Covid-19, novel coronavirus 2019
Novel Coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19) (CDC Image)

MONTEREY COUNTY — Monterey County has been placed on the state’s Covid-19 county data monitoring watch list after exceeding the 14-day case rate threshold of 100 cases per 100,000 residents and the threshold for percent change in three-day average hospitalizations.

California Department of Public Health officials added the county to the watch list on July 2 in response to “elevated disease transmission,” according to Karen Smith, public information officer for the Monterey County Health Department.

“The 14-day case rate equals the total number of cases diagnosed and reported over a 14-day period divided by the number of people living in the county. This number is then multiplied by 100,000,” Smith explained in a news release Thursday. “The percent change in confirmed Covid-19 hospitalized patients is calculated by comparing the average number of laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 patients hospitalized over the past three days to the three days prior.”

Monterey County’s 14-day case rate per 100,000 is currently at 107.4, while its percent change in three-day average Covid-19 hospitalizations is 79.2 percent.

If the county remains on the watch list for three or more consecutive days, the state will require the closing of all brewpubs, breweries, bars and pubs — both indoors and outdoors — for at least three weeks.

In addition, indoor operations for all dine-in restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums and cardrooms will be forced to shut down. Outdoor operations may continue with appropriate modifications, Smith said.

“Monterey County continues to work with local businesses, hospitals, clinics and congregate living facilities to quickly identify and isolate individuals diagnosed with Covid-19,” Smith said.

A total of 1,748 residents have tested positive for the coronavirus in Monterey County, according to the Monterey County Health Department’s latest report Thursday. The report also showed that 1,107 of those residents have recovered from the respiratory disease so far.

Three more deaths, however, were reported in the past week. There have now been 15 deaths related to Covid-19 in Monterey County as of Thursday.

The majority of those infected with Covid-19 are from the Salinas area (1,051), with the others from South County (453), North County (123) and the Peninsula and Big Sur area (121), according to the most recent data.

Within South County, the numbers have been broken down by zip code. King City (93930) has the most cases with 150, followed by Greenfield (93927) with 139, Soledad (93960) with 104 and Gonzales (93926) with 46. Fourteen cases are classified as “other” in South County.

A cumulative total of 135 residents have been hospitalized due to the virus, 41 of whom are active hospitalizations with 10 in the intensive care unit (ICU), as of Thursday’s latest report.

“There is still much we must do as a community to prevent the spread of Covid-19,” said Dr. Edward Moreno, Monterey County Health Officer. “Wearing a face covering when out in public, staying physically apart from people outside of your household, washing hands frequently and staying home when sick can help to stabilize our case rate and protect the most vulnerable among us.”

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Ryan Cronk is the managing editor for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for South Monterey County and the surrounding communities.


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