As COVID-19 cases continue to increase across the country, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, has joined his counterparts in Oregon and Washington state in issuing travel advisories urging self-quarantines for visitors entering their states or returning home following travel to slow the spread of the virus.
Along with Newsom, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee are recommending 14-day quarantines for inter-state and international travel. They’re also encouraging their residents to stay local.
According to the new travel advisory, “Persons arriving in California from other states or countries, including returning California residents, should practice self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival. These persons should limit their interactions to their immediate household. This recommendation does not apply to individuals who cross state or country borders for essential travel.”
California Surpasses One Million Cases
“California just surpassed a sobering threshold – one million COVID-19 cases – with no signs of the virus slowing down,” Newsom said in a press release. “Increased cases are adding pressure on our hospital systems and threatening the lives of seniors, essential workers and vulnerable Californians. Travel increases the risk of spreading COVID-19, and we must all collectively increase our efforts at this time to keep the virus at bay and save lives.”
Statements from Oregon and Washington Governors
“COVID-19 does not stop at state lines. As hospitals across the West are stretched to capacity, we must take steps to ensure travelers are not bringing this disease home with them,” Brown said. “If you do not need to travel, you shouldn’t. This will be hard, especially with Thanksgiving around the corner. But the best way to keep your family safe is to stay close to home.”
“COVID cases have doubled in Washington over the past two weeks. This puts our state in as dangerous a position today as we were in March,” said Inslee. “Limiting and reducing travel is one way to reduce the further spread of the disease. I am happy to partner with California and Oregon in this effort to help protect lives up and down the West Coast.”
Fresno County Testing Issues
During a Friday Zoom call with reporters, Fresno county interim health officer Dr. Rais Vohra acknowledged there have been some issues with test supply shortages at UCSF-Fresno COVID-19 Equity Project test sites.
“They’ve really been just so successful at offering low cost, lost barrier, rapid testing,” explains Vohra. “They’ve reached that tipping point where at first they weren’t getting a lot of people but now the word is out and they’re getting perhaps too much demand.”
Vohra says the county is stepping up to support UCSF-Fresno while at the same time stressing there are many other options too.
“We really can’t be bottlenecking just one or a handful of sites. We really should be distributing the demand over all of the different sites that are available,” says Vohra. He says the three OptumServe test sites still have plenty of room, and primary care doctors are also being encouraged to do testing also. The county is also adding three more OptumServe sites to Selma, Reedley, and on Butler Avenue in Fresno (Mendota could be a 4th addition).
Number of Cases in Fresno County:
Last updated: November 12, 2020 at 4:35 PM (Wednesday and Thursday)
- Total Cases: 33,287 (+532)*
- Total Deaths: 456
- Currently Hospitalized: 123 (+11)**
- Recovered: 21,289***
- Test Results Received and Processed: 389,199
Masks Recommended for Thanksgiving Gatherings
At the national level, White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci is recommending masks at Thanksgiving gatherings where the infection status of people is unknown.
The nation’s top infectious disease expert told “CBS This Morning” that “even if it’s a very small group, to the extent possible, keep the mask on.”
Fauci says if families have either quarantined or been tested for the coronavirus, it’s not as necessary. But he says it’s wise to take precautions.
“There is community spread right now,” he said. “(People) don’t have symptoms, they don’t know they are infected. So, we need to pull more testing into the community.”
The U.S. set a single-day record of more than 160,000 coronavirus cases on Thursday.
“If you do the things that are simple public health measures, that soaring will level and start to come down,” Fauci said. “You add that to the help of a vaccine, we can turn this around. It is not futile.”
CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen says, “If you want to get together with other households for an indoor Thanksgiving, you need to quarantine for 14 days and then get tested.”
“Fourteen days is the maximum incubation period for the virus that causes Covid-19. If you quarantine for less time than 14 days, you could be infected and not know it. I am certain that none of us would want to inadvertently spread Covid-19 to those we love the most,” says Wen.
Self Quarantine After Arrival
In addition to urging individuals arriving from other states or countries to self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival, the states’ travel advisories recommend individuals limit their interactions to their immediate household. The advisories define essential travel as travel for work and study, critical infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, health, immediate medical care and safety and security.
(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)