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Madera County Reports 7 New Cases; Gov. Begins Easing Restrictions

MADERA — Madera County Department of Public Health reported seven new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the total number of cases so far countywide to 62.

Health officials are reporting that 23 of the cases remain “active” while 37 people have recovered and two people, a man in his 60s and a woman in her 70s, have died. Both of those victims reportedly had underlying health conditions.

County health officials have monitored nearly 1,000 people so far for COVID-19. While only a handful of Madera County coronavirus victims have had to be hospitalized, cases of potential person-to-person transmission appear to be on the rise this week. In Thursday’s update, MCDPH officials said they are now “monitoring” 103 additional individuals for COVID-19.

For the latest update from MCDPH, click here.

Mariposa County has reported a total of 15 COVID-19 cases to date.

On Thursday, Gov. Gavin Newsom began easing the stay-at-home order issued in mid-March to limit the spread of COVID-19 while also announcing  the state suddenly is facing a staggering $53.4 billion budget shortfall triggered by the economic havoc the pandemic has caused.

The governor’s plan to reopen will only allow certain retail businesses and manufacturers’ warehouses to start operating again. Other stores that will be allowed to reopen with curbside service — if they meet government standards — are bookstores, clothing stores, florists and sporting goods businesses.

Hair salons, gyms, offices and dine-in restaurants will be opened during a later phase, the governor said.

Before further relaxing of rstrictions can take place, Newsom said counties will be expected to meet certain testing criteria and must be able to accommodate a surge of patients at local health care facilities.

Earlier this week, the Madera County Board of Supervisors authorized Sheriff Jay Varney to send a letter to the governor asking that Madera County be allowed to move more quickly into the next phase of business openings.

As of 4 p.m Thursday, there have been 61,901 confirmed COVID-19 cases across California, with the statewide death toll now at 2,523.

According to Johns Hopkins’ coronavirus tracker, nationwide there have now been more than 1.2 million confirmed cases, with the pandemic claiming the lives of more than 75,000 Americans.¬†

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