Public health officials report 13th virus death

County remains at ‘widespread’ risk level

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San Benito County Public Health officials are reporting another death due to Covid-19, causing the death count to jump a second time this week. 

As of Oct. 7, county officials reported a 13th death and 1,372 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the county. The last previous death was reported Sept. 18.

Confirmed cases include patients who have since recovered and those who are deceased. 

The county’s Covid-19 dashboard shows that there are currently 16 active cases with four new cases as of Tuesday afternoon. There’s been 14,999 tested for the novel coronavirus locally. Of these, 13,600 have tested negative and 1,343 patients have recovered.

The data from the Public Health Services’ latest community newsletter shows that of the 1,372 positive cases of Covid-19, 48 patients are in the 0-4 age group; 346 are in the 5-24 age group; 597 are in the 25-49; 263 patients are in the 50-64 age group; and 117 are age 64 or older.

County public health officials reported some good news as the daily number of new cases of Covid-19 has gone down, speeding up 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 purple “widespread” risk level as of Oct. 7. But that can change over the course of the next two weeks if the number of cases continues to decline. 

The county, according to state data, had a case rate of 6.5 daily new cases per 100,000 residents and a test positivity rate of 4.5 percent for the week ending Sept. 26. 

The limits for the “widespread” tier are no more than seven daily new cases per 100,000 residents, and a positivity rate less than 8 percent. 

The new numbers are well below the previous data that showed 10.9 daily new cases per 100,000 residents and a test positivity rate of 7.5 percent for the week ending Sept. 19.

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 4-7 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.

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