It’s Been A Year Since COVID-19 Hit The Valley - Virus Update For Mar. 19
Like in so many places across the U.S., the coronavirus pandemic crept up on the San Joaquin Valley. Some of the region’s first official cases were linked to outbreaks on cruise ships that came into port in March, but as we later learned, the virus was already circulating long beforehand.
Then began the slow-moving disaster. Cities and counties issued emergency orders, Governor Newsom instituted a statewide lockdown, and schools and businesses shuttered. Meanwhile, the death toll at nursing homes steadily rose and it became apparent that essential workers, many of whom are people of color, were risking their health and sometimes their lives to keep stores stocked and packages delivered to our doorsteps.
This week’s COVID-19 update brings us back to March 2020 and explores some of the pandemic’s biggest effects on the San Joaquin Valley, with a focus on hospitals, food and ag, and prisons, as well as the whiplash we all felt under constantly shifting health guidelines and reopening policies. The interview features excerpts of conversations with Don Specter, executive director of the Prison Law Office who’s involved in many lawsuits regarding health care within California’s prisons, and Rachael Goldring Bell, a student with three chronic diseases who didn’t leave her house for more than 100 days for fear of contracting the coronavirus.
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 March 18:
- 4,250 total deaths out of 320,695 total cases
- 354 people hospitalized and 72 in ICUs
- 95 deaths reported in the last week
- 364 average cases reported daily in last week
As of 1 week previous, March 11:
- 4,155 total deaths out of 318,144 total cases
- 339 people hospitalized and 84 in ICUs
- 145 deaths reported in the last week
- 402 average cases reported daily in last week
As of 4 weeks previous, Feb. 18:
- 3,498 total deaths out of 307,712 total cases
- 727 people hospitalized and 168 in ICUs
- 180 deaths reported in the last week
- 813 average cases reported daily in last week
You can always find up-to-date information for your county here.