Kings County’s COVID infection rate is the highest in the state

Kings County has had the highest number of cases per 10,000 residents of the state’s 58 counties since the pandemic began, according to a Coronavirus Weekly Tracker in the San Jose Mercury News. Data is based on statistics from the State Department of Health Services.

The county had 54,260 cases as of July 1, according to the article. This is a rate of 3,468 cases per 10,000 population, according to the article. The state’s DHS has since updated the county’s total case count to 54,725 as of July 11.

Kings County has a population of 157,614 and is the 34th largest county by population.

And the burden of COVID has fallen disproportionately on young people, students and minors making up the largest group of those infected, 23% or 10,408 cases, according to data from the Kings County Health Department. The second most infected group was the elderly and unemployed, 7% or 3,400 cases.

Also, the largest proportion of those infected were Hispanic, 55% or 24,826 cases, according to the county health department. The Caucasian percentage of infection was 22% or 9,823, according to the county health department.

At the height of the pandemic, the Kings County Board of Supervisors pushed for businesses to open instead of state-mandated closings and protested the governor’s mask mandates.

During the period from August 31 to September 29, 2020, the county was in the worst infection category, Tier 1 or Purple Tier, according to DHS.

Then County Board of Supervisors Chairman Doug Verboon told a state task force that the county needed more oversight from the state so it could take action. to open up the county while simultaneously checking the spread of the virus.

Business owners pressured supervisors to reopen the county during this time, saying the restrictions were destroying their livelihoods. Verboon told a supervisory board meeting at the height of COVID that cash is still number one with him.

Hanford City Council expressed support for the county’s positions on COVID. Ironically, Hanford has been where COVID has hit hardest. Hanford had 41% of infections (22,589), according to the county health department.

And today, conservative Kings County remains a place where many downplay the significance of the virus and dismiss the need for masks and vaccines. Supervisors in Tulare County have expressed similar sentiments, and the attitude toward the virus among many Tulare County residents is similar to Kings.

Now, the consequences of those decisions and attitudes have trickled down to Kings, showing the county is in the worst position of any county in the state in terms of infection rate per 10,000 population.

The burden of COVID also weighed on Lemoore with 19% of infections (10,741) and Corcoran had 10,684 cases, which represents 19% of county infections, according to the county health department.

Despite Visalia-Hanford-Lemoore Future’s repeated attempts over several days to get a response from the board of supervisors or the county health department, none were received. If and when county officials respond, their responses will be included in an updated article.

The 3,468 cases per 10,000 people in Kings is higher than number two Lassen County (3,105.3 per 10,000), Imperial County (3,065.4 per 10,000) and Los Angeles (2,894.6 per 10,000), according to Mercury News.

Tulare County fared much better than the above counties with a case count of 2,314.4 per 10,000 people, according to the tracker in the July 3 issue of Mercury News.

The total number of cases in Tulare County was 112,117 as of July 1. Tulare County ranked 14th out of 58 counties in total cases, according to the tracker.

However, the death rate in Kings ranked 12 in terms of deaths per 10,000 people. There have been a total of 449 deaths in Kings since the outbreak began through July 1, according to the state’s DHS.

In contrast, Tulare ranked seventh in the state in deaths as of July 1. There were 1,497 deaths, giving a rate per 10,000 of 30.9, according to the tracker.

With only 46% of the population fully vaccinated, Kings is also the sixth worst in the state, according to the tracker. Data excludes people who received reminders.

The county with the lowest percentage of fully vaccinated population is Lassen at 32%, according to the tracker.

Next comes Médoc with 39% and Tehama 43%. Mariposa had a 44% vaccination rate and Trinity’s figure was 45%. Counties with a similar but higher vaccination rate than Kings include Shasta at 47% and Siskiyou at 49%.

Tulare County’s vaccination rate is 53%, according to the tracker.

The county with the lowest number of COVID cases per 10,000 population was Modoc with 830.6 cases, according to the state. San Francisco had one of the lowest infection rates of any county in the state and ranked 42nd in cases per 10,000. Their figure was 1,780.4.

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