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No new virus cases for days in Manteca
The Central Valley Personal Protective Equipment Initiative encourages individuals and businesses to donate essential supplies for healthcare workers such as masks, protective eyewear, surgical gowns and gloves.

Sixty-one more people in San Joaquin County have fallen ill from COVID-19 but none are from Manteca, Lathrop or Ripon.

There are 462 people stricken with the virus as of 1:45 p.m. Wednesday. How many of those are in the South County is unknown as the San Joaquin County Health Department does not release data on communities where people currently ill from the coronavirus reside. Instead they list all cases together whether they are recovered, currently ill, and if they are sick enough to require hospitalization.

Public Health Officer Dr. Maggie Park warned the Board of Supervisors this week that various activities the state has said could resume Friday if specific criteria is met by individual counties is now possibly in jeopardy for San Joaquin County due to a recent 40.7 percent increase of hospitalizations over a three-day period.

The openings that are now in jeopardy include campgrounds and outdoor recreation, casinos, cardrooms, hotels for leisure, gyms, pools, bars, wineries, movie theaters, zoos, and museums.

Manteca’s numbers are still unchanged with 103 people within the city limits who either are sick or have been sick from COVID-19. By Zip Code there are still 58 cases in the 95336 and 55 cases in the 95337. The Zip Code numbers include city and rural residents.

In other South County cities there have been 144 cases in Tracy, 47 cases in Lathrop, and 16 cases in Ripon.

There have been 1,309 cases of COVID-19 verified in the county since mid-March. Of those, 847 have recovered.

The figures over the last three days even without definitive numbers of active COVID-19 cases underscores a point that Manteca leaders have been making  that the local area is faring much better than other areas of the county — specifically Stockton and Tracy. They have been making the case for weeks to county health officials, with no avail, that reopening should be allowed to move faster in Manteca because of adequate hospital capacity as well as what appears to be lower per capita COVID-19 cases based on what limited information they are being provided.

If Park doesn’t allow gyms to reopen on Friday in accordance to the governor’s guidelines, the Manteca City Council vowed at their last meeting to make their case directly to Gavin Newsom’s office that have drafted guidelines that will allow safe further reopening to take place.

At least two Manteca area gyms have reopened with social distancing and other protocols in place. One gym has been open since June 1.

San Joaquin County is among nine counties Sacramento is monitoring statewide that are experiencing increases that exceed state-established thresholds.

In San Joaquin County’s case, that includes increased hospitalization and ICU bed availability.  San Joaquin County recently experienced a 40.7 percent increase in hospitalizations over a three-day period which is above the state threshold of 10 percent. The county also has 14.1 percent of licensed ICU beds available for COVID-19 patients while the state minimum is 20 percent.  

The county currently has 43 COVID-19 patients being treated in local hospitals which is 20 people above the State limit.   Eighteen of those hospitalized patients are in the ICU.  San Joaquin County is also not testing at the minimum average tests per day level required by the state which is 150 tests per 100,000 population per day on average.

“I know everyone is tired of COVID-19 at this point, but COVID-19 isn’t tired of us and this virus isn’t going away anytime soon,” Park told supervisors. “It is imperative that we continue meeting the required attestation metrics in order to continue progressing through the reopening stages outlined by the State. Otherwise we may be looking at a situation where businesses and activities could shut down and deaths rates climb sharply.”

One more person died from COVID-19 Wednesday bringing the number of fatalities to 40.

Park said the following State-mandated orders still apply to all California residents:

*Mass gatherings of any number of people are prohibited.

*Residents can leave their homes to engage with businesses and activities allowed by the state.

*Businesses and sectors of the economy that open are required to follow state guidance.

It should be noted that county officials did not move to prohibit mass gatherings involving protests.

To prevent further spread of COVID-19 Park indicated:

*Everyone must continue to observe social distancing protocols, minimize time outside their homes, wash their hands frequently, and are encouraged to wear masks in public. 

*All Californians should not travel significant distances and should stay close to their homes.