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Posted on: March 26, 2020

Press Release - Additional Information re: First COVID-19 Case in County of Tuolumne

Date: March 26, 2020

To: Health Care Providers, Employers, and Residents Within Tuolumne County

From: Dr. Eric Sergienko, Tuolumne County Interim Health Officer

Subject: Health Officer’s Order to Screen for Febrile Respiratory Illness and for Ill Residents to Isolate

Pursuant to California Health and Safety Code Sections 101040, 120175, and 120175.5(6) the Health Officer of the County of Tuolumne orders as follows:

The order is issued as a result of the World Health Organizations declaration of the worldwide pandemic of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. COVID-19 is contained in droplets that can be sneezed, coughed, or exhaled into the air by

infected individuals.

As of today, there are over 413,400 cases and over 18 ,400 deaths worldwide. In California, there are 2,102 confirmed cases and 40 deaths. We can expect that the number of cases to increase significantly should action not being taken to decrease the spread of the disease.

There currently is no available treatment, however, reduced transmission of the disease can be done through community mitigation measures that decrease the likelihood of being exposed to the droplets of an infected person. These measures include limiting large scale events and mass gatherings, and practicing social distancing. Aggressive containment operations including isolating suspect cases and persons under investigation and quarantining their contacts can limit the spread of the disease, reduce the impacts of the disease on society, and avoid more stringent measures that would cause further detriment to civil society.

COVID-19 testing in Tuolumne County is being conducted at the discretion of health care providers in the community, based on their clinical assessment and the current recommended guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) criteria for disease. Any positive test result shall be reported to the Public Health Department.

Effective on Thursday, March 26th 2020, the following will be in effect for Tuolumne County.

As Tuolumne County Health Officer, I do hereby order:

  •  Health Care Providers shall:
  1. On a daily basis report to the health department /public health branch Health and Human Services Agency all patients seen in their practice with a febrile respiratory illness
  2. Provide patient information that will include demographic information, including age, as well as residential address and clinical status, indicate whether rapid point of care testing was performed and their results , indicate if COVID-19 testing was done. Plea se use the attached Excel spreadsheet if possible and e-mail to
  3. Direct the patient, if no exclusionary diagnosis is found, to isolate him/herself for seven days after onset of symptoms or three days after cessation of fever without the use of fever­ reducing medications
  4. Follow the additional guidance provided by CDC at:
  • All Employers shall:
  1. On a daily basis, at the start of business, screen all employees for febrile respiratory illness using the attached screening tool entitled COVID-19 Screening Checklist for Employers.
  2. Retain all screening forms for 14 days after completion and have readily available upon request from the Public Health Department.
  3. Exclude from work all employees that report symptoms of febrile respiratory illness for seven days from the day that they are identified as having symptoms.
  4. Direct employees excluded from work to isolate at home.
  • All Residents shall:
  1. Self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19
  2. Isolate themselves for seven days after onset of signs and symptoms, and only leave their place of residence to seek further medical attention
  3. Follow additional guidance provided by CDC at: 
  • Upon notification of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Tuolumne County:
  1. All close contacts of anyone isolated under this order will be placed into 14-day quarantine.

For the purpose of this order:

  • Febrile is defined as " related to fever."
  • Febrile respiratory illness is defined as "a new or worsening episode of either cough or shortness of breath, presenting with fever (temperature 38 degrees C or 100.4 degrees F or higher) or chills in the previous 24 hours."
  • Isolation is defined as "separation of sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick."
  • Quarantine is defined as "separation and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. "
  • Close contact is defined as "anyone who has been within six feet for a period of ten minutes or longer of a person placed in isolation."
  • Social distancing is defined as "maintain a six-foot separation from all persons except for family member s."
  • Symptoms of COVID-19: 
    •  Fever
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) may recommend further guidance.

I, as Health Officer for the County of Tuolumne, encourage voluntary compliance with this Health Officer’s Order. However, violation of this order is subject to fine, imprisonments or both (California Health and Safety Code Section 120295 .)

I ask that anyone who wishes to discuss this, contact the Public Health Department at (209) 533-7401.

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