COVID-19 Community Information, Events

By: 
Mono County Public Health Department

 

The latest on the COVID-19 community forums that will be held county-wide next week (if safe) in both English and Spanish and, more on what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones, should the virus be confirmed in the Eastern Sierra:

The Mono County Health Department will host community meetings about the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic in several communities over the next few weeks. The purpose of these meetings is to provide community members with locally relevant information about the situation and to promote discussion. We will answer questions and hope to hear and understand community concerns. 

We have no evidence at this time that COVID-19 is present in the Eastern Sierra and feel that the risk of public gatherings like this is low and outweighed by the potential benefits of keeping people informed. We are of course watching the situation closely and if we determine that there could be some risk from these community gatherings we may opt for other modes of communication. 

Spanish language interpretation will be available at the Bridgeport and Mammoth meetings. 

El Departamento de Salud del Condado de Mono organizará reuniones comunitarias sobre la epidemia de coronavirus (COVID-19) en varias comunidades durante las próximas semanas. El propósito de estas reuniones es proporcionar a los miembros de la comunidad información relevante a nivel local sobre la situación y promover el debate. Responderemos preguntas y esperamos escuchar y comprender las preocupaciones de la comunidad. 

No tenemos evidencia en este momento de que COVID-19 esté presente en el Eastern Sierra y creemos que el riesgo de reuniones públicas como esta es bajo y los beneficios potenciales de mantener informadas a las personas son mayores del riesgo. Por supuesto, estamos observando la situación de cerca y si determinamos que podría haber algún riesgo en estas reuniones comunitarias, podemos optar por otros modos de comunicación. 

Habrá interpretación en español en las reuniones de Bridgeport y Mammoth. 

The meetings will be:

Wednesday, March 18 at the Walker Senior Center from 12:30 – 2 p.m. 

Wednesday, March 18, at the Memorial Hall in Bridgeport from 3 – 4 p.m. 

Thursday March 19, at the Benton Community Center from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

 

What COVID-19 means  for the Eastern Sierra communities

• Most people who contract COVID-19, have mild disease. Severe illness seems uncommon in children, and no deaths have been reported in children under 9 years old. In some cases, the infection can lead to serious illness or death, particularly in older people with other health conditions. COVID-19 primarily causes respiratory symptoms, fever, cough and fatigue, and may progress to pneumonia. Cold symptoms such as runny nose and sore throat are uncommon with this coronavirus and usually indicate simple colds. 

• Health officials expect to see an increase in the number of people who catch the virus in community settings. It is time to think about ways to reduce chances of getting the virus and of spreading it to others. The COVID-19 virus spreads like the flu, mostly by inhaling the tiny droplets produced by coughing and sneezing in close quarters, and sometimes by getting virus on our hands and then touching our nose, eyes or mouth. 

• Scientists are working urgently to develop vaccines and anti-viral medications for this new virus, but it will be months or years before they are ready for use. Treatment for this disease, like many viral illnesses, is supportive. Most people who get sick will recover on their own. Patients who are severely ill may need to be hospitalized. Treatment is likely to change over time as we learn more about this new disease. 

• There are simple things everyone should do now at work, home, school, and in the community to reduce the spread of COVID-19, as well as flu and common colds: 

• Wash your hands frequently using soap for at least 20 seconds and lathering your palms, fingers, fingertips, backs of your hands and under your nails. 

• When no handwashing facilities are available, disinfect your hands with alcohol sanitizer (containing 60% or more alcohol). 

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. 

• Stay away from others when you are sick, particularly by staying home from work 

 

What is going on regarding testing for COVID-19? 

The Mono County Public Health Department is closely monitoring the risk of COVID- 19 for the general public in the Eastern Sierra, which remains low. There are no cases of COVID-19 in either Mono or Inyo Counties. While the federal government has communicated that testing for coronavirus (COVID-19) is now available with a doctor’s order, there continues to be limitations in the supply of test kits and laboratory capacity to run them. 

At this time laboratory testing for the new coronavirus is available at some of California’s public health labs but the number of tests that these labs can perform is still limited. Requests for testing have to be approved by the local public health department and we have to consider each request on a case-by-case basis with the requesting doctor or advanced practice practitioner. It is important to prioritize those who are more likely to have coronavirus infection and those who are sicker or at higher risk. There are no public health labs in the Eastern Sierra region, and any specimens collected locally would be sent to California state labs for testing. We expect the availability of lab testing to improve in the near future. 

Commercial labs will soon be able to offer testing. 

If you are concerned that you may be infected with COVID-19, please call your healthcare provider for guidance. For Mammoth Hospital and Clinics, please call the Emergency Department at (760) 924-4076.

When you call, you will be given directions on where to go and what to do. 

 

 

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