The City of Manteca is suspending all “non-essential operations” in a bid to reduce the municipal workforce exposure to COVID-19.
City Manager Miranda Lutzow said the move — similar to what was done at the start of the pandemic emergency in March — is designed to avoid a surge of municipal workforce COVID-19 cases that could cripple Manteca’s ability to provide essential services.
It means a wide variety of services such as having someone answer the phone promptly when you call city hall to tree trimming will go to the wayside until coronavirus conditions improve.
People will get phone calls returned after messages are left although not necessarily in a timely manner.
City hall as well as the fire department has been hit by a series of COVID-19 positive cases. At the end of last week there were 10 frontline firefighters quarantined. Fore Chief Kyle Shipherd indicated the department was able to keep engines fully staff. The loss of additional firefighters, though, could make that impossible to do.
People that test positive and do not get sick typically have to go through 14 days in quarantine.
City hall, after experiencing 16 cases in November, has now racked up 10 new cases since the start of December.
Lutzow noted most workers are essential such as police, firefighters, and public works front-line crews working endeavors such as water, sewer, and streets will stay on the job.
Others who can will be handling their city jobs working remotely from home.
The small number that are deemed not essential under state guidelines but have portions of their jobs that are needed for the city to function such as answering phones, will be rotated in and out of working in the office.
Lutzow added those that aren’t essential and when they are not working but are barred from going to work will be paid while they are at home.
Lutzow noted COVID-19 cases in Manteca are up 500 percent since October.
Manteca, as of Wednesday, has had 2,675 people test positive for COVID-19 since March. That reflects an infection rate of 31.5 people per 1,000 residents.
San Joaquin County on Thursday had a new record active 4,094 cases of COVID-19, up from 3,941 the prior day.
That is the result of a peak one day record of 657 new cases on Dec. 3, 573 new cases on Dec. 4, 467 new cases on Dec. 5, 469 new cases on Dec. 6, and 489 new cases on Dec. 7. There were 56 new cases reported on Dec. 8 and 29 on Dec. 9.
Cases are considered active for 14 days. Not everyone that tests positive shows symptoms.
There were three more deaths Wednesday to bring the total to 535.
Countywide, hospitalizations from COVID-19 are up 40 percent in the past seven days.
There are now 248 patients hospitalized with COVID occupying 29 percent of the beds. Overall 86 percent of or 842 of the overall hospital beds that exist are occupied.
In ICU beds, 61 of the 119 patients have COVID. That is 51 percent of the ICU load.
Doctors Hospital now has 50 of its 73 beds occupied including 17 COVID patients of which five are using ICU beds.
Kaiser Hospital Manteca has 35 beds filled with 12 of them being COVID patients and 5 in the ICU.
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