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Colusa County lands on state's list after increase in coronavirus cases

Colusa County has now reported 83 total cases, many of which came in the last 12 days.
Credit: ABC10
Coronavirus cases increase significantly heading into the month of July in Colusa County.

SACRAMENTO, Calif — Smaller counties that haven't been on the state's radar for much of the pandemic are starting to report more and more coronavirus cases.

Colusa County caught the state's attention with its recent increase in COVID-19 cases causing the California Department of Public Health to place the county on the data monitoring list

The CDPH set forward the guideline that a county's case rate must be less than 100 cases per 100,000 people in a 14-day period.

Well, Colusa County's population is 21,419 people, meaning they can't have more than 21 cases in any 14-day period. But Colusa County has now reported 83 total cases, many of which came in the last 12 days.

In the graph below, the new cases each day do not rise above 15; however, when looking at how all the new cases add up it's easier to see how big the increase is for Colusa County.

Credit: ABC10
Coronavirus cases increase significantly heading into the month of July in Colusa County.

CDPH cites the increase in family gatherings as the cause of the increased number of cases in Colusa county.

The state and county plan to take the following actions in an attempt to lessen any future new cases:

  1. Encouraging social distancing, use of face coverings and hand hygiene among county residents.
  2. Increasing case investigators and contact tracing.
  3. Reassign staff to assist investigators and contact tracers.
  4. Provide training to current department of health and human services bilingual staff so they can immediately begin case investigation and contact tracing.
  5. Identify bilingual staff that can be reassigned within the County that can assist with translation only, not an investigation or tracing
  6. Utilize the language line to allow non-bilingual staff to case investigate and contact trace
  7. Post daily Facebook posts encouraging individuals to wear face coverings
  8. Create a media campaign to explain the importance of both isolation and quarantine.  

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story reported that Colusa County had 72 new coronavirus cases. The story has been updated to reflect that the county has 83 total cases, many of which are new, but the number does not equal 72. We regret the error.

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COVID-19 BACKGROUND

According to the CDC, coronavirus (COVID-19) is a family of viruses that is spreadable from person to person. Coronavirus is believed to have been first detected in a seafood market in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. If someone is sick with coronavirus, the symptoms they may show include mild to severe respiratory illness, cough, and difficulty breathing.

Currently, there is no vaccine; however, the CDC suggests the following precautions, along with any other respiratory illness:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.

WHY HEALTH OFFICIALS ARE SO CONCERNED

Some people have compared the low overall death toll to the flu's high annual death toll in the United States as a reason not to be concerned about COVID-19, however, doctors and health officials are concerned for three main reasons:

  1. There's no vaccine yet and won't be one for until early 2021, at the soonest. Scientists are still researching what other medications could help patients. 
  2. Some people have built up immunity to the flu, but few have immunity to COVID-19 version of coronavirus
  3. Both the flu and COVID-19 are spread by droplets, but COVID-19 might be spread in the air. Scientists are researching exactly how COVID-19 spreads.