Lake County, CA (April 2, 2020) – As most people are aware, problems with coronavirus are continuing to escalate. California has now surpassed 10,000 cases, with over 200 deaths, and the momentum is accelerating. In the Bay Area, rates of infection and hospital visits continue to rise. State health experts predict the peak will probably occur later this month.
While we still have not registered a confirmed case in Lake County, we continue to perform testing as allowed by available supplies—over 150 tests to date, with over 120 results back. Fortunately, all have been negative so far. However, it remains critical everyone commit to these primary strategies to limit entry and spread of the virus:
• Stay home: leave only to conduct essential business, and maintain at least 6 feet of social distancing while out
• Do not gather or mix with people outside of your immediate household – there are reported cases of COVID-19 spread and even death resulting from gatherings of extended family and/or friends
• Wash your hands frequently, and regularly disinfect common surfaces
Some people may feel it is “okay” to meet with friends or go out and do non-essential activities. “I feel fine,” they often say. Unfortunately, the virus clearly can be spread for a few days before symptoms appear. People who knowingly ignore the rules are jeopardizing the safety of their friends and neighbors by choosing to satisfy their own desires over the well-being of the community.
You may have noticed some people are starting to wear cloth masks, covering their nose and mouth, when leaving home to go to the grocery store, for example. There has been a recent change in advice, and according to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH):
• The use of cotton, silk or linen masks may somewhat reduce the likelihood of individuals without symptoms transmitting the virus, by limiting risk associated with airborne particles released when people speak, cough, or sneeze.
• CDPH stresses evidence is limited, and cloth masks should be worn only in addition to other precautions, such as hand washing and physical distancing of at least six feet.
• Individuals aware they are ill must continue to stay home.
• If you choose to wear a mask, it will be most beneficial if it securely covers your nose and mouth, and it is important to wash any face covering frequently, preferably following every use.
• As a reminder, medical grade (such as N95) and surgical masks are in short supply, due the global footprint of COVID-19, and should be reserved for medical personnel and others that most need them.
Further guidance and options for making your own masks are provided here: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Face-Coverings-Guidance.aspx
We have been fortunate to not yet see the infections that are beginning to surge in neighboring counties. Taking precautions now has the potential to dramatically change the outcome of the COVID-19 outbreak. Please take every precaution you can to help slow the spread of this virus.
Stay informed. Stay Strong. Stay Home.