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Davis, California

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

One case of COVID-19 confirmed in Yolo County

Yolo County resident tested positive for COVID-19, confirmed through community transmission

Yolo County released a press release on March 6 confirming that a resident had tested positive for the coronavirus, officially called COVID-19. The patient, an elderly woman, caught the disease through community transmission. 

Yolo County Health Officer Dr. Ron Chapman explained in a press conference that community transmission means she caught it without traveling to an affected county or being in contact with anyone else who had. 

“This particular patient is what we call a community transmission,” Chapman said. “It means that she didn’t have any high-risk factors for getting coronavirus — she picked it up in the community.”

Due to privacy concerns, Chapman was unable to provide details as to the exact location of the patient. Still, community transmission signals that COVID-19 is already present in Yolo County. 

“There is growing evidence that coronavirus is already in our community, and it is spread widely,” Chapman said.

Despite this presumed spread, UC Davis spokesperson Andy Fell explained that the university has collaborated with the county to control the spread of COVID-19. 

“We’ve continued to work closely with Yolo County Public Health,” Fell said. “I think everybody expected there to be a case in the county at some point, so we’ve continued to monitor the situation.”

Less than an hour before Yolo County released the press release documenting the case, the UC Davis Interim Vice Chancellor Emily Galindo sent an email to students stating there were no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the area.

“As of this writing, there are no reported cases of Coronavirus (Covid-19) on the Davis campus or in Yolo County,” the email read.

Yolo County has declared a local emergency and local health emergency because of community transmission. Chapman, however, reminded the public to remain calm due to the disease’s general lack of severity.

“We know that at least 80% — the vast majority — of cases of COVID-19 […] are mild, meaning that people have a runny nose, a light cough,” Chapman said. “They get better after a few days, and they never know that they had coronavirus.”

To prevent the spread of disease, including the coronavirus, Fell highlighted the importance of cleanliness and staying home when sick.

“The most important thing is for people to look after their health,” Fell said. “We’re told that the most effective ways to prevent flu, coronavirus and respiratory infections are good hand washing, good hygiene around coughing and sneezing and if you’re sick, keep yourself away from people.”

At the press conference, Chapman made similar points, adding that wearing surgical face masks will do little to reduce the chance of getting COVID-19.

“The general public should not be wearing masks — there is no benefit to doing that,” Chapman said. “We need to save our masks for the healthcare workers who are on the front lines taking care of the people who are sick with coronavirus.”

Although it’s uncertain how or if COVID-19 will impede school and work, Fell explained that UC Davis will consider canceling classes as the situation develops. 

“I think [canceling classes] is a decision we will have to make depending on the circumstances,” Fell said. “We’ll talk to public health about it, and all the campuses are actively planning on how we can mitigate the effects of this outbreak and reduce its spread and impact on campus.”

Written by: Eden Winniford –– city@theaggie.org


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