MENDOCINO Co., 3/26/20 — “We are certain that the number of cases in Mendocino will rise,” said Mendocino County Deputy Public Health Officer Dr. James Flaherty in a video update provided by the County of Mendocino this evening, noting also that the two confirmed cases of COVID-19 are the “tip of the iceberg.”
This evening Mendocino County Public Health released a video update to YouTube, in lieu of the regular press conferences that they’ve been holding, providing updates on the coronavirus pandemic and how it is affecting Mendocino County. Earlier today the county explained that they would be cancelling the press conference as a social distancing measure, but did not provide any venue for the press to call in with questions or seek additional information from the public health officer, Dr. Noemi Doohan, and her deputy Dr. James Flaherty. The press conferences which have been as long as nearly an hour, and allowed for ample time to ask questions of a variety of local officials were instead replaced with a less than five minute video. Requests for interviews were also denied.
Though the number of positive tests have not changed since Tuesday, something Flaherty called “encouraging,” he also noted that it represents the “tip of the iceberg.” Testing in Mendocino County continues to be “targeted,” as Flaherty explained, “Given the national and state shortage of testing capability.”
Those people being tested right now are generally at higher risk, or essential for the maintenance of the healthcare and emergency infrastructure, and include: healthcare workers, public safety personnel, other emergency response personnel, and vulnerable groups like nursing home patients, people in jail, the homeless, and of course people in immediate need in emergency rooms.
The Public Health Administration is also training four more people to investigate the travel and contacts of the people who have tested positive, with the help of Sonoma County.
And of course, the shelter-in-place order was expanded and made stricter this week. Flaherty did not expand on how it had been made stricter or other specifics, beyond emphatically asking people to continue to shelter in place. For some more details check out our article on the order at this link.
Here are the totals for the COVID-19 tests that have occurred, and results, as of this afternoon, Thursday March 26, 2020.
Tests conducted by Mendocino Public Health
- Tests: 42
- Negative: 32
- Pending: 10
- Positive: 0
Tests conducted by commercial labs
- Total tests: 128
- Negative: 99
- Pending: 27
- Positive: 2