Health officials in Placer County have confirmed their first case of COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.
This is the third time the illness has been identified in a health care worker at NorthBay VacaValley Hospital in Vacaville — the facility where the female COVID-19 patient who had no known travel history or connection to China first presented. The woman was transferred to the UC Davis Medical Center on February 19.
Two other health workers from the Vacaville hospital — one Solano County resident and one Alameda County resident — also tested positive for the illness.
Administrators from NorthBay HealthCare Group say they’re working to trace all workers that may have been exposed.
On Sunday, a union spokesperson from National Nurses United said that 36 nurses and 88 health care workers at UC Davis Medical Center have been sent home on "self quarantine."
Hospital representatives previously said a small number of workers were asked to stay home, but would not confirm how many or provide updates on their conditions.
National Nurses United says California nurses are worried that hospitals are not prepared. A survey the union conducted among 1,000 California nurses found only 27% say their health center has a plan to isolate coronavirus patients.
There are four confirmed cases in Sacramento County, according to the health department’s latest update.
Across the state, elected officials and public health workers are reiterating that the risk of contagion is low. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath. About 80% of patients who contract the illness have only mild to moderate symptoms, according to the World Health Organization.
UC Davis was monitoring three students for potential exposure, but they all tested negative and were released from isolation. Chancellor Gary S. May said in a statement Thursday the university has no plans to cancel classes.
The Sacramento County Office of Education announced Monday that it’s teaming up with Sacramento County’s public health department to keep parents in all 13 school districts informed about the virus by sending letters to families.
The agencies issued the following joint guidelines:
- Students and school staff should go about their daily lives and practice normal cold and flu season precautions:
- Stay home if you have a fever or are feeling sick.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when sneezing or coughing.
- Wash your hands with soap and water often. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces.
- The flu vaccine will not protect against COVID-19, but it is highly recommended to help keep you healthy.
- If students or staff come in contact with an infected person they should stay home, contact their medical provider, and call Sacramento County Public Health at (916) 875-5748. If someone must quarantine or isolate, they will be directed to do so by Sacramento County Public Health.
- Some students may come to school wearing facemasks. The CDC does not recommend the use of facemasks among healthy individuals; however, it is important that anyone wearing a mask be treated with respect and not fear. N95 respirator masks are not designed for and should not be worn by children.
- The Health Department makes no recommendations at this time for cancellation of public events.
- If an outbreak occurs, and school closures are recommended or ordered, decisions will be made following discussion between the school district involved and SCPH.
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