The coronavirus has reached Stanislaus County, with health officials announcing that two men in the county have tested positive for COVID-19.
On Wednesday, the Stanislaus County Public Health received confirmation that two adult male residents of the county have tested positive for the novel coronavirus by the California Department of Public Health. These tests will be confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
One person was a passenger on the Grand Princess Cruise to Mexico and one has no history of travel to a country with known community transmission and no known contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case.
The Stanislaus County Public Health Agency is working to determine the source of the individual’s infection and is conducting contact investigations for both. Further information about the individuals will not be released for reasons of medical privacy.
“With over 100 cases statewide and cases identified in surrounding counties, we’re unfortunately not surprised to see a case here in Stanislaus County,” said Dr. Julie Vaishampayan, Public Health Officer, Stanislaus County. “People who are at risk for severe disease such as those over age 60 years and those with underlying health conditions such as heart diseases, lung disease, and diabetes, should consider not attending large events.”
Stanislaus County residents, students, workers, and visitors should practice good health hygiene. Healthy people should not be excluded from activities based on their race, country of origin, or recent travel. Anyone with respiratory symptoms, such as a cough, sore throat, or fever, should stay home, practice proper cough etiquette and hand hygiene, and limit their contact with other people. If your symptoms become more severe and you need medical attention, call your provider first.
Stanislaus County Public Health is working closely with CDPH, CDC, and other partners as this continues to be a rapidly evolving situation.
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.
Recommendations for COVID-19 Preparedness
The best way to reduce your risk of getting sick, as with seasonal colds or the flu, still applies to prevent COVID-19:
• Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
• Cover your cough or sneeze;
• Stay home if you are sick;
• Get your flu shot to protect against flu or symptoms similar to COVID-19;
• Try alternatives to shaking hands, like an elbow bump or wave; and
• If you have recently returned from a country with ongoing COVID-19 infections, monitor your health and follow the instructions of public health officials.
There is no recommendation to wear masks at this time to prevent yourself from getting sick.
You can also prepare for the possible disruption caused by an outbreak:
• Make sure you have a supply of all essential medications for your family;
• Make a child care plan if you or a care giver are sick;
• Plan and arrange for a school dismissal; and
• Make a plan for how you can care for a sick family member without getting sick yourself.
Public Health has activated its Emergency Operations Center to ensure regular communications to the public, providers and partners, as well as to handle any reports of COVID-19 infection. Staff will continue to provide regular updates and to work with healthcare providers as the situation evolves.
Healthcare professionals are reminded to use appropriate infection control practices at all times. Public Health will continue to provide updated information about the diagnosis and management of cases of novel coronavirus to healthcare providers and hospitals in the County and relevant partners to both identify and prevent any future cases.
This situation continues to change rapidly. For the most up to date information, please visit:
Stanislaus County Public Health: http://schsa.org/PublicHealth/pages/corona-virus/