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COVID-19 Update: Investing in Prevention; 13th Death Reported

Lake County, CA (October 9, 2020) — We have now documented 628 COVID-19 cases in Lake County.  Sadly, we received word late this week of our 13th death.  The individual was over 65 years old and had longstanding health issues.  This tragic death is connected to a 2nd facility-based outbreak; 27 residents infected, 9 staff.  The earlier outbreak, in a different facility, is under control, no new cases in 10 days.  No further information will be released at this time.
Lake County recently experienced a surge of new cases, peaking at 78 during the week of 9/13-9/19.  Nursing facility outbreaks and some community spread contributed.  Evacuations from the LNU Complex fires and Labor Day weekend activities were additional complicating factors.
What Will the Next Few Months Look Like?
Significant business restrictions and changes of schooling and lifestyle have been a deeply frustrating norm for 7 months now.  What lies ahead?  Most predict COVID infections will increase in the coming months, due to flu season, colder weather and indoor activities.
Free Flu Shots at Tomorrow’s Heroes of Health and Safety Event
If most people get flu shots, we will better weather the next few months.  These can be obtained through medical providers and many pharmacies.  A free drive-through flu clinic will be held tomorrow, Saturday, October 10, at the Heroes of Health event on the racetrack at Lake County Fairgrounds (Flyers attached).
When Will a COVID-19 Vaccine Realistically Be Available?
Likely after the first of the year.  Initial supplies will be limited, and probably directed to Hospital workers and others at highest risk.  Once supplies increase (possibly early spring), it will start to reach the general public.  There is great hope for some sort of normalcy by summertime 2021; the promise of a vaccine is driving those hopes.
How Can We Push for Orange and Promote our Local Economy?  Invest in Prevention!
We can move out of the Red Tier into the Orange over the coming weeks by wearing masks, keeping distance, and avoiding social gatherings.  This will allow indoor activities to expand.
Investing in prevention keeps our communities safe, and allows businesses to not only stay open, but expand services.  Precautions accelerate progress toward normalcy and save lives!
Gary Pace, MD, MPH

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