Lassen County reports first confirmed COVID-19 serology test

The Lassen County Public Health Department is reporting the first positive serology test for COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) confirmed in a Lassen County resident, according to a Thursday, May 21 statement from Incident Command. Serology testing is a laboratory blood test that confirms the presence of antibodies, which are specific proteins made in response to infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), antibodies can be found in the blood of people who are tested after infection and show that those individuals have had an immune response to the infection. Antibody test results are especially important for detecting previous infections with few or no symptoms. Currently, it is unknown if the antibodies that result from a COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) will provide immunity from future infection.

The confirmed positive serology test was a Lassen County resident identified at a local health care facility with no history of illness over the past two months and no current complaint of illness.

The Lassen County Public Health Department will not be releasing any additional demographic information related to this positive serology test. It is our priority to protect the privacy of all individuals in our community, the statement continued.

The Lassen County COVID-19 Investigation Taskforce will complete a detailed investigation to determine if there is a need for further testing of close contacts.

“All Lassen County residents need to understand that this positive serology test does not change how Lassen County is responding to this pandemic. Positive serology tests do not confirm active disease in our community; however, based on world wide spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), with the added increase in cases confirmed in our country and Governor Newsom’s stay at home order, our community will continue to operate under the assumption that unconfirmed cases of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) are circulating in Lassen County,” read the statement.

Lassen County Public Health staff and the Lassen County Covid-19 Investigation Taskforce are following infectious disease investigation guidelines provided by the CDC. Furthermore, Lassen County’s COVID-19 Incident Command has established a comprehensive case management taskforce to ensure that individuals testing positive and their close contacts are provided all support needed to isolate at home during the potential infectious disease period.

Public Health Emergency Preparedness Programs have been organizing for a response such as this for many years and have worked closely with healthcare and response agencies as well as community partners to ensure a robust response to community health threats such as pandemics.

Lassen County’s COVID-19 Incident Command has been working with community partners, government agencies, state and federal responders, and other personnel for several months to prepare the community for the potential impact of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic. Surrounding counties including those across state lines are in regular contact with the command structure to ensure that all county residents with potential exposure are reported and cared for accordingly regardless of where they receive healthcare.

“Residents of Lassen County must continue to take Governor Newsom’s stay at home order seriously to help stop the spread of COVID-19,” the statement from Incident Command read. “If you do not need to go out, please stay at home. If your business in not an essential service or operating safely with approved modifications please close your doors. How our community is responding to the this order, in addition to social distancing, hand washing, treating mild symptoms at home, etc., can have a huge impact on the number of cases spread through our county.

“Lassen County Unified Command and all response partners would like to send our thoughts to the individual and family of this confirmed positive serology, and would like to assure that we are here to support you as we move forward together through this pandemic.”

Testing for active COVID-19 is available locally for all individuals in our community 18 years of age and older. Please see the LassenCares website for details. Serology testing may be available through your healthcare provider.

For additional information and updates, visit lassencares.org and the LassenCares Facebook page.

If you have any questions regarding COVID-19, call the Lassen County COVID-19 call center at 251-8100 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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