Wildfires have forced thousands of people to evacuate around the state, and while there are no established evacuation shelters in Humboldt County, County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich is offering tips to those who are housing or plan to house evacuees.
Dr. Frankovich pointed out that although no one can entirely eliminate the risk of taking in friends and family displaced by wildfires, there are steps you can take to lower the risk of transmitting COVID-19. “This situation is enormously challenging, and our hearts go out to everyone across the state who is impacted by wildfires,” Dr. Frankovich said. “We know that Humboldt County residents show up when our neighbors need help, even those who live in other parts of the state, and we’ve already heard reports of locals who are assisting loved ones in this time of need.”
Follow these recommendations for at least two weeks to reduce spread of COVID-19:
- When possible, house people in accessory dwellings like mother-in-law units, or designate part of your home to be used by guests, ideally with its own restroom facilities.
- Wear facial coverings in common areas.
- Wash hands regularly for at least 20 seconds.
- Frequently disinfect commonly used areas and surfaces, especially bathrooms, kitchens, doorknobs, refrigerator handles and remote controls.
- Have meals and interactions where you are not using facial coverings outdoors as much as possible, and maintain appropriate physical distance.
The most important precaution you can take, Dr. Frankovich said, is strictly limiting your social interactions to household members. “This is especially important as many areas of the state are experiencing higher transmission rates than Humboldt, so people coming here may be at increased risk of having been exposed where they live,” she said. “If you plan on bringing people into your home from out of the area, please do not socialize with others who live outside your newly formed household unit. It’s just an extra safety measure that can help keep your family and our entire community safer.”
Dr. Frankovich spoke about wildfire evacuees in today’s media availability. To view the video, go to https://youtu.be/gb9XC5CihMs.
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