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In Many Small Towns, Everyone Seems To Know Someone With COVID-19 - Virus Update For Nov. 13

City of parlier


After many weeks of holding steady, COVID-19 cases are once again on the rise, not just in other parts of the country, but also statewide and here in the Valley. Daily new cases are at the highest they’ve been since early September, case rates and positivity rates are increasing, and all Valley counties—other than Madera and Tulare Counties, which are already in the “widespread” tier of the state’s reopening blueprint—are in danger of retreating back to more restrictive tiers.

Virus cases rates are not distributed equally throughout our region, however, and in many counties where zip-code-level data is available, some of the highest case rates can be found in smaller, sometimes-unincorporated communities. Why would that be, and what are local leaders doing to prevent the virus’s spread? This week’s COVID-19 update highlights the small-town experience featuring excerpts from conversations with Parlier Mayor Alma Beltran and Livingston Mayor Gurpal Samra. 

Meanwhile, here’s a snapshot for Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, and Tulare Counties (note that some numbers may have changed between the interview and publication):

As of Nov. 12: 

For comparison, as of Nov. 5: 

  • 1,504 deaths out of 109,676 cases
  • 265 people hospitalized and 64 in ICUs
  • In the last week, 30 people succumbed to the disease
  • Average cases reported daily in the last week: 412

You can always find up-to-date information for your county here.

Kerry Klein is an award-winning reporter whose coverage of public health, air pollution, drinking water access and wildfires in the San Joaquin Valley has been featured on NPR, KQED, Science Friday and Kaiser Health News. Her work has earned numerous regional Edward R. Murrow and Golden Mike Awards and has been recognized by the Association of Health Care Journalists and Society of Environmental Journalists. Her podcast Escape From Mammoth Pool was named a podcast “listeners couldn’t get enough of in 2021” by the radio aggregator NPR One.
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