Coronavirus: What You Need to Know

Coronavirus: What You Need to Know

The health risk to the general public from novel Coronavirus in California remains low. Our state currently has a limited number of confirmed cases of COVID-19, in the event that the risk changes, the California Department of Public Health will make everyone aware.

As with any virus, the California Department of Public Health reminds everyone that there are a number of steps individuals can take to protect themselves and those around them:

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Clean your hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available).  Discard tissue and wash your hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Elbow or fist bump one another instead of shaking hands or hugging
  • Get a flu immunization to prevent influenza if you have not done so this season.

For up-to-date information on the Novel Coronavirus in our region, please refer to these resources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

California Department of Public Health

World Health Organization

Updates from Governor Gavin Newsom's Executive Order:

Waives the one-week waiting period for people who are unemployed and/or disabled as a result of COVID-19;

Delays the deadline for state tax filing by 60 days for individuals and businesses unable to file on time based on compliance with public health requirements related to COVID-19 filings;

Directs residents to follow public health directives and guidance, including to cancel large non-essential gatherings that do not meet state criteria (non-essential gatherings must be limited to no more than 250 people, while smaller events can proceed only if the organizers can implement social distancing of 6 feet per person. Gatherings of individuals who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should be limited to no more than 10 people, while also following social distancing guidelines);

The state of California is empowered to take over hotels, motels, and medical facilities in order to quarantine, isolate or treat Coronavirus patients;

Readies the state to commandeer property for temporary residences and medical facilities for quarantining, isolating or treating individuals.

More information can be found through the Office of the Governor.

California Department of Public Health Resources:

The California Department of Public Health has consolidated state Guidance Documents on how to prepare and protect Californians from COVID-19 in a single location.

This includes guidance for:

  • Health care facilities, including long-term care facilities
  • Community care facilities, including assisted living facilities and child care
  • Schools and institutions of higher education
  • First responders, including paramedics and EMTs
  • Employers, health care workers and workers in general industry
  • Health care plans
  • Home cleaning with COVID-19 positive individuals
  • Gathering Guidance
  • Guidance for Using Disinfectants at Schools and Child Cares
  • Laboratories
  • Health care facilities from Cal/OSHA
  • Homelessness Providers

Those who are uninsured and/or do not have a primary health care provider and are symptomatic of virus can call 211 for assistance.

California Labor & Workforce Agency Resources:

California will continue acting swiftly to help workers hurt by COVID-19. Affected workers can visit the Labor & Workforce Development Agency’s website to review what benefits are available to them. For instance,

  • If you’re unable to work because you are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19 you may qualify for Paid Family Leave (PFL).
  • If you’re unable to work due to medical quarantine or illness, you may qualify for Disability Insurance. Those who have lost a job or have had their hours reduced for reasons related to COVID-19 may be able to partially recover their wages by filing an unemployment insurance claim.
  • If a worker or a family member is sick or for preventative care when civil authorities recommend quarantine, workers may use accrued paid sick leave in accordance with the law.
  • If workers are unable to do their usual job because they were exposed to and contracted COVID-19 during the regular course of their work, they may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. All information and resources can be found at Labor.Ca.Gov/Coronavirus2019

Frequently Asked Questions:

QUESTION: How many people have become ill from COVID -19?

ANSWER: Current data from the CDC is available here.

QUESTION: What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

ANSWER: Typically, human coronaviruses cause mild-to-moderate respiratory illness. Symptoms are very similar to the flu, including: runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever and shortness of breath.

QUESTION: How is COVID-19 diagnosed?

ANSWER: Health care providers will assess patients and if novel coronavirus infection is possible, they will do further testing. Please contact your provider before going in to an office or clinic so that they can be prepared for your arrival so others will not be exposed. If there is suspicion of an infection, public health agencies will work with health care providers to ensure CDC testing can be completed.

QUESTION: What is the treatment for COVID-19?

ANSWER: There are currently no vaccines available to protect you against coronavirus infection. Most people with illnesses due to common coronavirus infections recover on their own. There are no specific treatments for coronavirus infection. For patients who are more severely ill, hospitals can provide supportive care. We are learning more about this novel coronavirus and treatment may change over time.

QUESTION: What should someone do if they have symptoms?

ANSWER: If you have traveled to areas with a large outbreak or have been with a person who has tested positive, and you have become ill with fever, cough or shortness of breath, call your health care provider or local health department. Please be sure to tell your health care provider about your travel history. 

QUESTION: Where can the public get information about COVID-19?

ANSWER: The CDC website and CDPH website.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out to my office. We're always here to answer questions, and together we can keep our community healthy.