San Mateo County added to state’s coronvirus watch list

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San Mateo County was added to the state’s coronavirus watch list Wednesday.

If the county remains on the list for three consecutive days, it must require the closure of gyms and fitness centers, offices, shopping malls, barbershops, hair and nail salons and other similar services.

San Mateo County became the last Bay Area county to join the watch list, which aims to monitor and address concerning trends in COVID-19 cases. Currently, 38 counties are on the list.

A county is placed on the watch list if it has over 100 cases per 100,000 residents over a 14-day period. San Mateo County is currently at 128.3 per 100,000, according to the state’s figures.

With a population of about 778,000, San Mateo County had 998 new COVID-19 cases and four deaths over the last 14 days, county data show. A total of 5,171 positive cases and 118 deaths have been recorded since the start of COVID testing during the pandemic.

Of 27,971 COVID-19 tests reported in the county over the last 14 days, the test positivity rate is 3.6 percent, below the statewide rate of 7.4 percent. At last count, 16 intensive care unit beds are occupied by patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. ICU bed availability is at 27 percent, and ventilator availability is at 86 percent, the data showed.

The county’s addition to the state’s watch list was not unexpected. San Mateo County health officials warned it was imminent. County leaders are concerned over the impact to the economy.

“Whether we are on the list or not, what is most important is that we all act as we can proactively to prevent the spread of the virus and growth in the number of cases,” Health Chief Louise Rogers said.

The following are recent numbers posted by the California Dept. of Public Health: