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91 are now in hospitals with COVID-19
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State health officials are putting much of the blame for spiking COVID-19 cases — including those in San Joaquin County — on the failure to practice social distancing protocols and wearing masks as Gov. Gavin Newsom has mandated in specific public indoor locations as well as certain outdoor settings.

There are now 91 people hospitalized with COVID-19 within the county as of 11:55 a.m. Tuesday. That represents an increase of 10 in 24 hours. If the trend started last week continues by this Friday those in the hospital could surpass 120 patients. Since the pandemic started in mid-March there have been 973 people within the county that have been hospitalized at one point. Prior to reopening the daily number hospitalized topped out at 21.

The surge is putting a pinch on the number of intensive care unit beds among the seven hospitals in the county not just for COVID-19 sufferers but those with other serious medical conditions.

New cases have been traced to two more distinct community-based outbreaks in the last 24 hours. That means 59.3 percent of COVID-19 cases are connected to outbreaks involving people being in community type gatherings whether it is in public settings or family gatherings of people from more than one household. Skilled nursing facilities account for 29.6 percent of all outbreaks in the county.

There are currently 1,335 people that currently have the virus out of 760,000 county residents. There have been 1,225 people who have recovered. The number of deaths — 48 — has been unchanged since Friday. As a result the death rate in the county among those that have fallen ill with COVID-19 has fallen below 2 percent to 1.9 percent of all cases.

Experts say the wearing of face masks rates as one of the most effective ways to slow down the spread of the various. While they aren’t necessarily effective for the wearer not catching COVID-19 they are effective at preventing the wearer from spreading the virus.

While people that fall ill with COVID-19 can transmit the disease long before they show symptoms, research shows many more people have the virus and — although they may never get sick — can pass it on.

Under the state mandate, you should wear masks:

-- Inside or in line to enter indoor public spaces.

-- In hospitals, pharmacies, medical clinics or other healthcare offices.

-- While waiting for and riding public transportation, taxis or ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft. Drivers should also wear masks.

-- In work places that require interacting with the public, where food is prepared, packaged or delivered, or when sharing common spaces such as elevators and hallways.

-- In office settings where people cannot physically distance.

— While outside if it's not possible to stay six feet away from others.

The following people are exempt from wearing masks:

— Children age 2 and younger.

-- People with medical, mental health or developmental issues that prevent it.

-- People who are deaf or have hearing loss and those who communicate with them if seeing someone's mouth is essential.

-- Workers who would violate workplace safety rules by wearing one.

-- People eating and drinking at restaurants.

-- People swimming, walking, hiking, biking, running or doing other outdoor activity where they can stay 6 feet (1.8 meters) from others.

-- People in jails and prisons.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email