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Travel is increasing, what that means and when to self-quarantine

By Debra Moore

[email protected]

During his briefing today, Gov. Gavin Newsom discussed the overcrowding at some of the state’s beaches over this past weekend, particularly in Southern California, and the general uptick in travel throughout the state.

“We are just weeks away from making meaningful changes,” he said of a plan to ease restrictions, but advised that won’t happen if the data doesn’t support it. “This virus doesn’t take weekends off,” he reminded state residents.

Apparently overcrowding isn’t limited to Southern California beaches. This newspaper received reports of an increase in activity around the county, particularly in the Graeagle area where the mill pond proved a popular attraction.

This has many local officials concerned including Jayne O’Flanagan, Eastern Plumas Health Care’s chief executive. “We discussed it at our incident command meeting today,” she said. “It’s going to be interesting next month.” Because that’s when any increase in local exposure to coronavirus will become known.

This past weekend also saw the reopening of the Lake Davis boat ramps, but when asked if there had been an influx of visitors, Sheriff Todd Johns said he hadn’t heard of any issues.

On the state level, the governor will be calling on the California Highway Patrol, county sheriffs and local police departments to begin “more aggressive enforcement.” At this point the focus would be on education, but the governor didn’t rule out citations when warranted.

The governor’s stay-at-home order remains in effect until six criteria are met including consistent, downward trends in cases and adequate testing.

Plumas County Public Health Director Andrew Woodruff encourages residents to comply with the governor’s stay-at-home order, which only allows for essential trips. In a press release this afternoon, he reiterated that residents should only leave their homes for the following reasons:

• You are an essential part of the workforce and are being asked to work. Guidance about essential employees has been provided by the state https://covid19.ca.gov/stay-home- except-for-essential-needs/.
• To get necessary supplies, including food and medical care. If you are high risk (65+, or living with a chronic health condition), please seek assistance in getting essential needs met. Call 283-6400 if you need help.
• Go outside for fresh air or to recreate. Please remain socially distanced from others by staying at least 6 feet away from those not in your household.

Woodruff also sought to define when it is necessary to self quarantine, since it’s been confusing. Some questioned why second-home owners were required to quarantine for 14 days when it appeared that others did not have to adhere to the same guidelines.

“Now that the weather is changing, the increase in visitors from other counties and states is being acutely felt. This has exacerbated confusion about who is being asked to quarantine,” Woodruff said. “We are no longer encouraging quarantine for specific groups of people (second home owners for example), but rather reminding the public about when people might want or be asked to do so. These instances include having traveled to an area with considerable community spread of COVID-19, or an exposure to a known case.”

Following are the guidelines:

Self-quarantine means staying at home and avoiding contact with others to prevent spreading COVID-19. Anyone who travels outside the county for non-essential activities can choose to
self-quarantine for 14 days upon return. Two week quarantine provides enough time to know whether or not you will become ill and be contagious to other people, and limits your contact with others if you are infected but experience no symptoms.
There are some important factors to determine if you should self-quarantine.
• Travel to COVID-19 hot spots: If there are cases of COVID-19 identified in an area then it increases your risk to visit that area. For international information about cases, visit the CDC. For travel within the United States visit the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. If you have traveled within California, visit the Plumas County website and scroll down to the map of California. If you need help accessing this information, call 283- 6400.
• Contact with a known COVID-19 case: If you have close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, you will be asked to quarantine and a health care worker will be in touch with you about screening and monitoring for disease. This will reduce the chance of spreading the virus throughout the community.


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