Jan. 11: Plumas COVID cases include 5 hospitalizations

According to the latest information posted by the Plumas County Public Health Agency today Jan. 11, there have been 86 cases reported during the last 7 days, with 117 individuals in isolation, and five people hospitalized.

All of this information can be found here.

During his report to the Plumas County Board of Supervisors this morning Jan. 11, Public Health Director Dana Loomis reiterated that Public Health is now posting the information on the Plumas County Public Health Agency website, rather than using its former process with twice weekly maps. He said it has to do with a staffing shortage at Public Health, as well as COVID’s progression from a pandemic to an endemic.

Loomis told the board that there have been two small clusters in the past week — one associated with a skilled nursing facility, and the other with a school.

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In other updates, Loomis said that the statewide mask mandate has been extended to Feb. 15. The mask mandate is meant to help stop the spread and help hospitals that are becoming overwhelmed with cases at a time when they are facing staffing shortages.

As for testing, Public Health has received 600 over-the-counter tests that will be distributed free of charge to the public. Another 3,000 are expected in another week or so, though it’s acknowledged that isn’t enough.

“People will be able to use them to make informed decisions about whether to travel or attend gatherings,” Loomis said of the value of the at-home tests. While kits remain in short supply, Loomis is hopeful that will improve.

There is also a limited supply of oral anti-viral doses. Currently Public Health has 20 that are reserved for high risk individuals.

Supervisor Greg Hagwood asked Loomis if the distribution of the at-home tests would affect the numbers reported to public health.” It would seem that a lot of people might resort to at-home tests and not report outcomes,” Hagwood said. ” That could alter the representation of accurate info to the public.”

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Loomis said that is expected to happen. “We probably already have unreported cases from twice to four times the actual number of cases,” he said and the at-home tests would add to that discrepancy. However, he said the advantage for people to test themselves and act appropriately, is more important. Anyone with a positive test is encouraged to report it to Public Health, and those who are at high risk should contact their physician.