Friday, January 15, 2021

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COVID-19 spreading in workplaces

While the public continues to demand where the COVID cases are located in Colusa County, officials continue to inform the public there are simply no “hot spots” in a population of just 22,000 people.  

“It’s everywhere,” said Health and Human Services Director Elizabeth Kelly. 

The reason for the increasing spread of COVID in Colusa County is that the majority of people (80 percent, according to the WebMD) with COVID-19 have very few or mild cold-like symptoms, making it difficult for people to simply stay home. 

“Most of the positives are people going to work sick,” said Kelly. 

According to the CDC, infections from the SARS-Cov-2 virus are much like other viruses, including the common cold. Symptoms can include fever, cough, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or small, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea. 

As of Monday, Colusa County had 102 people with the disease in isolation, up from 78 on Friday. There were 198 people in quarantine, up from 136 before the weekend. There have been 737 positive cases to date. Two people are hospitalized, and just the original six elderly patients have died from the disease. 

Kelly expects that by mid December, however, Colusa County cases of Covid-19 cases will more than double because the odds are that 70 percent of those in quarantine will come to test positive within a week or so. 

While the U.S. begins preparing for the distribution of a coronavirus vaccine, Colusa County is still having difficulty just getting the freezers to store the vaccine properly. 

“They are back-ordered,” Kelly said. 

Kelly said vaccines, when available, are also likely to be given first to primary health care workers, first responders, and residents of skilled nursing facilities, and that it could be May or June before Colusa County begins any distribution. 

Meanwhile, Kelly emphasized that the best way to slow the spread of COVID-19 is for people to stay home from work if they are sick.

“With anything,” she added. 

While Colusa County, as a government agency, has had a number of people in their organization test positive, Kelly said workplace transmission is occurring everywhere. 

“It’s countywide that people don’t stay home when they are sick,” she said. 

At a minimum, Kelly recommends that everyone be vaccinated for the flu, and not be under the illusion that COVID-19 will soon be a thing of the past. 

“It’s just going to be another tough six months,” Kelly said. “It’s not going away.”

While Kelly continues to emphasize that we must learn to live with coronavirus, taking precautions could help, including keeping six foot physical distances, wearing face coverings in public, and washing hands often. 

The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board or CAL/OSHA, which is in charge of protecting employees from safety hazards, has also approved a new standard which could set clear rules for employers to follow when implementing coronavirus protections across the state. 

Businesses would have to implement detailed hazard assessment and training plans, and employers would be held accountable for providing PPE and mandating facial coverings.

Susan Meeker
Susan Meeker
Susan Meeker is the Editor and Reporter for the Pioneer Review. She started her position with the Pioneer Review in January 2017 as the Advertising Manager. Susan specializes in local crime, government reporting. She also loves covering the various topics and events in our county. You can send her a message at susan@colusacountynews.net

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