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Virus cases surge; county closed down

The number of positive covid-19 tests continues to rise in Wasco and Shafter.

Schools remain the same as they were prior to the most-recent closure with only those students already in school — special education, ED, students at risk and special needs students — continue to receive a limited time of their education in person.

On Dec. 2, Gov. Gavin Newsom placed 41 of the 58 counties back in the most restrictive purple tier and considered placing a curfew on businesses’ hours of operation.

Salons are closed. Restaurants that had just begun offering in-person dining had to immediately shut that service down and offer take out only. Gyms, non-essential businesses and city government offices have shut their doors to the public and are conducting business by either the telephone or online.

On Dec. 4, Newsom ordered new stay-at-home orders as an “emergency brake” to curb the spread of COVID-19 in California.

He broke the state into five regions: Northern California, Greater Sacramento, Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley and Southern California. He is concerned about the regional ICU hospital capacity if it should fall below 15%. The new order is for three weeks.

The state is starting its second week of the three-week closure period and numbers are continuing to rise.

As of Dec. 8, the number of cases increased in Wasco from 2,034 to 2,295 and rose once again on Dec. 14 to 2,588. Recovered persons also increased Dec. 1 to 687 to 713 by Dec. 8 and rose once again to 722 on Dec. 14. The presumed recovered numbers for Wasco on Dec. 18 were 595 and remained the same on Dec. 14.

Shafter’s numbers reflect a similar pattern. On Dec. 1, there were 1,677 cases, which rose to 1,832 on Dec. 8 and rose again on Dec. 14 to 1,932. Those recovered on Dec. 1 were 751, which also rose again to 768 by Dec. 8 and presumed recovered on Dec. 1 was 472, which rose to 492 on Dec. 8 and remained the same for Dec. 14.

Wasco State Prison confirms that there have been 267 active cases among staff with 190 returned to work, 77 current active cases and 14 new cases within the past 14 days.

In addition, their inmate population has reported zero deaths due to the virus, 340 active cases in custody with 339 active within the last 14 days. Thirty three inmates have been released while active and 290 cases have been resolved.

Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus shots have been approved by the FDA and healthcare workers are first in line to receive the vaccine.

“We don’t have access to the vaccine yet,” Administrator at Adventist Health on 7th Street Dulce Belo said.


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