COVID-19 Update – Thursday, March 19

Please also see our earlier post, What you need to know about the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

As many of you may know, community spread of COVID-19 has been confirmed as of 3/18/2020. This means that people in the community with no travel history are now infected. We knew this would be coming and all of the hospitals in the Ventura County area have contingency plans. Since I work for Community Memorial Health Systems, I can fill you in on the steps we are taking to minimize your risk:

  • All patients with symptoms (cough, fever, body aches, difficulty breathing) are now being routed to Urgent Care or the Emergency Room. This is allowing us to keep non-symptomatic patients protected as well as keep testing at a limited number of facilities for easier handling and transporting
  • The turn-around time for results of testing is still one (1) week. We are hoping to have a faster test next week but as of now, this is what both we and Public Health have
  • Supplies for testing are running low. This means that only patients with symptoms and high-suspicion of infection are being tested. We are currently not testing asymptomatic patients
  • Visitation to the hospital is being limited. Please look at the CMH website for more details:
  • All non-essential visits are being rescheduled. This means wellness exams and physicals are being postponed. We are trying to keep the traffic at the clinics to a minimum
  • Children under 1 year of age still need to be seen for their vaccines. All wellness visits for children 15 months and over will be rescheduled

Staying safe: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has an excellent website with tips for keeping safe at home and in various community settings: Key tips include:

  • Planning ahead to avoid unnecessary contact with others
  • Maintaining social distancing of at least 6 feet. Please remember that aerosolized particles can be spread up to 8 feet from a cough or sneeze
  • Consistently practice hand-washing and household disinfection
  • Travel outside the community is discouraged
  • Carry and use hand sanitizer frequently if you have to go outside
  • Set of recommendations from the University of Arizona Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine (pdf)

Staying prepared: the County Public Health Department recommends developing a plan for your home. Prevention is the key, but the plan should also include the possibility of someone in your household becoming ill. Please look at their website for more information:

Staying Calm: Here is an excellent article on How not to panic during the coronavirus pandemic

Staying informed: here are a list of reliable resources: