Our Response to COVID-19: Information
Good evening,

August 17, 2020 -- COVID-19 cases have dropped globally but still oscillate around 250,000 new daily cases, settling this evening at 217,941 with 4,163 new global COVID19 deaths. We may have reached a plateau. The next few weeks will confirm the trend.

  • COVID-19 Global cases: 22,040,100 (+217,941)
  • COVID-19 Global deaths: 777,128 (+4,163)
  • COVID-19 Global death rate: 3.53%
  • COVID-19 Global testing: 391,233,790 confirmed tests (+3,145,930)
  • COVID-19 Global positivity rate: 5.63%
  • COVID-19 Global single-day positivity date: 6.08%

*: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.
A flu shot doesn't always protect you, but amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever
Getting a flu vaccine this year is even more important than usual because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to public health officials.

"We should push for massive uptake of the vaccine this year," said John Brownstein, who tracks outbreaks around the world as chief innovation officer at Boston Children’s Hospital. "Everyone who is eligible should get it."

Producers are boosting supplies of the flu vaccine this year to meet what they expect will be higher demand. CVS stores have the flu vaccine in stock, and vaccines are available as of Monday at Walgreens. 

Vaccine maker Sanofi plans to hold a news conference Monday morning announcing that it will produce 15% more vaccine than in a normal year. 

"Flu vaccines work, and they can take a big burden off our medical infrastructure," John Shiver, global head of vaccines research and development for the company, said last week. "Let's keep people out of the hospital with flu while we deal with a likely upswing in COVID infections."

In the US
Covid-19 is now the No. 3 cause of death in the US. But testing to find and isolate cases has dropped off | cnn.com

(CNN)A virus that didn't even exist a year ago is now killing more Americans than Alzheimer's disease, accidents and diabetes.

The novel coronavirus has infected more than 5.4 million Americans and killed more than 170,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University

Over the past three weeks, the US has averaged more than 1,000 Covid-19 deaths per day.

"Covid is now the No. 3 cause of death in the US -- ahead of accidents, injuries, lung disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's, and many, many other causes," said Dr. Thomas Frieden, a former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Heart disease and cancer are the leading causes of death in the US, according to the CDC. The rate of deaths from Covid-19 is also much greater in the US than in many.. READ MORE

  • COVID-19 USA cases: 5,611,228 (+39,813)
  • COVID-19 USA deaths: 173,668 (+541)
  • COVID-19 USA death rate: 3.10%
  • COVID-19 USA testing: 71,547,540 individual tests (+586,910)
  • COVID-19 USA positivity rate: 7.84%
  • COVID-19 USA single-day positivity date: 6.78%
As I was writing this daily update, the news hit that the State of Texas is reporting 7,900 new unreported cases due to a computer issue in Dallas County over a three day span. The numbers will be adjusted in tomorrow's report. 

Texas uncovers thousands of previously unreported COVID cases wfaa.com

DALLAS — A computer upgrade at the Texas Department of State Health Services uncovered thousands of COVID-19 cases that had previously been unreported to local counties. Some of the cases had been diagnosed as far back as March. According to DSHS, the patients had received their positive test results but the counties where those patients live had not been notified.

The state notified Dallas County of a total of 5,361 cases on Sunday. The county said 4,298 of those patients tested positive in July. The rest came from March, April, May and June.

On Monday, the state notified Dallas County of 1,850 cases. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said a “high number” of those cases had been diagnosed in June... READ MORE
In California
California adds 5 counties to COVID-19 monitoring list, drops 1 | desertsun.com
The number of counties on California's monitoring list for coronavirus cases grew to 42 on Monday even as Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state's overall virus trends were heading in the right direction.

Newsom said the state found an additional 14,861 virus cases after reviewing a backlog of nearly 300,000 test results that got tied up in a lab reporting problem. 

He announced the addition of five more Northern California counties — Amador, Mendocino, Calaveras, Sierra and Inyo — to the list of those facing more restrictions on business and school reopenings. Santa Cruz County was removed from the list.

Over the past week, the state has reported an average of 9,446 virus cases a day, but the 14-day positivity rate — the number of virus cases in relation to tests performed over two weeks — has fallen from earlier in August to 6.5%, Newsom said.

"Those case numbers are high but they are trending in the right direction," he said, noting that hospitalizations have also declined over the past two weeks... READ MORE
  • COVID-19 California cases: 634,722 (+6,577)
  • COVID-19 California deaths: 11,339 (+95)
  • COVID-19 California death rate: 1.79%
  • COVID-19 California testing: 9,933,780 individual tests (+135,645)
  • COVID-19 California positivity rate: 6.39%
  • COVID-19 California single-day positivity rate: 4.85%
In the Central Valley
The Madera County Department of Public Health COVID-19 Update:

8/17/20 COVID-19 UPDATE: Reporting 205 new cases for 8/14-8/16 bringing the total number of reported cases to 3,129.
  • 8/14 – 92
  • 8/15 – 35
  • 8/16 – 78
Of the 3,129:
  • 892 active case (including 18 Madera County residents hospitalized in Madera County)
  • 2,190 recovered (87 released from isolation) 
  • 47 deceased

Today, the local counties confirmed 2,121 new infections and 5 new coronavirus deaths. Fresno County reported 1,853 new infections over the weekend, confirming the acceleration of the COVID-19 spread in the area.

Looking at the Madera image above, and the other illustrations below, you easily see that we are still on the ascent of the spread's epidemiological graph and have yet to flatten our local curve. Our friends and neighbors are needlessly dying, many families are suffering. Science and the courage to follow its logic will solve this pandemic, any other discourse is useless.
Coronavirus outbreak at Livingston Foster Farms plant reaches 200 cases, 2 deaths, mayor says | MercedSunstar.com
The Foster Farms facility in Livingston has had an outbreak of more than 200 infections in recent weeks, including at least two deaths, according to Mayor Gurpal Samra.

Officials with Foster Farms would not confirm the number of cases or deaths at the Livingston facility in Merced County.

Ira Brill, the company’s vice president of communications, he said in a statement, “over the last month, there has been a significant increase in the number of employees testing positive.”

He said Foster Farms has been working with the California Department of Agriculture, as well as federal and other officials.

“I can tell you that there have been no discussions with officials at the federal, state or local level with regard to temporarily closing the Livingston plant,” Brill said in an email.

The plant has been operating under new safety guidelines for several months to protect workers, according to company officials...READ MORE
COVID-19 in Madera + 6 local counties (+% is the positivity rate)

  • Mariposa: 64 cases, 2 deaths, 4,441 tests, 1.44+%
  • Merced: 7,041 cases (+264), 93 deaths (+4), 36,173 tests, 19.46+%
  • Madera: 3,129 cases (+78), 47 deaths, 32,396 tests, 9.66+%
  • Fresno: 21,010 cases (+1,110), 203 deaths, 161,497 tests, 13.01+%
  • Tulare: 12,451 cases (+258), 206 deaths (+1), est. 88,936 tests, 14.00+%
  • Kings: 5,514 cases (+105), 66 deaths, 31,246 tests, 17.65+%
  • Kern: 26,788 cases (+218), 204 deaths, 155,247 tests, 17.26+%

COVID-19 in the 7 counties together

  • 7 counties cases: 75,997 (+2,121)
  • 7 counties deaths: 821 (+7)
  • 7 counties death rate: 1.13%
  • 7 Counties tests: 509,936 (est.)
  • 7 Counties positivity rate: 14.90%
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.