Community Health Advisory: Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Hearing a lot on the news about Coronavirus and wondering how it impacts our community in the Valley Mountain region? We are sending you this "Health Advisory" to let you know what is going on in our area and what we are doing to keep people with disabilities safe.
Level of Risk Today
(March 6, 2020) As of today the government feels the risk of getting this virus is low, but since this virus can make you very sick (some people have even died from this), everyone should take precautions.
What Can You Do?
Here are some things you should do based on the Center for Disease Control and the Dept of Labor recommendations:
  1. It’s the time of year when many people get the flu so you should get the flu vaccine and flu antivirals if your doctor prescribes them. All providers serving people should follow these 10 actions to ensure the health and safety of those they support.
  2. Stay at home if you are sick. People who have a fever and or respiratory symptoms should not go to work or school or any public gathering until 24 hours after their fever ends.
  3. Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds; use an alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water are not available.
  4. Avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes.
  5. If you have a cough or sneezing wear a mask and if you’re working with someone who is coughing or sneezing offer them a mask.
  6. If you do not have a mask cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, or cough and sneeze into your upper sleeve(s) – wash hands immediately after. 
  7. Keep frequently touched common surfaces clean with disinfectants.
  8. Try not to use someone else’s phone, desk, office, computer, or other work tools and equipment. If you must use a coworker’s equipment, clean it first with an alcohol wipe.
  9. Avoid shaking hands or coming in close contact with people who may be ill.
  10. Speak with your doctor and find out if you are in a high risk category for seasonal flu (e.g., elderly, pregnant women, small children, persons with asthma, etc.).
  11. If you have been have been exposed to someone sick with COVID-19 in the last 14 days, you will face some limitations on your movement and activity. Contact your doctor or county public health if you think you might be exposed.
Local County Public Health Resources
  1. Amador County (no known case March 6, 2020)
  2. Calaveras County (no known case March 6, 2020)
  3. San Joaquin County (no known case March 6, 2020)
  4. Stanislaus County (no known case March 6, 2020)
  5. Tuolumne County  (no known case March 6, 2020)
Valley Mountain Regional Center
"This virus is spread in large droplets by coughing and sneezing. This means that the air will not infect you. All the surfaces where these droplets land are infectious for up to 9 days - everything that is associated with infected people will be contaminated and potentially infectious. The virus is on surfaces and you will not be infected unless your unprotected face is directly coughed or sneezed upon. This virus only has cell receptors for lung cells (it only infects your lungs). The only way for the virus to infect you is through your nose or mouth via your hands or an infected cough or sneeze onto or into your nose or mouth..."
What's Going On and
What Have We Been Doing About This
During the first half of February the Clinical staff were monitoring the worldwide, nationwide, statewide and local developments of the COVID-19.

In the last week of February to current:
  1. Advisories were developed and CDC resources ordered.
  2. Policies and an advisory for staff developed and disseminated.
  3. Informational plain language web page developed and updated regularly.
  4. First report of potential exposed person (Consumer A) (a few days later was tested negative)
  5. Clinical Director along with Senior Leadership developed staff policy plus enhanced universal precaution procedures and resources and supplies ordered.
  6. Facilities manager is ordering additional supplies and equipment for antibacterial wipes, hand sanitizers, tissues, etc. for the universal precautions kits we will be assembling.
  7. Hand sanitizer dispensing machines ordered for the lobbies and public areas, supplies were found in short supply and higher costs.
  8. Wednesday March 4, 2020 (Consumer B): It was reported that a consumer potentially exposed second hand (no symptoms - testing scheduled - reported as low risk).
  9. Thursday March 5th (Consumer C): It was reported that a consumer potentially exposed third hand (no symptoms - testing scheduled - reported as low risk).
  10. CA Department of Public Health and Office of Emergency Services Published Official Use Only report which show all of our five counties listed at either Lowest Risk or Level 3 (lowest Risk) (San Francisco and Berkeley ranked Highest Risk)
  11. Friday March 6th:  DDS has called for a Directors Meeting to discuss regional activities and ideas to support the local communities.
  12. VMRC Resource Development receives a message from a parent wanting us to shut down the schools because of COVID-19. While misdirected and alarming it’s a good reminder that there are probably many out there in our community that are afraid and in need of good and reliable information. 
  13. VMRC publishes this Constant Contact Message to the Community Updating on Corona Virus. All 5 of our County Departments of Public health are staying current on their updates and all have said there are no known cases. We want this message to be informational, useful, and accurate to ensure the public concern is proportionate to the current urgency of this public health event.

Public Health officials warned us to be careful not to violate HIPAA by revealing anyone is under quarantine and reiterating that the involved person can reveal whatever they want about their own health condition but no one else can.
State Resources
Department of Developmental Services  COVID-19 Advisory Resources
State Resources
Department of Healthcare Services Assurances for Screening and Testing

Worldwide Health Organization