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Health officials tell public to brace for a bad week
Sunita masks
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now encouraging people to use non-medical masks to cover their faces while outdoors. Turlock resident and local pediatrician Dr. Sunita Saini and her family show off Star Wars and comic book themed cloth masks made by Pooja Saini (Photo contributed).

Both the surgeon general and the nation's top infectious disease expert warned Americans on Sunday that the coming week would see some horrible numbers coming out as the nation tries to stop the spread of COVID-19.

"So, on the one hand, things are going to get bad, and we need to be prepared for that," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on CBS News' "Face the Nation." "It's going to be shocking to some. It certainly is really disturbing to see that. But that's what's going to happen before it turns around. So, just buckle down, continue to mitigate, continue to do the physical separation, because we've got to get through this week that's coming up, because it is going to be a bad week."

"This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment, only it's not going to be localized, it's going to be happening all over the country and I want America to understand that," U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said on "Fox News Sunday."

The warnings preceded the news on Monday that the country had surpassed more than 10,000 deaths from COVID-19. By Tuesday night it had surpassed 12,000.

COVID-19 numbers

In Stanislaus County the number of positive COVID-19 cases grew to 90 as of Tuesday evening. Just the week prior, the county had reported 39 positive cases, according to the data from the Stanislaus County Health Services Agency.

Stanislaus County has not seen any deaths as of yet from the virus. There have been 1,875 negative results as of Tuesday.

Of the 90 positive cases, 29 have been hospitalized, according to the SCHSA.

Modesto has had the most cases, with 39 at the moment. The unincorporated areas of the county have 17 cases, followed by Ceres (9), Patterson (8), Turlock (4), Waterford (5) and Riverbank (3). Hughson, Newman and Oakdale all have between one and four cases, though the SCHSA has not specified how many for each city.

Locally, the age breakdown for confirmed cases shows the 18-49-year olds have the most cases, though the age range also represents more people than the other categories. The SCHSA reported three cases in 0-17-year olds, 44 in 18-49-year olds, 26 in 50-64-year olds, and 17 in those individuals 65 years and older.

Women had slightly higher numbers of infection locally, at 46, and men were at 44.

As of Tuesday, California reported 15,865 positive cases and 374 deaths.

As time passes, researchers are learning more about the novel coronavirus, including the symptoms and how the virus develops in the body.

When the virus enters the body through the mouth, nose or eyes, it moves toward the mucus membranes at the back of the throat, usually resulting in a sore throat and dry cough, according to John Hopkins University.

From there, the virus can move to the lungs, which is where complications can develop. The virus can cause fluid to build up in the air sacs of the lungs, resulting in viral pneumonia, which does not respond to antibiotic treatments. People with severe cases will need to be placed on a ventilator to help with breathing. In the worst cases, people will develop acute respiratory distress syndrome, which can be fatal.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified the most common symptoms of COVID-19 as fever, dry cough, fatigue, muscle aches, headaches and shortness of breath. The World Health Organization has reviewed 55,000 cases from China and found gastrointestinal problems were also reported with some frequency.

Researchers using a smartphone app to track symptoms of COVID-19 confirmed patients around the globe also saw frequent reports of people losing their sense of smell and sense of taste. In some cases, people also reported coming down with pink eye.

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.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday recommended people wear face masks when out in public to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages people, especially in areas hit hard by the spread of the coronavirus, to use rudimentary coverings like T-shirts, bandannas and non-medical masks to cover their faces while outdoors.

Health officials also 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.