Health

90 county residents have been tested for COVID-19

Officials give updates at remote Board of Supervisors meeting.

Ninety San Benito County residents have been tested for the coronavirus as of March 23, according to Health and Human Services Director Tracey Belton. Of those, 64 tests were negative and 19 are pending.

Belton spoke at a remote meeting of the San Benito County Board of Supervisors on March 24. She said of the three active cases, one resident is hospitalized and two are in home isolation. San Benito County announced a fourth active case later that afternoon. Belton did not specify in what hospital the individual was being treated.

“There is confidential information regarding these cases that we cannot disclose to the public,” Belton said. 

As of 4:30 p.m. on March 25, there have been nine confirmed cases of COVID-19 in San Benito County since February, six of which are active. One individual with the virus died last week, though the cause of death has yet to be determined.

Before the seventh case was reported late March 24 (eighth and ninth came March 25), Belton said two cases were travel-related transmissions, three were person-to-person and one case was under investigation.

While San Benito County will do its best to keep the public informed through a COVID-19 dashboard on the Health and Human Services website, Belton cautioned that the numbers may not be accurate, as laboratories don’t consistently report how many tests they have processed for the county.

“It’s hard for us to get every result of every test because there are several labs that test patients,” Belton said. “There are patients that live in our county, but are tested outside of our county, so we’re just trying to be very careful on providing numbers because they could be inaccurate.”

The California Department of Public Health has identified five groups that are prioritized to be tested:

  • Hospitalized patients who have COVID-19 symptoms
  • Residents and staff of long-term care facilities with symptoms
  • High-risk persons showing symptoms, such as residents over 65 and individuals with chronic medical conditions
  • Residents and staff of correctional facilities with symptoms
  • Healthcare personnel with symptoms

Deputy County Administrative Officer Edgar Nolasco said that the county secured the domain name sbccovid19.us, where local government will update residents on COVID-19 developments and cases.

 

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Noe Magaña

Noe Magaña is a BenitoLink reporter. He also experiments with videography and photography. A San Benito High School alumnus with a bachelor's in journalism from San Jose State and a Liberal Arts Associate's Degree from Gavilan College. Noe also attended San Jose City College and was the managing editor for the City College Times, the school's newspaper. He also was a reporter and later a copy editor for San Jose State's Spartan Daily.