Of­fi­cials: No need to panic

Sam­payan, Clark re­lease state­ments con­cern­ing county res­i­dent in­fected by Novel Coro­n­avirus

Times-Herald (Vallejo) - - FRONT PAGE - By John Glid­den jglid­[email protected]­al­don­line.com @glid24 on Twit­ter

Lo­cal lead­ers are ask­ing res­i­dents and par­ents not to panic after health of­fi­cials con­firmed Wed­nes­day night that a Solano County woman was in­fected with the 2019 Novel Coro­n­avirus (COVID-19) virus.

“The city of Vallejo is work­ing closely with the Solano County Pub­lic Health depart­ment,” Vallejo Mayor Bob Sam­payan said in a Thurs­day phone in­ter­view. “We are be­ing pro­vided upto-date in­for­ma­tion, quickly and ef­fi­ciently. But most im­por­tantly I’m ask­ing res­i­dents not to panic.

“Go about your day as usual, but make sure to do com­mon sense ac­tions, like wash your hands, cover your mouth and nose when sneez­ing or cough­ing. Don’t come to work if you feel ill,” he added.

News broke Wed­nes­day that the woman (her name, age, and city of res­i­dence haven’t been re­leased) may have ac­quired the dis­ease through com­mu­nity trans­mis­sion. She wasn’t ex­posed to the virus dur­ing travel or through con­tact with an in­fected in­di­vid­ual, health of­fi­cials said.

Vallejo school district Su­per­in­ten­dent Adam Clark also is­sued a state­ment on Thurs­day say­ing the district was no­ti­fied by the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion (CDC) “to urge our sites to pre­pare for pos­si­ble 2019 Novel Coro­n­avirus (COVID-19) out­breaks.”

“While this may be alarm­ing to some par­ents, there is no need to panic,” Clark said about the news of a county res­i­dent be­ing in­fected. “We can as­sure you that our staff is do­ing every­thing in their power to keep school sites safe and clean.”

Clark said district of­fi­cials have been work­ing with the county pub­lic health depart­ment to en­sure stu­dent and staff safety.

“We are tak­ing this sit­u­a­tion se­ri­ously and are tak­ing steps nec­es­sary to pro­tect the health and safety of Solano County res­i­dents,” said Dr. Bela Matyas, Solano County Health Of­fi­cer, in a Thurs­day press re­lease. “It is im­por­tant to rec­og­nize that we have moved from con­tain­ment to mit­i­ga­tion. We are in­ves­ti­gat­ing po­ten­tial ex­po­sures and en­sur­ing that proper eval­u­a­tion and care are pro­vided if they be­come sick.”

County of­fi­cials said symp­toms of COVID-19 are sim­i­lar to the flu, which in­clude fever, cough, and short­ness of breath. Symp­toms can ap­pear in as few as two days or up to 14 days after ex­po­sure.

Of­fi­cials said that while COVID-19 is a se­ri­ous pub­lic health threat, the risk to the pub­lic in the county re­mains low. “How­ever, as the out­break con­tin­ues to spread glob­ally, it is likely there will be more re­ported cases in the fu­ture,” they added.

On Thurs­day, Solano County de­clared a procla­ma­tion of lo­cal emer­gency, while Pub­lic Health ac­ti­vated its Depart­ment Op­er­a­tions Cen­ter (DOC) “to bol­ster its re­sponse ef­forts in iden­ti­fy­ing, screen­ing and fol­low­ing up with in­di­vid­u­als po­ten­tially ex­posed to the virus; col­lab­o­rat­ing with lo­cal, state and fed­eral agen­cies to im­ple­ment con­tain­ment ef­forts; and pro­vid­ing no­ti­fi­ca­tions to the pub­lic and com­mu­nity agen­cies as the sit­u­a­tion evolves.”

All three were adamant that the Novel Coro­n­avirus is not con­fined to one group or eth­nic­ity as mis­in­for­ma­tion about the virus has led to an in­crease of racist and xeno­pho­bic at­tacks against any­one who looks East Asian.

“We un­der­stand the Novel Coro­n­avirus is a con­cern for many of our fam­i­lies. We ask that you keep in mind that this is a virus and it is not spe­cific to any sin­gle group of peo­ple,” Clark added. “Please speak with your chil­dren about the facts sur­round­ing this virus dur­ing this chal­leng­ing time.”

Matyas is­sued a sim­i­lar sen­ti­ment.

“We want to re­mind in­di­vid­u­als that this virus does not dis­crim­i­nate, and peo­ple should not be ex­cluded from ac­tiv­i­ties based on their race or country of ori­gin,” he said in the same re­lease.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.solanocoun­ty. com/depts/ph/ncov.asp.

JOEL ROSEN­BAUM — THE RE­PORTER

Dr. Christo­pher Braden (left) of the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion an­swers ques­tions about a Solano County res­i­dent who tested pos­i­tive for Coro­n­avirus Dis­ease 2019 (COVID-19) dur­ing a press conference Thurs­day in Fair­field.

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