10,000 covid cases

Monterey County surpassed a grim threshold today: 10,008 people have tested positive for Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, the Monterey County Health Department reported. Of those, 7,143 people are listed as recovered. A total of 72 people have died from the virus.

Latinos in Salinas and the Salinas Valley continue to be impacted by much larger numbers than other groups and zip codes, with more than 7,700 individuals having contracted Covid-19, almost 77 percent. (Latinos make up a little over 60 percent of the total county population.) The group also makes up 81 percent of all hospitalizations and 80 percent of the deaths related to the virus, according to the Health Department.

The largest age group to be impacted by Covid-19 is 25-34, at over 2,220 cases, or 22.65 percent. The 35-44 age group is next (19.25 percent), followed by those in the 45-54 age group (15.61 percent), 18-24 (14.44 percent), 0-17 (12.51 percent), then those aged 55-64 (9.59 percent) and finally those 65 and older (5.95 percent).

Conversely, those older than 65 who contract Covid-19 have been hospitalized more often than other age groups, with 162 total thus far of the 588 cumulative hospitalizations. The number of hospitalizations steps down with each younger age group, ending with 15 hospitalizations for patients who are 17 and younger. 

Those 65 and up also make the largest group of deaths at 44, followed by 15 deaths for those in the 54 and younger age group, and 13 deaths in patients between the ages of 55-64.

Monterey County remains in the purple tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, which lays out how counties can reopen based on their case positivity rate and other factors. There are four tiers, with purple being the highest and most strict in terms of closures.

As of last Tuesday, the county’s adjusted case rate of nine new cases daily is still above where the county needs to be to go down to the red tier, which would mean fewer restrictions. The county's positivity rate is at 5 percent, which puts it more toward the red tier level (counties at this level have a rate of 5-8 percent).

On Sept. 15, the Health Department notified the Monterey County Office of Education that they would begin accepting and processing waivers for schools through grade six to return to in-person modified instruction, since the case rate had dropped below 14 cases per 100,000 population. In order for schools to reopen, the county would have to be in the red tier for 14 consecutive days.

More data about Monterey County's Covid-19 situation is available here.

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