The Sonoma County Department of Health Services (DHS) continues to work closely with other Bay Area health departments, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to monitor the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Currently, the risk for being infected with COVID-19 in the US remains low.
To date, there are 15 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the US, eight of these are in California: two in Santa Clara County, two in San Benito County, one in Los Angeles County, one in Orange County and two in San Diego County. There are no cases of COVID-19 in Sonoma County.
The CDC has closely monitored an outbreak of COVID-19 from China since early January and has declared a public health emergency for the US. The first reported instance of human-to-human spread was reported in the US on January 30.
Since February 3, 2020, all flights arriving to the US from China have been funneled through 11 airports where enhanced screening and triage activities are being conducted. All US citizens, permanent residents and their families arriving to the US from Hubei Province, China will be screened and, if they have no symptoms, placed in mandatory quarantine centers for 14 days. Travelers with symptoms who meet criteria will be tested and receive necessary medical treatment.
Passengers who have traveled to mainland China but not Hubei Province will also be screened at these airports. If they have no symptoms of illness, they will be directed to return to their homes and work with their local health departments for support with home-monitoring for 14 days.
Students and school staff, health care workers, and other travelers whose workplace setting involves interaction with others will be asked to stay home for 14 days and conduct home-monitoring. To the extent possible, these individuals should remain at home or in a comparable setting and avoid congregate settings, limit public activities, and practice social distancing. All US airlines with flights to China have voluntarily suspended services.
To respond to potential cases of COVID-19 in Sonoma County residents, DHS has activated a multi-disciplinary team to monitor the situation and is collaborating with the Sonoma County Department of Emergency Management (DEM).
DHS is also working closely with local public health partners and healthcare providers to take action to isolate and test any high-risk individuals in consultation with the CDC to prevent the spread of disease and protect the public’s health.
On January 31, 2020, County Health Officer Dr. Celeste Philip issued a health alert for local health providers with guidance on COVID-19 and reporting suspected cases for evaluation.
A letter to parents regarding novel coronavirus and schools was sent by Dr. Philip through the Sonoma County Office of Education on February 7, 2020 (view letter).
The response to COVID-19 is evolving quickly, and much is still unknown. However other common cold and flu viruses are circulating in Sonoma County.
“Although the risk for being infected with this novel coronavirus in the County remains low at this time, we are working diligently to monitor this global outbreak. We will continue to provide important information to the public and our health care providers as the situation evolves,” said Dr. Philip.
As a reminder, DHS reminds everyone to practice good hygiene such as:
- washing hands frequently,
- avoid touching your eyes and face,
- coughing or sneezing into your sleeved elbow,
- and staying home when ill.
- If you have not received your flu shot yet, it’s not too late; annual flu shots are the best protection from flu, which still sickens and kills thousands of people in the US every year.
For more information go to the coronavirus website here: https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Health/Information-About-Coronavirus/