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COVID-19 cases could double in Stanislaus County over coming week
COVID-19 Olsen speaking
Stanislaus County Board Supervisor Kristin Olsen gives an update on COVID-19 on behalf of the Stanislaus County Office of Emergency Services (Photo contributed).

The number of positive COVID-19 cases grew to 31 as of Monday, with officials expecting the rates to grow significantly in the coming week.

Stanislaus County Health Services Agency reported 31 positive cases as of Monday morning, with zero deaths and 963 negative tests.

"At this point it is important to expect that these numbers, the positive numbers, will probably double every four to five days or sooner," said Stanislaus County Board Supervisor Kristin Olsen, speaking on behalf of the Stanislaus County Office of Emergency Services. "It is important, critical that we all stay at home as much as possible."

The number of negative test results are higher than what the health department is reporting, because private labs and clinics do not have to report negative results.

On March 19, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statewide stay-at-home order for all residents and ordered non-essential businesses in the state to close in an effort to curb the rate of COVID-19 spread.

"Expect stay-at-home orders to last another four to five weeks, and possibly another eight to 12 weeks," Olsen said.

Local authorities are also working to make sure non-essential businesses are complying with the Governor's order. Starting Monday, Stanislaus County is sending cease and desist letters to non-essential businesses that have not been complying with the Governor's stay-at-home order.

The letter informs business owners that the business is not part of the critical sector and that by continuing to operate it is "hampering our ability to slow transmission or the disease and increasing the risk to the public from COVID-19.

"As the well-being of our communities and the preservation of public health are of the utmost importance, noncompliance will not be tolerated."

Business owners failing to comply with the order could face a misdemeanor criminal charge and/or regulatory consequences, like the loss of a license.

Business owners were given until Thursday to show and state they are complying with the order. The businesses that are specifically being looked at for compliance are bars, pubs, taverns, dine-in restaurants, hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, gyms and personal trainer facilities.

People that see a business that’s open that they believe should be closed, can email

Symptoms of COVID-19 include a fever, a dry cough, and body aches. Severe cases of COVID-19 might experience difficulty breathing, pain or pressure in the chest, confusion or inability to arouse, and bluish lips or face. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and may have had contact with a person with COVID-19, or recently traveled to countries with apparent community spread, call your healthcare provider or local public health department first before seeking medical care so that appropriate precautions can be taken.

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). This occurs through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.

Health officials recommend people:

- Wash hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.

- Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.

- Cover a cough or sneeze with your sleeve, or disposable tissue. Wash your hands afterward.

- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

- Stay away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.

People can receive updates about COVID-19 in Stanislaus County by texting STANCOVID19 (all caps) to 888777 to receive updates from the Stanislaus County Office of Emergency Services.