Both cases are NorthBay VacaValley Hospital health care workers and are currently in home-isolation. One is a Solano County resident and the other is an Alameda County resident.
The two patients both had exposure to the community-acquired case currently hospitalized at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. The initial case is slowly recovering and the individual’s family members have negative test results so far and remain in quarantine, officials say.
“Due to the aggressive measures that public health and hospital staff undertook, all potential exposures to the case were promptly identified and isolated so that patients are not placed at higher risk. Health care officials have immediately updated protocols and procedures to ensure patient safety is prioritized” said Dr. Bela Matyas, Solano County Health Officer. “This underscores the challenging environment that health care workers everywhere face to stem the spread of communicable diseases, including COVID-19. Health care and Public Health officials throughout the state are committed to protecting patients.
Public health officials said they “rapidly” identified all health care workers in contact with the case during the case’s hospitalization. All the identified workers are in quarantine and will not return to patient care until they are cleared.
“As always, our top priority is the health and safety of our patients, our staff, physicians and the community,” said Aimee Brewer, president of NorthBay HealthCare Group. “Our two health care workers who tested positive have been in isolation at home since the day we learned they had contact with the patient who had contracted the virus. We took immediate and comprehensive measures intended to stop any further spread of the virus, including working with public health officials to trace the contacts the two workers may have had. We remain in close contact with national, state and local public health authorities to ensure we are following the most up-to-date protocols and procedures for dealing with this evolving situation.”
A full contact tracing investigation is underway for the two new health care worker cases, officials say.
Authorities say patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection have experienced mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Similar to influenza, it appears to cause less severe illness in younger people; those with more severe impacts tend to be older, medically fragile individuals with underlying medical conditions. Health care organizations, government entities, schools and employers should plan now for how best to decrease the spread of illness and lower the impact of COVID-19.
“We understand that the evolving news about COVID-19 is concerning, and we are taking the situation very seriously,” said Dr. Erica Pan, Health Officer, Alameda County Public Health Department. “This news is not unexpected in the Bay Area, and we are ready for cases here. This is not the time to panic; now is the time for all of us to work together.” Dr. Pan said.
Alameda County declared a local punlic health emergency as part of its ongoing response and preparation for community spread, Alameda County Public Health Department Public Information Officer Neetu Balram said.
Alameda and Solano County residents should take these precautions to stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses:
Officials say, “People who are well and healthy do not need to use a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses. A facemask can be worn for those who are coughing or sneezing to protect others from getting sick.”
“We remain actively involved with federal, state, and regional colleagues to ensure alignment with evolving guidance on protecting the health of our community and our health care workforce,” said Colleen Chawla, Director, Alameda County Health Care Services Agency. “This is a community effort and we will need broad partnership. Our public health team will work with health care providers, schools, workplaces, community organizations, and others to mitigate the health and human impacts of this virus.”
Stay with ABC7 News for this developing story.
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