County offers 5 steps to reducing risk of COVID-19

Tulare County Public Health Department says cases will continue to rise but that people need “normalcy”

TULARE COUNTY – The question of whether or not Tulare County has the right to move into Stage Three of the state’s four-phased plan is a political one, but there is a scientific certainty that people are still at risk of contracting the highly contagious coronavirus.

As Tulare County begins to reopen higher-risk workplaces – such as in-person dining, personal care businesses and parks – health officials advise residents to remain vigilant in protecting themselves from contracting COVID-19. To ensure the safety of our community and to help navigate this new normal, it is important to remember that every person plays a role in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

“We understand the risks associated with reopening while Tulare County continues to have spread of COVID-19 in our local nursing homes, businesses, and communities,” stated Tim Lutz, Director of the Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency. “We anticipate the numbers of positive COVID-19 cases will continue to rise; however, we acknowledge that the people of Tulare County need to get back to work and return to a sense of normalcy.”

Tulare County Public Health Department is recommending five essential actions to help minimize risk, reduce the spread of COVID-19, and safely maintain Tulare County’s reopening efforts. It is imperative that community members continue to implement these actions through every phase of the reopening plan to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  • Social Distancing: Continue to maintain space of at least 6 feet or greater between persons; avoid gatherings of any kind; practice physical distancing.
  • Cloth Face Coverings: When outside the home, the wearing of cloth face coverings (masks) is strongly encouraged to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 if someone is asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic. Avoid touching your face and eyes.
  • Hand Washing: Frequently wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer often.
  • Disinfecting Surfaces: Regularly disinfect high-traffic surfaces to prevent transmission from droplets that may have settled on surfaces or have transferred to commonly used surfaces through touch.
  • Stay Home If Sick or You Are Instructed to Isolate/Quarantine by a Medical or Public Health Professional: If you are sick or have been instructed to stay home by a medical professional, stay home. If possible, ask others to deliver needed supplies instead of going to the store. If you live with others, follow CDC guidance for caring for someone who is sick at home.

Residents over the age of 65 and individuals with underlying conditions should stay home and wear a face covering when unable to maintain a 6-foot distance from others in public. Underlying health conditions that put residents at a higher risk for COVID-19 include high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity, or asthma, and those whose immune system is compromised.

Public health officials continue their efforts in testing, case investigations and contact tracing, mitigation plans for potential hospital surges, and services to protect our most vulnerable populations.

For more information about COVID-19, visit www.tchhsa.org/ncov and www.covid19.tularecounty.ca.gov

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