One week after being demoted to the purple tier in the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, San Joaquin County Public Health Services reported that COVID-19 hospitalizations increased by 56%.

According to data posted on the agency’s Facebook page Monday, there were 50 patients being treated for COVID-19 in all seven hospitals throughout the county the week ending on Nov. 7.

During the week ending Nov. 20, there were 100 patients admitted to hospitals, the agency said.

“The best way to protect you and your family is to follow the governor’s orders, avoid social gatherings and wear a mask,” Dr. Katherine Shafer, director of San Joaquin Emergency Medical Services, said in a Facebook post on Monday.

As of Tuesday evening, 18 patients were being treated for the virus at Adventist Health Lodi Memorial, and five patients were in the intensive care unit. Wednesday’s numbers were unavailable at press time.

Dameron Hospital in Stockton, which is now managed by Adventist Health, was treating seven COVID-19 patients, three of whom were in the ICU.

St. Joseph’s Medical Center continued to treat the most COVID-19 patients, with a total of 46 admitted, 12 of which were in the ICU.

This week, San Joaquin County remains in the purple tier with 14.5 new COVID-19 cases per day per 100,000 residents, as well as a 6% test positivity rate.

While the latter rate qualifies the county to move back into the red tier, its new case rate must be reduced to less than 7 new cases per 100,000 people per day.

County Public Health Services reported 25,237 total COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday afternoon, with 1,831 patients actively being treated. There have been 504 deaths, while 22,902 people are believed to have recovered.

There have been 2,576 cases in Lodi’s 95240 and 95242 ZIP codes; Lodi has the second highest case rate per 10,000 residents in the county at 338.29. Stockton has the highest rate with 362.05 and 11,532 cases.

Late Tuesday, Lodi Unified School District Superintendent Cathy Nichols-Washer issued an update reminding parents that because the county remains in the most restrictive tier, campuses will not be open for in-person instruction on Nov. 30 as planned.

“We know this is frustrating and we are saddened that we will not welcome our students back to campus at this time,” she said. “We will continue to monitor state and local health guidelines and we will communicate with our staff and families when our county returns to the red tier.”

Even if the county were to return to the red tier next week, it would have to remain there for three weeks before schools would be allowed to open for instruction.

As of Tuesday’s tier assignments, both Mariposa and Alpine counties were demoted to the orange tier, leaving no counties in the yellow. Modoc, Sierra and Inyo counties are also in the orange tier.

Lake, Plumas, Amador, Calaveras, Mono, San Mateo, San Francisco and Marin counties are all in the red tier, while the state’s remaining 40 counties are in the purple tier.

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