Tracking the coronavirus in Merced County

Tracking the coronavirus in Merced County

confirmed cases
On the governor’s watch list
  • Failure to meet state benchmarks has put Merced County on the governor’s watchlist, which can result in increased oversight and additional closures to combat the virus.
  • Over the past two weeks, the county has recorded 1,732 new cases, failing the standard for disease transmission.
  • The number of hospitalizations has been steady. There are now 51 patients with a confirmed or suspected case.

Note to readers

Technical problems are hampering the count. The state's top public health official said the data system used to process test results is marred with technical issues. Officials warn that this week's numbers are likely an undercount.

The latest trends

The Merced County Department of Public Health announces new cases and deaths each day, though bottlenecks in testing and reporting lags can introduce delays.

Experts say the true number of people infected is unknown and likely much higher than official tallies.

Cumulative cases by day

Over the past week, the county has averaged 113 new cases and 3.3 new deaths per day. The number of confirmed infections is currently doubling every 27.5 days.

New cases by day

State and local officials are closely watching the latest figures as they weigh when and how to reopen. One metric is whether counties have kept the number of new cases reported over the last 14 days to less than 100 per 100,000 residents.

Merced County currently fails that test. Over the last two weeks, officials have confirmed 1,732 new cases, which amounts to 644 per 100,000.

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Mapping the cases

Cases have been reported in 10 of Merced County's cities and communities.

Track cases across the state

Explore the latest data statewide by visiting our comprehensive dashboard.

Hospitals and patients

Lockdown measures aim to slow the virus in hope of preventing hospitals from being overrun.

In late July, the Trump administration changed how hospitals must report data. The California Department of Public Health says this has led to an undercount of COVID-related hospitalizations in the state.

To keep tabs on capacity, officials watch out for rapid increases in the number of confirmed COVID-19 patients.

Intensive care and other hospitalized patients
California Department of Public Health

The state asks counties with more than 20 patients to keep recent increases under 10%. Currently, 55 counties are passing the test and 1 are failing. Merced County meets the standard.

There are now 51 patients admitted to county hospitals with a confirmed case of COVID-19, according to the latest figures from the state. Of those, 13 are in an intensive-care unit.

Officials are also closely monitoring the number of unoccupied beds in intensive-care units. There are currently 5 staffed and available beds in Merced County according to the latest government data.

If a county’s available ICU beds falls below 20% of capacity, the area is added to governor’s watchlist. Currently, the state is not evaluating counties against this metric due to problems with data reporting.

Nursing homes

Nursing homes have become a tragic focal point of the coronavirus outbreak. California's Department of Public Health has listed 10 skilled nursing and assisted-living facilities in Merced County that currently have COVID-19 cases.

The state last updated the list on August 6. Officials withhold the precise number where there are 10 or fewer cases. The numbers reflect cumulative counts.

Reopenings and restrictions

County order: Following state order

Face coverings: Following statewide order which requires people to wear face coverings in public place and at essential businesses

Essential retail: Grocery stores, pharmacies, banks and post offices, etc. are open

Retail: Retailers reopened with modifications. Shopping malls closed

Restaurants: Indoor dine-in closed, but outdoor dining open and delivery/takeout allowed

Bars: All bars, breweries and pubs closed, unless they offer sit-down outdoor dining. Indoor wineries and tasting rooms closed

Lifestyle: Golf courses, landscape gardening, pools, outdoor hair salons, outdoor barbershops, tanning facilities, car washes, pet grooming, hotels, tribal casinos, professional sports without audiences and outdoor nail salons reopened

Parks: Most county parks, campgrounds and RV parks reopened

Schools: Most K-12 schools are distance learning

Government: Open only for essential functions

Houses of worship: All houses of worship closed indoors

Gatherings: All social gatherings of more than ten persons occurring outside a single household are prohibited

What's open in every county

We're tracking what's open, closed and restricted throughout the state in ten different categories, including parks, retail, restaurants and more. Find out what's open where you live.