Plumas County has experienced a 155 percent increase in doctor-reported testing for COVID in the last month.
Dana Krinsky, the county’s interim director of public health, announced these sobering results to the Plumas County Board of Supervisors Aug. 15. She called them a signal to the public.
“It’s cause for everybody to pay attention,” she told The Plumas Sun.
Testing is often a leading indicator of a rise in cases, which could show up in positive case counts in several weeks.
The countywide increase in people seeking COVID tests from doctors follows the national pattern, said Dr. Mark Satterfield, Plumas County public health officer.
“What’s going on here is what’s going on across the country,” he said.
“What’s going on here is what’s going on across the country.”Dr. Mark Satterfield, Plumas County public health officer
As new variants of the virus that caused a pandemic are detected, scientists are developing new vaccines to protect against them. Satterfield recommended waiting until September, when the latest vaccine will be available to the public, to get additional boosters.
“If you’ve had two vaccines and boosters, wait for the new one,” he said.
Krinsky said it’s likely that the number of people who test for COVID is greater than doctors have reported. Many people do not go to a doctor to test, she added.
Meanwhile, Satterfield reminded the public of the steps to take to avoid getting COVID-19. If you feel ill with a sore throat, low-grade fever or headache, he said, it might be the virus. Test yourself, test again and wear a mask in public.
“And don’t go to grandma’s house,” he said.
“Don’t go to grandma’s house.”Dr. Mark Satterfield
If you test positive and are over 60 years old, talk to a doctor about medications. During a COVID uptick like this, people who are vulnerable should think twice about going to crowded places.
“If you do go, wear a mask,” Satterfield said. “A good N-95 mask is the way to go.”
County health officials can provide Paxlovid to older and vulnerable populations who test positive for COVID, he said. The prescription medicine used to treat mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults can prevent the progression to severe illness.
People should try to get Paxlovid from their doctor, Satterfield said. If they have exhausted all other resources, he suggested waiting 24 hours, then contacting county health officials. The number to call under these extreme circumstances is 530-283-6426.
“We do not want an outbreak of COVID in Plumas County, and we do not want people to be sick with this virus,” Satterfield said.