If it’s not already here in Trinity County, the COVID-19 virus is surely on its way, a Weaverville doctor said.
As of Friday afternoon, there were no reported cases of COVID-19, also known as the novel Coronavirus, in Trinity County. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any people sick with the virus in the community.
Weaverville Dr. Donald Krouse said he doesn’t know if the virus is already here. He did say he knows that two persons had swabs taken in the Trinity Hospital emergency room recently. Those results had to be sent out and haven’t come back yet.
A call to the Trinity Community Health Clinic was referred to MCHD CEO Aaron Rogers, who didn't have information as to any testing of patients and referred those questions to Trinity County Public Health. TCPH has put out news releases about the virus, but a call seeking more information on Friday wasn't returned.
Krouse said in his own practice he hasn’t seen anyone whose symptoms warrant testing. In fact, he said, it’s been a little quieter than usual – perhaps because people feel they should stay home.
Regardless of whether or not it’s here now, Krouse said, “It’s coming.”
“It’s a very big deal,” Krouse said, noting that the mortality rate for novel Coronavirus is higher than for the flu for people who contract it.
Regarding steps taken to slow the spread of the virus, he said, “I think what they’re doing right now is very reasonable.”
Large gatherings have been cancelled. Trinity County Public Health has advised frequent handwashing in earlier press releases and that people who are sick stay home. Public Health and the Trinity County Office of Education also recommended that schools suspend athletic travel, home contests, and large, non-essential school sponsored events through March 22.
Krouse said it probably is a good idea for those who are elderly or have respiratory conditions to avoid other people.
“It’s a good idea to slow it (the virus) down … so it doesn’t hit too hard,” he said, adding that a large wave can overwhelm the medical system.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, symptoms of novel Coronavirus can include fever, cough, and mild to severe respiratory symptoms.
“A lot of people are going to get it, be sick to varying degrees and then get over it,” Krouse said. “The very sickest people should come to the ER if they’re having really bad respiratory problems.”
The Mountain Communities Healthcare District today put out the following information for people who think they may have novel Coronavirus: “We have confirmed with Trinity County Public Health that they are not recommending everyone come to the Emergency Room for COVID testing. If you have symptoms you should contact your physician for instructions. If you feel you have a medical emergency, you should come to the Emergency Department. The physician, with guidance from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) will determine if a COVID test is warranted. If you do decide to come to the Emergency Department and you have a fever, cough, shortness of breath, nausea, diarrhea or vomiting, we ask that you stay in your vehicle and call 530-623-5541, and then press “0” to speak with the operator to register.”