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Surging COVID-19 Cases In Calaveras Get It Added To State’s List

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San Andreas, CA — Beginning early Thursday, Calaveras County will have to roll back business operations for exceeding metrics in place to help control the spread of coronavirus infections.

On Monday, Calaveras County Public Health (CDPH) officials state that the California Department of Public Health confirmed that Calaveras will be added to the County Monitoring List.

This means that starting Thursday at 1 a.m. the following industries or activities will be required to shut down unless they can be modified to operate outside or by curbside pickup: gyms and fitness centers; places of worship and cultural ceremonies, like weddings and funerals; offices for noncritical infrastructure sectors; personal care services, like nail salons and body waxing; hair salons and barbershops; shopping malls. Shops that offer tattoos, piercings, and electrolysis, which may not legally operate outdoors must close.

Additionally, any schools that have not yet begun the school year will not have the option to conduct in-person learning with modifications and will be required to conduct distance learning only until Calaveras remains off the monitoring List for 14 consecutive days. Officials add that schools that have already started the school year will not be required to move to distance learning educational delivery only.

Public Health Officer Dr. Dean Kelaita explains that the county has been added to the monitoring list because it is experiencing increased disease transmission and hospitalization levels that exceed the metrics outlined by the CDPH.

“Despite this setback, we encourage our whole community to be vigilant everywhere they go. Practice physical distancing, wear a face covering, get tested, wash your hands often, and stay home if you are sick,” he stresses. “This virus spreads mainly person-to-person. People need to make it a point to avoid any gatherings including places where physical distancing and masking are not being followed. That’s how we slow the spread and that’s how we get off the monitoring list.”

Currently, all counties statewide must close indoor operations in these sectors:

— Dine-in restaurants
— Wineries and tasting rooms
— Movie theaters
— Family entertainment centers, such as bowling alleys, miniature golf, batting cages, and arcades
— Zoos and museums
— Cardrooms

Additionally, bars, brewpubs, breweries, and pubs must close all operations both indoor and outdoor statewide, unless they are offering sit-down, outdoor dining. Alcohol can only be sold in the same transaction as a meal.

The best ways to avoid exposure to the virus are to stay home if you are sick; stay at least six feet away from people outside of your household; wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands; wear a face covering over your nose and mouth when around others.

Dr. Kelaita states that symptoms can appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus and that people with possible emergency warning signs for COVID-19 should seek emergency care immediately:

— Fever or chills
— Cough
— Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
— Fatigue
— Muscle or body aches
— Headache
— New loss of taste or smell
— Sore throat
— Congestion or runny nose
— Nausea or vomiting
— Diarrhea
— Trouble with breathing
— New confusion or weakness
— Bluish lips or face
— Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
— Inability to wake or stay awake

No-cost testing for COVID-19 remains available to anyone who would like to get tested through the OptumServe COVID-19 testing site located at the Calaveras County Fairgrounds. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Testing is also available to children ages three and older. People are highly encouraged to register online by clicking here. People without Internet access should call 1-888-634-1123.

As reported here late Friday, the most recent update, Calaveras is monitoring 23 individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 are in isolation or in the hospital, and are reported as ‘Active Cases.’ Three residents of Calaveras were in the hospital and one reportedly passed away due to COVID-19. Of the 174 known Calaveras residents who have tested positive for coronavirus since March, 150 have been released from isolation. The 150 are reported as ‘recovered’ although they may never have experienced noticeable symptoms or may continue to have lingering health issues related to the virus. Contact tracing is on-going, limited details are released to the public about individuals to protect their privacy as well as related HIPPA regulations.

Calaveras public health also says, “The state’s electronic laboratory reporting system, CalREDIE, has been experiencing a backlog of COVID-19 lab reports. Despite these issues, Calaveras Public Health staff continue to work diligently to confirm local cases and provide the most accurate data available to the public. However, recent data published by Calaveras Public Health may reflect an underreporting of COVID-19 cases in the county. The state is working to address the backlog in CalREDIE and any new cases attributed to the backlog will be reported to local health departments when it is resolved. Given these delays Calaveras Public Health urges anyone with a positive lab result to call 754-6460 to connect with a staff person who can provide information, services, and support.”