Nevada County Health officials to update on new virus | TheUnion.com

Nevada County Health officials to update on new virus

John Orona
Staff Writer

The Board of Supervisors will hear an update on the COVID-19 virus from Public Health Officer Ken Cutler Tuesday before deciding to ratify local emergencies declared last week.

“Our communicable disease staff work daily to identify, prevent and mitigate the spread of disease, COVID-19 included,” Cutler said. “This work extends to educating our Board and members of the public about COVID-19, how we are responding and how we can help slow the spread as a community.”

The Local Emergency and Local Health Emergency declared last week due to the potential introduction of the virus to Nevada County must be ratified within seven days to remain in effect. The declarations allow the county to obtain state and federal funds and resources, if available.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms include mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, coughing and difficulty breathing. Senior citizens are among the most at risk groups for the disease, who make up about 27% of the county population.

“We know that being elderly and having underlying health conditions greatly increases the risk of developing a severe case of COVID-19 and of dying from this illness, whereas healthy, younger populations might only experience mild flu-like symptoms,” Public Health Director Jill Blake said. “Like Placer (County), we are encouraging our residents that are healthy and not at a higher risk to reach out to those more vulnerable and help them plan for the possibility of transmission of coronavirus in Nevada County. We are calling on all our community partners, from our in-home care facilities to those who have elderly neighbors, to help slow the spread and think through their own preparedness plans.”

According to the World Health Organization more than 105,000 cases have been confirmed in 100 countries resulting in about 3,600 deaths. In the U.S. 213 confirmed cases have led to 11 deaths, including a Placer County man.

Health officials will emphasize the need to prepare while the risk is low. Some questions they want people to consider if an outbreak affects daily life include:

Can you work from home? What are your transportation plans if public transportation is disrupted? If schools are closed, do you have an alternate plan for childcare? Do you have enough food, medications and other necessities to sustain you and your family if you needed to stay home?

“While COVID-19 is a real public health threat, there are no local cases and the immediate risk to the general population is low, so now is the ideal time to plan and prepare for the potential of a heightened public health threat,” the board’s staff report stated.

To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email jorona@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.


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