Attending remotely, Tehama County Supervisor Candy Carlson announced to the board that she has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and pleaded with the rest of the county to take the deadly virus more seriously.
"I'm very fortunate that my symptoms are somewhat mild, but my 82-year-old father is in the hospital ICU,” she said. “Believe me, this pandemic is a very serious concern.”
In relating how she and her father came down with the virus, her story is now a familiar one in how COVID-19 is spread.
“We were exposed by a person who didn't think the pandemic was real, didn't wear a mask and didn't think he would get it,” she explained.
Carlson went on further to explain that she and her father had taken all the precautions to be safe, but it only took minimal exposure for them to contract the highly contagious virus. “He (the spreader) became ill,” said Carlson. “He didn't feel that bad, so he didn't isolate, and both I and my father were exposed.”
“As a leader in this community, I'm making a plea to everyone, please choose to stay home if you feel ill, wear a mask around others, stay six feet or more apart and wash your hands before and after you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth,” said Carlson. “COVID is real.”
Her pleas were backed up by the report given at the meeting by Val Lucero, director of the Tehama County Public Health.
As of this week, Nov. 4 through Nov. 10, there are 1,249 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Tehama County according to figures provided by Lucero.
Within the last 14-days there have been four deaths – now totaling 19 – and 278 cases countywide. The number of confirmed Tehama County residents currently hospitalized is eight and another 364 people are under isolation or quarantine.
“Social gatherings are still the number one source of the spread of the virus,” said Lucero. “Then community spread and then the workplace.”
Statewide the total positive test results are at 11.0 percent, purple tier, up from 6.5 percent, the red tier. The case rate per 100,000 population is up to 29.7 percent up from 15.4 percent from Oct 25 to Oct 31. According to Lucero, the state has decided to eliminate the 3-day waiting period before moving an affected county from stage-to-stage.
“What this means is that a county can go from orange to purple overnight,” said Lucero. Tehama County has been in the purple since October when it was moved there for the second time.
With 41 counties currently in the purple tier, that equals 71 percent.
The board has been receiving questions about why certain downtown restaurants and other businesses within the county have been open and ignoring the recommendations. Chief Executive Officer Bill Goodwin explained that these businesses are within city limits and are under the jurisdiction of the city councils to regulate.
“Perhaps it’s time to meet with the individual city councils” said Goodwin.
Carlson went further to suggest a joint meeting.
In public comments, questions about why the county hasn’t done more to enforce policies in order to protect residents. It was a question that Supervisor Dennis Garton raised during supervisors' comments.
“We have gotten a lot of emails asking why we haven’t visited the topic, I think it’s time to bring it back to the agenda,” said Garton requesting it be put on the next agenda. “We need to have the discussion,” said Garton. “Wherever it goes, it goes.”