Protect yourself and others from Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus and be educated about how the contagion spreads from person to person. This page will assist you with all you need to know to be safe and remain healthy.
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|Statistics and Information||Nonprofit Organizations, Government Agencies, Schools|
STATISTICS AND INFORMATION
Click HERE for 3R News’s daily update of COVID-19 statistics in Tulare County and beyond.
Then go here:
COVID-19 update from Kaweah Delta Medical Center:
LOCAL DINING AND SHOPPING
Click here for local restaurants, markets, and services that are offering takeout, delivery, and essential products.
LOCAL EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES
This is the Three Rivers event season, usually the busiest time of year for events and activities. Currently, there are many cancelled and postponed events due to COVID-19. This list of happening events and cancellations is fluid, changing daily, and it is being updated continuously. Be sure to call first for anything you plan to attend or visit to ensure it is still being held as planned. See the Calendar here.
PUBLIC LANDS ACCESS
• SEQUOIA AND KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARKS are closed.
• LAKE KAWEAH recreation areas, parking lots, campground, and marina are closed to the public (no parking offsite and walking in allowed; violators could be cited).
INFORMATION CONTINUES BELOW↓
• BLM’s SALT CREEK (SKYLINE) TRAILS are closed to vehicles and foot traffic (no parking offsite and walking in allowed; violators could be cited).
• SEQUOIA NATIONAL FOREST recreation sites, campgrounds, and visitor centers closed. Trails are accessible (as weather permits).
• SEQUOIA RIVERLANDS TRUST nature preserves are closed. This includes Kaweah Oaks Preserve, Dry Creek Preserve, and Homer Ranch Preserve.
NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS, GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, SCHOOLS
• THREE RIVERS SENIOR LEAGUE has cancelled all activities until further notice.
• COMMUNITY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH has cancelled all services and in-person group meetings (with the exception of AA and NA, which will make their own decision about meetings). The Sunday service will be held via Zoom.
• LEARNING TRAILS PRESCHOOL is open.
• THREE RIVERS UNION SCHOOL and WOODLAKE HIGH SCHOOL are closed. In addition to no classes, there will be no sports or other extracurricular activities.
• THREE RIVERS HISTORICAL MUSEUM is closed.
• THREE RIVERS LIBRARY and all Tulare County Library branches are closed.
• AGING IN COMMUNITY-THREE RIVERS has cancelled all regular events until further notice: Afternoon at the Movies, Senior Lunches, Caregiver Support Group, and Workshops. There is a Help Line for local elders that is ACTIVE (call 559-465-4666). Call to request rides to doctor appointments and home deliveries of groceries, medications, and mail, or for friendly, helpful support. Caregiver support is available via video conferencing; to sign up, send an email here.
COVID-19: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Coronavirus: What You Need to Know
This new coronavirus pandemic that started in Wuhan, China, in late December is now in most countries of the world, including the United States. Here are answers to important questions about the virus:
What does COVID-19 stand for?
In COVID-19, “CO” stands for “corona,” “VI” for “virus,” and “D” for “disease.” Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV.” There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses so this one had to be differentiated.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Signs of COVID-19 usually begin 2-14 days after a person has been infected. Some people get infected with the coronavirus but don’t have any symptoms. Most of those people get better without treatment. One study of more than 55,000 cases of the illness in China showed the range of symptoms that can happen with COVID-19 and how common they are:
Dry cough: 68%
Coughing up thick phlegm from the lungs: 33%
Shortness of breath: 19%
Bone or joint pain: 15%
Sore throat: 14%
Nausea or vomiting: 5%
Stuffy nose: 5%
Coughing up blood: 1%
Swollen eyes: 1%
How can you prevent and avoid coronavirus?
Three words offer the best advice: Wash. Your. Hands. Wash them for at least 20 seconds each time. Wash them before you prepare food, eat, after use the bathroom, if you cough or sneeze, and if you are caring for sick people. If you don’t have soap and water, use a sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
⇒Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
⇒Don’t touch your eyes, nose, and mouth.
⇒Stay home when you are sick.
⇒Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue into the trash.
⇒Clean frequently touched objects and surfaces with a disinfectant cleaning spray or wipe.
Are face masks really effective in reducing the risk of being contaminated?
Generally, no. If you have COVID-19, then, yes, wearing a mask should reduce the risk of you giving it to someone else. But if you’re otherwise healthy, surgical masks provide little protection, and the more sophisticated N95 masks are best left to health care workers, who are often fitted for them.
Many people who wear either mask often do not do so properly — they continue to touch their face or adjust the masks, which can actually increase the risk of getting infected. You also have to dispose of it carefully. They are also not reusable, so as soon as you touch your face or adjust the mask, or take it off once you get inside somewhere safe, you can’t put it back on.
If you are around someone sick, the mask can, however, block droplets and “splash” from a cough or sneeze.
The best thing to do continues to be to wash your hands and to not touch your face, eyes, nose, or mouth.
How is coronavirus diagnosed?
If you believe you may have COVID-19, call your doctor’s office before you go. Alert them to the situation so they can prepare for your arrival. Do not just go to an urgent care or emergency room without calling first. If your health care professional agrees you may have coronavirus, they will contact your state and local health departments.
The CDC is supplying states with test kits. Each test result must be verified by the CDC before a diagnosis is confirmed.
How does coronavirus spread?
Because COVID-19 is new, there remain many unanswered questions about how it spreads. But experts believe:
• The virus may spread from person to person, between people who are within about 6 feet of each other, and through droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
• It may spread before people have symptoms.
• It spreads from contact with infected surfaces. Touching a surface or object that has the virus and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes is one way it may spread, although the CDC says it is not believed to the main way of spreading the virus.
• Studies to date suggest it is not airborne, so you can’t catch it from breathing.
• It spreads easily. Not all viruses do, but the CDC believes COVID-19 spreads “easily and sustainably in the community” in some geographic regions it has affected.
How long does this coronavirus live on surfaces or outside of the body?
A new study found that SARS-CoV-2 (the official name of the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19) may last for a few hours or several days on surfaces and several hours in the air under experimental conditions.
The study found it can last up to 4 hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard, and up to 2 to 3 days on plastic and stainless steel.
The study shows that it may be possible to transmit the infection by touching a contaminated surface or by breathing it from the air, but does not prove that air transmission actually happens under real-world circumstances. Using a simple disinfectant on all reachable surfaces is a good idea.
Is coronavirus worse than the flu?
There have been at least 29 million Americans sickened by the flu this season, which is less than those infected by COVID-19 so far. But COVID-19, the disease this coronavirus causes, may be more deadly.
The flu’s estimated death rate is about 0.1%, compared to the coronavirus’ estimated 2%-3% mortality rate. It’s difficult to know a true death rate because people may have had mild cases that were never diagnosed. A recent editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine says for that reason, the actual death rate may be closer to the flu in a severe season. The editorial was written in part by Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
The flu is also well-known to scientists and doctors, although each year’s strain is slightly different. Flu treatment plans are well-established, and vaccines exist.
This coronavirus is brand new, and health officials are still learning about its spread. It is also possible the virus mutates into multiple strains, as has the flu.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization, said there are some key differences people need to understand. First, COVID-19 doesn’t seem to spread as efficiently as the flu. The second big difference is that people get sicker from COVID-19.
“While many people globally have built up immunity to seasonal flu strains, COVID-19 is a new virus to which no one has immunity. That means more people are susceptible to infection and some will suffer severe disease,” he said.
Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?
Not yet. And any working vaccine is at least a year away. But several research universities and drug companies are working on it.
On March 16, one possible vaccine started phase 1 human trials. The trial, funded by the National Institutes of Health, will enroll 45 healthy adult volunteers over 6 weeks to test if the vaccine is safe. It will use different doses of the vaccine to help determine how much is needed for it to work and what the side effects might be. It’s taking place at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle.
How is coronavirus treated?
There is no drug treatment yet, and antibiotics are not effective against it. Experts recommend treating symptoms: Try acetaminophen for pain and fever; get rest; and drink plenty of water.
Although there is no research showing that ibuprofen can have effects on coronavirus infection, the WHO has recommended against taking ibuprofen when experiencing symptoms. People with more serious cases need to be in the hospital, where they may need help with breathing and other support.
Is it safe to travel?
Advice on travel is changing rapidly. Visit the CDC website for countries flagged for travel due to the outbreak.
Can I get coronavirus from a package?
The CDC says there is likely a “very low risk” of it spreading from products or packaging shipped over a period of days or weeks.
“Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods, and there have not been any cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods,” the agency says. But it is always good practice to wash your hands after touching shipped objects and certainly before eating or touching your mouth or eyes.
When and where did the outbreak start?
China first reported the outbreak in Wuhan on Dec. 30, 2019.
Is the coronavirus seasonal, like the flu?
Will the coronavirus die down once warmer weather hits? It’s possible, but we don’t know enough about the virus yet to know for sure, says Nancy Messonnier, director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
Most respiratory viruses, like the flu, are seasonal. Coronavirus may behave like the flu and we’ll see cases go down in spring and summer, she says. “But it’s premature to assume that.” The agency continues to take aggressive action because it can’t count on that.
What should I do if I think I’m sick?
If you think you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus and develop symptoms, call your doctor. In Three Rivers and Tulare County, call 211 for the information and resource hotline. It’s important that you don’t expose others. Call your doctor before you go to the doctor’s office so your doctor can take necessary precautions.
How do I protect my home?
Wash your hands as soon as you walk through the door. Avoid sharing personal items such as dishes, cups, and utensils. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces like door handles and cellphones every day.
Where there’s a crisis, there is going to be a scam. Don’t be caught off guard; be aware. And, remember, you don’t get something for nothing. Here are some known scams currently in circulation:
- IRS Scam Asking for Information for Stimulus Checks
- Utilities Scam Asking for Bill to Be Paid or Power Will Be Shut Off
- Scam Offering Coronavirus Vaccines and Medical Supplies
3R NEWS ARTICLES ON COVID-19