Public Health agencies across the country, including Napa County, have received many questions about the availability of testing for the coronavirus (COVID-19) and understand that the current situation is creating stress and anxiety for many. It is true that testing supplies are still limited not only in California, but across the United States. This means that testing must be prioritized based on the risk to the larger community if cases were to go undetected. An example of high priority areas are hospitals and long term care settings, both to protect our healthcare workforce and our community members that are at highest risk of severe disease and death from COVID-19 . There is currently no FDA approved treatment for COVID-19, so guidance for those with mild to moderate illness will not change based on laboratory test results. Those with symptoms of fever or cough should isolate themselves at home and follow guidelines for home care.
Guidance on pandemic response from the World Health Organization (PDF) PDF PDF Download PDF PDF PDF PDF tells us that testing everyone with symptoms is not necessary in order to have effective surveillance or to make decisions to protect public health. Currently, sustained community transmission has been detected in several nearby counties (e.g. Solano, Yolo, San Francisco, etc.). Because of the movement of people around our region, this tells us in all likelihood, there may have been cases of COVID-19 within Napa County, and that we must focus on ensuring early detection in higher risk settings.
In the United States, there are currently cases of COVID-19 identified in 46 states and the District of Columbia. Once a pandemic has been declared and a country has detected person-to-person transmission, guidance on laboratory testing is to collect a sampling of cases (rather than all cases) in order to monitor the spread and impact of the illness. Milder cases and those that occur outside of high risk settings are then identified based on clinical symptoms rather than laboratory tests.
Federal and State officials continue to work to make additional lab testing kits available. Napa County will continue to work with federal and state agencies and our health care community to provide guidance and information as it becomes available. The Napa County Public Health Division will continue in its commitment to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our community as we move forward in this unprecedented event.
If You Feel Sick
- The main symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, shortness of breath and sore throat.
- If you would not normally visit your doctor for these symptoms, don’t go to the doctor.
- Call your doctor and ask for advice if you have concerns about your illness.
- Do not go to the emergency department or your doctor’s office. You may infect other people.
- Testing is limited at this time in Napa County. Individual healthcare providers have the ability to order tests for their patients, and if the patient meets criteria for testing, Public Health will contact them for an appointment at the drive through clinic.
- If you are experiencing minor symptoms, call your medical professional. Please do not show up in person.
When You Should Go to the Emergency Room (ER)
- If you have profound difficulty breathing, unremitting fever, lethargy or weakness.
- If you feel very ill and you have diabetes, chronic lung disease or other serious conditions.
- If you feel very ill and have traveled to an area with Corona virus or have known contact with someone who has the virus.
- Do not walk through the waiting room. Call ahead if possible. Ask for a face mask and identify yourself to staff.
- If you are experiencing a medical emergency, and cannot safely transport yourself to the emergency room, call 9-1-1 and inform the dispatchers which symptoms you have that are consistent with COVID-19.
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- Phone: If the resources listed have not addressed your question(s): If you are not a healthcare provider, please call our coronavirus information line at 707-253-4540 (Monday – Friday, from 9am to 12pm and 1pm to 5pm)
- Healthcare Providers: please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org