Active coronavirus cases down in El Dorado County |

Active coronavirus cases down in El Dorado County

El Dorado County's new COVID-19 dashboard.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Coronavirus spread appears to be slowing a bit in El Dorado County.

Officials reported 42 new cases over a three-day period from Saturday through Monday, but also announced 41 recoveries putting the active case count at 205. The active cases reached a high of 225 last Thursday.

Of the 42 new cases, 16 are from the Lake Tahoe region. Three of the cases are kids 17 or under, 27 are in the 18-49 age group, nine are in the 50-64 category and three are 65 or older.

Two residents remain in the hospital, in intensive care, and one resident has died from complications with the virus.

The Tahoe area has had 267 of the county’s total of 555. El Dorado Hills is next with 125 cases, Shingle Springs, Cameron Park and Rescue have had 58 cases and the Placerville area has had 57.

The county also launched a new interactive COVID-19 dashboard on its website late last week that officials say is more comprehensive and provides additional data and opportunities to learn how the coronavirus is impacting the county.

The county’s health officer said as cases continue to rise and become more complex, that it was time to provide more information.

“Until recently, we have been relatively mildly impacted by COVID-19 compared to many of the Sacramento region counties in terms of the level of the virus in El Dorado County,” said Public Health Officer Dr. Nancy Williams in a press release. “As we have seen our case numbers rise and the issue become more complex on the state level, we felt it was time to provide additional information on our dashboard and make it more interactive and less static.”

The new dashboard features include: 

  • A chart of cases by day since COVID-19 first appeared in the county.
  • Rate of new cases per 100,000 population over the most recent 14-day period, with color-coded levels
    of concern
  • Percent positivity of tests over the most recent seven- and 14-day periods
  • Average number of test results received per 100,000 population over the most recent 14-day period
  • Rate of new cases per 100,000 population by geographic region, with color-coded levels of concern

The dashboard also provides narrative explanation of many of the data points and analyses for easier understanding and in an effort to answer questions the public may have about the changes, said the release.
The new dashboard no longer includes the total number of people tested in El Dorado County, but viewers can add the number of laboratory-confirmed cases to the number of negative results to reach the total approximate number of El Dorado County residents tested.

The “New Cases by Day” on the new dashboard shows cases by episode date, not when the county was notified about the case. 

According to the county, the episode date is the earliest of the following dates: symptom onset date, diagnosis date, specimen collection date, date received or date of death and serves as the best approximation of the date of infection.

Since reporting 19 new cases on July 16, the episode date, the county has not had more than eight new cases in any day since. For the first half of July, new cases were consistently in double digits and over the last week it has been in single digits.

The rate of new cases in the county, as shown on the dashboard, is the number of cases received in the state’s electronic lab reporting system (CalREDIE) over a 14-day period. The 14-day case rate being used to make the determination for whether or not a county is on the monitoring list is being calculated using episode date. 

The Tahoe region has a higher level of concern with a 14-day new case rate greater than or equal to 100 per 100,000.

“While we know there will be a period of getting accustomed to the new format, we believe this will be a more useful product for the public to better understand the current and historic status of COVID-19 in our County,” Williams said. “The new dashboard will make obvious the recent dramatic increase in cases that occurred over the past few weeks. With fall just around the corner and the need for students to return to school, it is more critical than ever for everyone in the county to understand that community and individual behaviors are driving these higher case rates.

“One of the key factors school districts should be considering prior to opening is how many current COVID-19 infections we have in the community,” Williams added. “It is everyone’s responsibility to take precautions to limit the spread of this virus. If we fail to take this responsibility seriously as a community, more COVID-19 infections will occur, making it less likely that schools can open for in-person learning.

“The best piece of information we can give residents and visitors alike continues to be to avoid gathering with people outside your household, wear face coverings, maintain at least a six-foot distance from others and wash your hands frequently,” Williams added. “These measures have been proven to reduce the likelihood of getting and transmitting this serious virus. They are easy to do and will allow us to do the things that really matter, like attend school, go to work and keep our businesses open, while avoiding the imposition of more serious and detrimental restrictions,” she added.

The new dashboard can be found here.

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