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March 6 COVID-19 Update

  • Category: News
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Laura Florez-McCusker


There remains no evidence of an infection of COVID-19 in Tulare County, according to the Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency. For updates from TCHHSA on the number of individuals in the county being self monitored, click HERE (site updated two times a week). The county has the ability to test locally; test results are typically available within 24-48.

At Kaweah Health

Whether at work or out in the community, people are talking about COVID-19. Many have questions and some have concerns. We have a plan in place at Kaweah Health and are working incredibly hard to make sure that should there ever be a local exposure, our staff, patients, and visitors will be safe.

This week, Tulare County’s Public Health Officer asked us, along with other hospitals in the area, to test persons under investigation for COVID-19. To date, there remain no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Tulare County. Our plan to test these individuals is comprehensive and based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention to keep staff safe and limit exposure to others. It mirrors protocols already in place for tuberculosis testing and involves protection for staff involved.

The CDC has also lifted the requirement that testing for COVID-19 must happen in negative pressure isolation rooms. This means that tests can take place in rooms with a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter that can trap harmful particles.

We have had requests from the community seeking COVID-19 testing at Kaweah Health. Individuals who are not experiencing life-threatening symptoms, should instead, call their doctor by phone, so that he/she can determine whether testing is required. At this point, we can only test individuals with approval of Tulare County’s Public Health Officer, who meet a combination of the following:

  • Fever, cough, difficulty breathing
  • Travel to an area in the past 14 days with a widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19
  • Close contact within 14 days of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Those of us in healthcare know that this time of year, cold and flu season, is not only very busy, but dangerous – the CDC estimates that 56,000 people die from the flu or flu-like illness each year; to date, 14 people have died from COVID-19. We are in constant communication with Tulare County’s Public Health Officer and we’re constantly monitoring CDC for opportunities to improve our plan to keep our staff, patients and visitors safe. We will keep you posted as we know more.


The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention continue to stress the following everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, which include:

  • Handwashing
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Covering coughs
  • Cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces.
  • And more.

We will continue to provide updates on COVID-19 activities as we know more.