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Coronavirus latest: Five new cases confirmed in Contra Costa County over weekend

Some Bishop Ranch employees self-quarantine; all SRVUSD schools stay open; local hospital prepares

Contra Costa County health officials announced five new cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) were confirmed countywide as of Sunday morning.

That brings the total number of confirmed cases involving county residents to nine, which included three previously new cases that were announced by Contra Costa Health Services on Friday.

“The coronavirus is here in our community. As we ramp up our testing, we expect to identify more cases. But there is still a lot we can do to slow down the spread and protect our most vulnerable,” Dr. Ori Tzvieli, acting Contra Costa health officer, said in a statement on Sunday afternoon.

COVID-19, which is front of mind for people across the world, causes mild to moderate respiratory illness in most people who contract it and can be more dangerous for residents with certain underlying conditions.

CCHS officials said Sunday that four of the newly confirmed cases involve patients who are being treated at unidentified hospitals in Contra Costa County. Those patients had no international travel history nor any known contact with a confirmed case.

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The fifth patient had close contact with another person who previously tested positive for COVID-19, is under self-quarantine at home under the guidance of CCHS, officials said.

Of the earlier cases from last week, one patient who tested positive remains hospitalized while the three others are isolating at home, officials said. “CCHS will not release further details about the patients to protect their medical privacy, including the names of the hospitals where they are being treated,” they added.

Government agencies and community members alike are actively working to stem the potential for spread of the coronavirus throughout the San Ramon Valley.

Friday’s new cases had county officials warning residents who are part of groups that are more susceptible to illness -- such as those with certain chronic medical conditions and the elderly -- to take extra precautions now that COVID-19 may be active in the county.

“CCHS is recommending that people who are higher risk from COVID-19, including adults over 50 and people with certain underlying medical conditions, should avoid mass gatherings, such as parades, sporting events or concerts,” county officials said in a statement.

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According to county officials symptoms of the coronavirus are similar to those from the flu and include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

County officials say that some of the best ways to prevent the spread include staying home from work if you are sick, avoiding touching your face, avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth, and practicing healthy hand habits, such as thorough hand washing.

Also, masks are for sick people, there is no evidence that masks help otherwise.

The county also recently received 300 test kits from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that it can use to detect new cases.

To help stem the potential spread of the novel coronavirus, county and local officials have taken to issuing policies and safety reminders for residents to follow in order to help keep themselves and others healthy.

“The coronavirus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, and despite what you might hear from other sources, the risk of infection in our region remains low. The seasonal flu remains a greater risk to you and your loved ones,” San Ramon Police Capt. Denton Carlson said, trying to assure residents. “As mentioned in the messages we have distributed previously, by far, the best method to ensure your safety is through the use of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs). The most critical aspect of these NPIs is related to personal hygiene.”

Community response

Multiple San Ramon Valley agencies and organizations are working to assist in preventing the illness from spreading, most of which are enacting policies to keep residents informed on recommendations made by county health officials and the CDC.

There have been no school closures announced as of Sunday for the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, which district officials say has no confirmed cases among students, teachers or staff as of Friday.

SRVUSD officials said they have been taking their cues from the county health department and have been consistently sending out communications to community members updating them on developments.

“We are strongly encouraging everyone to follow county guidelines and we are strongly encouraging hand washing,” said Chris George, SRVUSD’s director of communications and instructional services. “We recognize that it is uncertain and somewhat scary we recognize the threat and we are going to do everything we can to keep the kids safe.”

To help keep students safe from illness, the SRVUSD has provided a comprehensive guide for students and parents to follow, that includes recommendations such as discouraging the use of shared items such as pens and other supplies and encouraging students who show any symptoms to stay home.

The district will also be enacting a more liberal attendance policy and absences due to illness will not be met with academic penalties -- i.e. participation points -- or go against perfect positive attendance awards.

A full list of recommendations and other communications provided by the SRVUSD can be found online at www.srvusd.net.

"Your cooperation is integral to the ongoing public health response to try to slow spread of this virus," Danville Councilman Newell Arnerich said in a message to residents. “It is very important as community leaders and responsible citizens that we take address the seriousness of this disease to ensure the health, safety and well-being of everyone in our community.”

San Ramon Regional Medical Center officials said their staff have enacted policies and training to prepare for a potential influx in patients and that they are committed to keeping the community safe.

“San Ramon Regional Medical Center is monitoring information from federal, state and local public health agencies for current information on the coronavirus. Our hospital has taken the appropriate steps as we have trained professionals and the necessary equipment to react accordingly,” San Ramon Regional officials said.

Employees at Bishop Ranch self-quarantine

While public officials are working to keep the public informed about the status and reality of the coronavirus, many residents remain fearful of the new virus, as was demonstrated on Thursday afternoon when some employees at Bishop Ranch in San Ramon left work early due to rumors of exposure.

According to Bishop Ranch officials, on Thursday two of their larger customers -- companies that remain unidentified -- had employees who self-quarantined due to contact with individuals who may have had exposure.

In a post published on Bishop Ranch’s Twitter account, officials said that while both companies in question have developed “significant corporate protocols” to protect against the spread of illnesses among employees in one of the cases “significant peer-to-peer communication led to employees leaving work early.”

While county officials do recommend that residents who feel sick stay home from work, Bishop Ranch officials maintain that neither company mandated that their employees leave and no confirmed cases of COVID-19 have occurred at Bishop Ranch.

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Editor's note: Information from Bay City News Service was used in this article.

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Coronavirus latest: Five new cases confirmed in Contra Costa County over weekend

Some Bishop Ranch employees self-quarantine; all SRVUSD schools stay open; local hospital prepares

by Jeremy Walsh and Ryan J. Degan /

Uploaded: Sun, Mar 8, 2020, 2:47 pm

Contra Costa County health officials announced five new cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) were confirmed countywide as of Sunday morning.

That brings the total number of confirmed cases involving county residents to nine, which included three previously new cases that were announced by Contra Costa Health Services on Friday.

“The coronavirus is here in our community. As we ramp up our testing, we expect to identify more cases. But there is still a lot we can do to slow down the spread and protect our most vulnerable,” Dr. Ori Tzvieli, acting Contra Costa health officer, said in a statement on Sunday afternoon.

COVID-19, which is front of mind for people across the world, causes mild to moderate respiratory illness in most people who contract it and can be more dangerous for residents with certain underlying conditions.

CCHS officials said Sunday that four of the newly confirmed cases involve patients who are being treated at unidentified hospitals in Contra Costa County. Those patients had no international travel history nor any known contact with a confirmed case.

The fifth patient had close contact with another person who previously tested positive for COVID-19, is under self-quarantine at home under the guidance of CCHS, officials said.

Of the earlier cases from last week, one patient who tested positive remains hospitalized while the three others are isolating at home, officials said. “CCHS will not release further details about the patients to protect their medical privacy, including the names of the hospitals where they are being treated,” they added.

Government agencies and community members alike are actively working to stem the potential for spread of the coronavirus throughout the San Ramon Valley.

Friday’s new cases had county officials warning residents who are part of groups that are more susceptible to illness -- such as those with certain chronic medical conditions and the elderly -- to take extra precautions now that COVID-19 may be active in the county.

“CCHS is recommending that people who are higher risk from COVID-19, including adults over 50 and people with certain underlying medical conditions, should avoid mass gatherings, such as parades, sporting events or concerts,” county officials said in a statement.

According to county officials symptoms of the coronavirus are similar to those from the flu and include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

County officials say that some of the best ways to prevent the spread include staying home from work if you are sick, avoiding touching your face, avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth, and practicing healthy hand habits, such as thorough hand washing.

Also, masks are for sick people, there is no evidence that masks help otherwise.

The county also recently received 300 test kits from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that it can use to detect new cases.

To help stem the potential spread of the novel coronavirus, county and local officials have taken to issuing policies and safety reminders for residents to follow in order to help keep themselves and others healthy.

“The coronavirus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, and despite what you might hear from other sources, the risk of infection in our region remains low. The seasonal flu remains a greater risk to you and your loved ones,” San Ramon Police Capt. Denton Carlson said, trying to assure residents. “As mentioned in the messages we have distributed previously, by far, the best method to ensure your safety is through the use of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs). The most critical aspect of these NPIs is related to personal hygiene.”

Community response

Multiple San Ramon Valley agencies and organizations are working to assist in preventing the illness from spreading, most of which are enacting policies to keep residents informed on recommendations made by county health officials and the CDC.

There have been no school closures announced as of Sunday for the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, which district officials say has no confirmed cases among students, teachers or staff as of Friday.

SRVUSD officials said they have been taking their cues from the county health department and have been consistently sending out communications to community members updating them on developments.

“We are strongly encouraging everyone to follow county guidelines and we are strongly encouraging hand washing,” said Chris George, SRVUSD’s director of communications and instructional services. “We recognize that it is uncertain and somewhat scary we recognize the threat and we are going to do everything we can to keep the kids safe.”

To help keep students safe from illness, the SRVUSD has provided a comprehensive guide for students and parents to follow, that includes recommendations such as discouraging the use of shared items such as pens and other supplies and encouraging students who show any symptoms to stay home.

The district will also be enacting a more liberal attendance policy and absences due to illness will not be met with academic penalties -- i.e. participation points -- or go against perfect positive attendance awards.

A full list of recommendations and other communications provided by the SRVUSD can be found online at www.srvusd.net.

"Your cooperation is integral to the ongoing public health response to try to slow spread of this virus," Danville Councilman Newell Arnerich said in a message to residents. “It is very important as community leaders and responsible citizens that we take address the seriousness of this disease to ensure the health, safety and well-being of everyone in our community.”

San Ramon Regional Medical Center officials said their staff have enacted policies and training to prepare for a potential influx in patients and that they are committed to keeping the community safe.

“San Ramon Regional Medical Center is monitoring information from federal, state and local public health agencies for current information on the coronavirus. Our hospital has taken the appropriate steps as we have trained professionals and the necessary equipment to react accordingly,” San Ramon Regional officials said.

Employees at Bishop Ranch self-quarantine

While public officials are working to keep the public informed about the status and reality of the coronavirus, many residents remain fearful of the new virus, as was demonstrated on Thursday afternoon when some employees at Bishop Ranch in San Ramon left work early due to rumors of exposure.

According to Bishop Ranch officials, on Thursday two of their larger customers -- companies that remain unidentified -- had employees who self-quarantined due to contact with individuals who may have had exposure.

In a post published on Bishop Ranch’s Twitter account, officials said that while both companies in question have developed “significant corporate protocols” to protect against the spread of illnesses among employees in one of the cases “significant peer-to-peer communication led to employees leaving work early.”

While county officials do recommend that residents who feel sick stay home from work, Bishop Ranch officials maintain that neither company mandated that their employees leave and no confirmed cases of COVID-19 have occurred at Bishop Ranch.

Editor's note: Information from Bay City News Service was used in this article.

Comments

Karen
Danville
on Mar 8, 2020 at 10:00 pm
Karen, Danville
on Mar 8, 2020 at 10:00 pm

The district should close their schools before a kid catches the virus because then it will spread like wildfire amongst the kids and their families, putting all of us at risk! It may not seem very serious to you, but I am over 50 and have type 1 diabetes making me prone to death. I do not want to be put at risk just because the district refuses to take action until a confirmed case!


Danville Mom
Danville
on Mar 9, 2020 at 9:40 am
Danville Mom, Danville
on Mar 9, 2020 at 9:40 am

I agree with looking at possible school closure. I think this week will be telling.
The "age of concern " has gone from "elderly" to 60 and now 50??? That is a huge demographic which many of us are in. I'm not one to freak out but now that I'm in that age group, it is of some concern.


Member
San Ramon
on Mar 9, 2020 at 8:49 pm
Member, San Ramon
on Mar 9, 2020 at 8:49 pm

There are concerns that parents of a child at Neil Armstrong have been exposed to COVID-19. The mother of the child is a ER RN at Santa Clara Kaiser and father is Firefighter in Santa Clara. School administration has not done anything to protect children. Santa Clara county has the most cases in the Bay Area. How do you verify if someone has it or is doing a self quarantine. I feel San Ramon Valley school district is not taking the virus seriously.


Martha
San Ramon
on Mar 9, 2020 at 9:55 pm
Martha, San Ramon
on Mar 9, 2020 at 9:55 pm

Dougherty Valley already is dealing with overcrowding and a student population of over 3,000. if any school should be shut down it is Dougherty, as shared technologies such as library computers especially during CAASP Testing will undoubtedly spread the disease to all children if the school does not close.


Concerned Parents
San Ramon
on Mar 9, 2020 at 10:38 pm
Concerned Parents , San Ramon
on Mar 9, 2020 at 10:38 pm

Because of the child at Neil Armstrong who has parents with high risk careers in Santa Clara County that are exposed to COVID-19 daily (mom ER Nurse at Kaiser Santa Clara and dad firefighter in Santa Clara County) , issues with overcrowding at schools with students sharing devices, desks etc, and community spread, the best thing we can do is sign the petition, call the news , exercise our freedom of speech and continue to call the school and SRVUSD. We need to continue to post how we feel in hopes the exposed child's parents or SRVUSD do something to help protect our children and out community from community spread . HIPPA laws protect these parents but we should do something to protect our kids and community!

Change.org/SaveSanRamonKidsFromVirus


Bob
San Ramon
on Mar 10, 2020 at 4:56 pm
Bob, San Ramon
on Mar 10, 2020 at 4:56 pm

No Way. Many people in this area activities that makes them travel around the district. Someone may be spreadin it without knowing


Mo
San Ramon
on Mar 11, 2020 at 1:03 pm
Mo, San Ramon
on Mar 11, 2020 at 1:03 pm

SRVSD doesn't want to shut down because of money of course. They choose $ over the safety of our children!
When the kids start to get sick thats when they will suddenly act like they care. All businesses are starting to advise staffs to stay home but our school district is clinging on to money. SMH


Concern parent
San Ramon
on Mar 11, 2020 at 1:14 pm
Concern parent, San Ramon
on Mar 11, 2020 at 1:14 pm

I think WE should all call SRVSD and demand to shut all school down so we can keep our children safe before this virus spreads even more rapidly! Why can't we protest like these teachers did when they demanded what they wanted?!
To think they had to mention about making up their homework in the time like this, says how much they truly care for our kids.
Everyone needs to be on lockdown ASAP to control this deadly virus before its too late!!!!!!


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