Imported cases of COVID-19 infection among travelers have been detected in the United States. Person-to-person transmission of COVID-19 also has been seen among close contacts of travelers who have returned from Wuhan (Hubei Province), China. At this time, this virus is NOT currently spreading in the community in the United States and the risk remains low for the general public.
Sacramento County Public Health (SCPH) has confirmed the first travel-related case of COVID-19 in a Sacramento County resident who recently traveled to China. The risk remains low to the residents of the County.
Coronaviruses are a class of respiratory viruses that can cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe illnesses like SARS and MERS. Be careful not to confuse this category of coronaviruses with the strain named "COVID-19" or "2019 novel coronavirus". The COVID-19 is just one type of coronavirus. So don't be alarmed if you see the term "coronavirus" on your test results. Currently, only the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is testing for COVID-19 in coordination with Sacramento County Public Health (SCPH).
Recent Travel From China
The federal government has declared a public health emergency and travel orders have been issued. American citizens and exempted persons coming from China will be directed to one of 11 airports.
- Those who have been in the Hubei province in the last 14 days will be screened for symptoms. Those with symptoms will be further evaluated. Those without symptoms will have to undergo a mandatory 14 day quarantine. These individuals will not be able to move on to their final destination for the time being.
- Those who have been in other parts of mainland China in the last 14 days will be screened for symptoms. Those with symptoms will be further evaluated and not be able to move on to their final destination for the time being. Those without symptoms will be allowed to continue to their final destination and undergo self-monitoring for 14 days.
If you recently returned from mainland China and have NOT had contact with SCPH, contact us at (916) 875-5881 as soon as possible.
Self-Monitoring vs Isolation vs Quarantine
- Self-monitoring means people should monitor themselves for fever by taking their temperature twice a day and remain alert for cough or difficulty breathing. Those who develop symptoms should seek medical attention (remember to call ahead and wear a surgical mask when arriving at the health care facility) and notify SCPH at (916) 875-5881.
- Isolation means separating a person (or group of people) known or believed to be infected with a communicable disease and potentially infectious from those who are not infected to prevent spread of the communicable disease.
- Quarantine means separating a person (or group of people) believed to have been exposed to a communicable disease but not yet showing symptoms, from others who have not been exposed, to prevent the possible spread of the communicable disease.
In the United States, masks are not currently recommended for the general public as the risk of transmission remains low. Masks and other personal protective equipment are only recommended for those who work in the health care setting.
Risk of Transmission
Although the risk of transmission remains low for the general public, these individuals should notify your health department immediately and also remain alert for symptoms:
- Recent travel to mainland China (within 14 days)
- Close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case
Preventing the Spread of Respiratory Viruses
Practice every day preventive actions to help stop the spread of respiratory viruses:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough.
- Sneeze into a tissue then throw the tissue away in the trash. Wash your hands afterwards.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- People experiencing worsening flu-like symptoms should seek medical attention - call ahead if you've recently traveled to China or have had contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19 while they were ill.
- Get a flu shot. While it won't protect you against COVID-19, it will help protect you against the flu, which kills up to 61,000 Americans each year.
Sacramento County Public Health
Phone: (916) 875-5881
Last updated: 2/21/2020