Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to it. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). This occurs through respiratory droplets produced by an infected person and which can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Symptoms of COVID-19
Typically, human coronaviruses cause mild-to-moderate respiratory illness. Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. Symptoms are very similar to the flu, including:
- Shortness of breath
- COVID-19 can cause more severe respiratory illness.
Treatment for COVID-19
If a person develops symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough or shortness of breath, they should call their health care provider before seeking care. From the international data available, of those who have tested positive for COVID-19, approximately 80 percent do not exhibit symptoms that would require hospitalization. For patients who are more severely ill, hospitals can provide supportive care.
Preventing the Spread of COVID-19
- Shelter in your place of residence, except for essential needs.
Santa Rosa residents are required to heed the Sonoma County Public Health Officer’s Shelter in Place Order and stay home, except for essential needs, in order to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. The Order—effective at 12:01 a.m. on May 4, 2020, and supersedes all previous shelter-in-place orders, with three amendments—allows residents to leave their homes only for essential services, essential activities, and essential work, including:
- Health and safety, such as obtaining medical supplies or visiting a healthcare professional
- Services and supplies, such as groceries, cleaning supplies, and pet food
- General retail shopping (curbside pick-up only)
- Restaurants, tasting rooms, breweries, bars, wineries, and food facilities (curbside pick up and outdoor seating)
- Childcare, summer camps, and other education programs or recreational institutions or programs
- Outdoor activity, provided residents comply with social distancing requirements
- Essential work or business
- Care for a family member or pet in another household
- Care for a child in a childcare facility
- Protect Others through Social Distancing
Social distancing is a practice recommended by public health officials to stop or slow down the spread of contagious diseases. It requires the creation of physical space between individuals who may spread certain infectious diseases. Achieving space between individuals of approximately six feet is advisable.
- Follow common-sense preventive measures:
- Wash hands with soap and water frequently
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. If surfaces are dirty, clean them using detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
- Avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow.
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay away from other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.
- If you smoke or vape, consider quitting. Smokers who already have lung disease or reduced lung capacity could be at increased risk of serious illness.
- Wear a Face Covering
Public health officials requires the use of cloth face coverings to protect against COVID-19 when you leave your home to conduct essential activities. The use of cloth face coverings could reduce the transmission of COVID-19 by individuals who do not have symptoms and may reinforce physical distancing. Public health officials also caution, however, that face coverings may increase risk if users reduce their use of strong defenses such as physical distancing and frequent hand washing.
This Order excludes individuals experiencing homelessness. The City is actively working with our homeless service providers to urge individuals experiencing homelessness into our shelters where social distancing measures have been implemented to help ensure their health and safety. If you or someone you know is experiencing homelessness, call 1-866-542-5480.
Statewide Shelter in Place Order Issued by Governor Newsom
Additionally, on March 19, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newson issued a Shelter in Place Order that is in effect until further notice. The order means all Californians must stay home, except for those reasons outlined in local and state Orders. The Governor’s Order underscores the severity of the situation all communities are facing.
Sonoma County Modeling Data
On April 29, the County of Sonoma released preliminary results of phase 2 of its data modeling project. This data shows that Sonoma County’s shelter-in-place intervention has had a direct impact on flattening the curve for the number of coronavirus cases in Sonoma County and predicts the curve will likely peak in early June. Additional modeling data is needed before the Sonoma County Public Health Officer can start working toward lifting the Shelter in Place Order and suggests the Order could potentially be extended.
Health and Safety Tips for Families & Households
The novel coronavirus, which causes the respiratory disease known as COVID-19, is a member of the same family of viruses that causes colds. Because COVID-19 is new, we are learning more each day about how it spreads, and information is changing frequently. For the latest developments on COVID-19, visit socoemergency.org/coronavirus.
Safety in Your Home
What you should know if someone in your home has these symptoms consistent with COVID-19:
- Shortness of breath
Pay attention to your own health. Watch for signs of illness, especially after someone in your home is treated by first responders or is taken to the hospital for COVID-19 and flu-like symptoms
- If someone in your home becomes ill, call your health care provider for instructions.
- Keep your home as clean and as safe as possible. Follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on home cleaning, including regular cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces, such as tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, handles, phones and computer, toilets, and sinks.
- Stay home as much as possible to comply with Sonoma County’s shelter in place order.
- Go out only for essential needs such as food and healthcare for yourself or family. When possible, use home delivery services to limit trips outside your home.
- If you need to call 911, please advise the emergency dispatcher if you have had an illness within your home.
- Follow any special instructions provided for the safety of responders and other household members.
Prevent the Spread by Practicing Good Hygiene
Practice good hygiene to reduce your risk of becoming infected with a respiratory virus, such as influenza or COVID-19. Recommendation from the CDC include:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty
- For information about hand washing, see CDC’s Hand washing website
- Get your flu shot to protect against flu if you have not done so this year. The flu shot, will not protect against the coronavirus, but is encouraged for the following reasons:
- Fewer people getting ill frees up medical resources, and
- Avoiding the flu will help keep your immune system healthy
Wear a Face Covering When Outside of Your Home
Based on updated information from the CDC, the Sonoma County Health Officer now requires that everyone who leaves home for an essential activity wear a face covering to the extent possible, such as a scarf, bandana, or similar garment while outside their home. For more information, use this link: Health Order Guidance on Face Coverings for General Public in All Age Groups.
It’s a good idea to wash your cloth face covering frequently, ideally after each use, or at least daily. Have a bag or bin to keep cloth face coverings in until they can be laundered with detergent and hot water and dried on a hot cycle. If you must re-wear your cloth face covering before washing, wash your hands immediately after putting it back on and avoid touching your face. Discard cloth face coverings that:
- No longer cover the nose and mouth
- Have stretched out or damaged ties or straps
- Cannot stay on the face
- Have holes or tears in the fabric
For more information, please visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.