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COVID19 WhatYouShouldKnow

Novel (new) Coronavirus COVID-19
San Benito County

What You Should Know:

 

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1. How can I best protect myself from getting the novel coronavirus virus?

•Use proper hand hygiene including washing hands with soap or using hand sanitizers.
•Avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose, and mouth because one way viruses spread is when you touch your own mouth, nose or eyes.
•Cough or sneeze into a tissue, sleeve, or arm. Do not use your hands.
•Clean frequently touched surfaces such as countertops and doorknobs.
•Keep away from others who are sick.
•Stay home when you are sick.

2. What are the symptoms of the novel coronavirus?

Symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, and aches. The illness can progress to shortness of breath and complications from pneumonia. Symptoms may also include nausea with vomiting and diarrhea. Some infected patients experience only mild symptoms while others – particularly older individuals and those with underlying health conditions – might develop more severe symptoms.

3. What should I do if I don’t feel well?

•If you have a fever, go home immediately and stay there until at least 24 hours after the fever goes away naturally without the use of fever-reducing medicine. For example, if your fever lasts for three days, you should stay home for at least four days.
•Consider not attending or hosting large gatherings. This is where cold, flu, and other respiratory viruses are often spread.

4. Should I avoid going to public events?

We know that viruses spread easily in large groups of people, so if you can, you should avoid large gatherings, especially if you do not feel well.

5. Do I need to wear a mask?

You may see some people buying and wearing face masks, but you should know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not currently recommend that healthy people wear a mask to prevent novel coronavirus. Masks are not foolproof and just because you are wearing one, it does not mean you are in the clear from getting sick.
Facemasks can be helpful for sick people to wear so that they do not spread germs to others. We do not recommend healthy people wear face masks to protect from novel coronavirus.

6. Do I need to be concerned about transmission of novel coronavirus?

We know that everyone is concerned about the novel coronavirus. What is now known is that the disease is in San Benito County and is circulating at some level, but importantly, it is unknown as to what degree. The priority is to conduct public health surveillance to determine the extent of local spread. The County public health laboratory now has the ability to run the test and now will be able to quickly evaluate what’s happening in our community.
The department has engaged public health colleagues from the California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for assistance, and their teams have arrived at the County Medical Health Joint Operations Center. The department will continue to work with them and other partners to respond to cases, to trace contacts, and to understand what is going on in our community. The Medical Health Joint Operations Center has been activated for five weeks and will continue to be. Colleagues from across county government are helping with the response.

7. What about transmission by people who have no symptoms?

While spread from a person who does not yet have symptoms (pre-symptomatic transmission) to others has been documented, we do not know how often or easily this happens.

8. What are coronaviruses?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. Many coronaviruses naturally infect animals. Of the seven that can infect humans, four are so common infect most people at some point. Coronaviruses are thought to spread through the air by coughing and sneezing and close personal contact, or by touching contaminated objects or surfaces then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.

9. What do we know about the novel coronavirus?

There has been an outbreak of a new virus called, which began in December 2019. While the illness started in China, people with the virus have been confirmed in many countries including the United States.
Since this coronavirus is new, health authorities are still learning more about the virus and how it spreads. The situation is quickly changing and the U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) provides updated information as it becomes available: www.cdc.gov/ncov

10. What is the difference between COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2?

The new CoVID-19, which is also known as the new coronavirus, is the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) refers to the virus, while Coronavirus Disease-19 (CoVID-19) refers to the disease.

11. How is the novel coronavirus treated?

There is no vaccine for the novel coronavirus and no specific cure for CoVid-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. However, many of the symptoms can be treated. For severe cases, medical care may be needed to relieve symptoms and support vital organ functions until the patient recovers.

12. What are the symptoms of the novel coronavirus?

Symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, and aches. The illness can progress to shortness of breath and complications from pneumonia. Symptoms may also include nausea with vomiting and diarrhea. Some infected patients experience only mild symptoms while others – particularly older individuals and those with underlying health conditions – might develop more severe symptoms.

13. I’m feeling sick, what should I do?

Please stay home if you are sick and call your doctor. If you have a fever, cough or sneezes, runny nose, or a sore throat, put on a mask before going to the doctor.
The flu and other virus are circulating in our community. So, if you are sick with a fever (including chills or night sweats), cough, or shortness of breath, you should stay home until at least 24 hours after you have recovered.

14. Who do I call if I feel sick?

You should call your healthcare provider if you have symptoms. Providers work closely with the Public Health Department to determine who should be tested for the novel coronavirus. Let them know your symptoms and recent travel history when you call.
If you need to see a healthcare provider and don’t have insurance, call San Benito County Public Health 831.637.5367.

15. What is a pandemic?

In China, what we have seen is an epidemic – an outbreak that has spread over a large geographic area. When the outbreak spreads globally, it becomes a pandemic. A pandemic is more about how widespread the disease is and NOT how severe the disease may be.
You may have heard about the CDC alerting the country to prepare for a possible pandemic. While we need to be concerned about the possibility that the novel coronavirus will spread more widely, this news is more a call to action than a cause for alarm and an opportunity to think through what we can do to be prepared. Because we do not know yet how severe the disease may be, it is better to over prepare and not under prepare.

16. What can I do to protect myself?

Start preparing your family and home over the coming days and weeks:
•Meet with household members, other relatives, and friends to discuss what should be done if a pandemic occurs and what the needs of each person will be.
•Discuss how you are going to care for family members or loved ones if they become ill, including how to protect the ones giving care.
•Think about a room in your home that can be used to separate sick household members from those who are healthy. If possible, also choose a bathroom for the sick person to use. Plan to clean these rooms daily. Learn how to care for someone at home.
•Identify alternative childcare or consider keeping your children at home.
•If your neighborhood has a website or social media page, consider joining it to stay connected to neighbors, information, and resources.
•Identify organizations in your community that can help. Consider including organizations that provide mental health or counseling services, food, and other supplies.
•Create an emergency contact list. Ensure that your household has a current list of emergency contacts for family, friends, neighbors, carpool drivers, health care providers, teachers, employers, and other community resources.

Stock up on recommended supplies:
•Store a two-week supply of water and food.
•Periodically check your regular prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply in your home. If you can, have at least a one-month supply of your prescription drugs.
•Have any nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins.
•Include cleaning supplies (soap, antibacterial wipes, hand sanitizers, bleach, rubber gloves, disposable face masks, tissues, toilet paper, and cold medicines.

Practice good hygiene:
•Stay home when you are sick.
•Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve.
•Keep your hands clean. Wash hands with soap and water or using hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
•Stay away from people who are sick.
•Do not touch your face (nose, eyes, mouth) because viruses can spread to you when you touch your own mouth, nose or eyes.

17. What is social distancing?

Social distancing is a way to slow the spread of a virus. Social distancing includes personal things you can do, and larger public health actions that can be taken.
Personal social distancing includes:
•Washing your hands after touching commonly used items or coming into contact with someone who is sick. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.
•Disposing things that come in contact with your mouth such as tissues or plastic eating utensils.
•Stay away from people who show symptoms of an illness.
•If you work closely to others, try to keep a distance of approximately three feet from the nearest person while at work.
•Avoid large public venues such as theaters or sporting events.
For Pandemic Flu resources, visit Novel Coronavirus Prepardness

18. What is quarantine and when is it used?

Quarantine is used when someone has been exposed to a communicable disease, but they are still well. Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of exposed people during the time when they may become ill. It lasts as long as needed to make sure the person does not have the disease.
People under quarantine for the new coronavirus are given legal and specific instructions to stay home and stay away from others. They are regularly contacted by the Public Health Department to make sure they are home and to see if they have gotten sick. If needed, additional legal measures can be taken to ensure they stay home and stay away from others.

19. What does it mean when someone is in isolation?

Isolation is used to separate people who are sick with a communicable disease from those who are healthy. Isolation restricts the movement of ill persons to help stop the spread of disease. People may be isolated at their home, or in a hospital, or in another location, as long as it enables the ill person to be separated from those who are well. The period of isolation lasts until the ill person has recovered and is no longer contagious.

20. Who can I contact if I have questions?

We have a call center available open Monday through Friday, from 8 am – 5 pm at 831.637.5367.

21. Help Us Protect Others From Discrimination

While we understand that people are concerned about the new coronavirus, it is disturbing to hear that discrimination is happening against people of Asian descent. The virus does not recognize an individual’s racial or ethnic background. A person’s racial or ethnic background does not change their risk of getting the virus.
Although the new coronavirus started in mainland China, do not assume that someone of Asian descent is more likely to have this virus. So please, do not show prejudice, avoid, or discriminate against people of Asian descent. That includes not discriminating against Asians who own businesses, go to your school, live in your neighborhood, work at your clinic, or shop at the same grocery store.
We are focused on protecting the community from any potential harm from this new virus, but we need your help in protecting people from discrimination, which ultimately harms our efforts to protect the public’s health. We cannot do this alone. Please share Dr. Sara Cody’s video message: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1waEVYjBOwM&feature=youtu.be

22. What is the County of San Benito Public Health Department doing to protect the community?

The public health measures taken so far – isolation, quarantine, contract tracing, and travel restrictions – have helped to slow the spread of the disease and the department will continue to implement them. The department continues to trace close contacts of San Benito County cases to protect the health of individuals and our community.

23. Is the Public Health Department prepared for more cases?

Yes. What is now known is that the disease is in San Benito County and is circulating at some level, but importantly, it is unknown as to what degree. The priority is to conduct public health surveillance to determine the extent of local spread. The County public health laboratory now has the ability to run the test and now will be able to quickly evaluate what’s happening in our community.
The department has engaged public health colleagues from the California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for assistance, and their teams have arrived at the County Medical Health Joint Operations Center. The department will continue to work with them and other partners to respond to cases, to trace contacts, and to understand what is going on in our community. The Medical Health Joint Operations Center has been activated for five weeks and will continue to be. Colleagues from across county government are helping with the response.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click the link below to view questions and answers:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

 

Contact

Public Health Division

351 Tres Pinos Road
Suite A-202
Hollister, CA 95023

(831) 637-5367

Fax (831) 637-9073

TDD/TTY (831) 636-0385

Toll-free (800) 756-0385


Hours

Mon-Fri  8AM – 5PM


Deputy Director

Lynn Mello
Director of Nursing
Public Health Administrator

Health Officer

David Ghilarducci, MD, FACEP
Interim Health Officer

Language Translation Disclaimer
Our Agency’s website links to Google Translation as a convenience for those who speak/read languages other than English.  Please be aware that no automated or computerized translation tool produces a perfect translation.  The context of the wording may be lost when translated and some translations may lose the intended meaning. Therefore, the San Benito County Health and Human Services Agency cannot guarantee the accuracy of the translated content. 
If any questions arise concerning the translated version of the website, please refer to the original English version.
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