Thursday, June 11, 2020

Amador County: 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 1,322 test results.

  • Total positive confirmed case count:10
    • Total recovered of the confirmed cases:10

Amador County remains in the range of stability for case positivity percentage rate and COVID-19 related hospitalizations.

As noted above, the total confirmed positive case count in Amador County remains at 10, and all of those individuals have now recovered. At this time, a few Amador County residents remain under self-quarantine and are being monitored as close contacts to cases from other counties. 

On Friday, June 5, 2020, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) published guidance for multiple sectors that are in Stage 3 of the California Resilience Roadmap Reopening Plan. Businesses and activities named in this new guidance are making preparations to reopen on Friday, June 12, 2020. A few of these guidance documents apply statewide, including schoolschildcare, and day camps. The reopening of other sectors is under local control for counties that have an accepted variance attestation, such as Amador County. 

Of the guidance documents released last Friday, the following pertain to Amador County. Those business sectors and activities included below, that have modifications in place, may reopen as of Friday, June 12, 2020:

Those workplaces and activities that have put guidance modifications in place may reopen effective Friday, June 12, 2020. The Amador Health Officer will indicate authorization to proceed with Stage 3 reopening on June 12, 2020 for identified sectors by having links to Stage 3 guidance documents posted on Amador’s COVID-19 Road to Recovery webpage under individual sector tabs along the left hand side. 

Tribal entities met with the Governor’s Tribal Council, developed and implemented risk-mitigation reopening plans, and resumed modified casino operations. 

As Amador County remains under the State Officer’s Order, other Stage 3 activities (during which prolonged interpersonal contact within six feet occurs) such as nail salons, tattoo parlors and massage therapy, are not yet permitted to reopen. Stage 4 activities, including large gatherings or those that bring people from many geographic areas together, such as weddings, concerts, festivals and fairs, are also not yet permitted.

As we see more businesses opening it does NOT mean the risk for COVID-19 is gone. Our community needs to continue individual actions everyone should take to keep themselves and our community healthy:

  • Anyone who is feeling ill should stay home
  • Vulnerable (high risk) individuals – should continue to stay at home as much as possible.
  • Wear face coverings – individuals are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering when in public
  • Continue physical distancing – When in public, maximize physical distance from others (at least six feet)
  • Maintain good hygiene practices – Washing hands, using hand sanitizer, cleaning frequently touched surfaces, covering coughs and sneezes
  • Non-essential travel is discouraged, stay close to home for recreation and leisure activities

Last week, Amador County began utilizing a State-supported mobile COVID-19 testing unit coordinated by Amador County Public Health and the Emergency Operations Center. The Verily mobile unit will be located in the St. Katharine Drexel Catholic Center parking lot on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and every other Monday. This is a drive-through, FREE nasal swab test, offered for anyone age 18 and older, with or without symptoms of COVID-19. Another mobile Verily test location serving upcountry/eastern Amador County and Alpine County will be at Kirkwood every other Thursday beginning June 11, 2020. 

Appointments for either Verily test location may be made at Persons without internet access or those who need assistance may call the Amador County Public Health Testing Helpline:  (209) 223-6676. 

Those who drop-in without an appointment will be guided through the registration process on site. Local businesses may refer their employees for no-cost Verily testing. For individuals who have appointments, the drive-through test collection process takes less than 15 minutes to complete. Results will be confidentially shared with participants within 2-5 days. 

As testing capacity continues to improve, an increase in the total number of positive cases is to be expected. In addition to the Verily testing, baseline testing efforts are underway in healthcare and congregate settings. Amador County Public Health continues to focus on containment of COVID-19 by tracking cases and tracing contacts, whether or not the confirmed case resides in Amador County. When an Amador resident is determined to be a close contact to a positive case from another county, Amador Public Health coordinates with the other jurisdiction for isolation/quarantine and monitoring purposes. As of today, local Public Health has been involved in over 20 cases of cross-jurisdictional contact tracing efforts. 

Antibody testing, which is done to see if a person was previously infected with the novel coronavirus, can be done as a blood draw at a laboratory with an order from a doctor or primary care provider. Since the beginning of June, blood donors at Vitalant blood drives or donor centers will automatically have the COVID antibody test done free of charge. This is NOT because COVID-19 is transmitted in the blood (it is a respiratory virus), but rather to look for potential plasma donors. 

With more mixing of persons as we move into Stage 3, keeping physical distancing of at least six feet and wearing face coverings when out in public are of utmost importance. Face coverings or masks should not be placed on young children under 2 years of age, anyone who has trouble breathing or who is unable to remove the covering without assistance. 

To illustrate the effectiveness of using a cloth face covering as source control, one of Amador’s cases who was determined to have 10 close contacts was consistently wearing a cloth face covering. All 10 close contacts have completed their 14-day quarantine, and none of the 10 developed symptoms nor tested positive. As you may recall, non-respirator face coverings protect others, rather than the wearer.

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