Public health officials report five new virus deaths

Confirmed cases now at 3,882 in San Benito County

San Benito County Public Health officials are reporting that the county saw a record of new Covid-19 deaths recorded over the span of a weekend.

As of Jan. 4, the county reported five deaths of the novel coronavirus in San Benito County, making the toll count jump to 34. They are the first deaths reported since Dec. 31; there were 13 fatalities recorded in San Benito County in December.

The county’s Covid-19 dashboard shows that there have been 3,882 confirmed cases and currently 478 active cases, and 29 new cases recorded as of Monday afternoon. It also shows that 14 people are hospitalized within the county, with four of those in the intensive care unit.  

Confirmed cases include patients who have since recovered and those who are deceased. There’s been 26,275 tested for the novel coronavirus locally. Of these, 22,357 have tested negative and 3,341 patients have recovered.

The data from the Public Health Services’ latest community newsletter shows that of the 3,882 positive cases of Covid-19, 125 patients are in the 0-4 age group; 978 are in the 5-24 age group; 1,727 are in the 25-49; 741 patients are in the 50-64 age group; and 311 are age 64 or older.

The newsletter also shows that San Benito County remains in the most restricted purple “widespread” risk level as of Jan. 4. The county, according to state data, had a case rate of 87 daily new cases per 100,000 residents and a test positivity rate of 16.7 percent for the week of Dec. 13-19. 

These numbers are beyond the “widespread” risk level factors for each county, which is more than seven daily new cases per 100,000 residents, and a positivity rate of more than 8 percent. 

The statewide data shows 93.1 daily new cases per 100,000 residents and a test positivity rate of 14.5 percent for the week of Dec. 13-19.

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 to 7 daily new cases per 100,000 residents, and a positivity rate between 5-8 percent.