An important message from Lake County’s Public Health Officer, Gary Pace, MD, MPH.
LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – On March 9, 2020, Lake County Health Officer Dr. Gary Pace, declared a local public health emergency in response to Novel Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. As of today, Lake County remains at no laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19. The local health emergency has been executed in an effort to be proactive, allowing the County to expedite their planning and response to potential COVID-19 cases and make additional resources available to the County to limit and slow community spread of the disease.
Although the individual risk for contracting COVID-19 continues to remain low in Lake County, all community members should take the opportunity to plan for the possibility of local cases and the potential for community spread. Clearly, the virus is spreading widely—as of March 8, 2020, there were four hundred twenty-three (423) cases in the United States with nineteen (19) deaths. Outbreaks continue to spread in Africa, Americas, Eastern Mediterranean, Europe, South East Asia and the Western Pacific-- and the global impacts are beginning to be felt.
Lake County Public Health is prepared to manage and investigate suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19. Public Health will continue to work closely with federal, state, and local partners to provide the public with accurate information about actions to be taken to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to care for those who may become ill with this virus. As with other respiratory infections, there are steps that everyone can take to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
People Can Protect Themselves By:
The best way to prevent the spread of illness, including; seasonal flu, novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
and other respiratory illness is to practice everyday illness prevention steps:
• Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
• If soap and water are not readily available, use alcohol-based sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, making sure to rub your hands together until the sanitizer is dry
• Cover you cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
• Avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
• Staying home if you are sick, especially from work, school and public places.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
Personal Preparation Measures Include:
• Gradually stock up extra supplies of important items, such as: soap, hand sanitizer, tissues, over the counter medications and prescription medications.
• Gradually stock up on non-perishable foods.
• Create a back-up plan for work, school and childcare in the event of closures.
• Talk to your workplace about getting ready. Plan for telework, if possible.
• Create a space in your home to care for sick family members.
• Replace handshakes with elbow-bumps – make a game of this with your kids.
What to Do if You Think You’re Sick:
Previously, all testing was being performed at the CDC laboratory in Atlanta.
Diagnostic testing for Coronavirus is becoming more available with state testing at nineteen (19) California Public Health Laboratories including in Sonoma County. Commercial labs like Quest are now offering these tests. Unfortunately, the capacity continues to be limited, so during this transition period, only the highest risk patients are recommended to receive testing. Speak with your medical provider if you have symptoms.
Call Ahead if You Have Symptoms:
If you develop a fever, cough and shortness of breath, and believe you could have COVID-19, notify your healthcare provider by phone. Call ahead so that you can be safely evaluated and prevent exposing others.
Always check with trusted sources for the latest accurate information about novel coronavirus COVID-19 by visiting the following websites:
Contact Lake County Public Health (707) 263-1090.