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COVID-19 Updates

Posted on: February 27, 2020

Mendocino County HHSA re Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)


Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update from Public Health

Since January 2020, Mendocino County has been part of a coordinated Public Health response involving the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). Mendocino County’s Public Health department has led this local effort in response to the rapidly evolving multinational outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The virus has been named “SARSCoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).

While there are currently no cases in Mendocino County, (a ’case’ is defined as a person who has tested positive by the CDC for COVID-19) this new coronavirus has now been detected in 37 locations internationally, including 15 cases in the United States (US) and 9 cases in California. An additional 35 cases of COVID-19 are among US citizens that have been repatriated to the US by the Federal Government from Wuhan China and the Diamond Princess Cruise ship. There have been no deaths from this new coronavirus disease in the US. All of the COVID-19 cases in the US are in isolation until they no longer have any sign of the infection on follow up tests. The COVID-19 tests are being performed by the CDC and are not available to the general public. The majority of cases of COVID-19 are in Mainland China and most cases have mild symptoms. In general, COVID-19 symptoms are similar to influenza-with a respiratory illness. In general children have not become seriously ill with this new coronavirus infection. The typical Corona Virus strains cause the common cold.

On February 26, 2020, CDPH announced that the 9th case of COVID-19 in California may be due to “community spread” in a person in Solano County who is now being treated in a Sacramento hospital. This individual had no known high risk travel history or contact with a known case. This individual was otherwise not known to be at risk for COVID-19 infection. Due to recent spread of COVID-19 in Italy, South Korea and Iran, it is believed that community spread has occurred globally and therefore our Public Health system has been preparing for this community spread to occur in the US. Mendocino County’s Health and Human Services Agency will continue to update the community as new information becomes available. 

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While the risk of COVID-19 to the people of Mendocino County remains low at this time, our County, state and federal Public Health system is preparing for the likelihood that COVID-19 will have community spread throughout California someday. In order to protect ourselves from this infection, it is important to follow all of the same recommendations that are related to influenza:
* Wash your hands with soap and water after being in public
* Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
* Stay away from work, school and other people if you become sick
* Make plans now to have the support needed at home if you need to stay home due to illness

If you should need medical care for a respiratory illness, call ahead to your health care facility and talk by phone with your health care provider if possible.

For other questions or concerns please call Mendocino County Public Health at (707) 472-2600.

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