Editor’s note: The following is a collection of breaking news updates, helpful informational sites and links to appropriate local institutions during the coronavirus pandemic. Send announcements to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hospital admissions spiking in Monterey County
Nov. 29 — Health officials in Monterey County released another round of alarming new COVID-19 news this morning, including another death and 28 new reports of hospitalizations in four county facilities. State officials show that, as of Friday, a total of 76 patients were being treated for symptoms of the virus after being admitted to hospitals. The new numbers from Monterey County today indicate that more than two dozen more have been hospitalized. Fifty-seven of the 76 patients reported by the state are being treated at the two Salinas hospitals.
What’s more, the county confirmed today that an additional 298 people have tested positive for the virus, pushing the total to more than 15,000.
Almost 7,000 people were being treated in hospitals throughout California due to COVID-19 on Friday, according to the state, and the two-week “rolling average” for hospitalizations in the state continues to soar.
Monterey County has scheduled a couple of pop-up COVID testing sites next week, including from 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Greenfield Library and from 2 to 6 p.m. Wednesday at the King City Library.
Five new COVID-19 deaths reported in Monterey County
Nov. 28 — Today’s COVID-19 report from Monterey County indicates that the virus continued to devastate the region, with five new deaths and 140 additional cases. And a report from state health officials show that more people are currently hospitalized in Monterey County hospitals than at any other time during the pandemic.
The “COVID-19 Morbidity & Testing Information” report issued by county health officials issued today appears to be a catch-up of demographics after the Health Department shut down during the Thanksgiving holiday.
But today’s report of confirmed deaths raises the toll in Monterey County to 121, while the 140 new confirmed cases of positive tests raise that total to 14,791, which represents more than 3 percent of the total population.
Santa Cruz County health officials reported 226 new confirmed cases during the past several days, and the state reported that 32 patients have been hospitalized in Santa Cruz County hospitals.
Seventy-one people are in hospitals in Monterey County for treatment of symptoms related to the virus, according to the state report. The highest single-day number of hospitalizations prior to this week was on Aug. 17, when 62 patients were in Monterey County hospitals.
Eighteen of those patients are at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, while the two Salinas hospitals are treating 52 patients.
Monterey County has scheduled a couple of pop-up COVID testing sites next week, including from 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Greenfield Library and from 2 to 6 p.m. Wednesday at the King City Library.
Another huge surge of COVID-19 cases reported in Monterey County
Nov. 24 — With public-health concern mounting about family gatherings that could spread COVID-19, Monterey County officials confirmed today that another 315 people have tested positive for the virus. And in Santa Cruz County, 60 more cases have been confirmed, along with that county’s 28th death attributable to complications from the virus.
Meanwhile, state officials reported that 58 Monterey County residents are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19, including 19 who are being treated in ICUs. It is the largest number of hospitalizations in the county since 62 patients were in one of four hospitals in the county on Aug. 17. The state reported that 24 Santa Cruz residents have been hospitalized.
In Monterey County, today’s daily COVID-19 update indicated that another person has died as a result of complications due to the virus, bringing the total to 116. Nine residents of the county have died in the last 11 days. Overall, more than 14,400 Monterey County residents have tested positive for the virus since health officials started testing, with a test positivity rate approaching 11 percent.
As usual, the latest numbers from Monterey County shows that the virus continues to impact Latinos in the Salinas Valley at a much greater rate than most places on the Central Coast. More than 43 percent of all the cases in the county have been among residents who live in two ZIP codes in East Salinas. By contrast, only 1,425 cases have been reported on the entire Monterey Peninsula, including the South Coast.
Also, almost 80 percent of the deaths and the hospitalizations in the county are among people who identify themselves as Latino.
Nearly 250,000 people have died in the United States as a result of COVID-19, according to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine. California yesterday confirmed 17,572 new cases, the largest number of people who tested positive in the state in a single day.
New positive COVID-19 results soaring in Monterey County
Nov. 22 — Monterey County health officials reported 834 new positive results to COVID-19 testing during the past week, according to daily reports issued by the Health Department. And state officials say that 52 county residents were hospitalized on Friday, including nine in intensive care units.
The growing numbers of patients in hospitals might be most alarming. A month ago, only 20 people were being treated in hospitals for the virus. The growing numbers of new cases, deaths and hospitalizations in the past week are similar to the spike experienced in August.
Today’s report indicates that 141 new positive cases were confirmed in the past 24 hours, while another death was reported and five additional people were admitted into hospitals for treatment of symptoms related to the virus.
Overall in Monterey County, the Health Department has recorded 13,868 cases and 114 deaths since the pandemic struck the region. During that time, 775 patients were admitted to local hospitals because of the virus. More than 10,000 people with the virus have recovered. The test positivity rate in Monterey County is hovering around 11 percent, well above the baseline required by the state for officials to begin consideration of lifting restrictions on businesses and gatherings.
By contrast, Santa Cruz County has recorded 27 deaths and 3,819 positive cases since the beginning of the pandemic. About 210 patients have required hospitalizations and 25 people are currently being treated in area hospitals.
With cases on the rise, Santa Cruz County returns to purple tier
Nov. 22 — Santa Cruz County has been returned to the restrictive “purple tier” COVID-19 health level, effective immediately. Officials cited the rising number of positive cases locally and throughout the state.
“The sharp rise in COVID-19 cases is very concerning,” said Jen Herrera, Chief of Public Health, in a written statement. “COVID-19 continues to pose a severe risk to our community. It is critical that everyone follow social distancing guidelines and not gather in groups as we head into the holidays.”
In the purple tier, places of worship, movie theaters, restaurants, gyms and fitness centers will only be allowed to have outdoor services with health and safety modifications. Businesses need to have new restrictions in place no later than Tuesday, November 17th.
Monterey County reports 265 new positive COVID cases overnight
Nov. 15 — Monterey County health officials today reported a huge surge of new cases of COVID-19, including two new deaths. Ten residents have succumbed to complications resulting from the virus during the past week and the COVID death toll in the county is now 110.
The county reported 265 new cases and five new hospitalizations were confirmed during the past 24 hours. The state Health Department reported that 44 patients are currently hospitalized in Monterey County hospitals, including 40 at the two Salinas medical centers.
Since the county started tracking the virus early this year, 13,034 residents have test positive for COVID-19, and 734 have required hospitalization. Of those who have tested positive, 10,644 of them live in the Salinas Valley and 10,030 identify themselves as Latinos.
The number of deaths confirmed in the U.S. now exceeds 245,000, with 1,210 reported Saturday.
Four new COVID-19 deaths reported today in Monterey County
Nov. 13 — Monterey County health officials reported the largest one-day death toll attributable to COVID-19 this morning, posting on its daily update that four more patients have succumbed to the virus. The death toll is now 107 in Monterey County.
The report comes a day after authorities noted an alarming uptick in the number of cases and deaths nationally. They reported that 152,391 new cases were counted on Thursday alone, and that more than 66,600 victims are currently hospitalized. Worried about a winter resurgence of the virus, authorities are asking residents to limit their contacts with others and to scale back their holiday plans.
Today’s report from Monterey County shows that two of the four deaths were Latinos, raising that number to 84. Also, 95 new cases were reported in the county, which means that 12,701 county residents have tested positive for the virus since the county started keeping track early this year. More than 725 patients have been hospitalized since the pandemic hit.
Of the 95 new cases, 74 were among residents of Salinas and Salinas Valley, where the virus continues to find victims at a much higher rate than the rest of the county. Earlier this week Monterey County learned that its request to ease public-gathering restrictions was denied by the state.
Central Coast gets bad news from state over reopening
Nov. 10 — The Central Coast received bad news today in its effort to rebound from the financial troubles cased by COVID-19 shutdowns.
Santa Cruz County learned that it is returning to the red-tier level under the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, while Monterey County’s request to leave the most restrictive purple tier was rejected.
Health officials in Santa Cruz County said the county “remains relatively safe.” But they also noted that the number of active cases has doubled in recent weeks “with a weekend increase in case counts that appears related to Halloween,” according to Jason Hoppin, a county spokesperson.
“While many of our new cases are among young adults who can have mild symptoms, it’s important to remember that they can transmit the disease to others, with potentially severe consequences,” sadded Santa Cruz County Health Officer Dr. Gail Newel. “We are entering an especially dangerous period of the pandemic, and we ask everyone to meet this challenge by taking measures to protect one another.”
Restaurants, places of worship, movie theaters and museums must decrease indoor operations from 50 percent to 25 percent of capacity. Retail establishments may continue operations at a reduced capacity of 50 percent. See more information about reopening here.
Under red tier, bars, breweries and distilleries must close, and wineries must close indoor operations. Gyms and fitness centers should reduce capacity to 10 percent of normal operations. Amusement parks, family entertainment centers, nonessential offices and live-audience sports are no longer allowed.
The Santa Cruz Boardwalk has not been operating its rides and indoor arcades and games have been shut down during the pandemic, but it recently reopened its outdoor arcade games, food and shopping.
Monterey County had asked the state to ease some of its restrictions under the purple tier it is currently operating. But a spike of new cases and nearly daily reports of at least one death forced state health officials to reject the application.
Santa Cruz County has reported 3,227 cases and 26 deaths since the pandemic started, while Monterey County reported its 102nd death attributed to COVID-19 today. Some 12,463 cases and 725 hospitalizations have also been reported in Monterey County, mostly in the Salinas Valley.
Monterey County COVID-19 toll exceeds 100 deaths
Nov. 8 — The COVID-19 toll in Monterey County has exceeded 100 deaths and 700 hospitalizations, according to health officials. They say more than 12,500 residents have contracted the virus since the pandemic was first reported on American soil early this year.
The virus has been especially difficult for Latino residents of the Salinas Valley, where more than 82 percent of the cases have been reported despite continuing efforts by public health officials to promote safe practices to ward off the number of cases.
While the numbers in the Salinas Valley continue to mount, the county is asking the state Department of Public Health to allow the county for permission to reopen more businesses. Health officers said the request is based on adjusted test positivity rates, based on the discovery that some private laboratories were apparently not reporting tests correctly to the state.
Today’s report from the health department shows that 101 people have died as a result of complications resulting from COVID-19, and 720 people have been hospitalized, including 11 since yesterday. Seventy more people were confirmed to have contracted the virus during the past 24 hours.
Of the deaths, 79 have been victims identified as Latinos and 64 reportedly were 65 or older. More than 5,000 of the reported cases are among people who live within two ZIP codes in East Salinas.
In California, 972,801 cases and 17,964 deaths have been reported since the beginning of the year, state officials say. More than 236,000 deaths have been reported in the United States.
Three new COVID-19 deaths reported in Monterey County overnight
Oct. 29 — With three more deaths reported by Monterey County health officials this morning, the COVID-19 toll appears to be surging again in the Salinas Valley.
Ninety-five people have now reportedly died in Monterey County as a result of complications resulting from the COVID-19 virus, including nine in the past nine days. The daily demographic report from county health officials indicates that the latest three deaths were all Latinos over the age of 65.
Nearly 80 percent of all the virus-related deaths in Monterey County have been victims identified as Latinos. Additionally, 782 percent of the 673 patients who have required hospital treatment in the county are Latinos, while 78 percent of the 11,616 positive cases have been among Latinos.
Today’s report from Monterey County shows that 78 new cases were reported this morning.
While Monterey County appears to be surging, deaths statewide appear to be dropping. California health authorities indicate the fatalities are down more than 11 percent during the past two-week period, while cases have grown by 39 percent during that same period. The state reports that 17,541 Californians have died as a result of complications from the virus since the pandemic started.
Five new COVID-19 deaths reported on the Central Coast
Oct. 21 — Five more deaths attributed to complications resulting from COVID-19 have been reported on the Central Coast during the past couple of days, according to health officials in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties.
Three of those fatalities were reported in Monterey County. All of them were older Latinos. The two fatalities reported this week in Santa Cruz County appear to be residents of the Watsonville Post-Acute Center, which is dealing with the largest outbreak of the virus in a single facility on the Central Coast. State health officials now report 12 residents of the nursing facility have died and 39 have tested positive.
The reports released today indicate that 86 Monterey County residents with COVID-19 have succumbed since the pandemic started, including 69 Latinos. A total of 11,225 residents have tested positive, and 654 of those have required hospitalization. About 80 percent of the cases have been reported on the Salinas Valley side of the county.
Meanwhile, Santa Cruz County reports smaller numbers, with 23 deaths and 2,774 cases. Of those cases, 181 have required hospitalization. Like Monterey County, COVID-19 appears to be concentrated in the Latino community in Watsonville.
Program to isolate farmworkers with COVID launched in Monterey County
Oct. 14 — Monterey County is offering more housing to area farmworkers impacted by COVID-19. The “Housing for the Harvest” program is a new effort to reduce the spread of the virus among agricultural employees by moving workers who test positive to safe alternate rooms during quarantine.
The program is administered by the Monterey County Emergency Operations Center in coordination with the Health Department which oversees the referral process.
“Housing for the Harvest was inspired by a temporary farmworker housing program in Monterey County created by Grower Shippers Association earlier this year,” according to Maia Carroll, a county spokeswoman. “It helps positive or exposed workers protect their loved ones, coworkers and community by giving them a space to safely self-isolate.”
The county’s Project Roomkey program has been providing housing for any COVID positive county residents including farmworkers since April of this year. Housing for the Harvest provides the same assistance, but adds medical oversight of those isolating which is part of the new state program.
Under Housing for Harvest, the state contracts with hotels to secure local rooms and county staff coordinates with the state to book rooms for agricultural workers.
To be eligible for Housing for the Harvest assistance, participants must:
- Work in California food processing or agriculture
- Meet FEMA non-congregate sheltering criteria for COVID-19
- Have tested positive, or
- Been exposed as documented by a public health official or medical health professional • Be unable to self-isolate at home
While Monterey County’s COVID-19 cases overall are currently showing a slowdown, the coronavirus continues to have a disparate impact in certain areas in our community and on certain industries, Carroll said. Providing safe isolation options for workers to recover goes hand in hand with community efforts to slow the spread of the virus and help our community recover and reopen.
Central Coast COVID-19 death toll reaches 100
Oct. 11 — The COVID-19 death toll on the Central Coast of California has now reached 100, according to reports issued by health officials in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties.
With two new deaths confirmed in this morning, health officials in Monterey County have reported that 80 people have died since they started tracking the spread of the virus early this year. And a recent outbreak at a nursing home in Watsonville has pushed the death toll in Santa Cruz County to 20.
Fully 75 percent of the 13,254 cases of coronavirus confirmed in the two counties have been among Latinos. Communities with predominantly populations in both counties have reported the largest outbreaks. For instance, almost 58 percent of the 2,595 cases reported in Santa Cruz County resident in Watsonville, a city that represents less than 20 percent of the county’s population. About 63 percent of all cases are among people who identify as Latino in Santa Cruz County.
In Monterey County, almost 83 percent of all COVID-19 cases reported are among people who live in the Salinas Valley.
Sixty-three of the deaths in Monterey County have been among people who identify as Latino. Nine of the 20 deaths reported in Santa Cruz County are a result of a cluster at the Watsonville Post-Acute Center, according to county health officials.
If there is any good news, it’s in the reduced number of cases that have been reported in Monterey County the past two days. County health officials have reported only 72 cases during the past two days, and the test positivity rate is now under 11 percent.
In California, 16,571 people have succumbed to the virus, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
COVID-19 toll at Watsonville nursing home rises
Oct. 7 — Santa Cruz County public health officials said today that an outbreak of COVID-19 at a skilled nursing facility in Watsonville has resulted in nine deaths.
A total of 61 residents and staff at the Watsonville Post-Acute Center have tested positive for the virus, according to Corrine Hyland, a public information officer for Santa Cruz County. Five people have died as a result of symptoms related to the virus in recent days, bringing the total to nine. The spike has raised the total deaths throughout the county to 16.
State Department of Public Health officials have been working closely with managers at the center, located on Auto Center Drive, Hyland said, providing daily tests and reviewing protocol. The California National Guard is also providing “staffing support.”
Overall, 2,535 Santa Cruz County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 since health officials started tracking the virus. Of those, 1,460 cases were reported in Watsonville.
COVID-19 cases in Monterey County now exceed 10,000
Sept. 28 — With 55 new cases of confirmed coronavirus cases reported today, Monterey County has reached 10,000 cases since health authorities starting tracking the virus at the beginning of the year.
The daily demographic report from the Health Department today shows that 10,008 people have tested positive for COVID-19. Since the beginning of the year 72 Monterey County residents have died as a result of complications related to the virus, while 588 people have required hospitalization.
Compared to the rest of California, Monterey County ranks 9th in the county in the number of cases per 100,000 residents. While the numbers are high, Monterey County also has one of the lowest death rates in California. Taking the biggest hit has been Latinos and agricultural employees.
Nearly 24 percent of all the cases reported this year are among farmworkers, while 77 percent of the cases are among people who identify as Latino or Hispanic. About 45 percent of all the cases confirmed in Monterey County are among people who live in two ZIP codes in neighborhoods with a high concentration of Latinos in East Salinas. Local officials have launched multilingual public-education campaigns encouraging farmworkers and those living in tight conditions to wear masks and to be careful.
The numbers in Monterey County are significantly higher than those of neighboring counties with similar populations. In Santa Cruz, for instance, only 2,379 cases have been confirmed, resulting in nine deaths and 155 hospitalizations, according to state health officials. In San Luis Obispo County, 3,546 cases have been reported, with 29 deaths.
The numbers in Monterey County indicate that almost half of the confirmed cases are among people under the age of 35, but 80 percent of all the fatalities are among people over the age of 55.
COVID-19 continues to sweep Monterey County’s Latino population
Sept. 27 — COVID-19 continues to impact Latinos in Monterey County at a rate much higher than everyone else, according to the latest demographics report released by county health officials.
With total cases about to reach 10,000 in the county, more than 77 percent of all the confirmed coronavirus cases have been among people who identify as Latino or Hispanic. With another death of a Latino reported today, 58 or the 72 fatalities in Monterey County as a result of complications related to COVID-19 have been among Latinos.
The county today reported that six more people have been hospitalized for treatment of symptoms linked to the virus, while 69 new cases have been reported. Eight-four percent of all the cases confirmed in Monterey County live in the Salinas Valley.
Even on the Monterey Peninsula, which has reported only 877 cases of COVID-19 since the county started keeping track early this year, 492 of the people who have confirmed positive are from Seaside. The latest demographic information indicates that almost 44 percent of Seaside’s residents are Latino.
The latest fatal victim was reportedly a Latino under the age of 54.
The Johns Hopkins University of Medicine reported this morning that 204,566 residents of the United States have succumbed to COVID-19, while 15,589 Californians have died.
Watsonville care facility reports COVID-19 outbreak
Sept. 24 — A Watsonville nursing facility has reported an outbreak of COVID-19 cases, with at least 30 residents and staff members testing positive.
In a message to the public, officials at the Watsonville Post Acute Center announced that 27 residents and four staff members have tested positive. “We are working with Public Health to stop the spread of Covid19,” according to the message, posted on its web site. “At this time, all infection control and safety protocols are in place. Residents who tested positive are in isolation (and) the employees who tested positive are at home in quarantine.”
No deaths have been reported at the facility, which is located on Auto Center Drive, according to the state Department of Public Health.
It is the first major outbreak at a Santa Cruz County care facility, according to the state.
The county health department reported earlier today that a ninth person in the county has died as a result of complications related to COVID-19. The victim was a Latino women in her early 60s, according to health officials. They also said they are also investigating two other possible deaths recently reported to the department.
Monterey County’s COVID-19 death toll continues to rise
Sept. 24 — The toll continues to rise among patients with COVID-19 in Monterey County, as health officials have reported five new fatalities attributed to complications resulting from the virus during the past week.
And with more than 310 new confirmed cases reported during the past seven days, the number of people in Monterey County who have tested positive could reach the 10,000 mark by the end of the month. The county Health Department has reported a total of 7,772 cases since it started tracking the virus at the start of the year.
Seventy county residents have succumbed to the virus, including 27 under the age of 64. Fifty-six of the fatal victims were Latinos from the region. Another 34 people were reportedly hospitalized for treatment of COVID-19 during the past week, raising that total to 568.
In Santa Cruz County, health authorities reported another fatality attributed to the virus, raising the death toll to nine. Almost 2,320 people have tested positive for the virus in Santa Cruz County since the start of the pandemic, and 149 of them have been treated in hospitals.
Overall, the COVID-19 death toll in the United States exceeded the 200,000 mark this week, while 15,316 patients in California have died.
Monterey County still far from meeting COVID-19 metrics
Sept. 16 — Monterey County has been reporting fewer cases and fatalities related to COVID-19, but it still has a way to go before it meets states metrics to completely reopen. Even with a relative downturn in the number of cases, the case rate is at 13.9 per 100,000 people, nearly double the safe rate of seven per 100,000.
Also, the positivity rate is at 9.8 percent, according to county Health Department officials, which is above the 8 percent requirement.
The latest Monterey County coronavirus numbers, released by the Health Department today, shows that Monterey County has now exceeded 9,000 confirmed cases since it started keeping track earlier this year. Five more Monterey County residents were reported admitted into hospitals during the past 24 hours, raising that total to 534. The county reported an additional fatality in Tuesday’s report, raising the death toll in Monterey County to 65.
The national death toll now exceeds 196,000 people, and California has reported more than 14,600 deaths attributed to complications due to the virus.
Monterey County reports two new COVID-19 deaths
Sept. 11 — The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Monterey County are declining, but health officials are still reporting new fatal victims of the virus.
The latest daily update from the Monterey County Health Department indicates that two more people have died, raising the total to 64 since officials started tracking coronavirus early this year. The victims were both Latinos, one under the age of 54 and the other over the age of 65, according to the daily report.
They were the fourth and fifth deaths reported this month in Monterey County.
But while the death rate continues to climb, new cases and hospitalizations appear to be declining. The latest report shows that only 23 new cases of COVID-19 were reported during the past 24 hours, and only one new patient was admitted to a hospital for treatment of symptoms. Overall, 8,761 Monterey County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and 522 were hospitalized for their condition.
Seventy-eight percent of the fatal victims are Latinos, and about a quarter of all the cases reported by county officials are among people who work in the agricultural industry, according to county statistics.
Three new COVID-19 deaths reported in Monterey County
Sept. 8 — Three additional deaths health officials attributed to complications related to COVID-19 were reported in Monterey County this afternoon.
The newest fatalities raises the number in the county to 62 since county authorities started tracking the spread of the virus. Today’s report from the county Health Department also notes that 32 new cases have been confirmed and another patient has been hospitalized for treatment for the virus.
Two of the fatalities were reported over the age of 54, and two of them were Latino, according to charts accompanying the county’s daily report. As of today, 8,661 Monterey County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the year.
In California, 13,788 people have reportedly died as a result of COVID-19, while 741,655 have contracted the virus.
Health officials report first September COVID-related death in Monterey County
Sept. 7 — Monterey County health officials confirmed that another victim of COVID-19 succumbed of complications related to the virus today, the 59th death since the beginning of the year.
After an active month of August, which saw 32 deaths in Monterey County, the latest victim is the first to be confirmed in September. During the first week in September, 37 new patients have been hospitalized and another 649 people have tested positive in the county, raising those totals to 515 and 8,629, respectively.
The test positivity rate continues to climb in Monterey County, and is at 11.25 percent. Extrapolating from today’s report from the Health Department, the latest fatal victim was a Latino under the age of 54.
Latinos remain the primary target for the virus in Monterey County. Almost 80 percent of all the patients hospitalized in the county identify themselves as Latino. About 78 percent of those who died are Latino. And 73 percent of all cases reported in the county are among Latinos.
Health workers in the county have been stepping up their community outreach programs in an effort to educate farmworkers and others about COVID-19 and its spread.
32 Monterey County COVID deaths reported in August
Aug. 31 — Thirty-two Monterey County residents were confirmed to have died in August as a result of complications arising from COVID-19, according to records kept by county health officials.
COVID-19 toll continues to rise in Monterey County
Aug. 25 — The COVID-19 death toll continues to rise in Monterey County, with 17 fatalities reported by county health officials during the past two weeks.
Following a pattern, the latest death, reported today as the 53rd fatality attributed to complications from the virus in the county, was an older Latino. Since the county health officials started tracking COVID-19, more than 75 percent of the deaths have been among people who identified as Latino, while about 83 percent of them were aged 55 or older.
Another alarming trend for Monterey County is the growing positivity rate among those who are being tested. Last month that rate hovered between 9 and 10 percent, but it is now reported at 11 percent. By comparison, the test positivity rate in all of California is about 6.4 percent. Almost 450 Monterey County residents have required hospital care since January, according to county officials.
As of this morning, 7,393 people in Monterey County have tested positive for coronavirus. Of those, about 73 percent identify as Latinos and almost 83 percent live in the Salinas Valley. More than 1,600 of the confirmed positive cases are among people who work in Monterey County’s agricultural industry.
Central Coast issues message to Labor Day beach visitors: Stay Away
Aug. 20 — State Parks and county officials have joined city managers in coastal cities on the Central Coast to issue a message to would-be Labor Day visitors: Stay off our beaches.
Calling it an “unprecedented joint statement,” Nat Rojanasathira, Monterey’s assistant city manager, said that representatives from every city — from Carmel to Santa Cruz — intend to shut down beaches during the Labor Day holiday, So will the state Parks Department. County beaches in Santa Cruz will also close. The officials cite concern about the spread of COVID-19. Pending approval by elected leaders in each of the cities, the beaches will shut down from Sept. 5 to 7.
Meanwhile, Pacific Grove isn’t waiting around for Labor Day. City administrators there announced they are closing city-operated beaches and restricting parking near the shoreline starting this Saturday.
Two new deaths in Monterey County as COVID-19 toll continues to rise
Aug. 20 — Two additional patients have died in Monterey County as a result of complications related to coronavirus and 10 more residents have been hospitalized, according to county health officials.
Meanwhile, operators of a Soledad care center for seniors acknowledge on Wednesday that it is taking action to recover from a COVID-19 “outbreak” that started in late July.
The latest daily numbers from the Monterey County Health Department show that the two most recent confirmed deaths have raised the toll in Monterey County to 49, while hospitalizations continue to mount. As of Tuesday, 62 patients were reportedly being treated for virus-related symptoms in the four hospitals serving Monterey County.
Also today, the county reported that 80 more people have tested positive for COVID-19, raising the total to 6,865 since the pandemic first hit Monterey County.
From Soledad, operators of the Eden Valley Care Center released information about an outbreak at its facility in which 14 residents and 20 staff members tested positive for COVID-19. At least one death has been reported from the facility. A spokeswoman for Eden Valley said that, as of Wednesday, all residents who were in isolation are back in their regular rooms and that all infected staff is back at work.
With new patients, more than 500 Central Coast residents have required COVID-19 medical care
Aug. 19 — More than 500 Central Coast residents have required hospital care for treatment of COVID-19 symptoms since the pandemic started, according to health officers in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties.
Monterey County hospitals have treated 409 patients since January, while Santa Cruz medical centers have seen 109, according to the cumulative numbers compiled by health officials. Monterey County today reported nine new hospitalizations, and another death. The latest fatality is the 47th in Monterey County, while Santa Cruz has reported seven since it started compiling COVID-19 data.
Monterey County also reported that an additional 123 people were confirmed positive for the virus during the past 24 hours. The county has confirmed 6,785 positive cases among its residents this year.
As President Trump hastens to remind Americans, more people are testing positive because more tests are being administered, but it’s the number of hospitalizations and death that are of concern to state and local health authorities. According to Monterey County’s tabulations, 28 of the deaths have occurred in the past month, while 188 patients have been treated in area hospitals during that same period.
Also of concern is the positivity rate among Monterey County residents being tested. That rate is now approaching 11 percent, which is considerably higher than the 6.3 positivity rate in all of California.
While that rate is high, the death rate in Monterey County (0.7 percent) is lower than the rest of the state. (1.8 percent), according to figures compiled by 1Point3Acres. The John Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center reports that 11,504 Californians have succumbed as a result of complications related to COVID-19.
With 5 new deaths, Monterey County reports largest one-day total of coronavirus-related fatalities
Aug. 15 — Monterey County reported its largest one-day surge of coronavirus-related deaths today, with five fatalities, raising the total number to 41.
County health officials also reported that eight more patients have been hospitalized, while 167 more county residents have tested positive for COVID-19. It was unclear how many of the people represented in the new numbers were being reported from among the 300,000 cases previously unreported as a result of a state Health Department computer glitch discovered eight days ago.
It appears that most of the new deaths were among Latinos aged 55 years and older. The daily demographic report issued by the county indicates that 36 of the fatal victims reported in Monterey County were Latinos, while 37 of them were over the age of 55.
The Salinas Valley continues to get slammed with COVID-19, with nearly 83 percent of all cases reported from the city of Salinas down the valley to the San Luis Obispo County line. The city of Soledad, with a population of about 25,000, has reported 436 cases, while the city of Greenfield (population about 16,000), reported 474 cases.
Santa Cruz County confirms two new COVID-19 fatalities
Aug. 14 — Santa Cruz County health officials today confirmed that two more residents have died as a result of complications from COVID-19. With two others who reportedly died earlier this month, the COVID-19 toll in Santa Cruz County is now eight fatalities.
Corrine Hyland, a public information officer for the county, said the patients died last week. One of them was a male in his 60s and the second was a female in her late 90s. Both had underlying health conditions. The female had been hospitalized for more than two weeks, while the man died in his home, Hyland said. The man had not sought medical care prior to his death and tested positive for COVID-19 “post mortem.”
Compared to the rest of the counties in California, Santa Cruz has had a relatively low occurrence of COVID-19. Since health officials started keeping track in January, the county has reported 1,371 cases of the virus and 102 hospitalizations. In adjacent Monterey County, 5,890 cases have been confirmed, with 382 hospitalizations and 41 deaths.
Both counties have seen a significant rise in hospitalizations and deaths during the past month. Monterey County health officials today reported the 41st death of a patient stricken with coronavirus, in addition to 87 new cases. Monterey County health officials have reported 11 deaths they attribute to COVID-19 since Aug. 1.
In California, the John Hopkins University of Medicine has reported that 597,984 people have tested positive in California, while 10,870 residents in the state have died as a result of complications related to COVID-19.
Carmel discouraging beach use with citations and fines
Aug. 13 — Carmel police will start enforcing restrictions at Carmel Beach that prevent beachgoers from hanging around unless they’re there for exercise.
City Administrator Chip Rehrig on Wednesday issued the order to prevent visitors from showing up at the famed beach with coolers or picnic items; umbrellas, shade or tents; beach equipment, folding chair or barbecues; and items that encourage group activities.
The area will still be available for people who walk or run on the beach, or surf or swim in the water.
Violators will be cited by Carmel police starting on Saturday. Fines for the first offense will be $100. Repeat offenders will pay up to $500 in fines.
Meanwhile, beaches in Monterey remain open to all activities, “in accordance with State and County guidelines,” according to City Manager Han Uslar. He said city officials throughout the Peninsula will be discussing potential beach closures for the Labor Day weekend.
COVID hospitalizations continue to rise in Monterey County
Aug. 13 — Hospitalizations in Monterey County medical centers related to COVID-19 continue to rise, along with death rates and the number of new cases, according to county health statistics.
As of this morning, 59 patients were being treated for virus-related symptoms in the four county hospitals, including 44 in the two Salinas hospitals, Salinas Valley Memorial and Natividad Medical Center. Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula reported 12 patients.
The county Health Department this morning reported that another Monterey County resident has died as a result of complications related to COVID-19, raising the death toll to 40. Another 19 people were confirmed as being hospitalized, while another 175 people tested positive for coronavirus.
Those daily numbers may still be skewed, however, as the county could still be catching up with the backlog of numbers caused by a glitch in the state Health Department’s computer system earlier this month. In its daily report, the department noted today that “while the issue with the statewide surveillance system appears to be resolved, there is a large backlog of electronic laboratory reports being evaluated and processed by the Monterey County Health Department.”
As usual, county health officials are not identifying the latest death, but overnight changes to the daily report indicates that the victim was a Latino over the age of 54.
Nearly 50 percent of all the cases in Monterey County have been reported among people who live in two ZIP codes in East Salinas.
COVID-19 tolls continue to rise in Monterey County
Aug. 12 — The death and hospitalization tolls attributed to COVID-19 continue to rise in Monterey County, with two more fatalities and seven new patients admitted to hospitals reported this morning. Four deaths have been attributed to the virus in Monterey County since Tuesday.
Monterey County now has 39 confirmed deaths since health officials started tracking coronavirus in January. Thirty-one of the fatalities have been among people over the age of 54, while 30 of the victims have been Latinos.
Another 134 people were confirmed as testing positive today, raising the number of COVID-19 cases in the county to 5,628. The county has been catching up with case counts and test results since Friday, after state Health Department officials announced that a glitch in its computer system had undercounted results for almost two weeks.
As of today, nearly 57,000 tests have been administered in the county, and the positivity rate has been hovering at about 10 percent for several weeks.
Among those hospitalized in Monterey County, 21 are reportedly under the age of 24, according to the health department. Ninety-six of the hospitalized were 65 years old or older, while 74 fall in the 45- to 54-year age range.
More than 42 percent of all confirmed positive cases in Monterey County were among people aged 25 to 44, according to county health records, while 25 percent were under the age of 25.
Counties catching up with COVID-19 cases after state health department reporting glitch
Aug. 10 — County health officials expect to see a surge of new coronavirus-related numbers in the coming days, but mostly because the state Department of Public Health is releasing a backlog of testing data that was delayed due to problems with the statewide surveillance system.
Dr. Edward Moreno, Monterey County’s public health director, said the county expects to see results of at least 1,700 tests that weren’t sent to his department from the state for a 12-day period ending last Friday. He said the state appears to have found a way to resolve the problem and those results have been coming to Monterey County over the weekend.
Moreno’s comments today came a day after Dr. Sonia Angell, the state director of public health, resigned abruptly from the job. No reason was given, but her resignation came after mounting criticism about glitches in testing and reporting of COVID-19.
News reports indicate that up to 300,000 records had not been processed by the computer system established provide to local officials the COVID-19 test results.
While the anomalies in numbers will be reflected in the daily “morbidity” reports released by Monterey County health officials, the individual cases will be assigned to the dates in which results were initially posted so that the overall “curve” will be accurate, Moreno said.
The higher numbers are not expected to impact existing health orders, since Monterey and most other counties are already under the state’s most extreme health orders.
The county already appeared to be catching up with a number of lab tests taken by county residents during the 12-day period but not reported. The daily reports for the past three days have shown an inordinate number of lab test results — almost 2,400. Today’s numbers also showed 153 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Monterey. But today’s report didn’t show any additional hospitalizations, after reporting on Sunday that 16 new patients admitted to hospitals.
Two new coronavirus deaths reported in Santa Cruz, raising total to six
Aug. 8 — Santa Cruz County health officials this week confirmed two new deaths related to COVID-19, raising the total in the county to six.
The two latest deaths were noted Wednesday on the county Health Department’s regular online updates. Santa Cruz County also confirmed that four additional patients have been hospitalized, raising that number to 47, and that 1,238 people have tested positive for coronavirus since the county started tracking the spread of the virus in January.
The latest update in Monterey County, released this morning, shows that four more people were confirmed to have been hospitalized, raising the number to 325, while a total of 5,212 people have tested positive for the virus.
Monterey County COVID-19 death toll reaches 35
Aug. 6 — The coronavirus death toll in Monterey County has now reached 35, with a new victim confirmed today by county health authorities. The Health Department also said another six people have been hospitalized due to severe symptoms related to COVID-19.
The department’s latest numbers are included in its online daily updates. This week the department noted that the data it is presenting likely represents and “under-count of local cases” due to an issue with the statewide surveillance system. The notice suggests that the department is not receiving all the data collected by the state, but that “local data will continue to be published while the issue is being addressed by the California Department of Public Health.”
Today’s numbers indicate that 71 new cases have been confirmed in Monterey County, raising the total to 5,120 since the county started tracking COVID-19.
In Santa Cruz County, 1,213 cases have been recorded, with 93 hospitalizations and four deaths since January.
Santa Cruz County to issue citations for health order violations
Aug. 4 — Santa Cruz County just cracked down on your uncovered mug.
The Board of Supervisors today approved an urgency ordinance that would allow law enforcement to cite people who go out in public without face coverings in violation of health orders due to COVID-19. The citations aren’t as harsh as being charged with misdemeanor violations, which could have carried a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail. The citations will result in fines of $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second, and $500 for a third.
“The ordinance cover all aspects of state and local public health orders, including the local order to wear face coverings,” said Jason Hoppin, a county spokesman, in a written statement.
The Board of Supervisors approved the ordinance unanimously.
COVID-19 death toll continues to rise, with 4 more deaths in Monterey County
Aug. 4 — Monterey County health authorities this morning confirmed four more deaths of patients in the county they attribute to COVID-19.
The death toll in Monterey County is now 34. Twelve people have reportedly died as a result of complications related to coronavirus during the past 12 days, according to the county’s reports.
Also, with seven new hospitalizations reported in the daily coronavirus update, 302 people have been hospitalized in the four hospitals serving the county since January.
The demographic report issued by the county indicates that a vast majority of the confirmed cases recorded in Monterey County are among residents under the age of 55, while more than three-quarters of the deaths reported in the county are among residents aged 55 or older.
The 34 deaths are among the approximately 9,500 people who have died in California as a result of COVID-19. Nearly half of the confirmed deaths in the state have been recorded in Los Angeles County.
Positive coronavirus test percentages continue to rise in Monterey County
Aug. 3 — The percentage of positive COVID-19 tests in Monterey County continues to rise, even as the percentage appears to be dropping throughout the state.
According to figures released this morning by the county Health Department, more than 10 percent of all the people tested for the virus have shown positive results. With 102 new confirmed cases reported this morning, 4,924 county residents have tested positive. Of those, 295 have required hospitalization and 30 people have died as a result of complications attributed to COVID-19.
In the state of California, 6.4 percent of the tests administered came back with positive results, according to the John Hopkins University of Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center.
The Santa Cruz County positive-result percentage is about 4.1 percent, with 1,151 cases, 89 hospitalizations and four deaths.
More than 50 percent of all the cases in Monterey County continue to come out of two densely populated ZIP codes covering East Salinas, while almost 73 percent of the positive cases have been found among residents who identify as Latino or Hispanics.
Update: Monterey County reports four new COVID-19 deaths
Aug. 1 — Public health authorities in Monterey County reported four more deaths related to complications related to COVID-19 this morning, while 10 new patients have been hospitalized.
It was the largest one-day death toll in the county since the county Health Department started keeping track in January. The victims reported today all appear to be over the age of 55 and Latinos, according to the county’s daily update.
That update, posted this morning, also reports 155 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, raising the cumulative total in the county to 4,697, with 30 deaths and 279 hospitalizations. Among the totals, 83 percent of the cases live in the Salinas Valley and 73 percent identify themselves as Latino or Hispanic.
Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital currently reports it is treating 19 patients with the virus, while Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula is treating 11. Reports from Natividad Medical Center in Salinas and Mee Memorial Hospital in King City are not available this morning.
Santa Cruz County has reported a total of four deaths, and 1,109 confirmed cases. California has confirmed more than 501,000 cases, with 9,233 fatalities attributed to COVID-19.
Monterey County hospital officials: Don’t get tested unless you’re symptomatic or work in healthcare
July 28 — Local hospital administrators are urging residents not to get tested for COVID-19 unless they provide essential medical services or unless they are obviously symptomatic.
With backlogs in commercial laboratories extending up to a week, Natividad Medical Center CEO Gary Gray said health officials are now asking people with no symptoms to wait. That message is different than it was weeks ago, when officials were asking everyone to get tested. But Gray said today that the additional lag time is not giving people or health officials an accurate gauge about their situation, since a negative (or positive) test result only reflects a person’s health at the time the test was administered. That “snapshot” is not helpful if results are a week late.
“If you have to wait a week to get results, you really lose the ability to intervene and have a widespread public health impact,” said Gray.
The top executives from the four hospitals in the county gathered this morning for a press conference to ask residents to comply with the basic safety protocols — wear your facial coverings, wash your hands and keep your distance.
Their message came on a day when the county Health Department reported two more deaths as a result of complications from the virus, raising the cumulative total to 26 since officials started keeping track. Also, eight more people have been hospitalized for COVID-19, raising that total to 272. And an additional 148 people were confirmed to have tested positive during the past 24 hours. As of today, 4,288 Monterey County residents have tested positive.
To commemorate the deaths, Monterey County Supervisor Chris Lopez, chairman of the board, called for a moment of silence, and the press conference was conducted in front of 26 empty chairs.
Cover that mug or face fines in Monterey County
July 28 — People who fail to cover their faces in Monterey County could be fined up to $500 after unanimous action by the Board of Supervisors today. The board approved an ordinance imposing fines against people who ignore state face-covering health orders in the unincorporated areas of the county.
Scofflaws who are cited would be fined $100 for the first violation, $200 for the second, and $500 for each subsequent violation. While the first several violations would not be considered a criminal matter, the ordinance approved by the Board of Supervisors today would allow the District Attorney to prosecute repeat violators on misdemeanor charges.
The action today also allows the county to hire temporary workers to enforce the health order.
Confirmed COVID-19 cases on the Central Coast now exceed 5,000
July 28 — Another COVID-19 patient has died in Monterey County and nine more people have been hospitalized, according to health officials.
The death is the 24th in Monterey County — and the sixth in the past eight days. While no information about the latest victim has been released, the county’s demographic tracking indicates that the victim was under the age of 54. And the nine new patients in hospitals raise the total in the county to 264 since county health officials started tracking COVID-19 activity.
Including Santa Cruz County, more than 5,000 people have now tested positive for coronavirus since January. Santa Cruz County health officials, which was ordered to start shutting down certain business activities by the state because of a surge of new cases, has now confirmed 980 positive test outcomes, while Monterey County has confirmed 4,082.
Like Monterey County, a majority of cases in Santa Cruz (or 54 percent) have been confirmed among people who identify as Latinos or Hispanics. In Monterey County, almost 75 percent of the positive tests have been among Latino residents.
More than a quarter of Monterey County Jail inmates tested positive for coronavirus since outbreak
July 27 — More than a quarter of inmates tested by officials at Monterey County Jail since July 6 have tested positive since July 6, according to Jim Bass, the chief deputy in charge of corrections.
Bass told reporters today that every inmate at the jail has been tested for COVID-19, and 195 of them have tested positive. Four of those inmates have hospitalized for advanced care, but all have been returned to the jail. He said 713 people are currently housed at the jail.
Bass also said 11 staff members at the jail have tested positive, though none have required hospitalizations.
Because of the outbreak, 63 of the inmates at the county jail have been released from the jail, and 34 of those were allowed early release due to an order signed by Superior Court’s presiding judge. He said every new inmate will be tested before admission and will be quarantined until their tests results are returned. All inmates are issued masks, which are replaced twice weekly.
Meanwhile, Monterey County health officials today confirmed an additional 80 residents have tested positive during the past 24 hours. Three of the have required hospitalizations. Since the Health Department started tracking the coronavirus in January, 4,082 people have tested positive for COVID-19 and 255 have been hospitalized, while 23 people have died, including five during the past week.
Half of Monterey County’s COVID-19 patients under the age of 34
July 26 — About half of the Monterey County residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 are under the ages of 34, according to county health officials, and a quarter of the confirmed deaths resulting from complications of the virus were among people under the age of 54.
The county Health Department this weekend started included more detailed demographic information about people who have tested positive and who have died.
Also this morning, a 23rd death was confirmed during the past 24 hours — the fifth fatal victim recorded in the past week — and the number of confirmed cases in Monterey County climbed to 4,002.
The more detailed information presented in the Health Department’s daily reports indicates that 84 percent of the 252 people who have been hospitalized since the outbreak of coronavirus identify as Latinos or Hispanics. Also, more than half the cases reported in the county are among people living in two ZIP codes covering East Salinas.
The virus is more likely to be found in people between the ages of 25 and 44, with 1,752 of the people within that age range testing positive. While only 604 of the residents who have tested positive are over the age of 54, 70 percent of all the fatal victims in the county fall into that age category.
The following is the most recent summary chart released by the Health Department:
Hospitalizations on the Central Coast continue to climb
July 25 — The numbers of hospitalizations as a result of COVID-19 patients on the Central Coast continue to climb, with five more admitted to hospitals in Monterey County during the past 24 hours.
More than 250 patients from Monterey County have been admitted into hospitals since county health officials started keeping track in January. Twenty-two Monterey County residents have died from complications related to the virus, including four in the past week.
In its latest tally of coronavirus-related statistics, county health officials reported that 88 new patients have tested positive, raising the total to 3,953.
In Santa Cruz County, which reported its fourth death attributed to COVID-19 earlier this week, 66 people have been hospitalized for treatment, while 885 have tested positive. The county has had good success in containing the virus until recently, but it was recently flagged for possible inclusion to the state watchlist, with possible closures of indoor-operated businesses imminent. Monterey County was under orders to shut down those types of operations several weeks ago.
Death toll and case counts in Monterey County rise dramatically
July 23 — Monterey County health officials reported the fourth death attributed to complications from COVID-19 this week. The latest unidentified victim is the 22nd since the county started tracking the virus in January.
It latest daily update also indicated a one-day high of 181 new cases, with eight additional patients hospitalized. Overall, the county has now confirmed that 3,726 people have tested positive, and 245 have been hospitalized. Almost 9 percent of the 40,757 people tested in the county have tested positive for the virus, but the death rate in the county is less than 1 percent.
The increasing numbers of positive cases and deaths appears to be a continuing trend in Monterey County. Nearly two-thirds of all the confirmed cases have been found during the past 30 days, and seven people have died since the first of the month. More than 3,000 cases have been confirmed in Salinas and the Salinas Valley., with 75 percent of the cases reporting as Latino or Hispanics.
Across the United States, more than 4 million people have tested positive, with 145,888 deaths. In California, those numbers are 421,462 confirmed cases and 8,052 deaths.
Monterey County COVID-19 death toll reaches 21
July 21 — The COVID-19 death toll in Monterey County has now reached 21, with two new deaths attributed to complications resulting from the virus confirmed by the county Health Department this morning.
The number of new cases reported by the county is relatively low; the 26 positive tests is one of the lowest one-day totals in the past month. But six more people have been admitted to county hospitals, raising that total to 227 since January.
As always, health officers are not identifying the most recent fatal victims or their hometowns, citing privacy laws.
As of this morning, 3,379 Monterey County residents have tested positive for COVID-19.
Santa Cruz County health officials say that 58 additional people have tested positive since its previous update, raising the total in that county to 830, while 62 patients have been hospitalized and three people have died.
Outbreak shuts down Salvation Army Shelter in Watsonville
July 20 — The Salvation Army Shelter in Watsonville has closed temporarily after eight residents and staff tested positive for COVID-19.
Shelter residents have been relocated to sites that allow for isolation, according to Jason Hoppin, a spokesman for the county of Santa Cruz. Hoppin said all those who tested positive are asymptomatic and have been referred to the Homeless Persons Health Project for support.
The outbreak was discovered when a Salvation Army resident tested positive for positive while preparing for an unrelated medical procedure. The local communicable disease unit was dispatched to test others at the site, and seven additional residents and staff members tested positive, Hoppin said.
He added that operations at the shelter are expected to resume after the isolation period and after a “thorough” site cleaning. The shelter is located at 214 Union St. in Watsonville.
Santa Cruz County has reported 772 cases of COVID-19 in the county since January.
Nineteenth Monterey County coronavirus death reported
July 20 — Monterey County reported its 19th death attributed to complications related to COVID-19 today, along with 125 new positive tests and four more hospitalizations.
While the numbers are growing rapidly in Monterey County, the key percentage markers are holding relatively steady. As of today, 3,353 people in the county have tested positive for COVID-19 since the county started keeping track in January, which represents about .08 percent of all the residents who have been tested. Statewide, that percentage is 2 percent.
On the other hand, almost two-thirds of the positive tests in Monterey County have been discovered during the past month, which like is the result of the growing number of residents being tested.
Also, the positive outcomes continue to be concentrated on the Latino population and in the Salinas Valley. Fifty percent of all the people who have tested positive live in two ZIP codes in East Salinas, and 2,771 of the cases are people who live in the Salinas Valley. Almost 27 percent of the people with the virus work in the agricultural industry.
The latest numbers released by the Monterey County Health Department today shows 125 new cases were confirmed during the past 24 hours and that 221 patients have been hospitalized in area hospitals since the pandemic started.
In Santa Cruz County, officials have reported 772 total cases, 59 hospitalizations and three deaths.
California has 7,718 deaths and almost 390,000 cases.
Numbers of COVID-19 cases in Monterey County growing steadily
July 11 — The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Monterey County has almost doubled during the past month, according to the running count of reported cases issued by the county’s health department.
With 121 new cases reported today, a total of 1,312 people have tested positive for the virus since June 11, representing nearly 45 percent of all the cases the county has reported since it started keeping track in January. While the case numbers have grown significantly during the past 30 days, the death rate in Monterey County is relatively low. The 0.7 percent death rate compares to a 2.2 percent rate throughout California and the 4.2 percent rate across the United States.
Today’s report shows seven more people have been admitted to area hospitals, raising that cumulative total to 172. It also indicated that 102 of the new patients reportedly live in the Salinas Valley. Eighty-three percent of all the COVID-19 cases in Monterey County live in ZIP codes covering the Salinas Valley, according to health department statistics. More than a third of the people who have tested positive in the county live in two ZIP codes covering East Salinas.
It is unclear how many of the patients in the latest counts are inmates at Monterey County Jail. Other local media has reported that 67 inmates in one housing unit at the jail have tested positive.
More than 32,000 Monterey County residents have been tested for COVID-19, and the positive rate is about 7.8 percent, according to health department statistics.
Meanwhile, Santa Cruz County has seen a climb of 31 new coronavirus cases during the past 24 hours, bringing its total to 568. Three people have died in Santa Cruz County as a result of complications due to COVID-19, while 18 have succumbed in Monterey County.
Administrators at Salinas Valley Memorial warn the hospital is reaching COVID capacity
July 10 — Administrators at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital say they are worried the medical center may soon reach “the dangerous point of taxing hospital capacity.”
“That appears a very real possibility right now,” said Pete Delgado, president and CEO of SVMH, in a written statement released this afternoon. The hospital is currently caring for 22 COVID-19 patients, and three of them require the use of ventilators, Delgado said.
“Our team is doing an outstanding job making adjustments to safely accommodate all of our patients,” Delgado said. “However I’m concerned we may see another wave of COVID patients related to the recent holiday gatherings.”
What concerns administrators at SVMH is the steady increase of patients, he said. A month ago, the hospital was treating nine COVID-19 patients. The hospital has had to open a second unit in the hospital for COVID-19 patients. “Additional surge plan contingencies will be rolled out as needed,” according to the written statement.
Meanwhile, across town, officials at Natividad Medical Center said they are currently treating 14 COVID-19 patients at the hospital. And medical teams at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula are currently treating 11 patients.
Salinas has been the hardest-hit city in Monterey County, with 1,416 people testing positive for the coronavirus. That represents more than 58 percent of cases reported in the entire county.
One more death in Monterey County attributed to COVID-19
July 10 — Monterey County has recorded another death related to complications from COVID-19, and seven more people have been hospitalized with symptoms of the virus, according to county health officials.
The death is the 18th for the county, and 2,419 people have tested positive for the virus since health officials started tracking COVID-19 in January. The seven new hospitalizations raise the cumulative number to 165.
As has been the case from the start, the Salinas Valley continues to see the largest spikes. In today’s report, 64 new cases were reported in Salinas Valley, compared to five on the Monterey Peninsula. Overall, 2,019 people from the valley have tested positive for the virus, compared to 212 in the Monterey Peninsula area that stretches from Marina to the Big Sur Coast.
Seventy-five percent of the patients in Monterey County identify as Latino or Hispanic.
Monterey County formally receives its marching orders from the state
July 8 — Monterey County today received its formal order from the state to start restricting business activity again, and the order to close indoor operations at restaurants and wineries and to shut down bars and taverns completely is effective today.
In a written release from the county’s administrative office, the county is subject to the restrictions “because it is exceeding state health indicators.” The new order is in effect for at least three weeks.
The new order means that bars, breweries, pubs and brewpubs must shut down both indoor and outdoor operations immediately. And indoor dining at restaurants and wine tasting will not be allowed. “Restaurants should continue to encourage takeout and delivery service whenever possible,” according to county officials. The order also means that museums and other indoor recreational facilities must shut down. Because of the order, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has delayed its planned reopening, which was supposed to happen this week.
Earlier today, the county released its daily report, which indicated that 31 more people in the county have tested positive for COVID-19, while three have been hospitalized. While those number are significantly lower than reports in the past two weeks, the report also shows that an increased number of cases have been reported in regions of the Monterey Peninsula outside of Monterey, Seaside and Marina.
The county reports numbers by ZIP code, but only identifies numbers in specific ZIP codes when they exceed five patients. Today’s report shows 19 new cases have been reported outside the three cities. Overall, 197 people from the entire Monterey Peninsula have tested positive for COVID-19 since the county started reporting cases in January. That’s compared to the Salinas Valley, where 1,897 of the total 2,270 cases have been reported.
Two more COVID-19 deaths reported in Monterey County
July 7 — A day after the governor asked Monterey County to scale back its reopening, the news from the county’s health department didn’t get much better. Two more people have reportedly died in the county as a result of complications related to COVID-19, three more people have been hospitalized, and 88 additional patients have tested positive, according to the numbers released today by county health authorities.
Of the newest cases, 60 were reported in the Salinas Valley, while 21 were concentrated within the Seaside ZIP code.
On Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a tweet asking Monterey County and five other counties to close indoor operations in restaurants and wineries, while instructing health officers to shut down bars and taverns, due to the increasing numbers of hospitalizations of patients in the county.
As of today, 142 people have been admitted to hospitals in Monterey County due to the coronavirus since the county started keeping track. During that time, 17 people have died and 2,239 people have tested positive. The county reported today that 30,122 residents have been tested for coronavirus, and that 7.43 percent of them have tested positive.
No details about the fatalities have been released by county health officials.
Meanwhile, in Santa Cruz County, 501 residents have tested positive and 48 have been hospitalized, while three people have died.
Governor asks Monterey County to close indoor dining again
July 6 —Citing the “alarming rates” of spread of COVID-19 in Monterey County, Gov. Gavin Newsom is asking Monterey County and five other counties in the state to close indoor operations in restaurants, wineries and movie theaters. And it is instructing health officers in those counties to close all bars.
Monterey County was placed on the state’s “watch list” on Friday as state officials saw an increasing number of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. The county was apparently unable to bring those numbers down since then, triggering the governor’s request.
Newsom issued his statement via Twitter about 12:20 p.m. today, and Monterey County’s health officer, Dr. Edward Moreno, has not yet issued his own order. At the time of the governor’s tweet, Moreno was on a press briefing with local media and said that he hadn’t heard from the governor’s office this morning.
Monterey County reports 87 new COVID-19 cases, only one hospitalization
July 6 —Eighty-seven people from Monterey County were confirmed positive for the coronavirus during the past 24 hours, but only one patient has been admitted to a hospital, according to the Monterey County Health Department.
The hospitalization number may be key in whether state health officers keep the county on its watch list. If the county was unable to meet certain thresholds during the three-day holiday, the state will require the county to close bars, brewpubs, breweries for at least three week, while indoor dining will be put on hold.
The state placed the county on the watch list on Friday after an alarming increase in COVID-19 cases ad hospitalizations last week. According to the state’s calculations, the county should not be exceeding its patient hospitalizations over a three day period, compared to the previous three days.
The numbers released today indicates that 68 of the newest cases were among patients who lived in the Salinas Valley. While 27 of the cases reported on Sunday were concentrated in Seaside, today’s report shows that only one of the new patients is from Seaside.
Overall, 2,151 Monterey County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 since the county started keeping track in January. Fifteen have died, and 149 have been hospitalized, according to county officials.
Seaside the new local coronavirus hotspot in Monterey County
July 5 —Monterey County reported another big jump in coronavirus cases again this morning, with 149 patients confirmed testing positive during the past 24 hours. It was the second consecutive day of record highs in the county. In today’s count, 27 of the new patients were from the Seaside ZIP code, an unprecedented number for that city.
As of today, more than 2,000 people from Monterey County have been confirmed positive for COVID-19.
The latest report from the Monterey County Health Department comes a few days after state health officials placed Monterey County on the COVID-19 watch list, which means that bars and restaurants might need to be shuttered again if the county exceeds basic standards.
During the past two days, 273 new cases have been confirmed, raising the total to 2,064. In todays count, an addition eight patients have been hospitalized, raising the total to 148 since the county started keeping track of COVID-19 in January. The number of deaths in Monterey County remains at 15.
The new numbers reported today from Seaside represents nearly one-third of the 84 cases reported in the city since January.
While high in Seaside, the Salinas Valley continues to be hit hardest. Today’s count includes another 104 patients in Salinas and Salinas Valley. Nearly 85 percent of all the cases in Monterey County have been confirmed in that region. Seventy-six percent of the patients identify themselves as Latino or Hispanic.
Monterey County reports spike, but few new hospitalizations
July 4 —With state health authorities keeping an eye on Monterey County while tourists flood into town, locals are watching the COVID-19 numbers carefully. This morning’s report from the county Health Department may not have been good news, with health officials reporting that 124 new people have been confirmed positive for the virus during the last 24 hours.
That’s the largest one-day jump since Monterey County started keeping tabs on coronavirus in January. More alarming, almost 25 percent of all cases in the county have been reported during the past week. The good news is that no new deaths were reported, and only three of the patients required hospitalizations.
Monterey County was placed on the state’s watch list on Thursday after an alarming spike of new deaths and positive tests. Almost immediately, local officials closed off access to beaches in the county in an effort to slow the onslaught of tourists in town for the Fourth of July weekend. The beach closures will continue through Sunday.
According to today’s report from the Monterey County Health Department, 1,915 people in Monterey County have tested positive for COVID-19, and 140 of them have required hospitalization. Fifteen people have died. Today’s report shows that 103 of the people testing positive in the past day live in the Salinas Valley. Seven are from the Monterey Peninsula. Nine people from Castroville were confirmed with the virus, bringing the total there to 39.
Santa Cruz County has been reporting increased numbers also, with 455 total confirmed cases, 48 hospitalizations and three deaths. The county has reported 97 new cases since Sunday.
California has reported 6,319 deaths since January.
Monterey County on the state watch list; access to all local beaches closed this weekend
July 2 —Monterey County has been listed on the state’s “watch list” because of the persistent increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases. Not coincidentally, access to beaches in Monterey County will be restricted and some beaches will be closed during the Independence Day weekend, starting on Friday.
A statement from the Monterey County Health Department this afternoon noted that the county is on the watch list because it has been exceeding both the state’s 14-day case rate threshold and its three-day average of COVID-19 hospitalizations.
If the county remains on the watch list for at least three days, the state will require Monterey County to close all brewpubs, breweries, bars and pubs for at least three weeks. It will also require closure of indoor operations of dine-in restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms and other indoor public facilities.
“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 in the statement. “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.”
The metrics the State is using to monitor the spread of the virus and county responses to the CDPH COVID-19 Data Monitoring Project team are available on the California Department of Public Health’s website.
Meanwhile, access to beaches up and down Monterey County will be off-limits to vehicles and beach visits are being discouraged, beginning on Friday. Even the Pebble Beach Co. is closing 17 Mile Drive to visitors, and is shutting down access points to attractions and beaches along the way.
Beaches administered by the State Parks Department will also be closed. They include Asilomar, Point Lobos and beaches down the Big Sur coast. Monterey and Pacific Grove are also closing parking lots and other access points to beaches in their cities.
State Parks and PG shut down access to beaches
July 2 — State parks officials and the city of Pacific Grove are shutting down access to popular beaches and parks for the coming weekend, starting Friday, joining Monterey city officials in an effort to stave off the expected onslaught of tourist crowds during the Independence Day holiday.
Pacific Grove city officials said they are closing the turnouts along Ocean View Boulevard, as well as Lovers Point Park and surrounding beaches. City Manager Ben Harvey authorized the closures.
He said the western side of Lovers Point Beach will be open, but only for “water recreational activities,” including surfing, swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking, scuba diving and snorkeling. The city is discouraging people from hanging around beaches unless they are engaging in the water activities.
The state Parks Department has closed vehicular access to its beaches in nine counties, including Monterey and Santa Cruz. A notice on the Point Lobos State Park website notes that the park is “open to local residents that can walk or hike” into the park, so long as they practice physical distance guidelines. Parking along Highway 1 near the gate of the park will apparently not be available.
Monterey to shut down beaches this weekend
July 1— Monterey city officials will close off beach and public parking lots this weekend in an effort to keep huge crowds from its beaches.
The city also issued a new emergency order today that the state public health guidelines that would impose fines of $100 on people who violate mandatory face-mask orders $100, effective immediately.
One new death and 8 additional hospitalizations reported in Monterey County
June 30 — A third death attributed to COVID-19 in the past three days has been reported in Monterey County by public health authorities, and another eight people have been hospitalized.
The Monterey County Health Department’s daily updates during the past several days seem to indicate that an increasing number of the new cases are being confirmed on the Monterey Peninsula. During the past two days, 16 people were reported as testing positive. About half of those numbers were concentrated in Seaside, and at least two of the patients are from Monterey.
Kate Woods Novoa, who publishes a news blog called Big Sur Kate, reported this weekend that the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Big Sur. The patient is apparently an employee at a restaurant on the South Coast.
In its report today, the county health officer reported that 37 new cases were confirmed over the past 24 hours, raising the total to 1,642 in Monterey County since health officials started keeping track in January. The eight new hospitalizations raise the total in Monterey County to 130.
The numbers of COVID-19 cases also continue to grow in the Salinas Valley, with 1,417 patients reportedly testing positive for the virus. The death reported today raises the total in Monterey County to 15.
Monterey County reports 104 new COVID-19 cases overnight
June 28 — Monterey County public health officials this morning reported 104 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, the largest single-day count since they started keeping track of the virus in January. They also reported another death, the 13th attributed to complications arising from coronavirus.
The officials included no information about the latest fatality, but only listed it on its daily local data report.
The 104 new cases represent the largest daily jump for Monterey County, though the daily report also noted that only one new patient has been hospitalized in county hospitals. The daily report noted that 98 of the new cases were from the Salinas Valley, and that 61 of them are from two ZIP codes in East Salinas. Two new cases were reported in Monterey.
To date, Monterey County officials have confirmed 1,548 cases of coronavirus, 121 of which have required hospitalizations. They reported that 924 of the the patients have recovered. In a county with a population that’s about 60 percent Latino, 80 percent of the patients identify as Latino or Hispanic.
About one-third of all the cases confirmed in Monterey County have been reported during the past 18 days.
California has reported 210,673 cases, with 5,900 deaths attributed to COVID-19, while the United States has reported almost 2.6 million cases, and almost 128,000 deaths.