By Debra Moore
Plumas County residents are about to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday, which can mean a four-day holiday for many including many county workers. But coronavirus isn’t taking a break, so those who work in Public Health will be on call.
Public Health Director Andrew Woodruff said during a Nov. 25 interview, that a contact tracer will be available each day as positive cases are announced to begin investigations. “They will also have backup assistance if needed,” he said.
While the county had enjoyed a couple of days of reporting just a handful of cases, yesterday’s (Nov. 24) case count of 11 was a little unexpected. “I was surprised,” he said, which makes him a wary moving forward. “It’s a tremendous amount of work to contact trace.” And for that reason, more individuals are being added to the contact tracing team.
Some jurisdictions have so many cases, that it’s become too daunting a task to trace them, but to date it still can be accomplished in Plumas. “We have a 24-hour turn around on contact tracing,” Woodruff said.
In addition to dealing with the cases as they become known, Woodruff said that he is also working with the state to prepare for vaccine distribution. “There are supply chain issues to be dealt with and we are working to align our plans with the state,” he said.
As of Nov. 24 there have been 192 positive cases in Plumas County; that might not seem too alarming since the pandemic is now in its ninth month, but what has public health officials and medical providers concerned is the rapid increase in cases during the past month. The first positive test in Plumas County was announced March 31. Here is a look back at the number of cases logged over the past nine months.
March 24: No cases
April 24: 4 cases
May 24: 5 cases
June 24: 7 cases
July 24: 27 cases
Aug. 24: 40 cases
Sept. 24: 50 cases
Oct. 24: 68 cases
Nov. 24: 192 cases
Woodruff is concerned that if the rate of positive cases continues to rise, Plumas will be placed in the purple tier, which has ramifications for local businesses. He encourages everyone to wear their face masks, social distance and wash hands frequently. Help is on the way — residents just need to be vigilant for the next few months.