Officials: No need to panic
Sampayan, Clark release statements concerning county resident infected by Novel Coronavirus
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.
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.