Lake County, CA (April 8, 2020) – The third person with coronavirus infection in Lake County was identified yesterday. Apparently, the initial contact with an infected person occurred out of the county, but there may have been some interactions in our community over the past few weeks. This third case illustrates the importance of everyone maintaining “shelter in place,” and wearing a mask when in the public, because virus transmission can occur from people with no obvious symptoms.
All of the patients identified so far in Lake County have been very observant of the Stay at Home orders and have been cooperative with Public Health contact tracing and isolation plans.
Even with all of these steps that are being taken to slow the spread of the virus, we continue to monitor for signs of community transmission.
There has been a great deal of interest in learning where these patients live, and people have been trying to obtain some information about them. Public Health is legally responsible for protecting personal health information, including demographics that may lead to identification. In order to protect the identity of those community members who test positive for COVID-19, Public Health will not provide city/town of residence at this time. That being said, should a Lake County resident test positive for COVID-19, it is their personal choice as to whether to release information publicly regarding their location and/or identity.
In a small, tight knit community like ours, even location may lead to patient identification. Sharing location information does not provide any benefit to the public in helping to prevent illness.
In order to prevent the spread of illness, we recommend wearing a mask when leaving your house. As previously noted, N95 and surgical masks are in short supply, and should be reserved for use by healthcare professionals at this time.
Guidance and options for making your own cloth masks are provided here: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Face-Coverings-Guidance.aspx
Please also continue to follow all other recommended precautions, including:
• Follow Shelter-In-Place and other Public Health Orders;
• Stop all non-essential activities; and
• Practice good hygiene and routine cleaning.
Now that we have confirmed cases in Lake County, the public should consider every public place as a place that one could be exposed.
We will release information and updates at regular intervals, but now that we have a few cases, we won’t send out a press release with each new case. Daily numerical updates can be found on the dashboard on the Lake County Health Department website.
Periodic Facebook videos and press releases will be available to update the public on the coronavirus situation, and I will be presenting to the Board of Supervisors every Tuesday.
For Lake County-specific Coronavirus information, please continue to visit the Lake County Health Services Department’s website: http://health.co.lake.ca.us
If you still have questions, send an email request: [email protected].
You can also call during business hours: 707-263-8174
Thank you for respecting and protecting your neighbors.
Gary Pace MD, MPH