COVID in Plumas by the numbers

By Debra Moore

[email protected]

When it comes to coronavirus information, Plumas News readers appear to fall into two camps: those who want more data and those who think that the daily posting of case numbers (when available) is fear mongering. But based on our loose tabulations, those who prefer to know as much as they can about the virus far outnumber those who don’t want to know.

So for those who crave more information, read on. For those who don’t, read no more.

The case counts come out almost daily, but detailed information regarding the cases does not. The Plumas County Public Health Agency leaves it up to individual entities such as the schools, including Plumas Unified, Plumas Charter and Feather River College to release information as they see fit.

Most recently there was an outbreak at the Plumas County Correctional Facility, and Plumas News relied on the Sheriff’s Office to supply the numbers.

When a large number stands out — such as when the county logged 17 new cases in a day, requests for more information were met with the same response since case counts began to rise: “Since we currently have community spread it has become more difficult to determine with a high rate of probability of how individuals are contracting COVID-19. Obviously gatherings and travel still continue to be a significant means of spread throughout our county.”

As of Jan. 8 there have been 544 cases identified in Plumas County, with 25 hospitalizations (three current) and five deaths.

Demographic information pertaining to individuals who test positive is protected by privacy laws, but there is some general info that can be shared, and that is published on the California Department of Public Health’s website. It’s interesting to note that case rates are spread relatively evenly among age groups in Plumas County. Here is a sampling of the demographics as of Jan. 6 — the latest data available:

Positive cases according to gender:

Male: 44.9 percent

Female: 55.1 percent

Positive cases according to age:

Under 17: 8.31 percent

18-24: 12.81 percent

25-34: 16.02 percent

35-44: 16.02 percent

45-54: 13.31 percent

55-64: 14.11 percent

65-74: 13.01 percent

75-plus: 6.41 percent

Positive cases according to exposure (there can be some overlap in the numbers):

contact with other cases: 39.5 percent

large gathering: 19.4 percent

household: 17.8 percent

family and friends: 16.5 percent

travel to impacted area: 13.4 percent

health care: 11.3 percent

unknown: 11.8 percent

work contact: 9.4 percent

congregate setting staff: 5.5 percent

Other contact: 5 percent

Symptoms (patients can report multiple conditions)

Cough: 39 percent

Headache: 36.6 percent

Muscle aches and pains: 35.9 percent

Other: 35.3 percent

Runny nose: 33.2 percent

Fatigue: 25.9 percent

Chills: 23.3 percent

Loss of smell: 23 percent

Sore throat: 23 percent

Loss of taste: 22.5 percent

Diarrhea: 20.9 percent

Subjective fever: 19.6 percent (This is interesting since temperature is often relied on as an indicator, but fewer than 2o percent report a fever.)

You can access the dashboard at this link: https://infogram.com/111020-plumas-county-covid-19-1hke608o5zjy145?live

Following are some weekly graphs provided by Dale Knutsen. Notice the dip following the post Thanksgiving numbers, and the new increases as the post holiday numbers are being counted:

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