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Shasta County's Response to Local Emergencies

Current News 

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Daily Incident Updates and Press Releases

COVID-19 Incident Updates are posted every weekday afternoon. 

Expand the section below to see previous press releases.

October 2020

September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

Weekly Media Briefings

Media Briefings are usually broadcast on Wednesdays at 11 AM. Videos with captions are posted later.

View video for October 21, 2020

  • 0:06 – Updated statistics for COVID-19 in Shasta County (Sunday 10/18 and Monday 10/19/2020).
  • 2:03 – Shasta County hospitals and clinics give updates on how COVID-19 is impacting their facilities (Shasta Regional, Mercy Redding, Mayers Memorial and Shasta Community Health Center).
  • 13:03 – Dr. Karen Ramstrom, Health Officer for Shasta County, gives an update on the improvements regarding recent outbreaks at BSSM and skilled nursing facilities.
  • 15:39 – Robin Schurig, HHSA Public Health Branch Director, responds to a media question – what are public health’s thoughts on the county potentially rejecting the state’s tier system?
  • 17:18 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about false positives found in COVID-19 testing.
  • 19:18 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question – are you hearing from people that they are having difficulty getting tested?
  • 21:21 – Kerri Schuette, HHSA Public Information Officer, responds to a media question about general guidance for weddings.
  • 21:44 – Donnell Ewert, Shasta County Health and Human Services Director, Louis Ward, Director of Mayers Memorial Hospital District and Kerri Schuette add to Dr. Ramstrom’s comments on testing - anyone can test tested, turnaround times can sometimes be slower than expected. Find testing options here: https://www.co.shasta.ca.us/ready/covid-19/get-tested.
  • 26:16 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about the state’s soon to be testing facility expected to start operating in November 2020 in Los Angeles. This would also bring additional resources to the state testing site at Shasta College.
  • 29:10 – Robin Schurig responds to a series of media questions about the potential consequences of rejecting the state’s tier system.
  • 31:22 – Shasta County hospital partners respond to media questions about testing and PPE supply levels and talk about the supportive partnerships they’ve formed through the pandemic.
  • 35:05 – Robin Schurig responds to a media question – does getting tested help our positivity rate go down?
  • 37:54 – Robin Schurig responds to a media question – have an other California counties been successful in rejecting the state’s tier system?
  • 39:00 – Shasta Regional responds to a media question about the Turkey Trot – it will be a virtual event this year.
  • 39:40 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a series of media questions about the number of positive cases at BSSM.

View video for October 14, 2020

  • 0:07 – Updated COVID-19 statistics, as of Monday, October 12, 2020.
  • 2:07 – Shasta County Health Officer, Dr. Karen Ramstrom, give an overview of efforts to slow the spread of the recent outbreaks at Windsor care facility and Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (BSSM).
  • 5:46 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question – Is it accurate that BSSM is to blame for the spike in cases that is pushing us into the purple tier?
  • 8:40 – Public Health Branch Director, Robin Schurig, responds to a media question – Is it true that Shasta County is has the highest positivity rate in the state?
  • 9:32 – Robin Schurig and Dr. Ramstrom respond to a series of questions about testing capacity.
  • 12:22 – Robin Schurig responds to a media question about what happens with schools if we move into the purple tier.
  • 13:17 – Shasta Community Health Center Director, Dean Germano, and Dr. Ramstrom talk about Point of Care testing that has recently been made available at the clinic and the possible supply issues.
  • 17:01 – Robin Schurig, Kerri Schuette and Dr. Ramstrom respond to a media question – what will the restrictions look like if we move into the purple tier?
  • 19:54 – Robin Schurig responds to a media question pertaining to Bethel’s leadership and their comments on mask use.
  • 20:25 – Dr. Ramstrom talks about the growing body of evidence that mask use is helping slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • 21:18 – Dean Germano comments on how the healthcare community has been impacted by the struggles over mask use.
  • 22:43 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question – where else are we seeing COVID-19 spread?
  • 24:11 – Dr. Ramstrom and Dean Germano respond to a media request to elaborate on Point of Care testing.
  • 26:58 – Dr. Ramstrom talks about the different types of tests and their different purposes.
  • 28:48 – Dean Germano responds to a media ask to give his thoughts on measures BSSM is taking to end the outbreak at the school.
  • 30:58 – Robin Schurig responds to another media question about efforts to end the outbreak at BSSM.
  • 32:01 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about outbreaks at other local skilled nursing facilities, specifically the Vistas.
  • 36:21 – Dean Germano and Dr. Ramstrom discuss the success of the previous Saturday’s drive thru flu shot clinic.
  • 38:25 – Robin Schurig responds to a reporter asking for clarification on when businesses would have to start implementing purple tier restrictions. If Shasta County moves to the purple tier, it will happen this coming Tuesday, October 20th. Businesses will have until Friday, October 23rd to comply.

View video for October 7, 2020

  • 0:05 – Updated statistics for Shasta County, as of Monday 10/5/2020.
  • 3:30 – Dr. Karen Ramstrom, Health Officer for Shasta County, responds to a series of media questions about the cases tied to the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry.
  • 8:54 – Dr. Ramstrom and CEO of Shasta County, Matt Pontes, respond to a media question regarding the safety issue mentioned in the Bloomberg article that posted last week.
  • 11:46 – Robin Schurig, HHSA Public Health Branch Director, responds to a media question regarding the likelihood that Shasta County will be moved into the purple tier.
  • 12:51 – Robin Schurig and Dr. Ramstrom respond to a reporter asking whether the move to the red tier is frustrating from Public Health perspective.
  • 15:43 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question regarding prevention strategies at skilled nursing facilities and if policies may tighten up because of the outbreak at a local care facility.
  • 18:23 – Dr. Ramstrom and Robin Schurig respond to another media question about cases related to BSSM.
  • 19:23 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about the number of cases and deaths in Shasta County skilled nursing facilities.
  • 22:29 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about what state agencies are involved with helping to slow the outbreak at the Windsor care home.
  • 25:10 – Robin Schurig responds to a media question about compliance enforcement now that we are moving into the red, and possibly the purple, tier.
  • 26:42 – Donnell Ewert, Director of HHSA, responds to a media question about the vaccine trial happening locally and dispels the myths surrounding it.
  • 29:36 – Dean Germano, Director of Shasta Community Health Center, responds to a media question about Point of Care Testing.
  • 31:26 – Robin Schurig and Kerri Schuette respond to a media question about the flu shot clinic happening from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at 2650 Breslauer Way this Saturday – flu shots will be available, but COVID-19 testing will not.
  • 32:15 – Robin Schurig and Dr. Ramstrom respond to a media question about how school sports will be affected by the move into the red tier.
  • 34:24 – Robin Schurig and Donnell Ewert respond to a reporter wondering if there could be restrictions beyond what is in the purple tier.
  • 39:24 – Robin Schurig responds to the question – how long will we be in the red and/or purple tier?

Expand the section below to see previous media briefings.

September 2020

View video for September 23, 2020

  • 0:06 – Updated COVID-19 statistics for Shasta County, as of Monday 9/21/2020.
  • 1:45 – Dr. Karen Ramstrom, Shasta County Health Officer, talks about reaching out to other counties to get perspectives on how they are handling the flu vaccine mandate for healthcare workers.
  • 3:12 – Robert Folden from Mercy Medical Center talks a little about changes to the visitation policy.
  • 4:56 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a series of media questions about the outbreak in a local skilled nursing facility.
  • 10:40 – Robert Folden from Mercy and Dean Germano from Shasta Community Health Center respond to a media question about the flu vaccine mandate for healthcare workers, how it has been a practice for a long time but is particularly important this year due to COVID-19.
  • 13:06 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about state inspections of skilled nursing facilities and what lessons are being learned from the current situation.
  • 15:51 – Mark Mitchelson from Shasta Regional Medical Center responds to a media question about changes to visitation policy.
  • 16:54 – Dr. Ramstrom and Kerri Schuette, HHSA Public Information Officer, respond to a media question about local fundraisers and swap meets that are being advertised.
  • 18:33 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about the uptick in numbers and what they are related to.
  • 19:12 – Dean Germano and Dr. Ramstrom talk about COVID-19 cases and the decision making process involved when a case happens at a school.
  • 22:47 – Dr. Ramstrom, Robert Folden, Dean Germano and Mark Mitchleson respond to a series of media questions about the flu vaccine mandate for healthcare workers and the changes because of COVID-19. Dr. Ramstrom also provides statistics for healthcare flu vaccine compliance for 2019 (26:35).
  • 29:09 – Dean Germano and Donnell Ewert, HHSA Director, talks about some new research around the effectiveness of masks.
  • 32:50 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question – what would constitute an outbreak in a restaurant?
  • 35:56 – Kerri Schuette and Donnell Ewert respond to a question from the public about the uptick in cases and the possibility of moving to a higher tier.

View video for September 16, 2020

  • 0:05 – Updated COVID-19 statistics for Shasta County, for Monday, September 14, 2020.
  • 1:10 – Donnell Ewert, HHSA Director, introduces Robin Shurig, the new Branch Director of Public Health.
  • 3:40 – Kerri Schuette, HHSA Public Information Officer, talks about why Sunday’s numbers were not reported, saying that things have slowed down and the DOC will not be working on cases on Sundays, for the time being.
  • 4:26 – Dr. Karen Ramstrom, Health Officer for Shasta County, responds to a media question about air quality, schools and whether children should stay indoors while on campus.
  • 7:04 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about visitation policies in the hospitals and skilled nursing facilities, with regard to the pandemic.
  • 10:45 – Dean Germano, Director of Shasta Community Health Center, adds a response to an earlier question about air quality and schools.
  • 12:18 – Dr. Ramstrom and Dean Germano respond to a media question about infection rates in areas with lesser air exchange, like indoor environments.

View video for September 9, 2020

  • 0:04 – Updated COVID-19 statistics for Shasta County, covering Friday-Sunday.
  • 1:45 – Dr. Karen Ramstrom, Shasta County Health Officer, and responds to a series of questions about the state’s new tiered reopening system.
  • 6:02 – Dr. Karen Ramstrom responds to a question from the public – “Do you anticipate more cases with individuals evacuating from areas with higher case numbers?”
  • 7:07 – Dr. Karen Ramstrom responds to a question about how things are going with local schools and colleges.

View video for September 2, 2020

  • 0:03 – Updated COVID-19 statistics for Shasta County. Current as of Monday, August 31st.
  • 1:19 – Dr. Karen Ramstrom, Health Officer for Shasta County, answers a series of questions HHSA received from the public - What are the false positive and negative rates on test used to claim COVID-19 cases in the county? How many of the positive cases are due to multiple positive tests of a single individual? How many deaths from COVID-19 occur versus those who died with COVID-19? How many hospitalizations were or are from COVID-19 as opposed to with COVID-19?
  • 8:58 – HHSA Director, Donnell Ewert, explains the state’s new four tier system, the “Blueprint for a Safer Economy,” which can be found on ShastaReady.org under “Data and Statistics.”
  • 11:36 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about the definition of “capacity” for restaurants.
  • 12:51 – Dr. Ramstrom and Donnell Ewert respond to a media question about gatherings still not being allowed and provide insight on the frequently asked question, “why can this be open, but not that?”
  • 15:51 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about Shasta County’s ability to keep the spread of COVID-19 down and what is being done differently to accomplish that, compared to other counties.
  • 17:57 – Donnell Ewert responds to a reporter asking for further clarification on why gatherings and meetings are still not allowed, even though our economy is allowed to open up more.
  • 19:31 – Public Information Officer, Kerri Schuette, talks about where to find information on the four tiers on ShastaReady.org.

August 2020

View video for August 26, 2020

  • 0:01 – Updated COVID-19 statistics for Shasta County, as of Monday, August 24th.
  • 1:13 – Dr. Karen Ramstrom, Health Officer for Shasta County, talks about the work schools are doing to keep students safe.
  • 2:51 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about the state’s new tiered plan for reopening.
  • 6:01 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about people using disability exemption cards and how much “weight” they carry with businesses.
  • 7:28 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a question about recent COVID-19 cases in local schools.
  • 8:45 – Donnell Ewert responds to a media question about restaurants being cited for noncompliance.
  • 10:03 – Donnell Ewert responds to the question about the criticism Public Health has faced from some members of the community.
  • 14:43 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about COVID-19 and the likelihood that it is spread through contact with surfaces, such as the exchange of money.
  • 16:50 – Dr. Ramstrom talks about her hope that the community can come together to fight the virus, noting that there are many individuals and businesses who are doing their part.

View video for August 19, 2020

  • 0:08 – Updated COVID-19 numbers for Shasta County as of Monday, August 17th.
  • 2:35 – Dr. Karen Ramstrom, Health Office for Shasta County, responds to a media question about RANCHO (Rural Association of Northern California Health Officers) and the work they’re doing to get more flexibility for local decision making for counties that are not on the state watch list.
  • 6:19 – Dr. Ramstrom, Donnell Ewert and Kerri Schuette respond to a series of media questions about safety guidance given to salons.
  • 9:48 – Dr. Ramstrom and Donnell Ewert respond a series of media questions about the seasonal flu vaccine.
  • 16:06 – Kerri Schuette, HHSA Public Information Officer, responds to a media question about noncompliant businesses.
  • 17:31 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about the seasonal flu and whether we will have a lower rate because of the vaccine and other precautions.
  • 18:44 – Dr. Ramstrom and Donnell Ewert respond to the question – Is it too early to get the flu shot?

View video for August 12, 2020

  • 0:06 – Updated COVID-19 numbers for Shasta County, as of Tuesday 8/11/2020.
  • 2:08 – Shasta County Health Officer, Dr. Karen Ramstrom, gives a list of what the state has ordered cannot be open at this time.
  • 3:54 – Dr. Ramstrom talks about new guidance that allows institutions of higher learning to open to in person instruction for the fall. That guidance can be found on ShastaReady.org under “Roadmap to Recovery.”
  • 4:44 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about fall sports, saying that nothing has changed from last week. Youth sports are not allowed at this time.
  • 5:49 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about the state watchlist. We are not on the watchlist at this time.
  • 7:03 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a question about the work Simpson University and HHSA have done to implement prevention practices to protect students and staff.
  • 9:29 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about the numbers reported from the weekend appearing high, even when broken down into each day. Dr. Ramstrom commented that the numbers have been pretty on par with what we’ve been seeing over the past few weeks.
  • 10:37 – HHSA Director, Donnell Ewert, and Shasta County CEO, Matt Pontes, respond to a media question about the rally held at the Board of Supervisors yesterday.
  • 16:24 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about what makes it possible for children to not be able to pass the virus to other children as easily as adults can pass it to other adults.
  • 18:05 – HHSA Spokesperson, Kerri Schuette, responds to a question from the public – Can parks be open and can Big League Dreams be open?

View video for August 5, 2020

  • 0:05 – Updated numbers for COVID-19 in Shasta County, as of 8/4/2020.
  • 2:02 – Health Officer, Dr. Karen Ramstrom talks about how COVID-19 affects the body and what makes it different from influenza.
  • 5:04 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about guidance for higher education institutions, like Simpson College.
  • 7:02 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about high school sports, whether or not they will resume at the start of the school year.
  • 10:04 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to the question – If you had a child right now, how would you feel about them returning to school?
  • 14:45 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a series of media questions about the state’s underreporting of testing, mentioned in Monday’s Shasta County COVID-19 update and talks about the other avenues of reporting in Shasta County.
  • 19:17 – Dr. Karen Ramstrom responds to a question about the move to enforcement of state guidance and what will be done to ensure that happens in an evenhanded way.
  • 21:24 – Deputy Health Officer, Dr. Michael Vovakes, and Shasta Community Health Center Director, Dean Germano, respond to a media question about the recent news story where a local ear, nose and throat doctor suggested using a providone iodine solution to prevent COVID-19 infection.
  • 26:00 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a question from the public – If masks work, why are we seeing an increase in COVID-19 numbers?
  • 27:35 – Shasta Regional and Mercy Redding respond to a question about whether or not nursing students will be working with COVID-19 patients (both responded that they will not have nursing students working with COVID-19 patients).

July 2020

View video for July 29, 2020

  • 0:04 – Updated COVID-19 numbers for Shasta County, as of 6 p.m. on 7/28/2020.
  • 1:58 – HHSA Director, Donnell Ewert, gives a reminder to the community as to which businesses are not allowed to open according to the state order and provides a list of businesses that would have to close if Shasta County is moved to the state watch list.
  • 5:28 – Mountain Valleys Medical Centers reminds the community about the drive through testing available to eastern Shasta County Residents at their Burney and Fall River clinics.
  • 6:29 – Health Officer, Dr. Karen Ramstrom, responds to the media question – Are you concerned about the increase in cases?
  • 8:35 – Dr. Karen Ramstrom responds to the media question – Are you concerned about the event at the Sundial Bridge and whether the governor will take notice and take action against Shasta County?
  • 10:55 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about high school sports.
  • 13:11 – Dr. Ramstrom and Donnell Ewert respond to a media question about HHSA’s response to large gatherings that have occurred over the past few months, including the Cottonwood Rodeo, the protests and the faith gathering at the Sundial Bridge.
  • 16:52 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about whether some people are being honest when they are contacted through the contact tracing process.
  • 20:03 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a reporter who is curious if Public Health is seeing cases related to the Sundial Bridge event.
  • 22:58 – Dr. Ramstrom and Donnell Ewert respond to a media question about the growing resistance toward Public Health and the contact tracing process.
  • 25:58 – Donnell Ewert responds to a media question about possible legal civil measures that might be taken against businesses who don’t comply with the state order.
  • 28:58 – Donnell Ewert responds to the media question – “What makes Waterworks Park different from the Aquatic Center in Redding?”

 View video for July 22, 2020

*Special Media Briefing- COVID-19 and School Reopening Q&A*

Media Q&A:

  • 0:07 – Updated COVID-19 numbers for Shasta County as of 6 p.m. on 7/21/2020.
  • 2:58 – Donnell Ewert, Director of Health and Human Services, responds to a series of media questions about Project Home Key.
  • 7:16 – HHSA Spokesperson, Kerri Schuette and HHSA Director, Donnell Ewert respond to a series of media questions asking for clarification about the COVID-19 rates map released yesterday.

School Related Q&A – With Dr. Ramstrom, Judy Flores (SCOE), Jim Cloney (SUHSD) and Heather Armelino (EUESD):

  • 11:18 – Health Officer, Dr. Karen Ramstrom, and Shasta County Superintendent of Schools, Judy Flores, provide an overview of state guidance surrounding COVID-19 and how it is being applied to our local schools.
  • 17:37 - How will social distancing be observed inside the classroom?
  • 18:40 - Will teachers be expected to stay 6 feet away from students in special needs classrooms?
  • 19:57 - Will after school programs still be available and if so, will students from different classes be mixed together?
  • 21:09 - Why is it safe for our children to go back to school and yet it is still discouraged for people to gather outside their house?
  • 22:43 - Will school districts hold public meetings for parents to express concerns and get answers to questions regarding the school policies and procedure?
  • 23:40 - Will masks be provided by the schools or by parents, and what about families who can't afford to buy masks?
  • 25:14 - Will face shields be considered as a mask alternative? Can parents choose to keep their child from wearing a mask and will medical exemptions be allowed?
  • 26:36 - Will distance learning be an option or will parents need to home school if they opt to not send a child to the physical campus?
  • 28:37 - Can teachers with high risk family members teach from a distance?
  • 29:09 - Will parents be expected to sign liability paperwork that protects the district if a child or family member contracts COVID-19 at school?
  • 29:30 - Will parents get in trouble for keeping their child home too long when they are sick?
  • 30:22 - Will all parents and staff be notified if there's a positive case in a school?
  • 31:26 - How often will school buses be cleaned?
  • 32:23 - The guidelines state masks will not be required for 2nd grade and under, but many schools go up to 5th grade how effective are masks if only half the students are wearing them?
  • 33:27 - Will meals be provided to students who continue with distance learning?
  • 34:28 - What will a normal day look like? Will playgrounds be open? Will kids eat in the cafeteria? Will PE take place? Are class sizes being reduced?
  • 38:00 - What will happen with fall sports will kids be allowed to play in will parents be allowed to watch?
  • 41:28 - Will regular testing be done on teachers and students? If so, how often and who will be chosen?
  • 43:03 – Will there be internet connections available to families who can't afford it?
  • 44:08 - Private schools, are also governed by this by the state guidance?
  • 45:08 - What can parents do to be supportive of our students, teachers and schools over this next very challenging school year?

View video for July 15, 2020

  • 0:17 – Updated COVID-19 numbers for Shasta County, as of 6 p.m. on 7/14/2020.
  • 2:01 – Health Officer, Dr. Ramstrom, provides an update, focusing on the closures the governor outlined on Monday, reminding the community to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep our businesses open.
  • 4:50 – Public Information Officer, Kerri Schuette, talks about the link to the state’s watchlist on ShastaReady.org.
  • 5:48 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a reporter asking if anyone has been infected with COVID-19 after going to a dine in restaurant, saying there hasn’t been any HHSA is aware of, but there have been incidences where families have gathered to eat and disease spread occurred.
  • 7:04 – HHSA Director, Donnell Ewert, responds to a media question about restaurants that refuse to close again, saying that HHSA’s approach is to educate and encourage voluntary compliance, and that there are some state licensing agencies doing enforcement.
  • 8:50 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about delays in accessing testing and talks about a number of factors that can impact turnaround time.
  • 10:30 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about the state’s announcement surrounding testing priorities.
  • 11:30 – Dr. Ramstrom and Donnell Ewert respond to a series of questions about enforcement of the state closures. While there are many enforcement options to consider, education and working with business to be safe while staying open is still the preferred method.
  • 18:06 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about the rise in cases of children under the age of thirteen, saying it is concerning because it the children are likely going to places where preventative measures are not being taken seriously.
  • 20:30 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a question from the public – Why is herd immunity being discounted for achieving immunity from this strain of virus when there are little to no symptoms in many cases? Is the plan to mandate some vaccine assuming one becomes available to achieve the 70% immunity target?
  • 22:45 – Mercy Redding and Dr. Ramstrom respond to a question from the public – Are there medications being used to help treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients?
  • 26:38 – Donnell Ewert responds to a question from the public – Does the county plan to limit intercounty travel?
  • 28:23 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about her stance on schools reopening.

View video for July 8, 2020

  • 0:21 – Updated COVID-19 numbers for Shasta County, as of 6 p.m. on 7/7/2020.
  • 2:14 – Health Officer, Dr. Ramstrom provides a summary of key details about the approximately 100 cases of COVID-19 that have been confirmed since mid-June.
  • 6:35 – Mercy Redding acknowledges the information Dr. Ramstrom provided, stating it is the reason that they had to reinstate the no visitor policy at their hospital.
  • 7:17 – Mountain Valleys Health Centers talks about the drive thru testing available in Eastern Shasta County.
  • 7:51 – HHSA Director, Donnell Ewert, talks about how public health, “community organized efforts to prevent disease,” is different from personal health, and the importance of acting as a community to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Things like social distancing and mask use takes a cultural shift, but is achievable. Similar to how second-hand smoke was addressed 20-30 years ago.
  • 12:58 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about whether gatherings are the most important situation to avoid during the pandemic, saying that it is one of the situations to avoid. The other is to understand that there is community spread, which means that there are cases that can’t be traced, and anyone could be exposed anywhere while out in public.
  • 14:53 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to the media question, “How worried should we be (about the uptick in numbers)?”
  • 18:33 – Deputy Health Officer, Dr. Vovakes, talks about the community complaints he’s been addressing that there are some medical offices and clinics that are not requiring staff to wear masks.
  • 20:25 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about the reasons for testing backlogs and talks about efforts to increase testing capacity.
  • 22:56 – Dr. Ramstrom and hospital partners talk about their staff’s commitment to wearing masks in their facility to protect patients and other staff.
  • 27:51 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about the possibility of another uptick in cases due to July 4th weekend gatherings and travel.
  • 28:35 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about the conditions that would cause the COVID-19 alert level to rise.
  • 29:49 – Mercy Redding responds to a series of questions about staff complaints that they are having to clean and reuse PPE.
  • 33:28 – Dr. Ramstrom, Donnell Ewert and HHSA Spokesperson, Kerri Schuette, respond to a few of the questions asked by today’s Facebook live audience, including questions about weddings, schools, Project Room Key, whether people who have died from COVID-19 had underlying medical conditions, how close is Shasta County to being on the watch list, why public health doesn’t notify the public about specific places COVID-19 patients have been the same way they do the measles, and why we are still in a pandemic. Questions unable to be addressed in the live briefing will be responded to in the comments section.

 

View video for July 1, 2020

  • 0:11 - Updated COVID-19 numbers for Shasta County, as of 6 p.m. on 6/30/2020.
  • 1:55 - Shasta Regional provides an update about the decision to tighten visitor restrictions due to the uptick in cases.
  • 2:43 - HHSA Director, Donnell Ewert, comments on the uptick in cases and encourages the community to work together to contain the spread so our loved ones stay healthy and our businesses remain open.
  • 5:35 - Shasta County CEO, Matt Pontes, adds to Donnell's comment, saying nearly all of our businesses have been, and to keep each other and our business safe we all need to take precautions.
  • 6:42 - Donnell Ewert expands on Matt Pontes' comment, saying that some businesses may appear closed, but they are taking more time to reopen and do so safely.
  • 8:12 - Donnell Ewert responds to a media question about whether the uptick in cases is related to the protests.
  • 8:45 - Donnell Ewert responds to a media question about the increase in cases in children, saying that it is related to there being widespread testing available. Testing in the beginning of the pandemic was very limited and was being used for more of the severe cases, which tended to be people older in age.
  • 10:06 - Donnell Ewert responds to a media question about the governor's watch list. Shasta County is not currently on the watch list.
  • 11:44 - Donnell Ewert responds to a media question about mask and whether it will be enforced, saying that it is still happening on the honor system and we are relying on the community to do the right thing. The Sheriff's Office and RPD have made statements that they do not have sufficient resources to do enforcement.
  • 14:46 - Matt Pontes responds to another media question about mask enforcement, adding to Donnell's comment and also saying that local law enforcement has done a lot to help educate the community alongside public health.
  • 16:47 - Shasta Regional responds to a question about staff testing positive. There have been a couple, but they were outside the hospital, so there is no concern about exposure.
  • 17:28 - Shasta Regional responds to a question about the total number of ICU beds in Shasta County.
  • 18:20 - Mayers Memorial comments that they have had no COVID-19 patients in their facility and no staff have tested positive.
  • 19:05 - Shasta Regional responds to a question about testing patients. All pre-op patients are tested and any patient they suspect might have the virus.

June 2020

View video for June 24, 2020

  • 0:20 – Updated COVID-19 numbers, as of 6 p.m. on 6/23/2020.
  • 1:30 – Health Officer, Dr. Karen Ramstrom, talks about the uptick in positive cases and cautions people about the risks of small gatherings, even if they are family commitments.
  • 4:44 – Redding Rancheria Tribal Health Center talks about the new COVID-19 testing machine they will be receiving later this week, which will allow their patient population to get results in about ten minutes.
  • 5:16 – Dr. Ramstrom talks about the contact tracing process, as it pertains to working with businesses that have an employee test positive.
  • 6:03 – Shasta Regional sends a reminder to the community to please be honest about any symptoms of illness you are having when coming to the hospital, especially as more people are being allowed to visit loved ones in the facility.
  • 7:55 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about some confusion surrounding the COVID-19 alert levels on the ShastaReady.org website and talks about some of the indicators that are part of the system.
  • 9:07 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about whether or not there is a “magic number” of cases that would put us into the high-risk level and talks about the framework for the alert system being available on ShastaReady.org.
  • 9:48 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about the Redding Drag Races coming up this weekend.
  • 11:10 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a series of media questions about The Dip closing down when they learned a close contact had tested positive.
  • 13:23 – HHSA Director, Donnell Ewert, comments about risk and that there is established community transmission of COVID-19 in Shasta County.
  • 14:59 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about a high school grad night scheduled to take place at Waterworks Park in July.
  • 15:56 – The HHSA Spokesperson and Dr. Ramstrom respond to a media question about whether or not they’ve received threats from the community over COVID-19 guidelines.

View video for June 17, 2020

  • 0:15 – Latest COVID-19 numbers for Shasta County (As of 6 p.m. on 6/16/2020)
  • 1:55 – Mercy Redding talks about their updated visitor policy.
  • 3:18 – Shasta County CEO talks about the progress the county has made in reopening.
  • 4:00 – Mountain Valleys Medical Centers announces that testing will be available in Eastern Shasta County, thanks to a partnership with Health and Human Services.
  • 4:40 – HHSA Director, Donnell Ewert talks about what every Shasta County resident needs to do to ensure the reopening process doesn’t backslide – stay home if you are sick, stay home if you are vulnerable, wear a cloth face covering when you are out in public, and get tested regularly.
  • 6:01 – Health Officer, Dr. Karen Ramstrom, provides an overview of the new COVID-19 alert level dashboard on ShastaReady.org.
  • 10:49 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about public health and CIF guidance for high school sports. That guidance can be found on ShastaReady.org by clicking on Roadmap to Recovery and looking under “What can open now?”
  • 12:50 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about what sort of spike in cases would cause the community to fall back to stricter measures.
  • 14:58 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a question about mask use in public and what else could be done to encourage people to abide by the recommendations to wear a mask.
  • 17:57 – Shasta Regional Medical Center responds to a question about visitor policies and says that they have updated their policy to be the same as Mercy’s.
  • 19:00 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a question about lodging and short term rentals. Both types of businesses have been allowed to be open for essential purposes, however the state’s continued recommendation is to keep any non-essential travel close to home to help contain the spread of the virus.
  • 21:03 – Dr. Ramstrom is asked to clarify what the difference in risk is between movie theaters, which can open with modifications, whereas live theaters, such as Riverfront Playhouse, are not.
  • 22:14 – Dr. Ramstrom is asked to clarify what category Waterworks Park falls under, and explains that there’s not always an exact type of guidance for every type of entity, and that Public Health is working closely with Waterworks Park to do what is safest for their customers.
  • 23:16 – HHSA Director, Donnell Ewert, offers another explanation for why movie theaters can open versus live theaters.
  • 24:30 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a question about contact sports and whether they are safe to participate in, recommending that people stay away from playing these types of sports right now.
  • 25:38 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a series of questions about other counties use of wastewater testing as another means of tracking COVID-19.

View video for June 10, 2020

  • 0:15 – Updated COVID-19 numbers, as of 6 p.m. on 6/9/2020
  • 1:58 – Dr. Karen Ramstrom provides an update on new state guidance that has come down in the past few days. Keep track of what is and is not allowed to open here: https://www.co.shasta.ca.us/covid-19/roadmap-to-recovery
  • 7:21 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about the kind of threshold would be needed to cause concern when there is an uptick in cases and provides information on the COVID-19 Alert Level dashboard that will be added to the ShastaReady.org website later this week. The dashboard will give the public updated information that they can use to help make decisions about the precautions they take during the pandemic.
  • 10:08 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to the question, “How do you determine the cause of death? Is it they died of COVID-19 or they kind of died with COVID-19?”
  • 11:21 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a question about what it would take to increase testing capacity at the state testing site, saying that enough tests are being done to keep the testing site, but we would need to see more to “open another lane.” Robert Folden from Mercy Redding also talks about the testing being done for pre-op patients.
  • 13:25 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a question about the antibody testing being done with blood donations through Vitalant, saying if there was a positive case Public Health would be notified and that individual would be called in for a COVID-19 test. However, there have been no positive antibody tests identified thus far.
  • 14:26 – Dr. Ramstrom talks more about the soon to be released COVID-19 Alert Level Dashboard.
  • 15:52 – Mercy Redding does another plug for Vitalant and the critical need for blood donations.

View video for June 3, 2020

  • 0:24 – COVID-19 numbers for Shasta County, as of 6 p.m. on 6/2/2020.
  • 1:50 – Mercy Redding gives an update on their hospital operations.
  • 2:26 – Shasta Regional provides an update on their hospital operations.
  • 3:06 – Shasta County CEO, Matt Pontes, and Dean Germano of Shasta Community Health Center comment on the protests happening in the county, and thanks the community for expressing themselves peacefully.
  • 5:11 – Mayers Memorial provides and update on their hospital operations including information on new state requirements that all residents of their nursing facility and all their staff get tested for COVID-19 regularly.
  • 6:03 – HHSA Director, Donnell Ewert, talks about data showing that children are falling behind on their immunizations for other communicable diseases and encourages parents to contact their medical provide to schedule an appointment. He also talks about a new effort to help people with their mental health during the pandemic.
  • 8:05 – Dr. Ramstrom talks about the alert system that is being developed to track COVID-19 in Shasta County and how it will be useful in providing safety guidance to the public throughout the pandemic.
  • 13:37 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a question about the possibility that there could be an uptick in cases related to the protest gatherings, encouraging anyone who attended to schedule a testing appointment through ShastaReady.org, even if they are asymptomatic.
  • 15:51 – Dr. Ramstrom talk about what a “second wave” might look like in our community.
  • 17:08 – Donnell Ewert responds to a question about businesses opening against the state order, reiterates the messaging that public health has been giving out to the community.
  • 19:48 – Donnell responds to a previous question, with regard to the “second wave,” and provides information on how surrounding North State counties have been seeing upticks in positive cases.
  • 23:06 – Donnell Ewert responds to a question about gatherings. The two exceptions for gatherings that have been allowed by the state with modifications are church services and protests. It is still safest to only gathering with people in your household.
  • 24:36 – Dr. Ramstrom gives a suggested time frame for when a person who may have attended the protest should go get tested – seven days after the protest, then another seven after the first test.

May 2020

View video for May 27, 2020

  • 0:19 – Shasta County COVID-19 numbers (current as of 6 p.m. on 5/26/2020)
  • 1:35 – Dr. Karen Ramstrom provides clarification about the recent modifications the state made to the stay-at-home order.
  • 5:49 – Donnell Ewert, Director of Health and Human Services, responds to a question about gyms that are open against the state order and how that creates an uneven playing field for gyms that are complying, and explains why indoor gyms are considered high risk environments for disease transmission.
  • 9:31 – Donnell Ewert and Mercy Redding respond to a question about if there has been an increase in people seeking mental health services.
  • 14:05 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a question about waiting to see how things go (related to COVID-19 data) and what that could mean for the reopening process.
  • 15:40 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a question about the availability of anti-body testing and talks about the research being done on the utility of the testing.
  • 19:30 – Donnell Ewert responds to a question about no cases being identified from the rodeo and what that means, saying that if that is the case we are very fortunate, but it’s possible that there were related cases, just none that were identified. Large events and gatherings are still considered high risk activities.
  • 22:08 – Shasta County CEO, Matt Pontes, responds to a question about making the Board of Supervisors more accessible for public comment while maintaining a safe, social distanced environment.
  • 24:42 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a series of questions about youth recreational activities and high school sports facilities and talks about the guidance that will soon be coming down from the state.
  • 28:20 – Dr. Ramstrom gives an explanation of the contact tracing process and how it’s possible to identify places people have been right away and how sometimes it gets pieced together later on.
  • 30:25 – Mercy Redding provides an update on their visitation policy.
  • 34:24 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a question about nonessential travel and people in vulnerable groups.
  • 35:50 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to the frequently asked question – “why do you not publish a list of where people have been?”

View video for May 20, 2020

  • 0:06 – An update on the numbers for COVID-19 in Shasta County.
  • 1:46 – Health Officer, Dr. Karen Ramstrom talks about businesses reopening and the importance of doing that in a safe manner, as well as what can be done to continue to keep our numbers low, preventing a potential surge in cases.
  • 4:31 – Director of Health and Human Services, Donnell Ewert, thanks the community for their role in helping to contain the spread, allowing our businesses to reopen. Moving more quickly through phase two would not have been possible without everyone’s participation. He also speaks about the disbanding of the Unified Command. Health and Human Services is now taking the lead.
  • 8:16 – Donnell Ewert responds to a media question about the state’s role versus the county’s role with regard to the lifting of restrictions in the stay-at-home order, saying that everything that is happening is on the orders of the governor and the State Health Officer. Our local Health Officer is not imposing any restrictions greater than what the state has imposed.
  • 10:00 – Donnell Ewert and Dr. Ramstrom respond to a question about hair salons and when they might be reopening, saying that the governor hasn’t given clear direction about these particular businesses and that it could be, as the governor usually says, “weeks, not months.”
  • 11:11 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a question about how the governor determines what is a low or a high-risk business.
  • 12:51 – Mercy and Shasta Regional respond to a question about visitation policies at their hospitals and whether that has changed recently.
  • 16:31 – Shasta County CEO, Matt Pontes, responds to a question about the pressure on the Board of Supervisors to put pressure on the state to move things forward faster, and describes the efforts being made to continue to make our case to the governor. He also talks about the lessons learned from Modoc County’s defiance of the state order.
  • 22:22 – Dr. Ramstrom and Donnell Ewert respond to a question about faith communities being able to hold services and explain why this type of gathering is considered high risk.
  • 28:08 – Donnell Ewert responds to a question about how enforcement will be handled now that the Unified Command is disbanded and Health and Human Services is in charge, saying that educational guidance will remain the intervention of choice.
  • 29:23 – Donnell Ewert responds to a question about the growing number of health clubs that are opening against state guidance and explains why this type of business is high risk.
  • 32:35 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a question about the rumored opening of Waterworks Park at the end of the month, saying that HHSA has been having conversations with the business.

View video for May 13, 2020

  • 0:06 – Public Information Officer, Kerri Schuette, gives an update on Shasta County’s COVID-19 numbers (current as of 6 p.m. on 5/12/2020).
  • 1:23 – Shasta Regional and Mayer Memorial reassures the community that the hospital is taking many precautions and people should go in to get care when they need it, saying “we're prepared and we're ready and we're here to help you.” Some people have been putting off accessing medical care because of their concerns for contracting the virus.
  • 2:52 – Health Officer, Dr. Karen Ramstrom talks about the state’s acceptance of the attestation letter, and that we are allowed to move into phase two a little faster than some other areas of California. She reminds the community that phase two still requires adaptations to be made to the way we go about our daily lives, including social distancing, hygiene, extra environmental cleaning, no nonessential travel and no mass gatherings. Businesses can find guidance on all of the practices on ShastaReady.org under the Roadmap to Recovery.
  • 6:14 – HHSA Director, Donnell Ewert talks about Hospital Week, Mental Health Month and the mental wellness resources available on ShastaReady.org under “Taking Care of Yourself.”
  • 8:34 -Sheriff Magrini responds to a question about the rodeo’s impact on the attestation letter.
  • 9:37 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a question about malls, saying retail stores are able to reopen with adaptations for safety and social distancing. Restaurants can open for dining in with adaptations, serving up to groups of ten, but the groups of ten should consist of people living in the same household. Businesses and restaurants can find this information about the adaptations on ShastaReady.org under Roadmap to Recovery.
  • 13:50 – Sheriff Magrini responds to a series of questions about the Cottonwood Rodeo and enforcement through education.
  • 21:29 – Dr. Ramstrom talks about everyone doing their part to keep numbers low That it is up to every single one of us to be responsible and not partake in those activities that are currently prohibited, because we're all doing that in order to let our businesses reopen and be successful.
  • 23:12 – Donnell Ewert also talks about everyone doing their part and that, with how communicable disease spread works, attending a mass gatherings can have effect on more than just the patrons of an event. It is possible to get infected and bring the virus to work or to home and spread the disease.
  • 26:26 – Dr. Ramstrom and Donnell Ewert respond to a question about the recommendation that people who attended the rodeo get tested at the state testing site, as well as a question about the cost of testing. Testing at the Shasta College site is free, but insurance may be billed for those who have it, but there’s no copay. It is free for those who don’t have health insurance.
  • 28:50 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a question about hair salons and how long it will take for them to reopen, saying that how quickly we move through phase two will be dependent on the COVID-19 data. We’ve kept our numbers low by staying at home, and the slow reopening is necessary so that Public Health has the resources to contain the spread.
  • 30:48 – Mayers and Shasta Regional respond to a question about visitation and when those restrictions might be loosened.
  • 35:02 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a question about how much testing would be needed to get a picture of how infected Shasta County is and talks about what take to have community immunity, for which a vaccine will be required.

View video for May 11, 2020

Shasta County Health Officer, county officials and the Redding Chamber of Commerce provide an update to changes regarding phase two that happened over the weekend.

View video for May 6, 2020

  • 0:50 – Shasta County Health Officer, Dr. Karen Ramstrom, gives an update on preparations being made locally in anticipation of the governor’s revision of the stay-at-home order and the gradual, careful loosening of restrictions thought to take place in phase two.
  • 3:11 – Robert Folden, Chief Operating Officer at Mercy Medical Center, and Valerie Lakey, Emergency Operations Director at Mayers Memorial Hospital give updates on the gradual increase in elective surgeries being allowed in their facilities and the possibility of changes to visitation policies.
  • 6:08 – Donnell Ewert, Director of the Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency, reminds the community that several aspects of phase one of the governor’s stay-at-home order will continue into phase two – large gatherings will not be allowed, travel in or out of Shasta County should only be for essential purposes, such as medical appointments, and people in high risk groups, those over 65 and people with underlying medical conditions, are highly encouraged to continue to stay at home, only going out to take care of basic needs.
  • 8:45 – Dr. Ramstrom talks about the Roadmap to Recovery Plan, which is expected to be made available to the public shortly after the governor publishes the updated order on Thursday, May 7th.
  • 10:31 – Dr. Ramstrom fields a question about what number defines a “large gathering.” Currently, gatherings of any size are not allowed, but that may change as things move into phase two and will be based on current data, CDC and state guidelines. Still, the change would be gradual and cautious.
  • 12:15 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a question about what types of businesses will be allowed to open in phase two, saying that the governor’s revised order will provide detailed information once it is made public.
  • 13:28 – Donnell Ewert fields a series of questions about the demobilization of the Field Medical Station that was set up at the Redding Civic Auditorium.
  • 19:12 – Dr. Ramstrom provides some clarification about which types of essential workers, beyond healthcare workers, qualify to make an appointment at the state testing site at Shasta College.
  • 22:00 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a question about enforcement policies with businesses, which continues to be a “soft-touch” educational approach.
  • 25:29 – Dr. Ramstrom fields a question about the streak of days with no new positive tests, and talks about how that is a sign our area greatly benefitted from the stay-at-home order, but not an indicator that the virus is gone. Some continued low level spread of COVID-19 is expected.
  • 27:06 – Dr. Ramstrom and Donnell Ewert emphasize that we are not out of the woods yet and it will take a high degree of community immunity to return to life like it was before the pandemic started. Donnell said, “I like to think of this as the end of the beginning, the second inning of a nine-inning game.” We have a very long way to go, but also have the surveillance (testing, contact tracing, etc.) needed to move forward.
  • 29:57 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a question about the state’s recruitment people to help with contact tracing, and talks about how that will be a very valuable resource to us if a surge in cases occurs and it makes it difficult for the HHSA’s contact tracing team to carry the load.
  • 33:08 – Local hospitals talk about their plans for celebrating Nurse’s Day and Hospital Week.

April 2020

View video for April 29, 2020

  • 0:25 – Updated COVID-19 numbers for Shasta County (as of 6 p.m. on 4/28/2020)
  • 2:03 – Shasta County Health Officer, Dr. Karen Ramstrom, talks about the first meeting of the Roadmap to Recovery Advisory Committee and the new state testing site that is opening at Shasta College (by appointment only).
  • 6:44 – Shasta County CEO, Matt Pontes, talks about the Shasta County Board of Supervisors letter to the governor asking for a little more local control over the reopening process.
  • 8:55 – Valerie Lakey from Mayers Memorial Hospital District and Robert Folden from Mercy Redding provide updates on how their hospitals are meeting weekly to make plans that will keep patients and healthcare workers safe when the state begins to loosen the stay-at-home order.
  • 11:45 – Director of Shasta County Health and Human Services, Donnell Ewert, thanks the community, especially businesses, for their efforts and sacrifices during the stay-at-home order, noting that it’s made a very big difference in our numbers, and that we need just a few more weeks of patience to help keep those numbers low. He also talks about Public Health Branch Director, Brandy Isola’s decision to leave HHSA, thanking her for her more than 18 years of service, and emphasizing to the public that her leaving does not leave a hole in the Emergency Operations Center.
  • 14:55 – Dr. Ramstrom talks about the importance of physical distancing while recreating outdoors, making sure people are staying 6 feet apart and not interacting closely with people who are not in their household.
  • 17:56 – Sheriff Magrini fields a media question about the Redding Drag Strip’s decision to hold a large event and if that would be enforced.
  • 19:49 – Sheriff Magrini and responds to another question about large gatherings. Dr. Ramstrom responds to a question about contact tracing for those who are under a health officer order for isolation or quarantine.
  • 25:15 – Dr. Ramstrom and Donnell Ewert respond to a question about travel and reminds everyone that even in the phase two of the loosening of restrictions, travel should only be for an essential purpose.
  • 30:02 – Dr. Ramstrom provides more detail about the state testing site at Shasta College.
  • 34:24 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about businesses opening up despite the governor’s stay-at-home order being in place.

View video for April 22, 2020

  • 1:11 – Public Information Officer, Kerri Schuette talks about the move to doing Facebook live media briefings once a week. They will now take place every Wednesday at 11 a.m., unless a pressing matter arises and the information needs to be pushed out to the media and public. Daily updates with COVID-19 numbers will continue to go out daily by 6 p.m.

  • 2:48 – Shasta County Health Officer, Dr. Karen Ramstrom talks about the newly established Roadmap to Recovery Advisory Committee that will bring together government and community leaders to provide input on the process of reopening the county, in a safe and gradual manner, once the governor’s stay-at-home order is modified.

  • 5:40 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about what moving forward looks like with regard to the phased model presented by the governor. Currently, we are in “Phase One” which is the most restrictive. “Phase Two,” would involve a gradual loosening of restrictions over an estimated 12-18 months, or until a vaccine is developed and/or medications are available to treat COVID-19.

  • 8:14 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a question about what public gatherings would look like during “Phase Two.”

  • 11:19 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a question about masks and why they are still just a recommendation and not a requirement.

  • 12:55 – Donnell Ewert, Shasta County Health and Human Services Director, talks about managing expectations during the gradual reopening process. Shasta County cannot do less than what the State Health Officer has ordered. They may issue a different order or leave some flexibility. It is important that businesses open back up, but, at the same time, we need to avoid a resurgence of cases.

View video for April 20, 2020

  • 0:24 – Updated COVID-19 numbers for Shasta County (as of 6 p.m. on 4/19/2020). Local numbers are updated daily on ShastaReady.org.
  • 0:59 – HHSA Spokesperson talks about the increased availability of testing. People who experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, which are fever, cough and shortness of breath, should contact their healthcare provider to be tested. If you do not have a healthcare provider or if you’re having trouble getting a test for another reason, but you do have symptoms, the symptoms mentioned above, call Shasta County Public Health at (530) 225-5591. They will screen you over the phone and schedule you for a test if necessary.
  • 2:50 – Mark Mitchelson, Chief Nursing Officer at Shasta Regional announces a new machine has arrived at their facility and they are able to do some rapid testing.
  • 3:30 – Dean Germano, CEO of Shasta Community Health Center, talks about the clinic’s decision to require masks for all staff and patients.
  • 4:18 – Shasta County Health Officer, Dr. Karen Ramstrom responds to a media question about testing for people who are asymptomatic and talks about how test kits available locally are not approved for use on an individual that is asymptomatic. Antibody tests are still being researched elsewhere in the U.S.
  • 5:34 – Dr. Ramstrom fields a question about the increased availability and accessibility of COVID-19 testing locally.
  • 9:37 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a question about the readiness of the Federal Medical Station.
  • 12:53 – Dr. Ramstrom fields a question about educating businesses to use preventative practices in their facility.
  • 14:57 – Sheriff Magrini responds to series of media questions about law enforcements planned response to protests, should they happen in Shasta County.
  • 16:43 – HHSA Spokesperson and Dean Germano respond to a question about the hotels being used to shelter homeless individuals at high risk for COVID-19 and how they are being identified.
  • 18:48 – Dr. Ramstrom talks about how, both locally and nationwide, COVID-19 testing is currently focused on identifying the people who have the virus, getting them the care they need and doing contact tracing for the people that may have been exposed.
  • 22:45 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about testing technology and whether or not HIPAA laws are a hindrance to doing more widespread testing.

View video for April 17, 2020

  • 0:19 – Updated COVID-19 numbers for Shasta County (Current as of 6 p.m. on 4/16/2020)
  • 0:50 – HHSA Director, Donnell Ewert and Health Officer, Dr. Karen Ramstrom, clarify some points about the Covid Act Now models talked about in Wednesday’s briefing.
  • 9:04 – Christy Coleman, Director of the Shasta County Housing and Community Action Agency, talks about efforts to aid vulnerable, high risk populations during the pandemic, such as people who are over 65 or with underlying medical conditions that are experiencing homelessness. They have been working with local hotels to provide shelter for these high-risk individuals and take care of their case management needs.
  • 11:36 – Donnell Ewert and Dr. Karen Ramstrom respond to a question about the Johns Hopkins data for Butte County and if there is comparable data for Shasta County.
  • 14:43 – Dr. Ramstrom talks about how HHSA and partners are beginning to evaluate a path to normalcy, which will be done in a gradual, cautious and step-wise manner.
  • 17:25 – Donnell Ewert and Dr. Ramstrom field questions about staffing the Federal Medical Station.
  • 19:58 – Donnell Ewert and Dr. Ramstrom talk about the differences between the current type of testing that is available and the kind of testing that would be needed to do a random study of COVID-19 in Shasta County.
  • 23:55 – Dr. Ramstrom addresses a question about the positive case in the Veterans home and talks about the work that is being to protect residents and staff in the facility.

View video for April 15, 2020

View Shasta County data projections at CovidActNow.org

  • 0:00 - COVID-19 response administrators and hospital partners give updates.
  • 3:33 - HHSA Supervising Epidemiologist, Daniel Walker, and Health Officer, Dr. Karen Ramstrom talk about 3-month projections for Shasta County’s COVID-19 response, comparing lax vs. strict Stay-at-Home scenarios. You can find this data when you search for Shasta County at CovidActNow.org.
  • 15:10 - Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about vulnerable groups, including older adults and people with underlying medical conditions, and how they would have to adhere to the stay-at-home order even with the possibility of loosened restrictions.
  • 16:24 - HHSA Spokesperson, Kerri Schuette, provides updated statistics (updated at 6 p.m. on 4/14/2020).
  • 17:48 - Daniel Walker talks about the methodology used in the data he presented.
  • 21:16 - Dr. Ramstrom responds to a series of media questions about the way the COVID-19 virus behaves in comparison to influenza and describes why the 6 foot rule of social distancing is so important.
  • 25:07 - Dr. Ramstrom and HHSA Director, Donnell Ewert talk about how our community’s behavior, as a whole, is what will control a surge in cases.
  • 29:36 - Dr. Ramstrom responds to a media question about the length of time it will take to get back to “normal.”
  • 35:24 - Hospital partners answer questions about bed count, PPE, taking care of staff and preparedness.

View video for April 13, 2020

  • 0:22 – Updated COVID-19 numbers for Shasta County (as of 11 a.m. today)
  • 1:52 – Sheriff Magrini talks about the way the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office RPD and APD are working together on “stay-at-home” violations.
  • 2:58 – Health Officer, Dr. Karen Ramstrom, talks about how the community’s efforts to slow the spread has helped keep the number of positive cases down and the importance not easing up on social distancing practices for the time being.
  • 4:35 – Mercy Redding announces that they have received COVID-19 testing kits and will now be assisting with testing in our area, in addition to private labs and the Public Health Lab. However, there is limited supply. Testing results come back within about an hour of being run through the machine.
  • 6:58 – Mayers Hospital talks about the measures they’ve taken to protect both residents and healthcare workers in their skilled nursing facility.
  • 9:32 – Mercy Redding provides more specific details on number of testing kits they have available.
  • 10:43 – Sheriff Magrini answers questions about the inmates being released per the Governor’s order.
  • 13:45 – Dr. Ramstrom talks about the possibility of having to stay-at-home longer than the rest of the state and being thoughtful about the steps we take to return to our usual lives.
  • 16:32 – Sheriff Magrini fields a question about the jail’s ability to isolate an inmate if they test positive for COVID-19.
  • 18:52 – Dr. Ramstrom talks about travel and highly recommending that people who are coming back into Shasta County quarantine themselves for 14 days as a precaution and reminds us all to not travel unless it’s for an essential purpose.
  • 21:22 – Dr. Ramstrom addresses a question about lodging services, such as AirB&B, being open and reiterates that no one should be traveling for a non-essential purpose, urging people who have traveled out of the area to quarantine themselves for 14-days upon return.
  • 22:43 – Sheriff Magrini responds to a question about testing inmates that will be released (per the governor’s order), stating that there have been no positive cases of COVID-19 in the jail, but if an inmate were to show symptoms, they would follow guidelines to have them tested.
  • 24:17 – Dr. Ramstrom responds to another question about Air B&Bs staying open and recommends that AirB&B owners cancel reservations for non-essential travelers.
  • 26:42 – Sheriff Magrini fields another question about inmates being released and whether that could lead to an increase in crime, saying that the possibility exists and the department’s ability to hold people accountable is hindered by the actions of the state.
  • 29:03 – Hospital partners and HHSA Director, Donnell Ewert, field a question about how many COVID-19 patients are hospitalized.

View video for April 10, 2020

  • 0:24 – Updated numbers for COVID-19 in Shasta County, as of 11 a.m. (see ShastaReady.org for updated numbers at 6 p.m.)
  • 1:05 – Community partners give updates and urge the community to enjoy any Easter celebrations in their own backyard, being mindful of social distancing. Do not have family and friends over for gatherings. Keep the celebration within the household.
  • 13:54 – What is all involved in quarantine practices?
  • 17:11 – What is being done to staff the Field Medical Center?
  • 18:29 – What is the Crisis Stabilization Unit being established at HHSA Mental Health on Breslauer Way?
  • 20:06 – Can employers can require an employee be tested before they return to work?
  • 21:35 – Do hand washing stations need to be available at construction sites? If a person is tested when they are NOT symptomatic is it a valid test?
  • 22:34 – Update on plans to shelter homeless individuals who test positive for COVID-19, and the community partners involved in the effort.
  • 26:14 – How close are we to being able to model data that would give us an idea of when the “peak” will be for Shasta County?
  • 29:02 – Are there plans to release inmates out of the Shasta County jail because of COVID-19 and orders coming down from the state?
  • 31:04 – Are there concerns about being overconfident since there has been a day with no positive tests?
  • 33:34 – Why is it that Shasta County may be a few weeks behind the state with regard to the virus?
  • 34:24 – What will flattening the curve look like for our community? Will our uptick in cases be later? Does modeling data change over time? More to come next week.

COVID-19 updates for Thursday, April 9:

  • Confirmed cases: 24
  • Negative tests: 568
  • Isolation: 19
  • Quarantine: 66
  • Recovered: 2
  • Deaths: 3

Shasta County Health and Human Services: The North State Federal Medical Station is making great progress. Processes are being developed and staffing is being secured.

We will be opening a four-bed crisis stabilization unit for people who are in our emergency departments with mental health conditions. This will free up our emergency rooms while still providing our mental health patients with appropriate care.

Shasta County Probation has taken on a leadership role in enforcing the stay-at-home order that requires non-essential businesses to be closed.

Isolation and quarantine both help protect the public by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease. Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

It’s very important to care for your mental health during this time of crisis, and we have some tips to help you do so. Visit www.shastaready.org and click on “Taking Care of Yourself.”

Shasta Regional Medical Center: Shasta Regional Medical Center continues to administer health screenings to all employees prior to starting of shifts, including temperature checks. Our visitor policy remains that no visitors are allowed until further notice. Planning for reallocation of trained staff, if necessary, also continues ensuring quality of care. Shasta Regional Medical Center continues to work closely with our community partners in planning and preparing for any potential surge. Shasta Regional Medical Center continues to support the CDC guidelines and recommendations and updates internal policies as necessary. Shasta Regional Medical Group has broadened its Tele-Medicine access to new patients. Now any person in the community with health questions can talk with a provider over the phone. Visit www.shastaregionalmedicalgroup.com for more information.

Mercy Medical Center Redding: Mercy Medical Center Redding continues to review and verify the various aspects of the patient surge plan, resources, equipment and patient areas to ensure that we are as prepared as possible. We continue to monitor appropriate usage of PPE, and track our daily use of PPE. In accordance with CDC guidelines, we are trying to procure more cloth masks. Visitation restrictions and employee screenings remain in place, with daily temperature screenings. Mercy Medical Center Redding continues to offer a free virtual visit with a provider to anyone who is concerned about having COVID-19 related symptoms by visiting: www.dignityhealth.org/virtualcareanywhere or download the Virtual Care Anywhere app.

Mayers Memorial Hospital: Mayers continues with procedures that were put in place in early March regarding visitors and employee screening. The reality that this is a marathon, not a sprint, has set in and a focus on employee well-being is a priority. Mayers continues to collaborate with other county hospitals on surge plans.

View video for April 8, 2020:

  • 0:39 – Update from CAL FIRE’s Chief Gouvea.
  • 1:35 – Update from Shasta County Sheriff, Eric Magrini
  • 2:09 – Update from Health and Human Services Director, Donnell Ewert; includes a summary on all of the partners involved in the Emergency Operations Center.
  • 4:09 – Updated COVID-19 numbers for Shasta County.
  • 4:45 – Update from Shasta County CEO, Matt Pontes.
  • 7:00 – Updates from hospital partners.
  • 12:28 –Shasta County Health Officer, Dr. Karen Ramstrom talks about suspending all non-essential travel (i.e. vacations).
  • 14:21 – Dr. Karen Ramstrom talks about the possibility that Shasta County may have to continue social distancing practices for longer that other areas of the state.
  • 15:23 – Dr. Karen Ramstrom provides an update on testing criteria and supplies.
  • 18:38 – HHSA gives an update on the Emergency Operations Center, including information on the Field Medical Hospital, plans being put in place to assist the homeless population and an explanation of what it means to be “in isolation” vs. “quarantine.”
  • 24:10 – Dr. Ramstrom talks about how HHSA epidemiologists are working on projections for how long Shasta County will have to “stay-at-home.”
  • 26:51 – Dr. Ramstrom addresses a question about the struggle to get access to testing supplies.
  • 29:58 – Dr. Ramstrom fields a question about whether or not mask use for all will become required for Shasta County.
  • 32:03 – Dr. Ramstrom addresses a question about the possible existence of COVID-19 in Shasta County before January.
  • 37:47 – Dr. Ramstrom fields a question about whether or not there are COVID-19 hotspots in the community.
  • 39:52 – Sheriff Magrini fields a media question about prison capacity.
  • 42:09 – Cal Fire Chief Gouvea fields a question about preparing for fire season.
  • 45:10 – HHSA Adult Services Branch Director, Paige Green, talks about caring for your mental wellness during the pandemic.
  • 50:12 – Donnell Ewert talks about how HHSA is continuing case management activities during the pandemic, including those being carried out by Child and Family Services.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we’ll be posting written daily updates instead of a media briefing.

The following healthcare partners submitted reports for today:

Shasta County Health and Human Services:

  • Total cases: 21
  • Total negative tests: 462
  • Isolation: 16
  • Quarantine: 71
  • Recovered: 2
  • Deaths: 3

Mercy Medical Center Redding: We continue to review and verify the various aspects of the patient surge plan, resources, equipment and patient areas. We continue to monitor appropriate usage of PPE, and track our daily burn rate of PPE. In accordance with CDC guidelines, we are trying to procure more cloth masks. Visitation restrictions and employee screenings remain in place. A free virtual provider visit for anyone with COVID-19 related symptoms can visit www.dignityhealth.org/virtualcareanywhere or download the Virtual Care Anywhere app.

Shasta Regional Medical Center: We continue to screen all employees before starting shifts, including temperature checks. No visitors are allowed. We are planning for reallocation of trained staff, if necessary. We are working closely with community partners to prepare for any potential surge. We support the CDC guidelines and recommendations and update internal policies as necessary. We have broadened our Tele-Medicine access to new patients and anyone with health questions can talk with a provider over the phone. Visit www.shastaregionalmedicalgroup.com for more information.

Mayers Memorial Hospital District: We continue to make changes as needed according to guidance. We are focusing on staff and employee needs in order to continue to be prepared for what may come. We inventory PPE and resources daily and are tracking a daily burn rate to submit data to the real-time state hospital dashboard.

Watch the video for April 6, 2020

  • 0:56 - Updated statistics on COVID-19 in Shasta County.
  • 1:45 - Updates from hospital partners.
  • 7:03 - Shasta County Sheriff, Cal Fire and Shasta HHSA talk about the move to a Unified Command between local agencies and the new Emergency Operations Center that has been set up over the weekend.
  • 11:00 - HHSA Director, Donnell Ewert, talks about the Field Medical Station (FMS) being set up at the Redding Civic Center.
  • 14:28 - Dr. Karen Ramstrom talks about isolation orders, quarantine orders and masks.
  • 17:05 - Sheriff Magrini and Cal Fire Chief Bert Couvea talk about their roles in the Unified Command.
  • 21:39 - Sheriff Magrini and Donnell Ewert address a question about Public Health and law enforcement's efforts to deal with stay-at-home violations.
  • 24:28 - Donnell Ewert addresses a question about child abuse reporting during the pandemic.
  • 26:20 - Hospital partners and HHSA field questions about the field hospital and why it is for non-COVID-19 patients.
  • 30:15 - Mercy and Shasta Regional field a question about their capacity to handle a surge of COVID-19 patients.
  • 32:13 - Donnell Ewert addresses a question about staffing the field hospital.
  • 35:10 - Dr. Ramstrom talks about the increase in testing capacity.
  • 37:35 - Dr. Ramstrom and and Donnell Ewert talk about why Public Health protects patient privacy and does not provide specific information on those who test positive for COVID-19.
  • 40:41 - Dr. Ramstrom talks about PPE supplies, how they are distributed throughout the county and what is being done bring in more supplies.

View video for April 3, 2020

  • 0:17 - Updated statistics for COVID-19 in Shasta County.
  • 1:27 - Updates from Shasta Community Health Center, Mercy, Mayers and SRMC.
  • 5:34 - HHSA reiterates the importance of following the stay-at-home order, asks residents to suspend all nonessential travel to or from Shasta County and talks about the new CDC recommendation to wear cloth masks when carrying out essential tasks.
  • 7:08 - Dr. Ramstrom talks about the contact tracing process.
  • 9:08 - HHSA talks briefly about the COVID-19 patients that have recovered.
  • 9:50 - Dr. Karen Ramstrom talks more about contact tracing and what being a "close contact" can mean.
  • 16:40 - HHSA talks about the tremendous work the Public Health Lab is doing in processing the tests they receive in a timely manner.
  • 18:40 - HHSA and Karen Ramstrom talk about the CDC's Tier 1 testing criteria the Public Health Lab is using.
  • 21:30 - HHSA and hospital partners talk about the field hospital coming to Shasta County that will be placed at the Redding Civic Center.
  • 25:35 - SRMC and Mercy talk about the negative pressure isolation units at their respective facilities.
  • 29:03 - Dr. Karen Ramstrom fields a question about the time it takes to get test results back in the Public Health Lab vs. private labs.
  • 35:15 - HHSA and hospital partners talk more about the field hospital.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we’ll be posting written daily updates instead of a live press briefing.

The following healthcare partners submitted reports for today:

  • Shasta County Health and Human Services
    Today’s numbers:
    Positive: 7
    Negative: 370 (150 in the public health lab, 220 in other labs)
    Isolation: 4
    Quarantine (ordered by the health officer): 26
    We’re happy to share that our third patient, a man in his 40s, has recovered.
    Please remember that it is critically important to follow the statewide stay-at-home order and not travel. Learn more at

  • Shasta Regional Medical Center: We continue to administer health screenings to all employees prior to starting of shifts, including temperature checks. Our visitor policy remains that no visitors are allowed until further notice. Planning for reallocation of trained staff, if necessary, also continues ensuring quality of care for our patients and potential patients. Shasta Regional Medical Center continues to work closely with our community partners in planning and preparing for any potential surge.

  • Mercy Medical Center Redding: We continue to review and verify the various aspects of the patient surge plan, resources, equipment and patient areas to ensure that we are as prepared as possible. We continue to monitor appropriate usage of PPE, and as a result, currently have adequate supplies to protect our staff and patients. Visitation restrictions and employee screenings remain in place. Mercy Medical Center Redding continues to offer a free virtual visit with a provider to anyone who is concerned about having COVID-19 related symptoms by visiting: www.dignityhealth.org/virtualcareanywhere or download the Virtual Care Anywhere app in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, or call 855-356-8053 and use the coupon code COVID19.

  • Mayers Memorial Hospital: We continue to follow all information that is being put out daily and are working to be prepared. We just completed our comprehensive COVID-19 Plan for the Skilled Nursing and Long Term Care Facilities. We are continually evaluating and reviewing guidance as related to PPE, staffing and other challenges. We would just like to take the time to thank our counterparts for the amazing collaboration. We would also like to thank our staff who has not wavered in this process.

View video for April 1, 2020

  • 0:30 – Updated statistics for Shasta County
  • 0:47 – Updates from Shasta Regional, Mercy Redding, Shasta Community Health Center and Public Health.
  • 7:38 – Dr. Karen Ramstrom talks about the field hospital that may be coming to Shasta County.
  • 9:10 – Mercy Redding clarifies what cross-training medical staff means.
  • 11:38 – Dr. Ramstrom talks more about the field hospital.
  • 14:14 – Dr. Ramstrom talks about masks and DIY masks.
  • 16:23 – Dr. Ramstrom talks about contact tracing efforts.
  • 22:38 – Dr. Ramstrom talks about the challenges in getting all the supplies needed for test kits and the important of being judicious about testing criteria.
  • 26:20 – Shasta Regional, Mercy Redding and Shasta Community Health Center field a question about enlisting the help of retired and volunteer healthcare workers.
  • 34:17 – HHSA responds to a question about the community response team that is handling stay-at-home violations.

March 2020

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we’ll be posting written daily updates instead of a live press briefing.

The following healthcare partners submitted reports for today:

  • Shasta County Health and Human Services: After a thorough investigation, Shasta County Public Health is documenting its first case of community transmission of COVID-19. The patient, a man in his 80s, did not have travel history or contact with a known COVID-19 case. He remains hospitalized in isolation. Shasta County tests: 6 positive, 230 negative.
  • Mercy Medical Center Redding: Mercy Redding continues to refine our surge capacity, including patient placement, equipment and supply deployment, identification of additional negative pressure/isolation rooms, staffing needs for those identified locations, and staff training. Visitor restrictions remain in force, and employees are screened when coming to work. We continue to work with our vendors and suppliers to ensure our clinical staff can safely and appropriately take care of patients. Dignity Health Connected Living continues to serve thousands of high-risk residents with food distributions. Mercy Redding is offering a free virtual visit to anyone concerned about coronavirus. To access a free virtual urgent care visit, visit www.dignityhealth.org/virtualcareanywhere, download the Virtual Care Anywhere app in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, or call 855-356-8053 and use the coupon code COVID19.
  • Shasta Regional Medical Center: Starting today, Tuesday, March 31, all employees will be screened prior to starting shifts, including temperature checks. We have also streamlined entrance to the hospital to only Main Entrance and our no visitor policy remains in place. We continue to monitor supplies and plan for any potential surge, including the setup of our Negative Pressure Unit that was completed last week. Current patients at Shasta Regional Medical Group may make appointments utilizing our Tele-Medicine system by calling 530-605-4260.
  • Shasta Community Health Center: All campuses are open including Shasta Lake City and Anderson. We have closed all of our dental facilities except for dental emergencies for our patients at our downtown location in the Shasta College Health Sciences complex. We continue to screen all patients entering our facilities and have established a secondary screening facility at our main campus at 1035 Placer Street. We continue to make plans for a surge of patients with respiratory needs. We have moved many more of our visits (and we routinely do over 500 a day) to telephonic where we can. We are holding steady on personal protective equipment, watching our inventory and burn rate but looking for more items as an edge against a large surge of patients later on. We await the Abbott Labs-announced COVID point of care test kits that promise a positive result in 5 minutes and a negative result in 13 minutes. We await information on its sensitivities, however.
  • Redding Rancheria Tribal Health Center: We have been screening all patients and staff at all three health campuses since March 10. We are currently running two shifts, each shift is working 1 week on and having 1 week off in an effort to conserve staff, and keep them healthy both physically and emotionally. We have been doing phone call visits between providers and patients and will be allowing patients to schedule virtual visits with their providers starting Monday. We have an ample supply of personal protective equipment, but are running low on test kits. Our urgent care at Churn Creek Health Care is still operating 7 days a week with 2 doctors per day.
  • Mayers Memorial Hospital District: We began a no-visitor policy on March 6, primarily because of our 90 skilled nursing residents. We have suspended all communal activities in the skilled nursing facility as of March 27. Our social workers and activities department are working to keep avenues of communication open to families and provide alternate activities for the residents. Mayers started screening all employees on March 16 and has a policy in place for screening and employee health. We continue to utilize only one entrance to our facility. We are able to use an isolation trailer to screen, evaluate and collect test specimens on patients if deemed necessary. Collaboration continues with Shasta Regional Medical Center and Mercy on our surge planning, close monitoring of inventory and burn rate of personal protective equipment and supporting our valuable workforce. Mayers has also been active in helping our community with the Groceries to Go program.

View video for March 30, 2020

  • 0:10 - Updates from Shasta Regional Medical Center, Mercy, Mayers, and Public Health.
  • 5:19 - Public Health Branch Director, Brandy Isola, talk about the importance of limiting nonessential travel, especially to areas with widespread community transmission.
  • 6:25 - Updated local COVID-19 statistics.
  • 7:30 - Brandy Isola talks about negotiations being made with the State and Federal government to bring a field hospital to Shasta County.
  • 8:49 - Hospital partners address questions about healthcare worker concerns related to accessing adequate Personal Protective Equipment.
  • 14:04 - Dr. Ramstrom and Brandy Isola address questions about the availability of testing supplies and talk about current outreach to clinics addressing barriers to testing and drive thru testing.
  • 18:21 - Dr. Ramstrom fields a question about screening medical staff for symptoms before they are allowed in to work.
  • 20:37 - HHSA and Dean Germano from Shasta Community Health Center talk about the effort to support people who are experiencing homelessness if the virus spreads within this vulnerable population.
  • 25:41 - Hospital partners and Public Health talk about the number of ventilators available to patients in the event of a surge in cases and the constant effort by local medical providers to collaboratively ensure medical equipment is in good supply.
  • 30:40 – Mercy and SRMC clarify how their visitor restrictions work.

View video for March 27, 2020

  • 0:16 – Updated COVID-19 statistics for Shasta County and updates from Mercy, SRMC, Mayer’s Memorial Hospital, Health Officer, Dr. Karen Ramstrom and HHSA Public Health Branch Director, Brandy Isola./li>
  • 6:09 – Mercy, SRMC and Mayer’s hospitals talk about the supply of ventilators and how they are working together to meet the needs of patients, should an increase in hospitalizations occur.
  • 9:38 – Mercy, SRMC and Mayer’s talk about surge plans and enlisting the help of local doctors and clinics if it needed to address COVID-19 in Shasta County.
  • 10:30 – Mercy and Dr. Ramstrom field a question about recruiting volunteer healthcare personnel.
  • 12:00 – Dr. Ramstrom fields the question, “Will anti-body testing be available in the future?"
  • 12:55 – Brandy Isola talks about how Shasta County HHSA epidemiologists are working across county lines to investigate cases of COVID-19 and share data.
  • 13:48 – Shasta County hospitals talk about keeping staff safe and supplied with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
  • 15:55 – Shasta County hospitals talk about what they are doing to increase the number of hospital bed availability.
  • 17:18 – Dr. Karen Ramstrom fields a question about whether Advil or ibuprofen is effective against COVID-19.

View video for March 26, 2020

  • 0:01 – Updated statistics for COVID-19 in Shasta County and updates from local hospitals.
  • 3:04 – Dr. Karen Ramstrom, Shasta County Health Officer, talks about testing.
  • 4:41 – Dr. Karen Ramstrom talks about test kits and why there is a need to prioritizing testing.
  • 8:19 – Brandy Isola, Public Health Director, talks about the ways the Public Health Community Mitigation and Education Team is improving social distancing practices in Shasta County and working to ensure nonessential businesses are in compliance with the “stay-at-home” order, using the Governor’s ”soft-touch” enforcement.
  • 12:28 – HHSA responds to the previous day’s Facebook chatter regarding returning to work after being ill, reminding business owners to follow the CDC guidelines and not overwhelm medical providers with employees seeking “return to work notes.”

View video for March 25, 2020

  • 0:08 - Updated statistics for COVID-19 cases in Shasta County.
  • 0:48 – Robert Folden, Chief Operations Officer for Mercy Medical Center Redding, gives and update on the hospital's efforts to respond to COVID-19.
  • 1:13 – Mark Mitchelson, Chief Nursing Officer from SRMC, gives an update on the hospital’s efforts to respond to COVID-19.
  • 1:32 – Valerie Laley, Executive Director for Mayer’s Memorial Hospital, gives an update on the hospital’s efforts to respond to COVID-19 and talks about a new inventory tracking tool they are using.
  • 2:38 – Shasta County Health Officer, Dr. Karen Ramstrom, gives an update on the status of COVID-19 cases in Shasta County, including the first death related to the disease, as well as the importance of following the stay-at-home order and social distancing.
  • 4:53 – Dr. Karen Ramstrom, Health Officer, and Brandy Isola, Public Health Director, addresses a question about COVID-19 and helping the homeless population.
  • 7:30 – Dr. Karen Ramstrom addresses a question about the first COVID-19 death and if that means our situation is becoming worse.
  • 9:02 – Brandy Isola, Public Health Director, explains the process of contact tracing and clarifies why it looks different for COVID-19 vs. the way cases were tracked during the 2019 measles outbreak.
  • 12:47 – Brandy Isola explains the difference between quarantine and isolation.
  • 13:45 – Barry Tippin, Redding City Manager, addresses a question about social distancing and parks, and talks about how permit services are still being utilized during City Hall’s closure.

View video for March 24, 2020

  • 6:55 – Updated statistics for COVID-19 cases in Shasta County.
  • 7:32 – Mark Mitchelson, Chief Nursing Officer from SRMC talks about the “no visitor” policy and deferral of elective surgeries.
  • 9:31 – Valerie Laley, Emergency Preparedness Director for Mayer’s Memorial Hospital, gives an update on protective measures being taken at their skilled nursing facility, their no visitor policy, and the grocery program for residents living within the hospital's district.
  • 10:35 – Joe Ayer from Vitalant talks about the continuous need for blood donations, encouraging everyone to make an appointment if they are healthy.
  • 12:46 – Shasta County HHSA gives and explanation of what “contact tracing” is and what being in quarantine means.
  • 17:50 – Robert Folden, Chief Operations Officer for Mercy Medical Center Redding, talks about how the medical community and Public Health are collaboratively working together to address the “what if” scenarios and better prepare if/when there is a surge in cases.
  • 21:16 – Community partners discuss mask donations and how each hospital prepares for emergency situations.
  • 25:05 – HHSA talks about how Shasta County HHSA epidemiologists are gathering data on COVID-19.
  • 26:46 – HHSA fields the question, “Will you be releasing information about the locations where people who tested positive will be?”
  • 30:00 – HHSA reviews COVID-19 testing criteria.

View video for March 23, 2020

  • Summary of topics pending...

View video for March 20, 2020

  • Shelter-in-place instituted by Governor Newsom and the state website: covid19.ca.gov
  • Updates on hospital and clinic care
  • Public Health staffing situation
  • Current cases and contact tracing
  • Resources for those who are out of work or need other assistance
  • Current influenza situation, steps to take to avoid the flu and how it complicates COVID-19 testing
  • Transfer of COVID-19 patients to other hospitals
  • Current hospital supplies and the use of face masks
  • Recommendations for those who may share a home with someone who has COVID-19

View video for March 19, 2020

  • Visitor restrictions at hospitals
  • Changes at local clinics
  • COVID-19 scams and price gouging, how to report it and consequences for illegal activity
  • Shelter-in-place and social distancing criteria
  • More information on the COVID-19 testing process and the difference between a testing kit and an extraction kit
  • Prepared emergency response plans
  • COVID-19 assistance for the homeless population
  • COVID-19 and pregnancy concerns
  • Dignity Health's telemedicine program and telehealth options at other facilities
  • Getting information from reliable sources

View video for March 18, 2020

  • Social distancing and social isolation for those with symptoms
  • Hospital visitation limits and other planning measures
  • When to see a doctor
  • Basic information about test kits (more information available on 3/19/20 briefing)
  • Emergency preparedness planning measures done by the hospitals and Shasta County
  • COVID-19 and transmission through food
  • COVID-19 testing criteria and the potential for updated criteria
  • Shasta County and hospital stance on COVID-19 testing for general public
  • Suggestions for wiping down deliveries through the mail
  • Effects of weather on COVID-19
  • COVID-19 and wearing masks.

View video for March 17, 2020

  • A brief overview of COVID-19 and testing supplies
  • Symptoms of COVID-19 and immunity
  • COVID-19 testing criteria through the Public Health Lab
  • What to do when you're sick
  • Local hospital staffing and equipment, triage screening and visitation policy
  • Definition of a high-risk individual and how they should act differently
  • COVID-19 and transmission through food
  • Current status of COVID-19 vaccine
  • Disease containment measures
  • COVID-19 incubation period and ability to spread

In the News

Rural Association of Northern California Health Officers (RANCHO)

The Rural Association of Northern California Health Officers (RANCHO) is a regional network of county health officers in northern California. RANCHO was formed in the spring of 2020 in response to COVID-19. Other parts of the state have longstanding regional health official associations. These networks address current and emerging health issues by leveraging expertise and resources of local health departments to advance regional public health and promote communication and collaboration among neighboring counties.

Statement of support of universal influenza vaccination for healthcare and educational setting personnel: Oct. 2, 2020

School guidance: Sept. 29, 2020

Statement in support of restaurant indoor dining: Aug. 1, 2020

 

What is Contact Tracing?