Local Hospital Provides Key Points on Confirmed COVID-19 Case

For Immediate Release

Local Hospital Provides Key Points on Confirmed COVID-19 Case

Porterville, CA March 13, 2020: Tulare County Health and Human Services Public Health Department (TCHHSA), Sierra View Medical Center (SVMC) and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) have confirmed the first positive case of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) in Tulare County. The individual is isolated at home, and is doing well.

Outlined below are some of the frequently asked questions that SVMC and TCHHSA have recently received since the announcement of the positive COVID-19 case.

Where did the transmission of this case take place?

It is believed at this time the transmission to the patient happened outside of Tulare County.

When were the results confirmed that the patient tested positive for COVID-19?

The patient tested positive for COVID-19 at approximately 7 p.m. on March 11, 2020.

Who was the patient in contact with and specifically how many employees and/ or community members? Do we know at this time?

We have traced those with whom the patient may have come into direct contact. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), CDPH, and local health authorities are working closely with SVMC to investigate any further possible exposure. All persons under investigation (PUI) have been notified at this time.

Why was the patient sent home?

CDC and CDPH advise that patients who are medically stable can receive care at home. 80% of patients will be treated at home while roughly 20% will need care in the hospital. Patients well enough to be treated at home will be monitored by staff from their local or state health department.

Did the patient travel outside of the home/hospital in the greater area of the Central Valley?

The patient had limited exposure to people outside of the hospital.

Is it safe to attend large gatherings?

As of Thursday, March 12, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered Californians to cancel or postpone gatherings of 250 or more people statewide to slow the spread of COVID-19.

If you still plan on attending a large gathering, please keep in mind:

  • If sick, stay home.
  • If dealing with chronic lung disease, heart disease, cancer diabetes, or a weakened immune system, avoid unnecessary events and gatherings

For any information regarding events, contact the Tulare County Public Health Department at tchhsa.org.

How Does COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact via respiratory droplets expelled when a person with the infection coughs or sneezes.

What is the definition of close contact?

Close contact would be defined as being within 6 feet of another person.

For more information on COVID-19 please visit cdc.gov or sierra-view.com. For local updates, please visit tchhsa.org or call 2-1-1 which will place you in contact with someone from Public Health.