COVID-19 FAQs

What is the Novel CoronaVirus?

The novel Coronavirus is a new strain of Coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the Coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold. 

Why is it called COVID-19? 

On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) announced an official name for the disease that has caused the novel Coronavirus outbreak. The new name of the disease is Coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ’CO’ stands for ’corona’, ’VI’ for ’virus’ and ’D’ for ’disease’. 

Where did COVID-19 originate?

The first cases of COVID-19 were identified in Wuhan Province in China. 

When was COVID-19 first discovered?

China reported the outbreak to the World Health Organization (WHO) December 31, 2019. 

Who is at the highest risk for contracting COVID-19?

Early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. This includes: 

  • Adults age 65 and older.
  • Individuals with compromised immune systems 
  • Individuals undergoing cancer treatments
  • individuals who have serious chronic medical conditions such as:
    • Heart disease
    • Diabetes
    • Lung disease
    • Severe obesity

WHAT DOES "SHELTER IN PLACE" MEAN?

Traditionally when you hear the term "Shelter in Place" it is being used by local Emergency Personnel during or after an emergency and people are being asked to stay in their home for their safety. However during the Covid-19 incident "Shelter in Place" mandate ordered by the Governor is slightly different because we are being asked to shelter in place and only leave our homes for essential needs and business.  

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ISOLATION AND QUARANTINE?

Per the US Department of Health and Human Services isolation and quarantine are public health practices used to stop or limit the spread of disease.

Isolation is used to separate ill persons who have a communicable disease from those who are healthy. Isolation restricts the movement of ill persons to help stop the spread of certain diseases. For example, hospitals use isolation for patients with infectious tuberculosis.

Quarantine is used to separate and restrict the movement of well persons who may have been exposed to a communicable disease to see if they become ill. These people may have been exposed to a disease and do not know it, or they may have the disease but do not show symptoms. Quarantine can also help limit the spread of communicable disease.

Isolation and quarantine are used to protect the public by preventing exposure to infected persons or to persons who may be infected.

WHAT’S ESSENTIAL AND NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL?

Essential travel includes grocery shopping, banking, gas stations and other business related to 

WHAT’S ESSENTIAL AND NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESS?

Essential state and local government functions will also remain open, including law enforcement.  Essential business includes banks, grocery stores, laundromats, pharmacies, and other types of businesses that are essential to the public. 

Non-Essential Business include hair salons, consignment stores, nail salons, bars and night clubs, dine in restaurants and other recreational activity related businesses.  

WHAT ARE THINGS I CAN DO WITH MY CHILDREN DURING THIS TIME?

For ideas and resources geared towards your child please click here.

WHAT TYPES OF COUNTY SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE?

With the current order requesting limited personal contact Mariposa County has closed county offices to the public.  Although County Offices are closed to foot traffic, County employees are still working diligently to still bring the best service to our community. Please click here to see our department list and what services are being provided as well as how to contact that department. 

SHOULD PUBLIC EVENTS BE CANCELLED?

The California Department of Public Health has determined that gatherings should be postponed or canceled across the state until at least the end of March. Non-essential gatherings must be limited to no more than 250 people, while smaller events can proceed only if the organizers can implement social distancing of 6 feet per person. Gatherings of individuals who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should be limited to no more than 10 people, while also following social distancing guidelines.  The CDPH guidance is available  at their website. Guidance from LOCAL GOVERNMENTS may differ.

IS IT SAFE TO GO TO RESTAURANTS AND BARS?

As of March 17, 2020, California public health officials have directed bars, night clubs, breweries and wine tasting rooms to close. Restaurants should focus on food delivery and takeout while maximizing social distancing for those who are inside their restaurant.  Mariposa County is following the CDPH recommendation at this time for bars and restaurants.  CDPH Food, Beverage and Other Services Guidance (PDF).  UPDATE - this sector has now opened, please follow rules and restrictions when in a public spaces.

SCHOOLS ARE CLOSED. WHAT DO PARENTS DO ABOUT CHILDCARE AND PLAYGROUPS?

This is a challenging situation for parents across the nation, especially those who work.  CDPH provides guidance for child care facilities and pre-schools. At this time, due to the needs of parents and guardians these types of facilities remain open.
The idea with closing schools is to limit the number of social contacts. Social distancing an effective method of slowing the spread of this disease. Guidance on this point from public health authorities is evolving quickly, and typically towards being more strict rather than less, especially so for areas with confirmed cases of community spread of the virus. 

Parents with children at home may find some useful suggestions in this March 13th NPR "Life Kit" segment helpful Coronavirus And Parenting: What You Need To Know Now. Ideas include free educational learning sites, remote playgroups (think Zoom, Facetime), outside playtime, physical dance/movement videos, helping in the kitchen to learn cooking skills.

WHAT IS SOCIAL DISTANCING?

Social distancing is a practice recommended by public health officials to stop or slow down the spread of contagious diseases. It requires the creation of physical space between individuals who may spread certain infectious diseases. The key is to minimize the number of gatherings as much as possible and to achieve space between individuals when events or activities cannot be modified, postponed, or canceled.  Achieving space between individuals of approximately six feet is advisable. Additionally, there is a particular focus on creating space between individuals who have come together on a one-time or rare basis and who have very different travel patterns such as those coming from multiple countries, states or counties.

WHAT ABOUT PEOPLE WHO HAVE TRAVELED TO OTHER COUNTRIES?

As of March 17, 2020, any traveler arriving to the United States after leaving a country with Level 3 travel health notice related to COVID-19 in the past 14 days will have some level of restrictions on their movements. All travelers from these countries should stay home and practice social distancing for 14 days from the time they left the outbreak area. Foreign nationals who have visited China, Iran, and most European Countries in the past 14 days are temporarily not allowed to enter the United States. Learn more at the Centers for Disease Control’s COVID-19 travel website

SHOULD I TRAVEL WITHIN THE UNITED STATES?

CDC does not generally issue advisories or restrictions for travel within the United States. However, cases of COVID-19 have been reported in many states, and some areas are experiencing community spread of the disease. Crowded travel settings, like airports, may increase chances of getting COVID-19, if there are other travelers with coronavirus infection. There are several things you should consider when deciding whether it is safe for you to travel. Learn what they are HERE.