QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
COVID-19 Information Line: 707-464-0911
Del Norte County has set up a COVID-19 information line to answer our community's
questions about the coronavirus that is causing COVID-19.
General FAQs About COVID-19
How can I best protect myself from getting the novel coronavirus virus?
Frequently wash your hands with soap or use hand sanitizers.
Avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose, and mouth because one-way viruses spread is when you touch your own mouth, nose or eyes.
Cough or sneeze into a tissue, sleeve, or arm. Do not use your hands.
Clean frequently touched surfaces such as phones, tablets, light switches, countertops and doorknobs.
Keep away from others who are sick.
Stay home when you are sick.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
Fever or chills
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Muscle or body aches
New loss of taste or smell
Congestion or runny nose
Nausea or vomiting
What should I do if I feel sick?
If you are feeling sick, you should go home immediately. Stay home until you are feeling completely well.
If you need to seek medical care, please call ahead and let them know your symptoms.
If you have a fever, cough or sneezes, runny nose, or a sore throat, please put on a mask before going to the doctor, if you can.
Influenza and other respiratory viruses are circulating in our community, so if you are sick with a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, you should stay home until at least 24 hours after you have recovered.
Do I need to wear a mask?
Cloth face coverings are recommended to use by the general public when going out in public. There is now a mandatory carry order and residents must wear face coverings when in public when social distancing is not possible. Surgical masks and respirators are currently being reserved for healthcare workers. The use of face masks is also crucial for healthcare workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings.
Should I get tested for COVID-19?
Yes! Depending on the recommendations at the time, you may be eligible for testing. You can get testing through your normal doctor or using our Del Norte County testing site, as our county continues to open up.
For more answers about testing in Del Norte County, please see our COVID-19 Testing page.
What is social distancing?
Social distancing is an effective way of slowing the spread of a virus. Social distancing includes personal things you can do and larger public health actions that can be taken. Social distancing includes:
Keeping 6 feet or more between yourself and others.
Limit your movement in the community and limit social contacts.
If you are sick, stay home and away from others in your household to the degree you are able.
Frequently wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer, cover coughs and sneezes, avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
Be cautious in your interactions with the elderly and others at high risk and act as though you have the potential to get others around you sick.
If you are over 65-years-old, you should try to isolate as much as possible.
Do not visit hospital, long term care facilities, nursing homes, or other settings with vulnerable populations.
Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects, like phones, tablets, doorknobs, light switches, etc. Regular household cleaners are effective.
Avoid large social gatherings.
In our community, schools have closed.
What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?
Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others and usually lasts for 14 days from the last contact with an infected individual. Isolation is used to separate people infected with the virus (those who are sick with COVID 19 and those with no symptoms) from those who are healthy and usually lasts for 10 days from when they first got sick or from the day of the positive test if they are not showing symptoms.
When is it safe for someone to come out of isolation?
Locally, we use the CDC non-testing strategy to determine if someone infected with COVID-19 can be released from isolation. If you have not had a test to determine if you are still contagious, you can leave home after three things have happened:
No fever for at least 72 hours (three days without the use of any medicine that reduces fevers).
Other symptoms have improved.
At least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.
How should I be preparing?
When an outbreak spreads globally, it becomes a pandemic. In the midst of this pandemic, you and your family should be preparing for the coming days and weeks. As we live in earthquake and tsunami country, it is already a good idea to be prepared for an emergency:
Meet with your household, your relatives, your neighbors to discuss what the needs of each person will be in a pandemic.
If your neighborhood has a website or social media page, consider joining it to stay connected to neighbors, information, and resources.
Create an emergency contact list.
Discuss how you are going to care for family members if they become ill and how to protect the ones giving care.
Prepare for sheltering in place. See recommendations from Del Norte County OES.
Continue to practice good hygiene.
Shelter in Place Order FAQs
Can I go outside?
Yes. You are allowed to leave your home to buy essentials, to do essential business, and to exercise. Spending time outside is beneficial to mood and well-being and is important for stress relief. Make sure to practice physical distancing each time you go out. Stay more than 6 feet away from those who are not part of your household.
What if I just have a little cold? Can I go out?
No. If you are sick, you need to stay home until you are completely well. For the average person, that is defined as at least 24 hours without fever while not using Tylenol or other fever-reducing medications and symptoms have cleared. Symptoms of COVID-19 are very similar to a cold or the flu. You cannot expect to know the difference. If you are seriously ill, please see your provider. If you are not seriously ill, please stay home, mark on your calendar when your symptoms started and try to keep track of them. This information may be useful to Public Health later on when determining immunity.
How do I get food and medicine if I have to stay home?
You are still allowed to leave your home to buy food, purchase medicine or other necessary items, like formula and toilet paper. Businesses that sell these items are encouraged to remain open and operate in a way that protects the health and safety of our community.
Should I stock up on food and necessities?
No. You will still be able to continue to purchase necessary items whenever you need them. Stores selling these items will remain open. Please continue to buy normal quantities of these items that you normally do. Buying more than what you need disrupts the supply chain of these goods. If you are having difficulty accessing formula, please call us at 707-464-0861 and we will help you access what you need.
Can I order things online and still have them delivered?
Yes. Businesses that deliver goods are considered essential business and may continue to operate.
What businesses are open?
As a variance county, Del Norte is moving faster through the process of reopening than the state. You can find out more about what businesses are allowed to open in Del Norte in our Roadmap to Recovery. You can learn more about county variance in California at the state website.
Why shut down so many businesses in our community?
Del Norte County Public Health has been closely monitoring the situation with COVID-19. It is clear that if we don't take aggressive action to slow down the spread, our small hospital and particularly our intensive care unit will be overwhelming with patients. We are taking this action to save the lives of the many high-risk people in our community.
We know how hard it has been, but you are literally saving lives by your actions. It is a huge sacrifice, but we are hopeful that you will be compensated. For support and resources for local businesses, please connect with the Economic Resiliency Branch, a special, multi-agency branch that has been created by the Del Norte County Office of Emergency Services (OES) to support our local business owners as this situation evolves.
As we move through the pandemic, we urge our community to do their best to follow public health guidance in order to keep businesses open and our community safe.
Can we go to the playground?
Playgrounds are being discussed by local public health, as they are included in the guidance for outdoor activities. At this time, we are uncertain when they will be reopened, but we do know they will need vigorous plans for use. Please visit the Roadmap to Recovery page for more information on what is open.
What about other outdoor activities?
We want to keep outdoor activities available that are inherently physically distanced as long as certain parameters are in place to protect community health and safety. For example, golf courses can remain open as long as there are no club rentals or range balls, carts are disinfected, and family golfing is used. For fishing, it can be done as a household in a boat or from the beach or bank. Kayak and bike tours are also now open.
Is the Oregon Border closed?
No. However, it is still highly encouraged that any travel out of the county is reserved for essentials. If you have a medical appointment out of the county, please call your provider to make sure the appointment has not been changed or canceled.
Can I travel out of Del Norte County?
Yes. However, the state still recommends that people not travel significant distances in order to avoid the spread of COVID-19. All persons in Del Norte County should be sheltering in place and locally we are asking residents to limit their travel outside of the immediate surrounding areas. As you travel, please be conscious to wear facial coverings, maintain physical distance in public spaces, and use good hand-washing practices. Individuals who are traveling domestically should monitor themselves and their household for symptoms of COVID-19 or 14 days after returning from travel, but no longer need to quarantine at home unless you have been at high risk of exposure. International travelers should still self-quarantine for 14 days after return. If you have traveled recently and become ill with symptoms consistent with COVID-19, please get yourself tested or speak to your health care provider.
Short Term Rentals Declaration FAQs
Can hotels, RV Parks, and vacation rentals still be open?
Yes. The revised Public Health Order rescinded the Short Term Rental Declaration from March 27, 2020.
What do I need to know about testing?
Find out more about testing at our COVID-19 Testing page.
Who do I call when one of my employees notifies s/he is positive for COVID-19?
Please call Public Health at 707-464-0861 and tell the receptionist that your employee was notified of a positive COVID-19 test. Please follow the guidance for what to do if an employee tests positive for COVID-19.
Do I have to notify the public if one of my employees tests positive?
Typically, no, this is not necessary. Public Health will complete case investigation and contact tracing to identify close contacts, usually those who are within 6 feet for longer than 10 minutes. When Public Health is unable to identify or locate all close contacts that may have been exposed, general messaging may be used to ask the public to call Public Health if they believe they were exposed. Thankfully, this is not typical.
Do I have to notify my employees if one of my employees tests positive?
Will Public Health notify me if one of my employees tests positive?
It depends. Public Health will investigate COVID-19 positive cases and trace all close contacts and will contact employers when a case or close contact is identified withing the workplace. Public Health will work with you to help you understand the level of interaction at your location and may provide further direction regarding cleaning, testing, and quarantine. In some cases, Public Health may need your assistance in obtaining employee names and contact information.
Should I clean my facility if one of my employees tests positive?
Yes, you will need to perform more frequent cleaning and disinfection, as well as enhanced cleaning and disinfection after employees with COVID-19 have been at work. A business or facility may close temporarily to thoroughly clean and disinfect areas. Please refer to the CDPH guidance for employers.