March 1, 2020 – There are no known cases of coronavirus in Nevada County currently. However, with nearby confirmed cases in Solano County there continue to be rumors about the possibility of local cases in Nevada County. We want to assure our Nevada County community that there are no confirmed cases currently and local health care providers are partnering closely with Nevada County Public Health to be able to quickly respond if a possible coronavirus case were to happen here.
Nevada County Public Health will inform the public if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus in Nevada County. In the meantime, it is highly encouraged for the community to prepare for the possibility of coronavirus transmission in Nevada County. The best way to help to slow the spread of germs is to:
• Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water (pro tip: sing “Happy Birthday” to yourself to make sure you are washing long enough).
• Cough into a tissue or your elbow if a tissue isn’t available.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth especially with unwashed hands
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. Nevada County Environmental Health has created recommendations for homes with known or suspected coronavirus infections (PDF).
• Keep your distance from people who are sick, especially if they have a respiratory virus. If you think you are exhibiting symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) and have been exposed to the coronavirus, call your local health care provider. Contacting them in advance will make sure that people can get the care they need without putting others at risk.
To help keep the public informed, Public Health is working to continually update the www.mynevadacounty.com/coronavirus website with new information, including Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). Here are some new FAQ’s recently added to the website:
• I am exhibiting symptoms like one would have with COVID019 (fever, cough, shortness of breath) and may have been exposed. What should I do?
o If a person develops symptoms of COVID-19 including fever, cough or shortness of breath, and has reason to believe they may have been exposed, they should call their health care provider before seeking care. Contacting them in advance will make sure that people can get the care they need without putting others at risk. Please be sure to tell your health care provider about your travel history. You can also take the following precautionary measures: avoid contact with sick individuals, wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, and get a flu shot (source: www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/ncov2019.aspx). Nevada County Environmental Health has created recommendations for homes with known or suspected coronavirus infections (PDF).
• Who do I contact if I don’t have a primary care physician or regular health care provider?
o Federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) like Western Sierra Medical Clinic (in Grass Valley and Kings Beach), Sierra Family Medical can be called if you do not have a primary care physician or regular health care provider. Remember that if you feel you have been exposed or are exhibiting symptoms, contacting them in advance will make sure that people can get the care they need without putting others at risk.
• How does the coronavirus test work?
o The California Department of Public Health announced on February 28, 2020, that new CDC test kits used to detect Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) are now available in California can be used to do diagnostic testing in the community. California will immediately receive an additional shipment of kits to test up to 1,200 people. This means California public health officials will get test results sooner, so that any patients will get the best care (source: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/ncov2019.aspx).
• How do I get tested for coronavirus?
o If you think you are exhibiting symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) and have been exposed to the coronavirus, call your local health care provider. If your health care provider has reason to believe a test is needed, they will work with Nevada County Public Health (or your local public health department) about providing testing through the California Department of Public Health or the CDC.
• I don’t have any symptoms, but I think I may have been exposed to coronavirus. What should I do?
o If you have recently traveled to an area under travel advisory or have been exposed to someone who has been diagnosed with a confirmed case of COVID-19, first contact your local health care provider. You can also let Nevada County Public Health (or your local health department) know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Are there medications should I keep on hand?
o COVID-19 is a respiratory illness and there is no specific antiviral treatment recommended to treat this specific illness at this time. Appropriate care for those diagnosed with COVID-19 will depend on the severity of symptoms and will include steps to relieve those symptoms. Make sure you are taking care of yourself by drinking plenty of fluids and getting rest. Like with other respiratory illnesses, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain relievers may help with symptoms and could be good to keep on-hand.
Public Health has activated Connecting Point’s Call Center to answer community questions. Connecting Point can provide callers up-to-date information about novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and connect residents to other resources. Dial 2-1-1 or 833-DIAL211 (833-342-5211) to talk with a call center representative. Residents are also able to subscribe to receive related media releases at www.mynevadacounty.com/stayinformed by following the subscription directions to subscribe for “Public Health – Coronavirus” under the News Flash category.
Nevada County Public Health Department continues to work closely with County departments such as the Office of Emergency Services and Environmental Health, California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) to closely monitor the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 (the illness caused by the virus), which originated in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019. This includes preparing with the community for the possibility of local, sustained community transmission.
This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation. Please look to sources such as Nevada County Public Health, CDPH and the CDC for the most accurate information. Nevada County Public Health will provide local, updated information as it becomes available at www.mynevadacounty.com/coronavirus. Residents, businesses and local agencies can find recommendations on how they can help slow the spread of illness like COVID-19 and how we can all prepare for the possibility of local transmission in our community.