UPDATING: Latest On COVID-19 In The North State

Mar 20, 2020

Credit CNN

This post will be updated at 10 a.m. & 6 p.m. Monday-Friday. Get the latest information about coronavirus in the region on our COVID-19 Resource Links Page. 

Last updated on 3/20 at 7:55 p.m. 

The California Department of Public Health today announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19. California now has 1,006 confirmed cases. 

Note: The following numbers reflect the information received by local health jurisdictions as of 6 p.m. PDT March 19. More current numbers may be available from local health jurisdictions.

 

 


Last updated on 3/19 at 6:24 p.m. 

Along with much of the nation, an eerie quiet hangs over the North State, as commerce grinds to a halt and uneasy residents hide out at home. Officially, at least, there are no signs of a North State COVID-19 outbreak.

 

No new cases have been reported in any of the northern counties in NSPR’s listening area. But with an incubation period between two days and two weeks, and the severity of cases varying widely, the absence of officially confirmed cases may not rule out the virus’ presence locally. 

 

Image used courtesy of California Department of Public Health

Statewide, the number of cases continues rising. According to the most recent figures, 675 positive cases had been confirmed in California Wednesday evening. That’s 77 more cases than were reported Tuesday, and 203 more than Monday. The number of California deaths rose to 16 as of Wednesday evening, up three deaths from Tuesday.  

 

Samples from 16,900 suspected California patients have been collected since the outbreak began. Officials are awaiting the results of more than 10,000 of those tests.   

 

Governor Gavin Newsom has requested President Trump immediately deploy the U.S. Navy’s hospital ship ‘Mercy’ to the Port of Los Angeles to help treat an expected surge in patients.  

Image used courtesy of California Department of Public Health

   

In other news related to the virus:

 

This year’s state income tax filing deadline was postponed three months to July 15 for all filers, including businesses.  

 

Courts in Butte County announced all jury trials in criminal courts scheduled to begin between Monday and April 22 will be rescheduled. 

 

Shasta County announced it has cancelled county grand jury meetings scheduled for the 25 and 30. Additionally, the Sheriff’s office has temporarily ceased processing new concealed carry permits for firearms, all fingerprinting services and requests for crime reports until at least the 31.

 

A showdown in a major Redding land use battle has been put off due to the crisis. Officials will postpone a hearing on plans to relocate and expand Costco’s location that had been set for Tuesday. 

 

Tuesday’s meeting of the Butte County Board of Supervisors will proceed, but the public will be barred. Comments about items on the agenda can be shared with the board by emailing the board clerk or using the e-comment feature on the board’s on-line agenda. 

 

All behind the wheel driving tests have been cancelled by The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) through April 18. DMV will contact those with appointments to reschedule. The DMV is now requiring appointments for in-person visits and has suspended extended and Saturday hours until further notice.  

 

Spring commencement at Chico State has been postponed. A new date wasn’t announced. Information about refunds for renting regalia for the event is available on the Chico State’s commencement webpage.  

 

The Museum of Northern California Art and the Chico Art Center announced they have closed until further notice. 

 

AAA announced it has closed all offices, though towing remains available.  

 

The Shasta Dam Visitor Center was ordered closed to the public until further notice. All tours are also cancelled. 

Last updated on 3/13 at 5:48 p.m. 

A national emergency over the coronavirus was declared by President Trump this afternoon, which will free up $50 billion for states to respond to the crisis, according to NPR.

In the North State, concern is rising, though the number of confirmed cases remains at one.

At a press conference in Oroville this afternoon, Butte County Health Officer Dr. Andy Miller, said there are still no confirmed cases in Butte County. 

“We remain at zero cases of lab confirmed Covid-19,” Miller said. “While this is a positive statement, I have no doubt that we will have cases in our county. In other counties, community transmission has been occurring even before the first case was identified.”

Access to tests has been an issue nationally.

Miller said he did not know how many tests were requested by medical professionals that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) denied — if any at all. Miller likewise said he did not know how many, if any, people in the county had sought medical care for flu-like symptoms, nor how many were admitted.

If authorities shut schools, a recommendation to close day care centers would also likely be issued, Miller said.

Those at most at risk: older adults, people with compromised immune systems, diabetes, a lung or heart condition should exercise caution, Miller said.

Miller said his recommendations include:

“Washing your hands, not touching your face with unwashed hands, avoiding close contact with people who may be sick, staying away from large gatherings or crowds, and considering other ways of getting food brought to your house, through family, social or commercial networks,” Miller said.

To reduce the likelihood the virus will spread in the community, multiple regional events have been cancelled including the Future Farmers of America Field Day event scheduled for Saturday at both Chico State and Butte College.  

The Arbor Day Festival also scheduled for Saturday in Oroville has been postponed.

In Redding, the Senior Citizens Hall will close from March 16-April 13.

Earlier Friday afternoon Chico State issued a statement suspending all face-to-face instruction through April 24. According to the release, it will remain open and continue to operate and “pending administrative review, some lab, studio, or field-based instruction may continue in an alternative format if consistent with the best practice of social distancing.”

Friday morning Shasta County suspended visitation at the county jail for at least two weeks starting this morning to prevent the virus from spreading behind bars. According to the Sherriff’s office there are no confirmed cases among detainees.

Statewide, officials Friday confirmed 247 active cases of coronavirus in the state, an increase of 49 from the day prior. A total of 98 cases are among people age 65 or older. There have currently been five fatalities in California.

Last updated on 3/12 at 5 p.m.  

 

Though only a single confirmed case remains active in the North State, local institutions and officials are ramping up efforts to disrupt transmission.

 

Shasta County health officials say there’s no update on the region’s single patient, a man in his 50s, who remains in isolation at home.

 

Nevertheless, as news spread today of postponements, cancellations and closures from professional sports leagues and theme parks, local disruptions began being announced.

City Councilors in Chico met this afternoon to discuss potentially barring the public from attending their next meeting scheduled for Tuesday or postponing it entirely.

 

Shasta College announced it was canceling or postponing tours, visits and events including an appearance of NPR reporter Mara Liasson scheduled for Monday. 

 

Chico State Tuesday added three days to its spring break and advised faculty to prepare online classes. This afternoon it was announced that all intercollegiate, recreational and intramural sports were suspended for the rest of the academic year, along with sports clubs. 

 

The university also announced today that campus cultural events that attract more than 100 people have been cancelled through April 12. This includes University Box Office events like the Chico Bach Festival and the Banff Mountain Film Festival.

 

School districts were told to consider closing individual schools if a student or employee contracts the ailment, and additional schools if two or more people fall ill. 

 

Meanwhile, at the state level, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order aimed at the outbreak. 

 

The order eases requirements for unemployment and disability, delays state income tax filing dates for some people and businesses, bars non-essential gatherings of more than 250 people, allows government bodies to meet by teleconference and enables authorities to commandeer property for temporary residences or medical facilities.

 

Statewide, officials have confirmed 198 cases, an increase of 41 from yesterday. A total of 79 people infected are age 65 or above.

 

The totals exclude passengers from the Grand Princess cruise ship.