The following page is an aggregation of the relevant and accurate information and data on the coronavirus pandemic available from government and trusted public sources. The information will be continuously updated as new facts are made available.
|COVID-19 cases||COVID-19-related deaths|
|San Joaquin Valley||132,460||2,018|
Last updated: 8:40 a.m. September 23, 2020
*Gov. Gavin Newsom orders all Californians to stay at home, as of Thursday, March 19.*
What is coronavirus?
The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a virus that can infect animals and humans. It causes a range of respiratory illness, fever, cough and in more severe cases can cause pneumonia and even death.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. The most common include fever, dry cough and shortness of breath. In fewer cases, patients have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell.
Most people, about 80%, recover from the disease without needing special treatment. About one out of every six people who contract the coronavirus become seriously ill and develop difficulty breathing. Older people (ages 60 and up), and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, weakened immune or respiratory systems, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with a fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention, according to the World Health Organization.
Who can contract coronavirus?
People of all ages can be infected by the novel coronavirus. Older people (ages 60 and up) and people with pre-existing medical conditions appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with or dying from the virus.
How long does the virus survive on surfaces?
While no one knows for sure how long COVID-19 can survive on surfaces, studies suggest the virus can live for a few hours or up to several days on a surface. If you think a surface may be infected, clean with soap and water or a simple disinfectant that is at least 60% alcohol to kill the virus.
Is there a vaccine?
No, there is no vaccine and no specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat COVID-19. The virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine. Researchers and medical experts are trying to develop a vaccine against COVID-19, but estimate that it’s at least one year away.
How does COVID-19 spread?
People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person via the droplets that come from someone’s nose or mouth when they cough or exhale. People can contract the virus by either coming into direct contact with droplets or touching objects or surfaces where the droplets land. People can also catch coronavirus if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs or exhales. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as much as possible.
Health experts are advocating that everyone, regardless of whether they have symptoms or not, needs to practice social distancing and isolation. These methods are proven to be effective at curtailing the disease’s spread.
What are the most effective ways to combat coronavirus?
The most effective method to ward off the disease and kill the virus is washing hands with soap and water. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can also help.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Hands touch many surfaces that might have come into contact with the virus. Once contaminated, hands can easily transfer the virus to the eyes, nose or mouth, which is where the virus enters the body and infects the person.
Follow good respiratory hygiene, meaning covering mouths and noses with a bent elbow or a tissue whenever coughing or sneezing.
Stay home when feeling unwell. Seek medical attention for symptoms like a fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Follow the directions of local health authorities as they have the most up-to-date information.
Is coronavirus just as serious as the influenza?
According to the head of the World Health Organization, the new virus is more deadly than the flu. Globally, about 3.4% of patients have died. While coronavirus is far deadlier for older people (ages 60 and up) and those with compromised immune and respiratory systems, young people are still dying from the disease.
The flu killed .02% of infected patients ages 18 to 49, while it’s 10 times that for COVID-19. The flu kills less than 1% of infected people who are over age 65. By comparison, according to data from Business Insider, the death rate for coronavirus is 14.8% for that population.
Who should wear a mask?
The CDC now advises people to wear cloth face masks in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain ( grocery stores and pharmacies). People should also wear coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings should: fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face; be secured with ties or ear loops; include multiple layers of fabric; allow for breathing without restriction and be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape.
Are employers required to provide paid sick leave?
Yes. Under California labor law, if the employee has paid sick leave available, the employer must provide such leave and compensate the employee infected with COVID-19.
Paid sick leave can be used for absences due to illness, the diagnosis, care or treatment of an existing health condition or preventative care for the employee or the employee’s family member. Employers may allow paid sick leave for preventative care, which includes self-quarantine. For example, if the employee has been exposed to COVID-19 or traveled to a high risk area.
How do I file for unemployment?
If you’ve been laid off or lost hours because of COVID-19, you can apply for unemployment insurance through the Employment Development Department. The agency has waived its usual one-week waiting period, so workers should be able to receive benefits right away. To get benefits, you must meet certain requirements, which can be found here. If your claim is approved, you can receive between $40 to $450 each week, depending on your income.
Here is general information on filing for unemployment, including details on what you need to file a claim and other resources the state has available.
Can people be evicted? Can utility services be suspended?
Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order that authorizes local governments to halt evictions for renters and homeowners, slows foreclosures and protects against utility shutoffs for Californians affected by COVID-19, such as getting laid off or losing a job due to the weakened economy.
Both of California’s main utility companies, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and Southern California Edison, have halted service disconnections if a residential or business customer is unable to pay their bill. PG&E is offering flexible payment plans for customers impacted by COVID-19. SCE is waiving late fees for the same reason.
How can I help?
Hospitals: Throughout the U.S., health care workers are dealing with a shortage of the supplies they need to protect themselves while treating those who are infected with COVID-19. Most notably, there’s a severe lack of face masks. Kaweah Delta shared a guide on how to make homemade masks that are safe for health care workers to use if the hospital’s supplies run out. Fabric masks are a good crisis response option when other protective gear has been exhausted, according to the CDC.
- Here’s Kaweah’s instructions on how to make a proper fabric mask. The hospital said donated masks can be dropped off at the Acequia Wing entrance.
Food banks: People are relying on food from food banks and pantries more and more amid the coronavirus pandemic. But local food banks are struggling to meet the demand as fewer volunteers are available. If you’re able, consider donating money, food or your time to the following local organizations:
- FoodLink Tulare County: to volunteer, to donate food, to donate money to COVID-19 relief fund.
- How to get help from FoodLink and learn about its food distribution schedule.
- Visalia Emergency Aid Council: to volunteer, to donate money, to donate food or clothes.
Local businesses: Businesses throughout the county are closing their doors to help curb the spread of coronavirus. But that puts many in jeopardy as the weakening economy makes their futures uncertain. To do your part:
- Order take-out or delivery from local restaurants as many are still open for those services.
- Purchase a Chamber of Commerce gift card from your local chamber, which does not expire and can be used at multiple businesses.
¿Dónde puede encontrar información sobre el coronavirus en español?
En esta página del gobernador de California, hay una opción para traducir la información sobre el coronavirus y los servicios disponibles. También este video explica las prácticas sanitarias para prevenir el coronavirus.
Government, academic and health resources
- Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency updates
- City of Visalia updates
- Visalia Unified School District grab-and-go meals
- Google Map locations for all of the pick-up spots for grab-and-go
- Kaweah Delta Health Center updates
- California Department Of Public Health updates
- California Labor Commissioner’s Office updates
- Gov. Newsom’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Check for updates and tune in for livestream addresses.
- Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster guide
- Centers For Disease Control And Prevention updates
- World Health Organization updates
- Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering
- Strathmore Union Elementary School District: Schools are closed until further notice.
- Visalia Unified School District: Schools are closed till May 1.
- Exeter Unified School District: Schools are closed through the end of the 2019-2020 school year.
- Tulare City School District: Schools are closed until further notice.
- Tulare Joint Union High School District: Schools are closed until further notice.
- Tulare County Office of Education schools are closed until further notice.
- Woodlake Unified School District: Schools are closed till April 13.
- Tipton Elementary School District: Schools are closed till April 13.
- Porterville Unified School District: Schools are closed through the end of the 2019-2020 school year.
- Lindsay Unified School District: Schools are closed till May 4.
- Dinuba Unified School District: Schools are closed till May 1.
- Farmersville Unified School District: Schools are closed till May 1.