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Elevated case rate, hospitalizations land Tehama County on state's COVID-19 watchlist

Tehama County is now on the state's COVID-19 watchlist. Action News Now reporter Ana Torrea shares what this will mean for the county moving forward.

Posted: Aug 25, 2020 4:45 PM
Updated: Aug 25, 2020 4:51 PM

TEHAMA COUNTY, Calif.Tehama County was added to the California Department of Public Health coronavirus watchlist on Aug 23.

Health officials said that two things led to Tehama County being placed on the state's watchlist: The rate of the county's hospitalization and its elevated case rate.

However, Public Health officials say since Friday, hospitalizations have gone down and that's no longer a factor. But Tehama County's current case rate stands at 116 per 100,000 people. 

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Health officials said the reason for the increase in cases is social gatherings.

"Through our contact investigations, we have discovered that the majority of our cases are coming from social gatherings, where different households are getting together for extended periods of time," said Michelle Schmidt, Tehama County Public Health Supervising Nurse Michelle Schmidt. "Group camping trips, weddings, family parties, youth team sports, and taking lunch breaks without physical distancing."

In order for Tehama County to get off the watchlist, it must meet below the state's threshold criteria for three days straight. But even then, the county would still need to get guidance from the state to reopen.

State health officials recommend measures like increasing the number of contract tracers in the county, quarantining all early release parolees, and reviewing school reopening plans to address the elevated case count. 

Schmidt said the county has already increased its contact tracers - so that they can continue to follow up on individuals in one to two days.

For a complete look at the California Public Health monitoring list, Click Here

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