MERCED (BLJ) – On May 27, Merced County Public Health Department reported that there were 222 cases of COVID-19 in the county, no change for several days. But five days ago, they reported 251 cases. Also, the county’s figure for number of deaths hasn’t changed in more than a week. There doesn’t seem to be any law requiring the county to report the true number. But a few hours in the emergency ward yesterday was enough to convince one Badlands Journal editorial board member that the hospital staff looks overlooked and apprehensive, although very competent.