Craig Wright is a silver-lining kind of man and as such is choosing to look on the bright side of his current situation.
Wright and his wife Marcy, both Turlock residents, were passengers on the Grand Princess cruise ship that was kept from coming to port for several days after 21 people tested positive for the coronavirus. On Monday, the ship was able to dock at the Port of Oakland and the Wrights began a 14-day quarantine at Travis Air Force Base.
“It’s pretty nice here,” Wright said in a telephone interview. “They have us in a hotel and the rooms have microwaves and refrigerators and the meals are catered. We can go outside as long as we wear masks. As soon as we got here, they said we could get packages delivered, so I went on Amazon and ordered us a French press coffee maker. We’re trying to maintain the vacation.”
On the ship the Wrights, like all the other passengers, had been confined to their cabin, as officials tried to keep the virus from spreading.
“We hadn’t been out in the sunlight since Thursday,” Wright said. “We had an interior room because we were too cheap to pay for a room with a balcony. We’ll never make that mistake again.”
At the air force base all the passengers are having their temperature checked daily and there is a multitude of medical professionals to help with anyone who begins to exhibit symptoms.
The couple have shown no signs of having the virus and are happy to remain in the 14-day quarantine if it means keeping it from spreading in the community.
“I don’t want to be the one to bring it to Turlock,” Wright said.
More cases of coronavirus continue to pop up across the country and while Stanislaus County has been spared as of yet, officials are making sure the area is prepared.
As of Tuesday, Stanislaus County has no confirmed cases of the coronavirus. The Stanislaus County Health Services Agency data showed 16 people have been tested for the virus in the county and are awaiting results. Seven people have tested negative. Twenty-one people are being monitored in the county, according to the SCHSA.
San Joaquin County reported on Tuesday that they have one confirmed case of coronavirus. This individual was a passenger on the Grand Princess cruise ship, however, they were not on the cruise that is currently disembarking in Oakland. The individual became symptomatic and was hospitalized several days ago.
“As always, the health and safety of our residents are of utmost importance to us. Public Health Services has been planning, preparing and has protocols in place that we follow accordingly,” said Interim San Joaquin County Public Health Officer Dr. Maggie Park. “We are working closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Public Health to respond to the outbreak of COVID-19.”
Merced County reported on Tuesday that they currently have no coronavirus cases.
California has 144 active cases, two deaths, and two people in recovery.
Emanuel Medical Center is taking steps to make sure they are prepared for the possibility that coronavirus could start to appear in the community.
“Emanuel Medical Center is monitoring information from federal, state and local public health agencies for current information on the coronavirus,” said Krista Deans, the communications manager for Tenet Healthcare’s Northern California Group. “Our hospital has taken the appropriate steps, including constructing designated screening areas, and we have trained professionals and the necessary equipment to react accordingly. As with any communicable disease, as our patients enter the hospital in areas such as emergency department or registration, hospital staff are questioning all of their recent travel and detailing symptoms. We evaluate relevant symptom criteria and implement contact airborne isolation, if required, without delay. Our clinical teams are in constant review of infection prevention processes and update patient screenings as recommended by the CDC.
“We have changed the way our hospitals are accessed to further increase our efforts to protect patients, visitors and employees,” Deans said. “We have created hand sanitization stations and are limiting access points to our hospitals to fewer entrances and exits for closer monitoring and evaluation. Emanuel Medical Center is committed to keeping our patients, our staff and our community safe.”
The new virus comes from a large family of what are known as coronaviruses, some causing nothing worse than a cold, but others cause more serious illnesses such as SARS. It causes cold- and flu-like symptoms, including cough and fever, and in more severe cases, shortness of breath. It can worsen to pneumonia, which can be fatal. The virus has proven especially deadly for the elderly and people with underlying medical conditions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that symptoms can appear as quick as two days and up to 14 days after exposure.
The CDC said person-to-person spread occurs mainly via respiratory droplets from when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. The virus can also be spread by face to face contact with an infected person for a prolonged time and touching an object or surface with the virus on it, and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.
As with any virus, especially during the flu season, health officials remind people there are a number of steps to take to protect your health and those around you:
· Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
· Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and
water are not available;
· Covering your coughs and sneezes with your arm;
· Frequent cleaning of doorknobs, light switches, and other commonly touched areas with disinfectant wipes;
· Avoiding contact with people who are ill;
· Staying away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.