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The Del Norte County Department of Health and Human Services is dispelling rumors about the novel coronavirus which has not reached Sutter Coast Hospital in Crescent City:

It has come to the attention of the Del Norte Public Health Department that there is a current Facebook posting of “positive coronavirus at Sutter Coast Hospital in Crescent City” which seems to be creating some alarm.

Coronaviruses come in all shapes and types, so to speak, and swab testing of the throat or the nose that is done in an office and in the ER can include testing for coronaviruses, as they are often the source for respiratory infection. These tests, however, are NOT testing for the novel (new) coronavirus infection that is in China, and has been in the news over the last week. The only place that is testing for the new virus in the United States is at the Centers for Disease Control.

There have been no patients at Sutter Coast that have or are being evaluated for the novel (new) coronavirus. There may be many patients in the community who have been tested for other kinds of coronavirus this flu season, and some may have tested positive, but that is to be expected during the heart of the cold and flu season.

Please keep in mind that a positive test on a routine swab for coronavirus is only testing for known coronaviruses, NOT the novel (new) coronavirus in China. Only two cases of the new virus have been reported in the entire country in the last week. Our community is unlikely to see cases of the new virus anytime soon, and we are extremely unlikely to be the first place in California to have the new virus appear.

Dr. Warren Rehwaldt

Del Norte County Public Health Officer

Dept. of Health and Human Services

Public Health Branch

707-464-0861

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