Madera County continues to be high risk

The risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus in Madera County is extremely high, based on data gathered by The New York Times and published on Jan. 27.


The report summary states, “Cases are extremely high but have decreased over the past two weeks. The number of hospitalized COVID patients has also fallen in the Madera County area, but intensive care unit occupancy is still very high. Deaths have increased and the test positivity rate in Madera County is also still very high, suggesting that cases are being significantly undercounted.”


For the two weeks ending on Jan. 26, Madera County reported an average of 120 cases per day. This was a 24 percent decrease from the daily average reported as of Jan. 12, but it is still noted as an “extraordinarily severe outbreak.”


A graph that tracks the 14-day average of newly reported cases of coronavirus, beginning in March, 2020, conclusively shows that January, 2021, has been the worst month for cases in the county. So far, the peak occurred on Dec. 7, when 321 new cases were reported. Since then, there has been a slight decline. However, in 2021, the peak reached 310 new cases on Jan. 17.


Beginning in March of last year, a total of 14,165 cases have been reported. That means 1 in 11 of the county’s residents has been infected.


The county is presently averaging 120 cases per day, and 94 percent of ICU beds in the area were occupied, according to the most recent data. That puts the county in the “extremely high risk” category, according to the guidelines developed by The New York Times and medical experts at Johns Hopkins University.


A county is considered to be a low risk if it reported fewer than 10 cases during the past two weeks; medium risk, between 11 and 39 cases; high risk, 40-159; very high risk, 160-639; and extremely high risk, 640 or more. Madera County has reported 1,680 cases during the 14 days ending Jan. 26.

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