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Manteca virus cases up 29% in five days
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The number of Manteca residents infected with COVID-19 is up 29 percent since Friday.

Manteca has now surpassed Tracy as the No. 2 hotspot in San Joaquin County after Stockton that accounts for 1,285 out of the 2,792 cases.

There were 69 new cases verified in the past five days in Manteca, bringing the number to 237.

While those numbers include those with the virus — ill or otherwise — and those who have recovered, the more critical number is hospitalizations. As of Wednesday at 12:05 p.m. there were 89 COVID-19 patients in the seven hospitals in San Joaquin. That is down slightly from Tuesday with 91 patients that now stands as the peak amount of hospitalizations on any given day.

A COVID-19 related death was recorded Wednesday bringing the number to 49 and snapping a streak of five days with no new deaths.

There are currently 1,505 people out of 760,000 county residents known to have the virus while 1,287 have recovered.

Between Friday and Wednesday cases of people known to have the virus and who have recovered have gone from 991 to 1,285 in Stockton, 168 to 237 in Manteca,  186 to 233 in Tracy, 63 to 72 in Lathrop, and 23 to 29 in Ripon.

San Joaquin County is among a number of counties where COVID-19 is spiking. While there is debate about the positive numbers including those who have tested positive and may not be— or may get — sick from the coronavirus, the number that can’t be disputed as a barometer are hospitalizations.

Up until two weeks ago there were never more than 21 people hospitalized with COVID-19 at any given time in the county. That number is now at 89.

The increase of those in a hospital at any given time gives credence to experts that say the wearing of face masks rates as one of the most effective ways to slow down the spread of the virus. 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