County officials: Stay at home efforts effective in slowing COVID-19 spread

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Tired of staying at home? Wondering when this is all going to end? A lot of people are doing their part to help stop the spread of COVID-19, and it seems those efforts aren’t going without reward. 

“Extensive modeling shows a flattening of the curve, which means the extreme efforts and measures taken by the residents of San Joaquin County are paying off,” said San Joaquin County Office of Emergency Services in a Facebook post on April 3. “The expected peak of daily hospital admissions due to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in San Joaquin County has shifted and reduced by nearly half at the peak.”

 San Joaquin County has 341 confirmed cases as of April 15.

The rise in cases still falls in the expected range for flattening the curve.

“We expect the numbers to continue to rise as we confirm the virus in the community through increased testing of our community,” said Deputy Director General Services- Emergency Operations Shellie Lima on April 15. 

Some residents explained that they didn’t immediately take the situation seriously — they didn’t at first recognize the importance of it.

“The beginning of March I wasn’t too concerned, but by [March] 15 is when I really started to get worried. Once the shelter in place went into effect, I immediately complied and took it seriously,” said Delta College student Vivian Andujo.

People have been finding ways to keep themselves happy and entertained during this time.

“I’m attending happy hours and exercise classes virtually. I’m having anything needed delivered. Staying busy. Cooking,” said Ripon resident Kim Anderson.

This sudden change hasn’t been easy.

“My ex-husband and I have both made a decision to keep our 6-year-old son with him in El Dorado County because they only have approximately 33 cases whereas San Joaquin County has hundreds … I miss him, but we keep in touch via FaceTime and I will make up for my missed time with him when this is over,” said Ripon resident Kristin Jabs-Ellenburg.

The Office of Emergency Services stresses the importance of continuing to comply with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay at home order. 

“We need to keep up with our mitigation efforts because as you can see, it’s working. We are flattening our curve. But it’s not time to lighten up. We all need to continue to stay home, practice social distancing, and be patient. I know this is not easy, but it’s going to save lives. San Joaquin County: we should be proud of our flattened curve. Let’s keep it up and get through this together,” said San Joaquin Health Officer Dr. Maggie Park.