San Joaquin County Public Health Services (PHS) has received confirmation of the first positive test result for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in a San Joaquin County resident. This individual was a passenger on the Grand Princess cruise ship; however, they were not on the cruise that is currently disembarking in Oakland. The individual became symptomatic and was hospitalized several days ago. No further details about this case will be shared due to patient privacy.
“As always, the health and safety of our residents are of utmost importance to us. Public Health Services has been planning, preparing and has protocols in place that we follow accordingly,” said Interim San Joaquin County Public Health Officer Maggie Park, M.D. “We are working closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to respond to the outbreak of COVID-19.”
Public Health Services staff are interviewing the individual and beginning a contact tracing investigation. This includes establishing a detailed travel history with the patient and identifying and contacting close contacts who may have experienced some level of exposure and are at risk of infection. Those individuals will be assessed for further testing and monitoring.
Health officials actively monitor the contacts, which means a public health worker will contact each person daily to check for symptoms such as fever or respiratory issues including cough and shortness of breath. Should one of these contacts develop symptoms, they will be instructed to immediately contact the public health worker who will help arrange a medical evaluation.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath and can range from mild to severe. Older adults and individuals with underlying medical conditions are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. If you are having symptoms, call your primary care provider for further assessment and guidance. To contact a nurse at Public Health Services, call 209-468-3822.
Things you can do to reduce your risk: Practice daily preventive care. Every person has a role to play. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends taking everyday preventive actions to reduce the spread of respiratory illnesses including COVID-19.
These are the same precautions you would take to avoid the flu: Wash your hands frequently with water and soap for at least 20 seconds; especially after going to the bathroom; before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If water and soap are not readily available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer with 60 percent to 95 percent alcohol. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If tissues are not available, cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Stay home if you become sick with respiratory symptoms including fever and cough. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces at home, work and school. Practice healthy habits: get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.
If you have not received your annual flu shot, please schedule one with your provider to help protect yourself against the flu. Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask: CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
While the progression of COVID-19 is still evolving, the CDC is reporting that for the general public, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low. Public Health Services is working with partners in health care, education, business, law enforcement and others to be prepared. As this situation evolves, we will continue to update the public.