Coronavirus death toll reaches 40 in Tulare County: 640 cases, 105 recoveries

Forty people have died as a result of COVID-19 in Tulare County, health officials confirmed Thursday.

More than half of those deaths — 26 — are connected to Redwood Springs Healthcare Center, home to California's worst nursing home outbreak with 183 cases.

"We have unfortunately seen a large increase in deaths," said Tim Lutz, Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency director.

Tulare County has the second-highest coronavirus death rate in California, with 7.8 deaths per 100,000 residents, according to data compiled by the LA Times. Only Los Angeles County reported a higher death rate at 10.5.

A sign at Pet Envy Grooming & Boutique in Visalia reminds pet owners to practice social distancing. Vongni Yang

A sign at Pet Envy Grooming & Boutique in Visalia reminds pet owners to practice social distancing. Vongni Yang

Tulare County reported 640 total positive cases, an increase of 14 over Wednesday when the county announced it had surpassed 600 total cases.

There are also 640 people under quarantine and being monitored by county health officials. The county reported 105 people have recovered from the virus.

While Tulare County's caseload continues to increase, its doubling rate has slowed significantly compared to March, officials said. 

In March, COVID-19 cases doubled about every five days, Lutz said. In April, the doubling rate has been about 15 days.

"What that's indicative of, again, is that the stay-at-home order is having an impact on how quickly the disease is spreading," Lutz said.

Lutz added that the Tulare County Public Health Lab has identified a troubling new trend, with many cases having occurred as a result of family get-togethers.

"We're seeing a lot of our clusters with families," Lutz said.

He urged the public to continue to practice physical distancing and avoid meeting extended family or those you don't immediately live with.

COVID-19 by age in Tulare County:

  • 34 - Ages 0 - 17
  • 69 - Ages 18 - 25
  • 137 - Ages 26 - 40
  • 190 - Ages 41 - 64
  • 210 - Ages 65+

Of the known Tulare County cases, 27 contracted the disease through travel, and 384 contracted it through person-to-person contact. The cause of 229 cases is unknown and under investigation. These unknown cases are believed to be community spread. 

Joshua Yeager covers water, agriculture, parks and housing for the Visalia Times-Delta and Tulare Advance-Register newspapers. Follow him on Twitter @VTD_Joshy. Get alerts and keep up on all things Tulare County for as little as $1 a month. Subscribe today.

[This story was originally published by Visalia Times Delta.]

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