Department of Health and Human Services quells concerns
The Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services informed the public Feb. 20 via press release they had received confirmation of one confirmed case of coronavirus in Humboldt County. A close contact of the confirmed patient has symptoms and is also being tested for the disease.
Information has come, and will continue to be provided from the California Department of Public Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The DHHS has since been fielding questions from the concerned community.
The Lumberjack spoke with Hava Phillips, the supervising public health nurse at DHHS. If you are concerned that you may have contracted the disease, she asked that you call them before visiting their department.
For now, the county is not considering this a public outbreak, and the ill individuals are self-isolated and under close watch by the Public Health Communicable Disease Surveillance and Control Unit. This doesn’t mean they’re not prepared for the disease to spread.
“We are making sure we have the infrastructure in place if this were to become a larger outbreak,” Phillips said.
Phillips said because it’s also flu season, people should be following basic precautions to prevent the spread of communicable diseases of all varieties, summed up by these tips from the DHHS press release:
• Stay home when you are sick.
• If you have a fever, stay home or go home if you are already at work or school, and stay home for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever (without the use of fever-reducing medicine).
• Wash your hands frequently and particularly before eating or drinking.
• Promote good hand hygiene in your home by educating household members and making sure soap, hand sanitizers and tissues are available.
• Avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose and mouth.
• Encourage proper cough etiquette. Cough or sneeze into a tissue, sleeve or arm. Do not use your hands.
• Perform routine surface cleaning, particularly for items which are frequently touched such as doorknobs, handles, remotes, keyboards and other commonly shared surfaces.