Practice English Speaking&Listening with: May 15, 2020 | Media Availability - Dr. Teresa Frankovich

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Good afternoon we're here with Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa

Frankovitch for the May 15th media availability. Thank you for joining

us. Thank you. Q: Are some locals with mild or moderate symptoms still being told to

stay home, rather than get tested, and is it a concern that prioritizing certain

test recipients may be giving us an inadequate sample of the Humboldt County

population? A: Well, I just want to be really clear, that we actually have been trying

to communicate that everybody with symptoms, with mild symptoms or people

without symptoms, should be tested. We would like them to come in, particularly

and utilize our Optum test site, to do that. We do want to mention, that people

with more significant symptoms should contact their provider first, because if,

we may want to prioritize their testing to be done in County rather than being

sent out. But otherwise, we welcome people to the test center, it's an important part

of understanding Covid in our community. Q: How many false positives does the county

expect it's PCR tests are turning up and how frequently should people get tested?

A: I don't think we're really getting false positives. Our test is highly sensitive

and specific. It can detect just a tiny number of copies of the virus, so it is

probably one of the best tests in the country. So, I really don't think that

that's an issue. What I would tell people, is the frequency for testing, remember

that when you're tested it tells you your status for that day, it really

doesn't tell us anything about your status for the next day or the following

day. That being said, if you don't have symptoms, we'd recommend that you're not

tested any more frequently than about every two weeks or so, but if you develop

mild symptoms, even if it's been a short period of time,

come on in and get tested. If you develop more significant symptoms, contact your

provider. Q: Is the county only looking at PCR

tests to determine if a person is infected with the corona virus or

does it also look at other factors and if so, what are those? A: Well, what I would

say is, that we know once a person is exposed to the virus it can take up to

14 days before they become ill, and we know that some people never become

significantly ill. So, if we have, for instance, someone who's a contact of a

case and they test negative, and we may go ahead and retest that person at some

point, if we really have a concern about the possibility of infection. Because

again, we know the test is helpful on the day but not necessarily in follow-up. I

would say that, if we do have someone with symptoms, who just happens to be a

contact, that, you know, we test them. If that's a positive result, we know

where we are, if it's negative, we still follow them through the quarantine

period. Q: Some community members have expressed concern over the potential of

mandatory vaccinations following the creation of a Covid-19 vaccine. Is there

any validity to that concern? A: Honestly, I don't see that happening. I think that

the bigger issue wtih the vaccination is when a vaccine becomes available,

assuming that it does. I think the bigger issue is going to be that it will be

available initially in relatively short supply. So, I think it's going to be more

difficult to figure out how to prioritize individuals for vaccination,

rather than forcing people to be vaccinated. Q: With more cases emerging from

Alder Bay, should other facilities prohibit any sort of events moving

forward. For example, some of the drive-by birthday parties that have been

happening. What is the safest way for them to move forward in this regard? A: So, I

think we've, we've tried to really make it clear to people, that when we bring

groups of people together, it increases risk of transmission. The

closer we bring them together, the more risk there is. And so, I really

want to emphasize to people, that us beginning to move forward, does not mean

that as a general community, we are now beginning to just mix socially, that is

not the recommendation. We are beginning to open up businesses so that we can

help our economy and social issues begin to recover, but it is not meant to be an

indicator that we can start mingling in groups, recreationally, socially, at this

time. My, we will get to that place, we're just not quite there yet. Q: With more

places reopening, what about summer camps and other activities for children, during

the summer when they're out of school? Is there a way for kids to safely resume

these kinds of activities? A: Well, I think that when we're talking, it really

depends on the specifics of what we're talking about. So, if we're looking at, you

know, overnight-come and reside and camp for a week, those are not going to happen

very soon. If we're talking about day camps, that may be able to really

function as childcare in the same specifications, that may be an option. And

so, I'm encouraging people who do operate these, to look at their operations and if,

if really what they serve, ask. And I'm talking about serving local families not

serving people from out of the area, but if their day camp really in the summer

can essentially, does operate as a childcare option for families, we may be

able to work with that, but they should look at the childcare guidances and see

if that is something that they can accomplish in their setting. In terms of

summer sports leagues and such for children, I, all I can tell you is, right

now with it, that's not really on the table. However, you

could not surprise me if over the coming couple of months, over the summer, that

we're able to see some of those activities start. So, you know, just keep

posted. Q: Okay. At what point will Covid-19 positive patients be transferred to the

alternate care site? A: So, the alternate care site is really meant to be an

overflow unit for our hospitals and most specifically, what we're talking about

are people, for instance, you've been hospitalized because they needed

hospital care for Covid and now just aren't quite ready to go back to the

home setting because they may have some needs, like a little bit of oxygen, some

other care. So, the site is meant to be sort of a pop-off valve for the hospitals

to be able to move people off-site, if they don't need hospital level care but

still receive some care before they're ready to go home. And so, what I would

tell you is, we're not seeing those kinds of numbers at this time, our hospitals

have capacity to manage their patients. So, it is not the time that we would

be activating those sites. Q: Taking into consideration the first model projection

of Covid-19 hospitalizations of Humboldt County, which predicted that a

surge of nearly a thousand hospitalizations would occur in late

summer if the mitigation restrictions were lifted on May 1st, do you expect to see a

surge locally that would be similar to what was predicted in that specific

model, and how do you expect the actual rise in cases locally to correlate to

that prediction? A: So, what I want to emphasize to people, and it's nice to

know people are looking at the models that we put out there, but what I want

to emphasize to people, is that was not if you did any lifting of restrictions,

it was if we completely lifted restrictions, if we had no measures in

place to contain spread. That is clearly not the case here. We are starting with

small steps to open things up and we will be following the data on the ground.

At this point, it would be completely foolhardy to just stop completely, out of our

current restrictions. So, I, you know, that I do not predict those kind of numbers

right now, based on what we're doing. That being said, we do have to carefully

monitor, because we know this virus can spread quickly, and so we want to be

watching what's happening. Q: We have been told by multiple sources that at least

one, and potentially three local casinos, planned to open later this month. What

would your advice be to tribal governments regarding such proposed

openings, and if casinos do open to resume operations, what if anything can

public health do to mitigate potential risks? A: Well, you know, I can say to that is

I think I've really appreciated our partnership with the tribal entities in

in our County and I feel like we've been working pretty collaboratively in a lot

of areas, and that's been really helpful for Humboldt County. I also have seen

plans for reopening and I think there has, for the plans that I've seen, have

been very thoughtful about how they might do so safely, when it's the moment

to do that. But what I can say is, that this is not the time. We are far too

early in this and ultimately, there's no way to get around the fact that these

are mass gatherings. It's an entertainment menu and people are not

only together in large numbers, but they're together for large periods of

time, which extends risk. And so, what I would say is, I'd be disappointed to hear

that. I don't think it's the time. I would clearly oppose the opening of

casinos right now in our community, although I'm happy to have ongoing

discussions about when that moment might be right. Q: And then the last question, how

many unlinked chains of Covid-19 transmission has public health

identified over the past 14 days? A: Well it's a good question and again, it speaks

to the fact that, you know, the, the report that we submitted to the state, this is

one of the indicators that we look at for evaluating where we are on the

ground. So what I would tell you is, that I, you know, I can't, I can't tell you

specifically right now because we have a number of cases under investigation.

Through that investigation we start to piece together who's associated with who

in a case line, sometimes that's obvious and sometimes it is something we learn

two or three days and sometimes even longer out, as we start to explore the

chains of people who are involved. What I can tell you is, I, I would say I think we

have at least three right now. It's possible that we have a fourth but hope

that will become clear over the following days. What I do want to

emphasize though, is to remember that this, one of the criteria that we had in

our epidemiology plan for monitoring, was three or more unlinked chains of

transmission within a 14 day period. as being an indicator of something going on

in the community that we need to pay attention to. But I want to mention that,

that is one of the indicators. There are multiple epidemiologic indicators. There

are multiple Hospital factors and other preparedness factors and, that are, go

into our equation, so a single factor of concern is not necessarily something

that changes what we do, but it's the entire picture. Q: Great, thank you so much.

A: Thank you, I appreciate it

The Description of May 15, 2020 | Media Availability - Dr. Teresa Frankovich