Coronavirus Cell

A 31-year-old Mono County woman who owns a home in Tuolumne County has been diagnosed with coronavirus, county officials reported Thursday morning.

Dr. Eric Sergienko, Tuolumne County interim health officer, released a statement saying the woman, who is being treated at Adventist Health Sonora, traveled here with a companion, who is showing minor symptoms and is in isolation.

“We must remain ready for additional cases of COVID-19 in our county and work with our partners to rapidly contain any cases that arise,” Sergienko said. “Tuolumne County Public Health staff are coordinating quickly with Mono County on the investigation in order to contain the virus to the case and contact identified last night.”

Sergienko said the woman was stable at Adventist Health Sonora when he last checked Thursday morning.

The hospital has not responded to a request for comment.

Though the investigation is ongoing, Sergienko said public health officials do not believe the woman had any personal contact with anyone in the county other than her companion after coming here to self isolate.

“She was already feeling sick when she got here, having mild symptoms and thought she could take care of it herself, then started experiencing shortness of breath and got medical attention,” he said.

Sergienko said he couldn’t provide a general location of where the woman was staying in the county due to medical privacy laws. He also couldn’t say when she came to the county, went to the hospital, or the age, gender and residency of her companion.

County Administrator Tracie Riggs issued a press release Thursday morning after being notified about the case Wednesday night that stated the “risk for community exposure is considered minimal” because the woman stayed in her home.

The release also stated that the case will not count as a case for Tuolumne County because the woman lives elsewhere, which Sergienko confirmed in the interview Thursday morning.

“Disease reporting is a function of the county in which you reside, not a function of the county in which you are diagnosed,” he said.

Mono County has had four reported cases. The first is a critically ill Mammoth resident who is in a Reno hospital, according to a release from Mono County.

"The accelerating numbers of recognized and suspected infections demonstrates more clearly than ever that we have an epidemic in the Mammoth area," a news release from Mono County public health said. "Remember that for every case we diagnose there are probably 10-20 others in the community, especially with the embarrassing testing situation in the United States. We implore the community to continue, to double down in, practicing social, or as some are calling it, physical distancing. This is an extremely serious situation and we fervently hope that all our efforts to promote distancing, from simple recommendations to the California Stay At Home order to restrictions on hotels, motels, VRBOs and campgrounds, will reduce the impact on our community, especially elderly and medically vulnerable adults, who have higher rates of severe disease."

Mono County Health Officer Tom Boo ordered sick people to stay home from work and if they don't the business may be fined, forced to close or people may be imprisoned.

"Reports from the public about sick people in public-facing jobs or from concerned co-workers will be investigated," the press release said. 


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