As of Tuesday, March 17, officials at the Colusa County Department of Health and Human Services verified that there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 and no people have been tested or are under investigation in Colusa County at this time.
Amy Micheli, Chief Operations/Nursing Officer for the Colusa Medical Center, said the facility is following the Center for Disease Control's guidelines for testing and no patients have met the criteria at this time.
According to Micheli, the hospital is limiting emergency room visits as a precautionary measure.
“If someone is sick they are given a mask immediately and asked the CDC questions,” said Micheli. “If there is any suspicion, they are put into an isolation room for the doctor to see and then we contact Public Health. Even visitors who appear well are being asked to wait in the waiting room and not come back to the ER where other patients are so we limit everyone’s exposure potential.”
In anticipation of a surge of patients from the community or surrounding hospitals, Micheli said the hospital has also discharged rehabilitating patients with home health support and are reserving those beds for patients who are sick.
“In the case that we have isolation patients, they will need private rooms so we are reserving those for isolation situations,” said Micheli.
Micheli said that the hospital is also working hard to protect staff from exposure and quarantine.
“The CDC recommends that all hospitals get a 'back up staff' ready, but in rural health we barely have enough 'primary staff,' - there are no options for back up,” said Micheli.
According to Micheli, staffing is short at this time due to school closures and cancellations of after school programs and childcare in the areas where many of the employees live.
Gregory Burt M.D., Colusa County Health Officer, released a statement on Friday supporting state officials decision to limit non-essential gatherings in a effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus and asked that local entities adhere to this policy.
According to the release, essential gatherings should only be conducted if the essential activity could not be postponed or achieved without gathering, meaning that some other means of communication could be used to conduct the essential function.
Following suit, the city of Williams announced on Monday that all city offices will be closed until further notice due to the ongoing health concerns. Officials for the county and the city of Colusa continue to operate during regular business hours.
“I want the public to be assured that we are closely monitoring the situation, County officials and libraries remain open and we are here to meet the needs of our citizens,” said Board of Supervisors chairperson Denise Carter.
While all branches of the Colusa County Free Library will continue to remain open during their normal business hours, all programming has been cancelled through March 31.
Laura Ford, CEO at the Colusa County Fairgrounds, released a statement on Tuesday afternoon announcing that the Colusa County Fairgrounds office will be closed to the public until further notice.
“Pursuant to guidance from the Center for Disease Control, all public events in March and April have been cancelled,” said Ford. “We will follow the ever changing daily CDC reports, and will follow all rules and proclamations dictated by Governor Newsom.”
According to Ford, fairgrounds staff will still be available to assist customers by phone at 458-2641 or by email.
Ford said that they continue to work closely with promoters for events scheduled in May.
“This is as far ahead as we're able to control at this time, and sincerely appreciate your patience and support during these trying times of the unknown,” said Ford.
The Colusa County Transit Agency released a statement on Monday that they will be sterilizing each bus at the end of every service day as a precaution to mitigate the spread of the virus.
“While we can't always avoid contact with the general public, here at the CCTA we will continue to do our part in making an every effort to diminish the spread of germs to the most vulnerable in our community,” read the statement penned by Transit Manager Thomas Simms.
Colusa Casino Resort issued a release on Monday, stating that effective Tuesday, March 17, the resort will temporarily limit hours of operation to 8 a.m. through 2 a.m. daily in an effort to maintain the wellness of their guests.
“Limiting the operational hours and certain operations will ensure our staff has the opportunity to deep clean and sanitize our facility daily, as keeping a clean and safe gaming environment for our valued guests and employees remains a top priority,” read the release.
In addition to the limit hours of operation, the casino has also temporarily postponed all bingo seasons including the March Bingo Blowout scheduled for March 29 and temporarily close all table games.
The Casino Bus Program and Bingo Bus Program have both been suspended at this time.
Dining options within the casino have also been limited, with a reduction of hours at Jack's Place and Table 45. Other eateries including 37Seventy and the Hot Dog Stand will remain closed at this time.
Entertainment at the casino has also been suspended until further notice, including all performances at Jack's Lounge and the performance of Ms. Pat that was originally scheduled for March 20. This show has been postponed until Aug. 14. According to the Colusa Casino Resort website, tickets already purchased for this show will automatically transfer to the new show date but refunds will be available for those who are unable to attend through April 15.
The casino also announced on Tuesday that they have chosen to suspend programming including Membership Appreciation Day, the Vista Slot Tournament, Colusa Cash, Winsdays, the General Manager's Invitational Dinner and the Jackpot Party in an attempt to limit large gatherings or situations that could make social distancing difficult.
For more information about the Colusa Casino Resort, visit www.colusacasino.com.
All Little League activities throughout the county have also been suspended until no earlier than May 11.
Some restaurants, including Riverbank Pizza, said they will be open for take out orders only until further notice.
Other establishments including Rocco's Bar and Grill, Maxwell Inn and Granzella's said they have decreased seating to comply with the recommended 50 percent capacity to encourage social distancing and are also encourage to-go orders.
As of Tuesday, there have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus in any of the surrounding counties, except Yolo which has reported its second confirmed case on Friday.
As of Tuesday there have been 11 coronavirus-related deaths reported in California.
For updated information about the local effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, visit http://www.countyofcolusa.org/99/Public-Health.
Changes to upcoming events
Several events have been rescheduled or postponed amid the coronavirus outbreak:
- The Williams Fire Department's Sportsman Dinner, originally scheduled for March 14, has been postponed until further notice. The Colusa Firefighter's Association's Pancake Breakfast, originally scheduled for March 22, has been postponed until further notice.
- The Colusa Rural Firefighters Comedy Night, originally scheduled for March 28, has been rescheduled for May 2.
- The Williams Community Center Art Show, originally scheduled for March 28, has been rescheduled for May 2.
- The Colusa County Office of Education’s Family Fair, originally scheduled for April 4, has been postponed until further notice.
- As of Tuesday, organizers of the Stonyford Rodeo said that the rodeo, scheduled for May 1-3, will still be held as planned.