Richard Egan contracts COVID-19, shares symptoms

Richard Egan, Lassen County’s administrative officer and public information officer for the Lassen County COVID-19 Incident Command Team, revealed he’s been infected with the virus.

Egan announced his infection during a telephone call with Lassen News Tuesday afternoon.

Richard Egan

“I’ve got COVID, so I’m isolated,” Egan said. “You know me. I live a public life. I have for a long time. It doesn’t bother me at all,” to let the public know I’m infected. “I’m doing what I need to do.”

So, how did he get it?

Egan believes he caught the virus through contact with a person who was asymptomatic during the holidays, but there’s no way to be sure as others close to him also have contracted the virus.

Thankfully, Egan said his COVID-19 symptoms are mild — more like a cold — and he’s isolating at home under an order from the Lassen County Public Health Department just like everyone else who tests positive for the virus, and he is working remotely from home.

“I started having symptoms around Christmas,” Egan said.  “I’ve got all the classic stuff — stuffed up, lost my sense of taste and smell a little bit and cough, but it’s like a cold really. It’s not bad … (but) it seems pretty contagious.”

He said everybody he works with is currently being tested.

Egan said he suspected he had the virus as he was taking a shower and couldn’t smell his body wash.

“I got in the shower, and I had a brand new bottle of body wash,” Egan said. “I opened it up to smell it, and I couldn’t smell a thing. It’s kind of a weird feeling, but I’m sure it will pass.”


Isolation order

Here’s some of the information contained in Egan’s isolation order signed by Kenneth Korver, Lassen County’s public health officer.

Richard Egan has been instructed to self-isolate at his home in Susanville.

Isolated individuals must isolate themselves in a residence and shall follow all directions in this order until they are no longer at risk for spreading COVID-19 based on the following criteria:

  • At least three days (72 hours) have passed since recovery, defined as resolution of both fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement of symptoms (e.g., cough, shortnesss of breath); AND
  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

To prevent you from possibly spreading COVID-19 to uninfected

people you must restrict activities and limit all movements that may put you in contact with others during the isolation period.

  • Stay home. Do not go to work, school or public areas. You may only leave your place of isolation or enter another public or private place to get necessary medical care.
  • Do not allow visitors.
  • Separate yourself from others in your home (unless they are under quarantine).

Stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. It is very important to stay away from people who are at higher risk of serious illness. This includes people who are age 65 years or older or have a health problem such as a chronic disease or a weak immune system.

Use a separate bathroom, if available.

Stay at least 6 feet away from others. When this is not possible, wear a cloth face cover.

Do not handle pets or other animals.

Do not prepare or serve food to others.

Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels or bedding with other people or pets in your home. Wash them thoroughly with soap and water after use,

Wash your hands often and thoroughly, especially after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food. Use soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Use soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.

Lassen County Public Health will contact the individual under isolation on or before (date) for further instructions and/or provide a written release from isolation.