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Plumas Public Health clarifies reports about high transmission rates of COVID

Plumas County residents may have been alarmed by reports that this county is among the areas with the highest Covid-19 transmission rates in the United States, according to the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker. The Plumas County Public Health Agency clarified today that this listing was the result of a data-entry error.

Dr Dana Loomis, an epidemiologist and Plumas County Public Health Director, explained: “Plumas County was classified as a “high transmission” area for several days because 13 wildland firefighters tested positive for Covid at the same Plumas County hospital in the same week. They were all residents of other states or California counties who came to fight fires in Plumas County, so their positive Covid tests should have been counted in the places where they actually live. Instead, the 13 cases were assigned to the address of the hospital where they tested, which artificially inflated the case rate for Plumas County. There were actually 4 Covid cases in Plumas County residents that week, which would put us in CDC’s “moderate transmission” category like most of northern California. We’re working to have the error corrected.”

Although the rate of Covid transmission in Plumas County is moderate according to CDC’s criteria, Plumas County Public Health Agency reminds residents and visitors that the risk of getting the disease and spreading it to others is increasing due to the spread of the highly-contagious delta variant. The California Department of Public Health and the CDC have recently recommended that everyone, including people vaccinated against Covid-19, should wear face coverings indoors as an extra precaution.

Plumas County Health Officer Dr. Mark Satterfield said, “Although vaccination is clearly the most effective way to slow the recent increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations, it just makes sense to add a mask as an extra layer of protection if you’re in a higher-risk environment. That could include spending time in crowded indoor places or visiting some nearby counties, like Butte County and Washoe County, Nevada that are high transmission areas according to the CDC.“

While wearing a mask can be a helpful precaution, the best way to avoid getting sick with Covid and stop the virus from spreading is to be vaccinated

Vaccines for COVID-19 are free and easy to get at hospitals in Quincy and Portola, pharmacies in Chester and Quincy, and from the Plumas County Public Health Agency. More information about how to get the vaccine can be found on the Plumas County Public Health Agency web site: https://www.plumascounty.us/2839/COVID-19-Home. For answers to questions about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, see FAQ or call 530-283-6330 to arrange to talk with our Health Officer, Dr. Satterfield, about your concerns.

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