Our Response to COVID-19: Information
Good evening,

July 31, 2020 -- As July 2020 closes, I am taking this moment to reflect on the fact that we are not in the middle, but still at the onset of the pandemic, because we have yet to be able to actually get a real understanding on the actual spread of the virus, locally, nationally, and globally. If you sift through the last two months' daily reports archived here, you will see that the positivity rates vary greatly depending on the location that is being monitored. Certain countries and US states have been reporting high positivity rates for weeks and appear to be unable to lower them, underscoring that we are losing the initial battle against the virus and that only when a fully tested and effective vaccine is confirmed, manufactured, and distributed world wide, will be be able to finally dominate the microscopic monster. Mexico's health ministry's website even releases its official daily numbers while also publishing higher estimates, on the very same web page. Below you will find an article about India, a country that, lately, has taken a lot of real estate on these reports, because India is the next epicenter of the pandemic; a country whose numbers and fatalities will likely dwarf any estimates we may currently utter, this early in the pandemic.

In the last 24 hours, India, Mexico, Iraq, and the Philippine reported record numbers of cases while Peru, South Africa, Brazil, the US, and Colombia released elevated updates as well; France, Spain, and Iran are also reporting flares. All these countries' data add up to a new high global watermark, set again today, underscoring that our world is still on this side of the COVID-19 pandemic's apex date, with no plausible estimation as to when that day will be reached.

  • COVID-19 Global cases: 17,754,191 (+289,975)
  • COVID-19 Global deaths: 682,885 (+6,484)
  • COVID-19 Global death rate: 3.85%
  • COVID-19 Global tests* (est.): 338,137,615 (+3,980,096) 
  • COVID-19 Global positivity rate: 5.25%
  • COVID-19 Global singe-day positivity rate: 7.29%

*:incomplete data set
Tip: click on any of the graphs for larger and clearer images and click on READ MORE to view the complete articles.

Note: Please forgive the occasional typos. I write these reports at the end of the work day and I have seen them creep in, undetected by my tired evening eyes. I hope they do not bother you as much as they annoy me.
India coronavirus deaths pass Italy's as floods hamper battle
India's coronavirus death toll has passed 35,000, overtaking that of Italy, as floods affecting millions and killing almost 350 hamper the battle against the pandemic.

With 779 deaths in 24 hours, the health ministry on Friday put the number of total fatalities at 35,743 - the world's fifth-highest tally behind the United States, Brazil, the United Kingdom and Mexico, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Total infections in the world's second-most populous country stand now at 1.63 million, surpassed only by the US and Brazil, both of which have much smaller populations.

But many experts have cast doubt on India's official numbers, saying authorities are not testing enough people and many coronavirus-linked deaths are not properly recorded.

"Serological surveys that are being done around the country for antibodies are showing the real number of cases in India are much higher than the confirmed number," said Al Jazeera's Elizabeth Puranam, reporting from the capital, New Delhi.

Puranam said Mumbai - home to 20 million people and the capital of India's worst-hit state, Maharashtra - serological surveys showed "nearly 60 percent of people have had the virus"... READ MORE
In the US
NIH delivering new COVID-19 testing technologies to meet U.S. demand | National Institute of Health

The National Institutes of Health is investing $248.7 million in new technologies to address challenges associated with COVID-19 testing (which detects SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus). NIH’s Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative has awarded contracts to seven biomedical diagnostic companies to support a range of new lab-based and point-of-care tests that could significantly increase the number, type and availability of tests by millions per week as early as September 2020. With national demand estimated to be millions more tests per day above current levels, these technologies are expected to make a significant contribution to expanding the nation’s testing capacity.

“RADx moved incredibly quickly to select promising technologies through its ‘shark tank’ approach, investing in technologies that could boost America’s ... READ MORE

  • COVID-19 USA cases: 4,705,212 (+71,511)
  • COVID-19 USA deaths: 156,747 (+1,463)
  • COVID-19 USA death rate: 3.33%
  • COVID-19 USA testing: 58,581,052 individual tests (+1,125,926)
  • COVID-19 USA positivity rate: 8.03%
  • COVID-19 USA single-day positivity date: 6.35%
With Friday's total of 71,511 new COVID-10 cases and a rising death toll of 1,463 new deaths in the last 24 hours, the United States is again reporting increased national spread of the virus with an average of about 50,000 more daily cases than it reported on June 15, seven weeks ago. Sadly, the US has confirmed 2,519,513 new infections and 35,861 COVID-19 deaths in the last month and a half.
In California
California tops 500,000 coronavirus cases. Is the surge finally slowing? | mercurynews.com
July ended Friday as California’s worst month yet of the COVID-19 pandemic, with deaths hitting another new record on the final day and cases doubling for the month to cross the half-million threshold — but there are signs that the spread of the virus has begun to slow down.

More than 3,000 deaths were recorded in July statewide, more than 1,000 more than in June. Meanwhile, California counted nearly 270,000 cases over the 31-day period, surpassing the entirety of the pandemic before July. But growth appeared to be leveling off as the month came to a close, with test positivity and death rates decreasing, especially in prior hotspots such as Southern California.

So where is California headed next?

“Overall, the data seem to indicate that we have perhaps reached a peak and are moving into a new plateau phase,” said Dr. George Lemp, an epidemiologist and former director of the HIV/AIDS Research Program at the University of California, Office of the President. “We should continue to expect the impact of the surge for the next few weeks — but I’d expect that sometime later in August, we’ll begin to see the turndowns of hospitalizations and deaths.”... READ MORE
California reports a record death toll of 192 fatalities as the state cases pass the symbolic half million mark
  • COVID-19 California cases: 501,274 (+8,241)
  • COVID-19 California deaths: 9,194 (+192)
  • COVID-19 California death rate: 1.83%
  • COVID-19 California testing: 7,811,041 individual tests (+177,201)
  • COVID-19 California positivity rate: 6.42%
  • COVID-19 California single-day positivity rate: 4.65%
In the Central Valley
The Madera County Department of Public Health COVID-19 Update:

7/31/2020 COVID-19 UPDATE: Reporting 57 new cases bringing the total number of reported cases to 1,943. 
Of the 1943:
  • 857 active case (including 45 Madera County residents hospitalized in Madera County) 
  • 1056 recovered (33 released from isolation)
  • 30 deceased (2 additional deceased)
  • Female, 100s, underlying health conditions
  • Male, 70s, underlying health conditions 

Today, the seven counties confirmed 1,743 new COVID-19 infections and the shocking number of 44 new coronavirus deaths, including the death of a child at the Madera Children's Hospital. Merced county reported new records in daily cases (+379) and deaths (+15), and Fresno county reported its highest daily death count (+18). Look for the weekly report below, which covers Saturdays through Fridays of every week since the middle of March, 20 weeks ago.
Child at Valley Children’s in Madera has died from the coronavirus, hospital confirms
A patient at Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera has died from the coronavirus, officials confirmed Friday.

In a news release, officials said the pediatric patient died earlier in the week. The release did not include an age or any other specific detail about the patient.

“The death of this patient reaffirms that children — and no age group — are not immune from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the release said. “It is imperative, now more than ever, for us to all work together to prevent further spread of this disease.”
On Fridays we publish an additional set of weekly data, starting from the first week of cases in the seven counties, which was in the middle of March 2020, to follow the evolution of the spread in our local communities. As you can see below, the last two weeks are humbling with more than twice the cumulative cases from the high mark set on week 17, at the beginning of July, and as we have learned to expect, a new aggressive spike of deaths following the surge of cases, with a staggering loss of 97 of our families, neighbors, and friends in the last seven days. 50 of the 97 deaths were added in the last two days.
COVID-19 in Madera + 6 local counties (+% is the positivity rate)

  • Mariposa: 54 cases (+3) PEAK, 2 deaths, 3,649 tests, 1.48+%
  • Merced: 4,285 cases (+379) PEAK, 50 deaths (+15) PEAK, 25,483 tests, 16.82+%
  • Madera: 1,943 cases (+57), 30 deaths (+2), 18,302 tests, 10.62+%
  • Fresno: 14,439 cases (+506), 138 deaths (+18) PEAK, 126,114 tests, 11.45+%
  • Tulare: 9,454 cases (+213), 178 deaths (+5), est. 67,529 tests, 14.00+%
  • Kings: 4,146 cases (+40), 54 deaths (+3), 29,691 tests, 13.96+%
  • Kern: 19,335 cases (+924), 140 deaths (+1), 127,185 tests, 15.20+%

COVID-19 in the 7 counties together

  • 7 counties cases: 53,656 (+1,743)
  • 7 counties deaths: 592 (+44) PEAK
  • 7 counties death rate: 1.10%
  • 7 Counties tests: 397,953 (est.)
  • 7 Counties positivity rate: 13.48%
From our hearts to yours,

Fredo and Renee Martin
Workingarts Marketing, inc.

PS: We welcome comments and questions. If you wish to review previous reports, we now host past issues here.