The overall number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Stanislaus and Merced counties continued to climb last week, while locally Newman and Gustine each had recorded an additional case.

Gustine, which saw six cases reported in the first community-specific information released last Monday, had an additional case reported later in the week to push its tally to seven.

Newman had seven cases reported as of last Tuesday. That number had increased to eight as of this

Tuesday morning.

Public health officials in Merced County advised Mattos Newspapers last Thursday that the initial six Gustine cases were all related to a single address and that those involved had all recovered. The additional Gustine case was reported on the county’s daily afternoon report last Thursday.

County health representatives told Mattos Newspapers last week that reporting for Gustine reflected confirmed cases in the city proper, which Gustine City Manager Doug Dunford disputed (based on mapping techniques) in regard to the initial cases attributed to Gustine. Dunford acknowledged Tuesday that he understands the seventh case to be within the city.

Regardless of city limits, Dunford emphasized, the recent reports show coronavirus is present in the Gustine community, underscoring the need for residents to remain diligent in their social distancing and other precautionary measures.

In Newman, City Manager Michael Holland is emphasizing the same message to residents.

Holland said he had not been able to ascertain from public health officials in Stanislaus County whether any of the community’s COVID-19 cases have common links - such as being within a household - or if they share no common exposure.

In neighboring West Side cities, Patterson had 22 confirmed cases as of Monday while Los Banos had 33 cases on record - the highest number among cities in Merced County.

County numbers

COVID-19 cases continued to climb in Stanislaus and Merced counties last week.

As of Monday afternoon, Stanislaus County had recorded 232 confirmed cases, up from 146 cases a week earlier. The county had recorded four deaths related to COVID-19.

The Merced County confirmed case count stood at 90 as of Monday, up from 69 a week earlier. Three deaths related to COVID-19 had been reported in the county as of Monday.