Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

COVID-19 Information Line: 707-464-0911

Del Norte County has set up a COVID-19 information line to answer our community's questions about the coronavirus that is causing CVOID-19.

How can I best protect myself from getting the novel coronavirus virus?

  • Frequently wash your hands with soap or use hand sanitizers.
  • Avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose, and mouth because one way viruses spread is when you touch your own mouth, nose or eyes.
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue, sleeve, or arm. Do not use your hands.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces such as phones, tablets, light switches, countertops and doorknobs​.
  • Keep away from others who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

Symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, and aches. The illness can progress to shortness of breath and complications from pneumonia. Symptoms may also include nausea with vomiting and diarrhea. Some infected patients experience only mild symptoms while others – particularly older individuals and those with underlying health conditions – might develop more severe symptoms.

What should I do if I feel sick?
  • If you are feeling sick, you should go home immediately. Stay home until you are feeling completely well. 
  • If you need to seek medical care, please call ahead and let them know your symptoms. 
  • If you have a fever, cough or sneezes, runny nose, or a sore throat, please put on a mask before going to the doctor, if you can.
  • Influenza and other respiratory viruses are circulating in our community, so if you are sick with a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, you should stay home until at least 24 hours after you have recovered. 
Do I need to wear a mask?
  • The CDC does not recommend that healthy people wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. 
  • Face masks should be worn by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. 
  • The use of face masks is also crucial for healthcare workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings. 
Should I get tested for COVID-19?
  • Del Norte County Public Health recommends that the public and healthcare providers follow CDC's guidance on who should be tested. Patients who have severe symptoms, such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing should seek care immediately. 
  • Mildly ill patients are encouraged to stay home and contact their healthcare provider by phone for guidance about clinical management. 
  • Testing is now being done in our community through large commercial laboratories and through Humboldt County's Public Health lab. 
What is social distancing? 

Social distancing is an effective way of slowing the spread of a virus. Social distancing includes personal things you can do and larger public health actions that can be taken. Social distancing includes:
  • Keeping 6 feet or more between yourself and others.
  • Limit your movement in the community and limit social contacts. 
  • If you are sick, stay home and away from others in your household to the degree you are able. 
  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer, cover coughs and sneezes, avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. 
  • Be cautious in your interactions with the elderly and others at high risk and act as though you have the potential to get others around you sick. 
  • If you are over 65-years-old, you should try to isolate as much as possible. 
  • Do not visit hospital, long term care facilities, nursing homes, or other settings with vulnerable populations. 
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects, like phones, tablets, doorknobs, light switches, etc. Regular household cleaners are effective.
  • Avoid large social gatherings. 
  • In our community, schools have closed. 
How should I be preparing?

When an outbreak spreads globally, it becomes a pandemic. In the midst of this pandemic, you and your family should be preparing for the coming days and weeks. As we live in earthquake and tsunami country, it is already a good idea to be prepared for an emergency. 
  • Meet with your household, your relatives, your neighbors to discuss what the needs of each person will be in a pandemic. 
  • If your neighborhood has a website or social media page, consider joining it to stay connected to neighbors, information, and resources.
  • Create an emergency contact list. 
  • Discuss how you are going to care for family members if they become ill and how to protect the ones giving care. 
  • Prepare for sheltering in place. See recommendations from Del Norte County OES. 
  • Continue to practice good hygiene. 

Shelter in Place Order

Can I go outside?

Yes. You are allowed to leave your home to buy essentials, to do essential business, and to exercise. Spending time outside is beneficial to mood and well-being and is important for stress relief. Make sure to practice physical distancing each time you go out. Stay more than 6 feet away from those who are not part of your household. 

What if I just have little cold? Can I go out?

No. If you are sick, you need to stay home until you are completely well. For the average person, that is defined as at lest 24 hours without fever while not using Tylenol or other fever reducing medications and symptoms have cleared. Symptoms of COVID-19 are very similar to a cold or the flu. You cannot expect to know the difference. If you are seriously ill, please see your provider. If you are not seriously ill, please stay home, mark on your calendar when your symptoms started and try to keep track of them. This information may be useful to Public Health later on when determining immunity. 

How do I get food and medicine if I have to stay home?

You are still allowed to leave your home to buy food, purchase medicine or other necessary items, like formula and toilet paper. Businesses that sell these items are encouraged to remain open and operate in a way that protects the health and safety of our community. 

Should I stock up on food and necessities?

No. You will still be able to continue to purchase necessary items whenever you need them. Stores selling these items will remain open. Please continue to buy normal quantities of these items that you normally do. Buying more than what you need disrupts the supply chain of these goods. 

If you are having difficulty accessing formula, please call us at 707-464-0861 and we will help you access what you need. 

Can I order things online and still have them delivered?

Yes. Businesses that deliver goods are considered essential business and may continue to operate.

What is an essential business?

Essential businesses are the critical infrastructure needed to maintain the services and functions we depend on daily and need to be able to operate resiliently during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of these essential businesses include, but are not limited to:
  • Grocery Stores
  • Restaurants
  • Gas Stations
  • Pharmacies
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Banks and Financial Institutions
  • State and Local Government
You can find more information about identifying critical infrastructure during the COVID-19 pandemic here

Can restaurants remain open?

Yes. Restaurants, cafes and establishments that serve food may remain open, but for delivery and carry out only. You can also purchase prepared food at grocery stores, farmers markets, convenience stores and other food retailers. 

Are hotels and RV parks allowed to be open?

Yes, but only for residence or people staying longer than 30 days, with some exceptions. Effective Friday, March 27, 2020 at 5:00 p.m., all hotels, short term vacation rentals and other transient rentals should not provide accommodations to any person for a period of less than 30 days, unless they have an exemption to the order. 

Owners are required to keep a log of each excepted stay, including name and contact information for each of the persons and their dates of stay. This log shall be made available upon request. 

For more information and a full list of exemptions, please read the Health Officer Order: Exercising Authority to Act to Protect Del Norte County Citizens and Minimize the Effects of the COVID-19 Emergency

Can hair salons, barber shops, or tattoo parlors be open?

No. These businesses are not considered essential business at this time. All shops that provide services that require such close, personal contact must close completely and remain closed. Operators who ignore the order can incur significant penalties for doing so. We would prefer to trust that our businesses have the well-being of our community in mind and comply with this order, but we will enforce the order if we must do so. 

Why shut down so many businesses in our community?

Del Norte County Public Health has been closely monitoring the situation with COVID-19. It is clear that if we don't take aggressive action to slow down the spread, our small hospital and particularly our intensive care unit will be overwhelming with patients. We are taking this action to save the lives of the many high-risk people in our community. 

We know how hard it is, but you are literally saving lives by your actions. It is a huge sacrifice, but we are hopeful that you will be compensated. For support and resources for local businesses, please connect with the Economic Resiliency Branch, a special, multi-agency branch that has been created by the Del Norte County Office of Emergency Services (OES) to support our local business owners as this situation evolves.

Can we go to the playground?

No. Even if there is no one at the playground it is not safe to go to playgrounds right now. There are a lot of germs that can stay on the equipment. Try going for a walk in your neighborhood or for a bike ride. Always remember to keep at least 6 feet between your household and others outside your household. 

What about other outdoor activities?

We want to keep outdoor activities available that are inherently physically distanced as long as certain parameters are in place to protect community health and safety. For example, golf courses can remain open as long as there are no club rentals or range balls, carts are disinfected, and family golfing is used. For fishing, it can be done as a household in a boat or from the beach or bank. Charters and guides should not be operating as the average fishing boat is too small for physical distancing. 

Is the Oregon Border closed?

No. However, any travel out of the county is only meant to be used to perform essential activities in order to provide essential services. If you have a medical appointment out of the county, please call your provider to make sure the appointment has not been changed or cancelled.

Can I travel out of Del Norte County?

Yes. However we strongly recommend that people cancel non-essential travel. All persons in Del Norte County should be sheltering in place. Travelers, whether international or domestic, should be self-quarantining for 14 days after return. If you have traveled recently and become ill with a fever, cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms of concern contact Public Health or your health care provider.

FAQs for Short Term Rentals Declaration

Can hotels, RV Parks, and vacation rentals still be open?

Yes, but only for residents, people staying longer than 30 days and those falling under a list of exceptions. 

What kind of people are on the list of exceptions?

  1. Local residents affecting a COVID19 self-quarantine or have moved from their residents in order to allow a person in their household to quarantine.

  2. Families or individuals where they are staying less than 30 days but that is their only means of shelter.

  3. Employees of lodging facilities providing lodging is a requirement or benefit of their employment.  

  4. Patients or families of patients that are receiving medical care at local facilities, people providing essential services:

    1. Doctors

    2. Nurses

    3. Truck Drivers 

    4. Health Care Workers

    5. Coast Guard Members 

    6. Construction Workers 

    7. Utility Crews

  5. Patients and their families and/or essential service workers as described above who have been encouraged to isolate or quarantine but the Public Health Department.

What about people that are currently renting? 

People that are currently renting can stay as long as they are staying longer than 30 days or are one of the exceptions. 

Why did the Health Officer make this declaration?

The Health Officer stated we needed this declaration because having people coming for short term stays increases the likelihood of spreading the coronavirus more than longer-term tenancies and threatens the limited health care resources available in Del Norte County.

What needs to be on the log? What is the log for?

The lodging manager needs to have a log of each exception stay that needs to have the exceptions name, contact info and the dates from the stays. The log shall be made available for any city or county officials upon request. 

What about pools?

All pools, spas and other public bathing facilities will be closed to the public at any lodging property. 

What happens if owners don’t abide by the order?

If an owner doesn’t abide by the order they shall be subject to an immediate suspension of any and all permits that authorize the use of the property as an accommodation for lodgers for one year to the date of the suspension.  

Public Health Branch

Del Norte County 
Department of Health & Human Services
Public Health Branch

400 L Street
Crescent City, CA 95531

Phone: (707) 464-0861
Fax: (707) 465-6701

Monday to Friday
8:00 am to 12:00 pm
1:00 pm to 5:00 pm