Colusa County Public Health Officer Dr. Greg Burt has ordered that face coverings are now required to be worn by all individuals, with limited exceptions, within the county while in indoor public spaces or while unable to maintain social distance outdoors, effective Thursday.
“Our contact tracing efforts are revealing a staggering level of family and social gatherings.” said Burt. “During these gatherings, unmasked individuals are spreading the virus through respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that residents refrain from family and social gatherings, and wear an appropriate face covering when conducting essential business in public.”
The order requires individuals to have the mask on prior to entering any public indoor facility, while in any enclosed open space or while outdoors when unable to maintain six-feet of distance from others not within your household unit, according to a release issued by the county. The order provides exceptions for children under the age of two or for anyone who has difficulty breathing, is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the facial covering without assistance.
“I think the situation has changed and the situation that we’re now faced with, for a lot of people, is very scary,” said Colusa County Supervisor Merced Corona. “This is a small position we can take and a small thing that we can do to hopefully improve the numbers and help out the situation.”
Elizabeth Kelly, Colusa County Department of Health and Human Services director, warns that while the order now requires facial coverings, they are not a substitute for social distancing and should be frequently washed or sanitized.
“In addition, while current statistics prevent Colusa County DHHS from considering waiver requests to reopen schools, community participation in the facial covering Order, along with a corresponding decrease in community spread, could lead to improved data, and the submittal of waivers requesting school reopening by the end of August, or early September,” said Kelly.
As of Thursday, there were 361 confirmed cases of COVID-19 within Colusa County.
According to health officials, there are currently 61 individuals in isolation, including two who are hospitalized and another 80 in quarantine due to possible exposure.
Four deaths have been attributed to coronavirus complications within the county to date. All four individuals were residents of Valley West Care Facility and died after a COVID-19 outbreak was confirmed at the facility July 20.
Updated information about COVID-19 in Colusa County will be posted at http://www.countyofcolusa.org/771/COVID19 as it becomes available.