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San Joaquin County cases expected to peak on May 30 with 299 hospital admissions in one day
virus test

Based on per capita cases, Lathrop is in the dubious position of being the city where you are most likely to contract COVID-19.

Right behind Lathrop is Manteca.

The information supplied by the San Joaquin County Health Department on the coronavirus cases through April 2 underscores efforts by officials in both cities to enforce social distancing and business closure rules as well as going as far as resorting to removing basketball rims in city parks to discourage group gatherings.

The data was released on Friday when another death increased the number of people in San Joaquin County to succumb so far to the coronavirus to 11. The fact only 7 cmore cases were confirmed to bring the number to 185 adds credence to the contention of Dr. Maggie Park, the county’s top public health officer, that the move to aggressive social distancing is flattening the pandemic’s impact on San Joaquin County’s medical system as well as the heath of residents.

Lathrop as of Thursday had 11 cases or 1 per 2,363 residents for 6 percent of the county cases. Manteca had 1 case per 2,931 residents. That reflects 29 people with the coronavirus and 16 percent of the county’s total.

Stockton was next based on per capita with 1 case per 3,369 residents. The city of 312,000 people had 92 cases for 51 percent of the overall total. Lodi had 1 case per 3,875 residents with 18 cases for 10 percent of the county cases.

Tracy was fifth with 1 case per 3,958 residents. That was 13 percent of the county total based on 24 cases.

The health department did not list any confirmed cases for Ripon, Escalon, or unincorporated parts of the county.

The data also shows the hardest hit age category in San Joaquin County is young adults. Seventy-three or 41 percent of those testing positive for COVID-19 are between the ages of 18 and 49. The next age group ay 38 percent with 68 cases are those between 50 and 64. The remaining 21 percent of the cases — 38 people – were 65 and older.


Pandemic expected to peak

on May 30 in San Joaquin County

The breakdown of city-by-city case numbers was a precursor to modeling that now shows — based on demographics and aggressive social distancing moves — that one day hospitalizations will peak in San Joaquin County at 299 on May 30. That is almost 30 times higher than the current daily hospitalization rate in the county.

To put that in perspective, the highest so far for hospitalizations in San Joaquin County for a single day was 15 or 284 below the projected peak.

Without social distancing the peak was projected to hit on April 30 with 768 new COVID-19 cases requiring hospital admissions in a single day.

The projected number of daily intensive care unit admissions would peak at 90 on May 30 instead of 230 on April 30.

Social distancing also means the peak number of coronavirus patients that will be required to go on ventilators in a given day will be at 60 on May 30 instead of 154 on April 30.

Public health officials say that models show social distancing is working.

The flattening of the curve from social distancing means new cases requiring hospitalization would drop below 50 — a rate roughly 5 times higher than what has been happening daily during the past week —  by mid-July.

While the non-distancing model would have dropped new daily COVID-19 cases to single digit and possible zero by June 19 it would have done so at the price of almost 2½ times people getting severely sick requiring ICU admission and the same increase forced to use ventilators to stay alive. Ventilator patients face the risk of dying or — if they recover — the risk of impaired health for the rest of their lives.

County health officials opted not to provide projected numbers of those who would need to be hospitalized during the duration of the pandemic that is now in San Joaquin County. It is clear from the graphs they expect overall number of people who will need to be hospitalized between now — the start of the run up to the peak — the actual peak, and the run down to mid-July would be upwards of 10,000 people.

Even with the flattening of the curve, hospitalizations will likely require makeshift hospital space.

The county data shows the current death rate from COVID-19 in San Joaquin County based on confirmed cases is 6 percent. That does not mean 6 percent of everyone that tests positive for the coronavirus will die. It simply reflects the mortality rate among the confirmed cases to date.

Manteca, Lathrop, and Ripon officials are again reminding people that the Centers for Disease Control indicates that people can transmit the disease to others before they show symptoms or without getting sick. It is why they are becoming even more aggressive at enforcing the governor’s orders for store closures and social distancing.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email