By Andrea Nakano

FAIRFIELD (KPIX) — The beginnings of what could end up being a dual pandemic has hit Solano County. The public health department reported Friday the first patient suffering both the flu and COVID-19. Solano County health officer, Dr. Bela Matyas says the patient is under the age of 65 and is in fairly good health. This person works in the health care sector but Dr. Matyas said that’s not where the transmission occurred.

“This is basically a warning to us — we have flu in our community as well as covid,” Dr. Matyas said.

Dr. Matyas believes this first case of co-infection happened because the patient didn’t follow proper social-distancing guidelines.

“This person, to the best of our knowledge, didn’t acquire it in the workplace. They did what so many other people did all over the country: they got together with family and friends and let their guard down,” Dr. Matyas said.

Dr. Matyas said such gatherings are how more than 90% of COVID-19 infections are occurring in Solano County, pushing the county to the brink of the purple tier for widespread risk.

“Obviously we’re not telling people to get together with family and friends. We’re suggesting –when you do — use common sense and take responsibility for your actions. Don’t go to a gathering if you’re sick,” Dr. Matyas said.

Some Fairfield residents say it was only a matter of time until the flu and COVID-19 started circulating in the community.

“I knew the flu was coming,” Kathy Schaffer said. Marlene Baselice added, “It’s all over anyway, it’s always going to be here no matter what.”

As the peak flu season approaches, doctors are urging people to get the vaccine to reduce the risk of becoming seriously ill. Since some of the symptoms of the flu and COVID-19 are similar, Dr. Matyas says you should quarantine until you know what you have.

“The recommendation is that, if you have symptoms, don’t go to work, don’t go to events, get tested first so you know that what you have will not hurt other people,” he said.

Solano County is expected to know by next Tuesday if it will fall out of the red tier and back into purple.

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