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Amazon worker in Tracy facility dies from COVID-19, company confirms | Local coronavirus updates

It's unclear when or how the worker contracted the virus. According to an Amazon spokesperson, the employee last worked on April 1, but did not show symptoms.

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. — Here are the latest updates on coronavirus and how local governments are responding to the illness, with a focus on California for Wednesday, April 29.

CALIFORNIA STATUS UPDATE

The California Department of Public Health reports:

  • Confirmed cases: 46,500 (As of April 29).
  • 1,887 deaths 
  • 22 state and county labs processing tests for COVID-19.
  • Click here for complete information on coronavirus, unemployment, and more from the state of California.

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS 

  • A Turlock nursing home that has suffered from a large coronavirus outbreak announced Wednesday that six current and former residents of the facility have died from the virus. At least 67 residents and 30 workers at the Turlock Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center have tested positive for COVID19. The facility tested all of its residents and workers recently, and while a large number have tested positive, 167 employees and residents have tested negative for the virus, officials with the facility said. The nursing home has eight more tests pending.
  • 345 within California prison system tested positive for virus: As of April 29, official say there are 208 prisoners and 137 CDCR/CCHCS employees who have tested positive for the virus.
  • Placer County health officials said once the county's shelter-in-place order expires on May 2, the county will follow Gov. Gavin Newsom's executive order to stay-at-homeThe decision was made to remove any confusion over differences between the county order and the state order. "With this awareness built, we will move forward under the statewide order and turn our local attention to planning for a phased reopening, said Placer County Health Officer Dr. Aimee Sisson. 
  • A worker at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Tracy has died due to complications from the novel coronavirus, a company spokesperson confirmed to ABC10 on Wednesday. It's unclear when or how the worker contracted the virus. According to Amazon spokesperson Lisa Levandowski, the employee last worked on April 1, but had no reported symptoms of COVID-19. "We are saddened by the loss of an associate at our site in Tracy, California. His family and loved ones are in our thoughts, and we are supporting his fellow colleagues in the days ahead," Levandowski said in a statement.
  • Yolo County is extending its shelter-in-place order through May 31, the county confirmed on Wednesday. County officials did not provide any further details on the extension, only saying that "details will be coming in a press release tomorrow."
  • Sacramento County eases back on stay at home order restrictions:  Sacramento County is pulling back some restrictions in their newest revision of their Stay at Home order, which goes from May 1 to May 22. Among the changes are allowing visits to doctors and dentists for preventative services and chronic conditions; allowing for facilities and activities like archery ranges, tennis courts, and boating with social distancing and disinfectant processes; allowing hospitals to reschedule appointments that previously weren't urgent; allowing for residential viewing for rentals, leases, and home sales with the occupant still in the home, albeit with restrictions. “While there has been some relaxation of rules as they relate to recreational activities, it is absolutely vital that we maintain social distancing,” said Dr. Peter Beilenson, Director of Health Services. “The intent of the order is to ensure that the maximum number of people stay home as much as possible while enabling essential services to continue, and that has been a significant factor in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in Sacramento County.
  • Californians on food stamps get pandemic benefit boost, up to $365 per child: A new CalFresh benefit is on the way to help students who would normally be getting free or reduced-price meals at school. Pandemic EBT will give these families up to $365 per eligible child on a new P-EBT card. You don't need to apply if you're already getting CalFresh, Medi-Cal or Foster Care benefits. However, if you're eligible and don't get your P-EBT card in the mail, you'll need to apply online before June 30; keep an eye out for a message from your school district or local organizations about how to apply in mid to late May. An application will launch soon in May. Cards will start arriving around May 7, 2020 through May 22, 2020.
  • Days ago, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a first-in-the-nation plan to deliver meals to vulnerable seniors during the coronavirus crisis. But government documents show money needed to support it could run out in less than two weeks. The Federal Emergency Management Agency says it will only fund the program through May 10 unless the state is granted an extension. It wasn’t clear how many cities and counties would be delivering meals by the time the funds dry up. The state will review the program before deciding whether to seek an extension. One state agency warned there is no guarantee the extension will come through. 

OUR MISSION: FACTS NOT FEAR

Coronavirus 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:

  1. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  3. Stay home when you are sick.
  4. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  5. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  6. 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. Some people have built up immunity to the flu, but few have immunity to COVID-19 version of coronavirus
  2. 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.
  3. The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public where social distancing measures would be difficult to maintain, like at a grocery store or pharmacy.

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