Covid-19: Public health officials report 17th virus death

County remains at ‘Widespread’ risk level

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San Benito County Public Health officials are reporting the number of new Covid-19 cases continues to rise at an alarming rate which includes another death in their latest newsletter.

As of Dec. 1, county officials reported a 17th death and 1,929 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in San Benito County. It’s the first death in the county since Nov. 24.

Confirmed cases include patients who have since recovered and those who are deceased. County public health officials released a chart on Dec. 1 that displays the demographics and characteristics of Covid-19 related deaths including age, gender, race/ethnicity and underlying conditions.

“One of the core areas of work in the public health department is ensuring racial and health equity, understanding the social determinants of health and how they impact health and health outcomes,” health officials stated. “Providing detailed demographic breakdowns enables health officers to determine appropriate actions to better prevent, control and slow the spread of Covid-19.”

The county public health department reported that 14 of the 17 deaths, or 82.3 percent, are men. They also reported that “Hispanic/Latnix” account for 11, or 64.7 percent of the deaths in San Benito County, followed by “White” at 3 (23.53), “Asian” at 1 (5.88) and “Black” at 1 (5.88).  

The age groups of 60-69 and 80-89 each accounted for five, or 29.4 percent, of the 17 deaths. Those who were 90 years old or above accounted for 3 deaths, or 17.6 percent.

Four of the age groups (30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 70-79) each accounted for one, or 5.88 percent, of the 17 deaths in the county. 

They also reported that 8, or 47.1 percent of the deaths showed they had at least one underlying health condition. Three of the deaths (17.6 percent) showed they had three underlying health conditions, followed by two deaths (11.76) with four and two deaths (11.76) with five. 

The remaining two deaths showed that one person (5.9) had two underlying health conditions, while the other (5.9) had none.     

The county’s Covid-19 dashboard shows that there are currently 167 active cases with 36 new cases as of Dec.1. There’s been 20,316 tested for the novel coronavirus locally. Of these, 18,013 have tested negative and 1,745 patients have recovered.

The data from the Public Health Services’ latest community newsletter shows that of the 1,929 positive cases of Covid-19, 67 patients are in the 0-4 age group; 485 are in the 5-24 age group; 849 are in the 25-49; 369 patients are in the 50-64 age group; and 158 are age 64 or older.

County public health officials also report that the number of new daily cases of Covid-19 are going up at a rapid pace, slowing down any progress to move into the next level of the California Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

The data from the community newsletter shows that San Benito County continues to be at the most restricted purple “widespread” risk level as of Dec. 1. The county, according to state data, had a case rate of 23 daily new cases per 100,000 residents and a test positivity rate of 6 percent from Nov. 16-22. 

The new numbers are similar to the previous data that showed 22.8 daily new cases per 100,000 residents and a test positivity rate of 6.5 percent from Nov. 12-18. The “widespread” risk level factors is more than seven daily new cases per 100,000 residents, and a positivity rate of more than 8 percent. 

The statewide data shows 30.5 daily new cases per 100,000 residents and a test positivity rate of 6.6 percent for the week ending Nov. 10.

At a minimum, counties must remain in a tier for at least three weeks before moving forward from the purple “widespread” tier to the red “substantial” tier after meeting the criteria of the less restrictive level for 14 consecutive days. 

The limits for the “substantial” tier are no more than 4 to 7 daily new cases per 100,000 residents, and a positivity rate between 5-8 percent. Data is reviewed weekly and tiers are updated on Tuesdays.