COVID data trending towards red tier


Courtesy of Jim Maxwell

An Agriland employee gets his COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic hosted by Agriland. COVID-19 numbers are decreasing, but health officials urge residents to get vaccinated and get tested.

Madera County finally made its way to the Red Tier in terms of COVID-19 data, according to an update from the Madera County Department of Public Health.


For the first time since Madera County came close to the Red Tier in November, it recorded Red Tier numbers in the update Tuesday.


However, MCDPH director Sara Bosse insists the county isn’t in the Red Tier just yet.


“The first thing is for them to understand that we have data that is in the red tier for the first of two weeks,” she said. “Next Tuesday, if we are in the Red Tier, we will move. That’s when additional activities become possible.


“In order for us to do that and continue moving through the tiers to open up more things, the most important thing for people to do is get vaccinated, if eligible. The second is to get tested.”


Madera County’s case rate was 6.6 positive tests per 100,000, below the eight needed to enter the Red Tier. The adjusted case rate was 6.1 The Health Equity Postivity Rate was 5.7 percent, which is less than the eight percent needed to be red. In addition, the County Positivity Rate was 2.7 percent, which is actually in the Orange Tier, which is way below the 5.7 needed for the Red Tier.


Bosse stresses the importance of getting vaccinated and getting tested, whether one is feeling symptoms or not.


“We want to get people get tested if they have symptoms or if they were exposed,” she said. “That’s always been true. Also get tested if they are out and about. Every six to eight weeks is good to get tested. That gives us a better idea of accurate positivity rate.”


In addition to getting tested and getting vaccinated, Bosse still says to wear masks, stay away from gathering and keep practicing social distancing.


“Wearing masks needs to continue, for now, as we continue to learn more about the effectiveness of the vaccine,” she said. “We’re going to learn more in the next coming months about what things are safe to do. As the community opens up more broadly, we’ll see how does the case rate respond to that. We want people to be thoughtful and mindful about what it is they are doing so we don’t have another surge.”


Last week, Madera County also announced the emergence of a variant of COVID-19. However, Bosse said the county has taken care of the infected individual, but are still looking for the source.


“We caught it early,” she said. “We have not identified the source of transmission for that individual. It’s likely there is at least one other case of that variant in Madera County. We just have to be mindful.”


Bosse said if people would like to receive text messages to register for the COVID-19 vaccine, text MADERAVAX (all caps and one word) to 888777.


“We send out alerts when registration is open,” she said. “In Madera County, we are moving our vaccination clinic from the Department of Public Health to the MyTurn system, as well.”


However, with the data dropping, Bosse is excited for the possibility to getting to a more normal society.


“It’s really exciting,” she said. “It’s really emblematic of the hope many of us are experiencing with the vaccine. What we hope is ushering out of the COVID season we’ve experienced into the next season. That would be great. None of us want to go back in tiers. We all want to get back to as much normal as we can.”

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