Coronavirus flood: Tuolumne County reports 74 new cases since Saturday, absolute cases outperform 1,000

Coronavirus flood
Coronavirus flood

Coronavirus flood cases continued to surge in Tuolumne County on Monday, with 74 reported since Saturday, 213 active and 12 individuals hospitalized.

A California COVID-19 data dashboard showed all six intensive care unit beds in the county were taken on Thursday, but more opened up throughout the weekend and four were available on Sunday. The two ICU beds in use on Sunday were reportedly occupied by COVID-19 patients

Karen O’Brien, spokeswoman for Adventist Health Sonora, provided the following statement on Monday when asked about rising COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU usage at the hospital: 

“At Adventist Health Sonora, we continue to work closely with our community partners, including Public Health and the Office of Emergency Services. We are actively managing our supply lines, ensuring an adequate supply of PPE and other equipment needs, and utilizing a triage tent so that we are ready for an influx of patients. Each of our departments is ready to adapt operations and adjust staffing on a daily basis as the situation changes.”

Coronavirus flood
Coronavirus flood: Tuolumne County reports 74 new cases since Saturday

O’Brien said the greatest help that the hospital can get from the community is “for everyone to stay home if they are sick, always wear a mask in public, and follow all other guidelines to prevent further transmission of COVID-19.”

There were 20 new cases counted Monday, 33 on Sunday, and 21 on Saturday, according to the county Public Health Department.

The county has reported 1,055 total cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, with 818 individuals recovered, and eight deaths.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday he may order stronger coronavirus restrictions over the next two days, including a possible stay-at-home order for purple-tier counties like Tuolumne, to try to slow surging COVID-19 hospitalizations that threaten to overwhelm intensive care units. 

Newsom said projections show ICU admissions statewide are on track to exceed capacity by mid-December unless public health policies and people’s social behavior changes to slow the pandemic’s spread.

Calaveras County was also moved into the purple tier over the weekend due to surging cases, though the numbers since Friday were not available as of Monday evening. The county was previously in the yellow tier for minimal risk at the beginning of November.

The Tuolumne County Public Health Department says people at the Optum/LHI state test site at Mother Lode Fairgrounds plan to increase capacity beginning this week to help meet increasing demands for COVID-19 testing. Starting on Wednesday, there will be two testing lanes instead of one, Wednesdays through Saturdays, and at least one lane will be available seven days a week.

Coronavirus flood
Coronavirus flood: Tuolumne County reports 74 new cases since Saturday

Appointments are still required and are available several days in advance, at or call (888) 634-1123.

People with concerns about new or worsening symptoms can call the Adventist Health Sonora COVID-19 Triage Line at (209) 536-5166 to speak to a nurse or other clinician.

As of Monday evening, California had counted more than 1.2 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, resulting in 19,140 deaths. Nationally, the pandemic had resulted in more than 13.5 million confirmed cases and contributed to the deaths of more than 267,840 Americans.

The California Department of Public Health has issued a travel advisory for people coming into the state. People arriving from outside the state on nonessential travel should quarantine 14 days after arrival and limit interactions to immediate household members.

State guidelines for holiday gatherings can be found at

The county COVID-19 call center is open during normal office hours. People who have questions or concerns can call (209) 533-7440 for information.

No-cost COVID-19 testing is available at Mother Lode Fairgrounds in Sonora five days a week, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. The test site offers testing for anyone age 3 and older, accompanied by a parent or guardian. Appointments are required and appointments are available three days in advance. Appointments can be made at or by calling (888) 634-1123.

Local, state and federal public health authorities have warned this flu season could strain healthcare resources in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Getting a flu vaccine will not protect anyone against COVID-19, but it can reduce an individual’s risk of flu illness, hospitalization, and death.

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