Inyo County Health and Human Services COVID-19 update, March 19

Register Staff
Staff Writer

The Inyo County Public Health and Human Services has released the following as its daily COVID-19 local update (March 19):
Inyo County test results as of March 19, 2020
Total tests taken: 25
Pending results: 21
Negative: 4
Positive: 0

Current statistics as of March 19
Confirmed cases: Inyo County, 0; deaths, 0
Mono County: 0; deaths, 0; deaths, 150
California, 675; deaths, 16
United States, 10,442; deaths, 150
Global, 217,072; deaths, 8,911

NEW local information, action and recommendations –
• 2 - 1 - 1: Inyo County has implemented a 2 -1 -1 texting platform and is available as of March 19. Residents can text “coronavirus” or “covid19” to 211211 from any cellphone to receive up to date information on COVID-19 specific to Inyo County. 2 -1-1 calling is in the process of being implemented and will be announced in a later update when fully operational.
• County facility impacts: Inyo County is implementing emergency measures at county-operated campgrounds and other county facilities. These measures include restricting walk-in services at some offices and full closures of other facilities. It is also recommended that people conduct business with the county via phone and email to the extent possible and to not visit any county offices in person if they are experiencing illness.
• AARP Tax Services: AARP Foundation Tax - Aide services in Bishop and Mammoth Lakes have been suspended beginning March 16 until further notice. AARP will continue to assess whether they can re-open for the remainder of the tax season and if the tax season is extended. Check or call (888) 227-7669 for updates about the status of tax-aide sites.
• The safest place to be is home: In an effort to protect our community from extensive exposure to COVID-19, Inyo County Public Health Officer Dr. James Richardson is strongly advising that all residents of Inyo County reconsider and postpone any recreational, leisure, or non-essential work-related travel that will take them outside of our community.
Additionally, Inyo County Department of Public Health is requesting that visitors that are not here on essential business return to their home and non-essential visitors planning to come to Inyo County reconsider their plans and remain near their home. This request is being made not only to decrease the spread of COVID-19 throughout the state but to also preserve our small community’s vital resources.
• Criteria for return to work for individuals with confirmed or suspected COVID-19:
To determine when an employee can return to work from a n undiagnosed respiratory illness, including a suspected COVID-19 case, follow the below guidance:
Exclude from work until
• At least three days (72 hours) have passed since recovery, defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and,
• At least seven days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
If symptomatic individuals were never tested for COVID-19 but have an alternate, clinical diagnosis (e.g., tested positive for influenza, strep, norovirus, etc.), criteria for return to work should be based on that diagnosis.
Return to work practices and work restrictions –
After returning to work, individuals should:
• Adhere to hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, and cough etiquette in CDC’s interim infection control guidance (e.g., cover nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, dispose of tissues in waste receptacles)
• Self - monitor for symptoms, and seek re - evaluation from primary care provider if respiratory symptoms recur or worsen
For complete guidance, please visit: -covid-19-response/local- resources- guidance

NEW statewide information, action and recommendations
• Standardized Testing: To reduce the strain on students, families and educators during the COVID-19 outbreak, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order on March 18 to waive, pending federal approval, this year’s statewide testing for California’s more than 6 million students in K-12 schools.
• COVID-19 and food: Currently there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID- 19. Unlike foodborne gastrointestinal (GI) viruses like norovirus and hepatitis A that often make people ill through contaminated food, SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, is a virus that
causes respiratory illness. Foodborne exposure to this virus is not known to be a route of transmission.
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. This includes between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
• The California Department of Public Health website is updated constantly as updates become available. The designated COVID-19 guidance page is provided below: