The week COVID-19 hit the United States


James Alfaro, Reporter

Actor Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, announced  via Instagram that they both tested positive for COVID-19 and that they’ll “keep the world posted and updated,” the National Basketball Association season was suspended after Rudy Gobert tested positive and the National Hockey League suspended the rest of their season all on March 11, 2020 as a result of COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus.

President Donald Trump announced a travel ban from Europe for the next 30 days to prevent himself and others from contracting the disease in fear of worsening situation in the U.S.

News of the spread of COVID-19 has raised health and safety concerns for schools and the general public all over California. Many U.S. public schools and universities are implementing virtual online classes.

Similarly  California Lutheran University announced that classes will be moved online starting March 16 to avoid community transmission of the disease. Many students that are studying abroad were also instructed to fly back to their respective schools in the U.S. due to the fear of being infected by the virus or quarantined in a foreign country.

Last week, Ashley Bautista, the pub-lic information officer for Ventura County, said there’s one confirmed COVID-19 case in Ventura County.

“The Governor of California declared a state of emergency that encourages community members to use caution with social-distancing and to limit activities that have 250 people or more,” Bautista said.

In an email interview, Daphne Yousem, a marketing employee of Los Robles Hospital, said that they’ve been closely monitoring the situation since news of the virus initially broke.

“Los Robles is part of HCA Healthcare, one of the largest healthcare companies in the nation. Our enterprise is constantly in preparation mode for situations similar to COVID–initiatives like predictive modeling, emergency preparedness and mock drills which are just some of the preparatory measures we take daily,” Yousem said.

Yousem said they don’t have any confirmed COVID-19 patients at their facility and that they will always provide the infection control standards and precautionary practices that they have always used to ensure a safe environment to all patients, staff, physicians and visitors.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we are following CDC guidelines and have revised our process to reduce the potential transmission of the virus by screening visitors to the hospital before they enter the facility,” Yousem said. “We have been proactive and ready with all supplies including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including masks, gowns and other equipment needed.”

Bautista said local community members can take preemptive action by doing simple things such as washing their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after blowing one’s nose, coughing or sneezing. They are also encouraged to avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands and avoid people that are sick.

“I think it’s really important for everyone, especially those that live on the Cal Lutheran campus, to stay up to date on local information and the facts, Bautista said. “Sometimes, in the headlines in the country and the world today can cause the fear factor to settle in, so it’s really important for folks to stay educated on what the current situation is because the prevention measures that I mentioned can have an impact on everyone.”

The COVID-19 outbreak has motivated people to stock up on items, such as toilet paper and hand sanitizer to prepare themselves to self-quarantine and prevent the disease from being spread anywhere else.

“In working with First Responders in our community we [Los Robles Hospital] have provided them with valuable PPE information so that they are armed and educated with the most current information to treat and transport patients safely throughout our community,” Yousem said.