Hoping to call attention to new Contra Costa County guidelines, Danville town officials last week shared on social media the rules local residents must follow after receiving a positive test for COVID-19.
Issued by Contra Costa Health Services on Aug. 5, the health guidelines state that COVID-19 positive residents must isolate themselves in their homes or another residence for at least 10 days depending on the timeline of the onset of potential symptoms.
"You will need to stay in your home until you are well, this is called home isolation,” CCHS officials said. "Deciding when you are well and (when) you can leave your home will depend on your symptoms."
Danville’s statement also included a reminder that all individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 must follow specific isolation orders under "Contra Costa County’s Self Isolation Instructions." The document states an individual must stay at home for at least seven days after symptoms begin. Symptoms include a heavy cough, shortness of breath, a high fever, body aches and sore throat.
CCHS states if an individual has mild symptoms, they must stay home at least seven days after their symptoms begin. If an individual has a prolonged cough and fever for seven days, they should stay home for 72 hours until the fever is gone or symptoms have improved.
According to CCHS, the infectious period commences 48 hours before symptoms begin. If a patient who tested positive for COVID-19 was within 16 feet of another person for 15 minutes or longer, the other person should be notified, as they might have contracted the virus.
For those treated in an intensive care unit, they must isolate for an additional 20 days since symptoms begin.
The county states that even after improvement of any COVID-19 symptoms, people should take preventive steps until they can return to normal activities.
Staying home at all costs is key to protecting others from also catching COVID-19 in your community, according to CCHS officials. That means not going to work or school; not using public transport like BART, Uber or a bus; avoiding travel; and not going to places where large amounts of people gather. The only exception to the rule is seeing a doctor.
While living at home, patients still must follow guidelines to protect their family. Those with mild COVID-19 symptoms should cover their coughs and sneezes and throw away immediately used tissues. Family members should frequently wash their hands using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. They should also separate themselves from their symptomatic family member as much as possible.
The county recommends that symptomatic individuals stay in a specific room away from other people and use a separate bathroom if possible.
Avoid using the same personal household items like drinking glasses, dishes, eating utensils, towels, and bedding is encouraged. Frequently cleaning doorknobs, phones, keyboards, tablets, bedside tables, toilets, and bathroom kitchen fixtures are also recommended.
In total, Contra Costa County has had 9,404 COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic -- 8,301 patients have recovered while 139 county residents have died to date. The county reported 223 new cases in the past day.
Currently, 98 residents are currently hospitalized across the county because of COVID-19. Overall, 616 Bay Area residents are hospitalized.
Specifically, the town of Danville has, in total, 162 positive cases with six new cases. Nearby, the city of San Ramon has 195 positive cases. Alamo has had 71.
CCHS also recommends checking in on elderly family, friends and neighbors -- either through a phone call, email or text.
“Make sure they have everything they need and offer help if needed,” CCHS stated. “As with many during the pandemic, they may feel alone and isolated. Knowing that someone cares and is willing to provide aid during these stressful times can be a huge boost to their mental health.”
The county has also emphasized the importance of having healthy ways to cope with stress. Either it is by eating healthy, staying hydrated, getting plenty of sleep, and exercise, a significant part of living through a pandemic is battling its psychological effects.
Contra Costa County stated that everyone should take breaks while working from home, doing activities one enjoys in their spare time, taking breaks from the news, talking with others, and maintaining a daily routine. The county said that those feeling a great amount of stress and anxiety should avoid the use of alcohol or drugs, which only exacerbates the situation.
For those in need of additional assistance, mental or physical, can refer to the resources located on the CCHS website.