By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Councilman has COVID-19; 10 firefighters also quarantine
Gary Singh

Manteca Councilman Gary Singh confirmed Wednesday that tests indicate he is ill with both COVID-19 and Influenza B.

It likely means next Tuesday’s swearing in ceremonies — Singh was re-elected to a second four-year council term  and retired police chief Charlie Halford to his first term on Nov. 3 — will take place via Zoom. Deputy City Manager Lisa Blackmon said details for the swearing in ceremonies will likely be determined sometime today.

“A lot of other cities are swearing in council members remotely due to the pandemic,” Blackmon said.

Singh posted his test results on his Facebook page noting he was trying to rest while quarantine.

At the same time 10 fire department personnel and another 10 employees at city hall are in quarantine as they have either tested positive for COVID-19 or have had substantial exposure to those that have been stricken.

Fire Chief Kyle Shipherd indicated Wednesday that even with 10 personnel impacted, all city fire engines are staffed 100 percent.

 “We typically have more firefighters assigned to fighting big wildfires when they happen,” the fire chief said.

The city can cover all of its manpower needs to protect the city whenever they have as many as 12 firefighters assigned to wildfires.

Shortly after the pandemic emergency was declared by Gov. Gavin Newsom in mid-March, two Manteca firefighters tested positive for COVID-19.

Shipherd said when Manteca firefighters respond to all medical calls regardless of their nature they are outfitted in protective gear to reduce their potential exposure to the coronavirus.

Manteca Kaiser ICU

at 100% capacity

San Joaquin County now has 22 percent of its 759 combined hospital beds filled with 164 COVID patients. That puts the hospitals at 77 percent capacity.

There are 43 COVID patients in ICU beds with overall licensed ICU bed capacity at 110 percent. That means the seven hospitals have converted 11 other beds to ICU beds beyond the 99 the state has licensed them to have.

Despite the surge in COVID -19 hospital admissions, county health officials stress that others experiencing a medical emergency such as a heart attack, stroke, difficulty breathing or altered mental status should no delay seeking medical attention and to contact 911 to activate the emergency medical system. If you are ill or sick, contact your physician or healthcare provider instead of accessing hospitals.

As of Wednesday, 44 of the 73 beds at Doctors Hospital were occupied including nine COVID patients putting them at a 75 percent capacity for ICU. DHM had six ICU patients with one that has COVID.

Kaiser Hospital Manteca is at 100 percent capacity in their ICU with all six beds filled including five with COVID patients. Overall they have 31 patient including 11 with the coronavirus.

As of 10:58 a.m. Wednesday, there are 1,884 active COVID cases in San Joaquin County out of a population of 767,000 people. There have been 26,748 cases since mid-March with 24,381 having recovered.

There have been 519 deaths within San Joaquin County attributed to COVID-19.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email