Covid Cases Soar Past Previous All-Time Highs with 58 New Cases of COVID-19 Reported in Calaveras County

San Andreas, CA…Outbreak at Local Treatment Center, and New Regional Stay at Home Order Announced to Safeguard Frontline Workers and the Community. On Friday, December 4, 2020, Calaveras Public Health confirmed 58 additional cases of COVID-19 in Calaveras County. The 58 additional COVID-19 cases include: fifteen females and twenty males between 18-49 years of age, six females and nine males between 50-64 years of age, and six females and two males over the age of 65. There are eleven cases to report in District 1, five cases in District 2, ten cases in District 3, twenty-three cases in District 4, and eight cases in District 5. One case refused to cooperate with Calaveras Public Health to determine District information.

Thirteen of those cases are linked to an outbreak among staff and residents of The Lakes Treatment Center located in Copperopolis. Calaveras Public Health is working closely with staff at the facility to monitor and track any new cases of COVID-19 among residents and staff. The investigation is ongoing.

California is seeing the largest surge in COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic. Early on, Calaveras Public Health asked the people of Calaveras County to take action, which allowed time to build our capacity and slow the spread of COVID-19 into our communities. As cases continue to rise, we urge people to take action again. What we know is that the virus doesn’t stop at our county line. We live in a world that is interconnected where commerce and people cross county lines and beyond. With that comes the risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. What happens to us regionally can affect us locally and what we do now will affect our tomorrow. Take action now to protect each other and stay healthy by engaging in fewer activities with fewer people. Wear a mask. Don’t gather.  Stay home. Physically distance. Get tested.

If COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue at their current rate in California, we are just a few weeks away from reaching intensive care unit (ICU) capacity for ill patients. When ICU capacity is low, patients may not receive the same level of care because healthcare providers and resources are strained. If ICU capacity falls below 15% within our region, the requirements from the Regional Stay at Home Order will go into effect within 24 hours. The new Regional Order is a protective measure that will not only help slow the spread of COVID-19, but will also protect our community and frontline workers.

On December 3, 2020, the Regional Stay at Home Order was announced by the state that goes into effect December 5, 2020. There are a total of 5 regions. Calaveras County falls within the San Joaquin Valley Region which includes: Tuolumne, San Joaquin, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Benito, Stanislaus, and Tulare counties. As of today, the San Joaquin Valley Region has 19.7% of ICU beds available. This means that the Region has not yet met the metric that puts into place the requirements of Regional Stay at Home Order. Public Health urges the people to take action today to keep our communities safe.

Everyone is at risk for COVID-19 and should take precautions to avoid getting exposed to the virus. Older adults and people with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness and death from COVID-19. This means that they may be hospitalized, require a ventilator to help them breathe, or may even be fatal. COVID-19 can be very serious and Calaveras Public Health asks that you follow the safety guidelines.

During the holidays, Calaveras Public Health urges the public to remain cautious. The safest way to gather during the holidays is to spend time with people in the same household and gather virtually with family and friends who aren’t from your household. To keep yourself and your loved ones safe, follow the Guidelines for Gatherings and tips for a healthier holiday season. Traveling to see friends and family during the holidays could increase your risk of infection and further the spread of COVID-19 in your community. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) strongly recommends:
 Californians stay home or in their region and avoid non-essential travel
 Anyone arriving into California should voluntarily self-quarantine for 14 days.
For complete details and requirements, read CDPH’s Travel Advisory.

No-cost testing for COVID-19 is available at the OptumServe COVID-19 testing site in Sonora. The site is located at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds, Blake Elliot Building (Creekside), 220 Southgate Drive, Sonora, CA 95370. The OptumServe site is now open 7 days a week. If you would like to be tested for COVID-19 please register at or call (888) 634-1123.

Testing for COVID-19 is advised, especially:
 People who have symptoms of COVID-19
 People who have had close contact with someone that is confirmed to have COVID-19
 People who have been asked or referred to get tested by their healthcare provider

To date, Calaveras Public Health reports a total of 556 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of those cases, 427 cases have since recovered while 107 cases remain active. There have been a total of 22 confirmed deaths related to COVID-19 reported in Calaveras County.

Public Health staff continue to investigate new cases to determine any possible persons who may have had close personal contact with the positive individuals. Close contacts may be contacted by the health department and monitored for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 illness.

Protect yourself and others from COVID-19. The virus is spreading in the community. Stay safe by taking some simple precautions. The best ways to avoid exposure to COVID-19 are to:
 Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth in public places and anywhere you will be around people who do not live with you, including close friends and family.
 Wash your hands often. Use soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
 Stay at least 6 feet away from other people.
 Stay home if you are sick.
 Avoid crowds

Symptoms can appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. The symptoms of COVID-19 include: 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

A person who has tested positive with COVID-19 may not have all or any of these symptoms. A person who has tested positive but does not have any symptoms is considered asymptomatic and can still pass on the virus to others while they are infectious.

Look for emergency warning signs for COVID-19. If someone is showing signs, seek emergency care immediately:

 Trouble breathing
 New confusion or weakness
 Bluish lips or face
 Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
 Inability to wake or stay awake

Calaveras County is currently in the purple tier (widespread risk level), the state’s most restrictive tier. This means that several non-essential businesses cannot operate indoors or must close. Calaveras Public Health urges caution and encourages people to take the necessary steps to prevent being exposed to the virus and help the county continue to lower its risk level. To learn more about how this change in tiers impacts businesses and activities in Calaveras County please view the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy to find specific business information and the county’s latest status.

As of November 21, 2020, it is required that all non-essential work and activities stop between 10PM and 5AM in counties in the widespread (purple) tier. Read more about the limited stay at home order. The stay at home order is effective through at least

December 21. Limiting social activities and gatherings of people not within the same household will help reduce the spread of COVID-19 into Calaveras communities.

Calaveras Public Health asks the public to be aware of scams. A contact tracer will never ask for your social security number, bank account number, or credit card information. Our contact tracers work for Calaveras Public Health. Contact tracers help contact people who have COVID-19 to track symptoms and make sure to keep our community safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Calaveras Public Health encourages that all people 6 months and older get their yearly flu vaccine. While getting the flu vaccine will not protect against COVID-19, it is shown to reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization, and death. Please speak with your local medical provider or pharmacist for flu vaccine.

Beginning next Tuesday, Calaveras Public Health will report on zip codes. This will replace Supervisorial Districts. To receive information and resources related to COVID-19 visit the Calaveras County COVID-19 website.