Alpine reports first confirmed coronavirus case |

Alpine reports first confirmed coronavirus case

California’s least populated county reported its first laboratory confirmed case of the coronavirus in a resident.

“The individual is recovering at home and was never hospitalized,”Alpine Health Officer Dr. Richard Johnson said on Monday. 

Johnson said that investigation revealed the person was exposed in a location outside of Alpine County.

“The individual and their household have been very cooperative with self-quarantine measures, and therefor we do not believe that this case presents any risk of community transmission.”

Johnson said that estimates are that it will take a few more weeks before there’s evidence that firm physical distancing measures in place have flattened the curve.

“This is not a time to let down our guard,” he said. “Even though we have not demonstrated the presence of community spread in Alpine County, we believe that we are all at some risk, as community transmission has been demonstrated in many of our surrounding jurisdictions where we live, work and shop. It is just a matter of time. Our vulnerability is especially high because of the limited resources we have in Alpine County, including gasoline, groceries, tourist-based economy, limited healthcare facilities and lack of a pharmacy.”

On Monday, Sheriff Rick Stephens asked that visitors and second homeowners remain home.

“Alpine County does not have the resources for an influx of second homeowners who want to come here and people recreating from areas affected by COVID-19,” he said. “There is almost nowhere to recreate. The National Forests are being shut down. Parking lots and restrooms are closed, along with stores and restaurants.”

Stephens asked people to stay home and practice social distancing.

“My staff is isolating themselves on their days off so that we may be here to serve you,” he said. “Lately, they’ve had to respond to calls that were unnecessary due to visitors not following the advice given by the CDC and our local public health officers. You will be putting my staff and their families in danger from unnecessary exposure.”