The San Joaquin County Health Officer declared a Local Public Health Emergency on Thursday morning, March 12. San Joaquin County Public Health Services (PHS) confirmed Thursday that two additional county residents have tested positive for the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), bringing the total to three. Contact tracing investigations have begun to identify possible exposures, monitor for symptoms and limit the spread of the illness. Public health officials are implementing crucial measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community.
The Local Public Health Emergency will assist in leveraging additional resources and funding to ensure an appropriate response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The proclamation should not be considered a reason for heightened concern; it is intended to help facilitate additional resources to address the increasing demands of containing the virus. The declaration enables the County to more effectively respond to the outbreak, seek and utilize mutual aid, potentially obtain reimbursement, and ensure that the County’s public health professionals and providers have all necessary personal protective equipment to provide quality care and keep the community safe.
With the likelihood of additional cases of COVID-19 in San Joaquin County, health officials also announced Thursday that public health response efforts will now focus on community mitigation measures, which means moving from more individually focused, labor-intensive “contact-tracing” and quarantine, to minimizing the impact of COVID-19 in the greater community. These actions are important steps to freeing up public health resources to protect the most vulnerable populations, and allow the health care system to prepare for taking care of severely ill patients.
As this is a rapidly evolving situation, PHS will keep the community updated and informed. They encourage residents to check the following websites and their social media accounts routinely:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) webpage at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
California Department of Public Health (CDPH) webpage at https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/ncov2019.aspx
San Joaquin County Public Health Services (PHS) website at www.sjcphs.org
Health officials continue to advise county residents to follow prevention guidelines for COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases that include:
Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Staying home when you are sick.
Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in the trash.
Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Common symptoms consist of fever, cough, and difficulty breathing/shortness of breath. If you are experiencing symptoms such as this, stay home and call your healthcare provider. If you want to talk with a public health nurse, call 209-468-3822.