Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Amador County Public Health: Health Officer COVID-19 Update

Health Officer COVID-19 Update

Dr. Rita Kerr, Amador County Health Officer

COVID-19 Situation Update:

To date Amador County Public Health has received 912 COVID-19 test results for county residents. These are not antibody tests, but rather the swabs that test for current infection.

  • Total positive confirmed case count:10, with 2 new cases in the last 2 weeks.
  • One of the two new cases over the past 2 weeks was hospitalized for a week, and discharged over the weekend to finish recovering at home.
  • Close/household contacts of these two cases tested negative on the first round, are still under quarantine, and will be tested again before completing quarantine.
  • As of this afternoon, compared with other neighboring counties in our region:
    • Amador County has tested 2.4% of our population
    • El Dorado County has tested 3% of their population with 2 OptumServe sites, located within the county, since May 5th.
    • Calaveras County has tested 2.2% of their population.
    • Tuolumne County has tested 1.7% of their population.
    • Mariposa County has tested 4.3% of their population with 1 OptumServe site since May 5th.
  • Another OptumServe site is opening on Friday, May 29, 2020 in Calaveras County at the Frogtown Fairgrounds south of Angels Camp.
    • This testing site will be open to non-county residents including Tuolumne and Amador residents that desire testing.

OptumServe are State-supported testing sites that anyone may access. To register for an appointment, individuals may visit Those without internet access may call 888-634-1123.

As new testing sites become available, they will be added to the “Where Can I Get Tested” tab on Amador’s COVID-19 Information webpage.

Stage 2 Variance:

Since the Board of Supervisors meeting two weeks ago, Amador County met the requirements of the State’s Readiness Criteria for a variance to move more quickly through Stage 2, and our attestation was accepted/posted by California Department of Public Health (CDPH). This allowed for offices and retail stores to re-open, and restaurants to resume dine-in service, with risk mitigation protocols in place.

The local Stay at Home order expired on Friday, May 15, 2020, and was not re-issued. Amador County remains under the State Health Officer and Executive Orders.

Although we remain in Stage 2, certain activities have been re-evaluated. The State Health Officer convened several calls over the weekend for review and input, and subsequently issued new guidance documents on Monday to allow re-opening of the following sectors statewide:

  • Faith-based services at 25% capacity or 100 people maximum attendance, whichever is less
  • Expanded resumption of retail operations statewide

Also reviewed was guidance for hair salons and barbershops to reopen within counties with a variance in place. Beginning Tuesday, May 26, 2020, Amador County was able to re-open hair salons and barbershops with modifications. Those modifications include:

  • Both the service provider and client must wear face covering/masks throughout the service because they are within six feet of each other.
  • No services with mask removed are currently allowed.

As previously stressed, as activities resume, we cannot go back to doing “business as usual.” The choices we make will influence the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Mixing with others, especially outside of our local area, increases the risk of transmission. Each individual’s risk depends on their age and health, and the precautions they take while in public. There is no such thing as a zero-risk outing at this time. COVID-19 transmission risk is a combination of “time, space, people, and place.” The more time you spend with and the closer in space you are to any potentially infected people, the higher the risk. Some people without any symptoms can still be infected and contagious. Interacting with more people raises the risk, and indoor places are riskier than outdoors. Another aspect of place is the prevalence of virus in the area, which fortunately has been low in Amador County to this point.

 As Amador progresses through the process of reopening, the Public Health team and I will continue to monitor COVID-19 activity in Amador County, with particular attention to hospitalizations and outbreak clusters. Timely contact tracing with isolation of ill persons and quarantine of exposed persons continues to be the basis of our containment strategy. Public Health is building additional capacity to do this work with more staff actively engaged in contact investigation training.

 Every member of our community needs to continue to practice 6 foot physical distancing from persons outside of their own household, wash their hands frequently and avoid touching their face with unwashed hands, stay home if they are feeling ill, and are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering when in public. Minimize traveling outside of our local area for non-essential activities. Persons over age 65 and others at high risk for more severe COVID-19 disease should continue to use extra caution and make as few trips away from home as possible.

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