This Order is in place to address the ongoing spread of the virus that causes COVID19 in Merced County. There is substantial community transmission of the virus, which is easily spread between people. One big challenge in controlling the transmission of the virus is that many people who have it don’t have symptoms or have mild symptoms. However; people can easily spread the virus even if they don’t feel ill. The virus can also last on many surfaces (from hours to days).
Unfortunately, this virus can cause severe symptoms in some people and can also be fatal. Some who get the virus, especially those over 60 years old, those who have weak immune systems, and those with various medical conditions (see below for a full list), can end up with serious complications that include fever, pneumonia, and in some instances death. Currently there is no approved treatment or cure for COVID19. That means that people who get very sick need medical intervention such as oxygen or help breathing.
Because the virus spreads so easily, without dramatic intervention like this Order, it would result in so many people needing medical attention in a hospital setting that our hospitals will be overwhelmed. We may not have enough beds or equipment to adequately care for the most seriously ill. Our health care workers and other first responders are also at risk, and if they get sick there are fewer people to provide health care and first response services.
For these reasons, it is critical that we now do everything in our power to slow down the spread of the virus. Doing so will help to “flatten the curve” to slow down the spread of the virus and help our health care system not be overwhelmed. If this succeeds, it means that there will be health care available for those who get sick with COVID-19 or who need emergency medical care for accidents, heart attacks, strokes, and other serious medical conditions. We all have to do our part now to protect everyone in the community. The best way to do that is to “socially isolate” yourself at home to avoid further spread of the virus.