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Update: Calaveras County Confirms Fourth COVID-19 Case

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Update at 7:30 p.m.: Another confirmed COVID-19 case in Calaveras County brings its total to four.  The latest patient is a woman from Valley Springs.

Clarke Broadcasting spoke with the county’s health officer Dr. Dean Kelaita to get further details on the fourth patient. He details that this is not a work-related case and she did not need to be hospitalized, stating, “Their back home isolated in their home…But there was a period of time before the diagnosis where the person did have some contacts with others in the community. We’re in the process of establishing exactly what the nature of those contacts were.”

Currently, a contact investigation is underway. Dr. Kelaita explains it is a way of getting people into isolation and quarantine and locking down a case of COVID-19 so it doesn’t spread in the community. He shares, “We’re identifying all the people that this person was exposed to. Those people are being quarantined. If they become sick, they’re tested, and they are completely removed from ongoing exposure to the community.”

A third confirmed case reported last week also involved another Valley Springs resident. Regarding whether the two cases are connected, Dr. Kelaita discloses, “Not that we know so far. We haven’t established any clear connection between those two cases.”

Dr. Kelaita also cautions social distancing and washing hands often as the best ways to combat the deadly virus as he forewarns, “We expect further COVID-19 infections here in Calaveras County and in the neighboring Foothill areas.”

Further details regarding this fourth confirmed case are below.

Original post at 1:30 p.m.: San Andreas, CA – A fourth person has contracted the coronavirus in Calaveras County.

The county’s health officer Dr. Dean Kelaita disclosed that the person is an adult female from Valley Springs. He adds that her testing occurred outside of the county through a commercial laboratory. Currently, the COVID-19 exposure source is under investigation and all those who may have come in close contact with the patient are being identified and interviewed. Dr. Kelaita advises all “will be placed under strict quarantine.”

Last week, as detailed here, a third confirmed case was reported also involving another Valley Springs resident. The release did not reveal whether these cases are related. Dr. Kelaita also relayed that two of the four patients in the county have since recovered.

Dr. Kelaita’s entire release is below:

On Friday, April 3, 2020, Calaveras Public Health confirmed a new case of novel coronavirus or COVID-19. The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the county is now four. Two of the four cases have since recovered. This additional positive case is an adult female from Valley Springs. Testing occurred outside of the county through a commercial laboratory. The source of the exposure to COVID-19 is currently under investigation at this time.

Calaveras Public Health launched a case investigation upon being notified. Public Health staff are identifying persons who may have had close personal contact with this individual, including any friends, family members or healthcare professionals, to assess and monitor them for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 illness. Close personal contacts identified during this investigation will be placed under strict quarantine.

Emerging evidence suggests that there may be people who have COVID-19 and are asymptomatic and capable of spreading the virus to others. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that we take universal precautions all the time – assume that each of us can infect others even when we aren’t sick. This includes the new recommendation to wear a cloth face covering when going outside for essential activities.

“Calaveras will get through this together by staying home as much as possible, self-isolating when we are sick, and self-quarantining if we’ve been exposed, said Dean Kelaita, MD, Calaveras County Health Officer.

Keep Calaveras safe and healthy:

· Stay at home

o Wash your hands often

o Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands

o Avoid being around sick people and maintain physical distancing, especially by staying at home

· Keep your space

o Avoid close contact with people who are sick

o Create a space, at least 6 feet, between people

· Cover your face

o Wear a cloth face covering when you must be in public for essential activities such as going to the grocery store or picking up medication. Surgical masks and N-95 masks are in short supply and should be reserved for healthcare professionals.

Calaveras Public Health will continue to monitor this development and the results will be released as new information becomes available. It is expected that further cases of COVID-19 infection will be identified in Calaveras residents.