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Stanislaus County COVID-19 death rates soar, cases surging

As of Thursday afternoon, ICU capacity in Stanislaus County stood at 2.5%. There have been 50 deaths related to coronavirus in December alone.

TURLOCK, Calif. — In line in his pickup at a new pop-up testing site at Stanislaus State University in Turlock, Cody Brown said he may have been exposed to COVID-19.

His job at a tractor supply company told him to get tested.

"So I called in sick because I had a fever the other night and they said 'Oh let's schedule a test,'" Brown said.

Married with two young kids, his wife tested positive before Thanksgiving. He once believed COVID was fake, but no longer.

"From seeing my wife, she said she had the flu before, but she said the headaches were pretty crazy," Brown said.

The long line of about two dozen cars on a campus parking lot was a grim reminder of the surge in Stanislaus County.

"Right off the bat we had 25-30 cars and it hasn't stopped since," said David Wilson, director for HR Support, in charge of the pop-up testing site.

"Our deaths are increasing daily. Right now we're seeing an average of over 400 cases per day, five to seven cases per day is becoming the normal," said Bobby Moser, health educator for Stanislaus County Health Services Agency.

And there are even more sobering numbers. In November, Stanislaus County lost 25 people to CVOID. Already in December, 50 people have lost their lives.

"It's spread the same way as the flu. So, as more people move indoors they're around more people and spread is becoming more common," Moser added.

Back at the testing site, school teacher Lisa DeOliveira believes she may have been exposed and is skeptical that people are taking the pandemic seriously.

"I think some people are believing that the vaccinations will cure everything right away and I don't believe it will," DeOliveira said.

As of Thursday afternoon, ICU capacity in Stanislaus County stood at 2.5%. Moser said the county has reached out to the state public health department for any help they can spare.

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