March 23, 2020 – The adult person, who resides in Eastern County, was hospitalized out of the area, but has recovered enough to be discharged and is now in isolation at home. This case appears to be a community transmission case meaning the person had no travel history or known contact with another confirmed case. The person’s close household contacts are under quarantine and have no symptoms at this time. For confidentiality reasons, no other details or information about this case will be shared.
Nevada County Public Health Department has anticipated seeing an increase in diagnosed COVID-19 cases in Nevada County. Our county borders are porous, and have quite a bit of traffic and movement across our borders into Placer, Sacramento, Yuba, Sutter and Washoe Counties, and there is increased evidence of community transmission across the state. With an increase in testing availability and an increase in community transmitted cases of COVID-19 regionally, everyone should expect to see Nevada County’s case count continue to rise. As Nevada County’s case count potentially rises, Nevada County will be updating the www.mynevadacounty.com/coronavirus website to reflect the current confirmed cases in Nevada County.
Community transmission is occurring in many parts of California and only reinforces the need for social distancing and California’s Stay-At-Home Order.
On March 19, 2020, the State Public Health Officer issued an Order to remain sheltered at home. This enforceable Order is intended to preserve the public health and safety of all Californians, and to ensure the health care delivery system is capable of serving all.
“This is a critical intervention to reduce harm from the spread of the novel coronavirus in our community,” said Dr. Ken Cutler, Nevada County’s Health Officer, “and now is the time to do everything we can to prevent the situation from getting much worse in a matter of days or weeks. We need the cooperation of everyone who lives and works in Nevada County to act immediately and adhere to the Order and stay home unless leaving for an essential service. Practice social distancing when you must access an essential service such as medical care or getting food and necessary supplies.”
How to Protect Yourself and Others
• Stay at home. Only leave to access critical services (such as medical care) or to meet critical needs (such as to get groceries or to pick up prescriptions). If you are well and you stay home, then you cannot get exposed and you will not get ill. This effort will not only protect you and your household contacts, but it will also help to protect those most vulnerable to serious illness caused by this disease.
• Practice social distancing when in the community. Appropriate social distancing requires a 6 ft. distance between you and others.
• Perform hand hygiene frequently. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60 to 95% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.• Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Stay away from work and other people if you become sick with symptoms like fever and cough.
• If you have mild respiratory illness, stay home until there is no fever for 72 hours (without the use of fever reducing medicines), your symptoms have also improved for 72 hours, AND it has been at least 7 days since your symptoms first started.
• Follow guidance from public health officials. Find local coronavirus information at www.mynevadacounty.com/coronavirus.
Every community member will need to do their part in order to preserve the public health and safety of our county’s residents.
While the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 is in the headlines and is a genuine public health threat, there is still quite a bit of flu activity, and other health emergencies continue to happen on a regular basis. People have other serious respiratory illnesses, heart attacks, broken bones, etc., and while our small, rural community has an excellent local health system, it can easily be saturated and overwhelmed if people try to access unnecessary care. Public Health is in regular contact with our hospitals and other health care partners, and we are working collectively to inform concerned community members about how to care for themselves while remaining sensitive to the capacity of our local health care systems.
One of the most common questions being asked of us all is, “Can I be tested for coronavirus?” Here is what we want everyone to know:
• The demand for COVID-19 testing continues to exceed capacity, though testing capacity continues to slowly increase.
• In general, testing for the COVID-19 virus is not helpful if you do not have symptoms.
• Most people will get better with rest and self-care, so there is no need to see a doctor if you have mild symptoms (this does not apply to healthcare workers). If you have symptoms similar to a cold and you feel like you can manage them with over-the-counter medications from the comfort of your home, that is what you should do, regardless of whether or not it could be COVID-19. Staying home also limits exposure to others.
• If you are sick, your health care provider may decide to do a test for coronavirus. At this time only licensed health care providers can order tests for COVID-19. Again, since most people will get better with rest and time, there is no need to see a doctor if you have mild symptoms. If you are sick and think you should be tested for COVID-19, call your doctor before going in for care. If you don’t have a provider, call 2-1-1 (or 833-342-5211) for help finding a clinician near you.
• Certain patients such as the elderly, those that are immune compromised or have underlying medical conditions should contact their doctor earlier if they have symptoms. Again, they should contact their clinic or provider before going in.
• Please do not call 911 to request testing for COVID-19 and please do not go to emergency rooms unless you are seriously ill and require emergency care.
Protecting our local health care system will require prudence and commitment from us all. Please help us ensure that care is available for those most in need of it.
Please visit Nevada County’s novel coronavirus web page for preparedness resources and updates at www.mynevadacounty.com/coronavirus.
The State Health Officer has created a document outlining what she has designated to be Essential Sectors and Essential Workforce and is posted at: https://covid19.ca.gov/img/EssentialCriticalInfrastructureWorkers.pdf