages non-essential travel and prohibits most forms of large gatherings. It is less likely remaining restrictions will be loosened when key indicators are trending high.
Statewide and County-specific COVID-19 data can be found here:
CDPH’s Press Releases, including daily summaries of recent trends, are posted here:
Lake County-specific COVID-19 information is available on the County of Lake Health Services Department’s’ website and Coronavirus Response Hub:
If you review this information and have questions, reach out to Health Services staff, at MHOAC@lakecountyca.gov, or 707-263-8174.
Gary Pace, MD, MPH
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