Note: This is a developing situation, and we’ll be updating this article as we get new information. Please help us out by adding new information in the comments or getting in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. As local residents and business owners ourselves, we want to help our local community support each other in the coming weeks — submissions from local business owners and community organizations are welcome, and let us know what we can do to help.
MENDOCINO Co., 3/15/20 — Though no cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Mendocino County, the spread of the coronavirus has already required massive changes to our society, with the closure of schools, cancellation of events, and as of today, state directives for staying home for seniors, the closure of restaurants and reduced occupancy of restaurants. But into this breach individuals and business are stepping up to help out — so get in touch with us to tell us about those efforts so we can spread the word.
What will this mean for our most vulnerable residents, for working parents, and for the economy? We may be in for a difficult time ahead, but we’ll get through it by working together as a community. As a locally owned news service, we are working hard with a small staff to get information out to you, and we know that Mendocino County residents, local businesses, and community organizations are all working hard to get reliable information out and protect our communities’ most vulnerable residents and us all. That’s why we want to help spread the word about what’s going on, and what local people, business, and organizations are doing to support the elderly, parents with kids home from school, health care workers and first responders, and those most impacted by COVID-19 closures — and we need your help to get in touch, and to get the word out. (See our full coverage here.)
Although Mendocino County’s Interim Public Health Director Dr. Neomi Doohan does not believe there is currently community spread of COVID-19 here, the arrival of the disease is inevitable, and social distancing measures are one way to reduce risk to those most vulnerable. It is possible, however, as in other states, that California residents will be asked to undertake even more self-quarantined measures in the coming weeks.
We’ve seen a number of local businesses offer services to help support those staying home, and we want to encourage you to support them in the coming months — the vast majority of Mendocino County’s businesses are locally owned, and many, like us, rely on small staff and small margins. Part of why we are becoming a locally owned co-op is that we know that many Mendo communities depend on just these small businesses, and we want to help support them however we can. If you know of a business offering delivery or remote services, let us know, and consider buying a gift certificate to your favorite local bar, brewery, tasting room, or music venue right now, or other local businesses that might be hard hit, that you’ll be able to use further down the road but could help them out now. If you have other good ideas to support local residents and businesses, let us know!
Here’s a few examples of local businesses we’ve seen, below. We”ll be adding to this article as things change.
Black Oak Coffee Roasters in Ukiah: As of March 14, Black Oak has installed foot-pump hand washing stations outside the entrances, reduced the amount of indoor seating significantly to allow for social distancing, and marked off lines on the floor so that those standing in line keep an appropriate distance from each other. The popular coffee company has also asked customers to not use cash when possible, and to leave their dishes on the tables, instead of bussing them, so that tables can be sanitized between uses. The coffee roaster is also offering discounts of coffee delivery.
Gallery Bookshop in Mendocino: The bookstore has cancelled all events for the remainder of March — but in order to provide entertainment to anyone who might be staying at home for a while, the bookstore is offering customers the option of curbside book pick-ups, or 99 cent deliveries. Here’s a note from them:
We know some of you are trying to stay healthy by staying scarce, but you’re going to need a good book. Besides our 99 cent shipping and drive up book delivery, stay on top of things by joining our newsletter. Up to date bookstore happenings and all the good reading you can handle.
Antojitos Taco Truck in Ukiah: To help customers who may be avoiding crowds, the truck is offering call-in orders and curbside pick-up. Call 707-391-2011, Monday – Friday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., 676 S. Orchard Street in Ukiah.
Harvest Market: The Fort Bragg grocery store offers grocery delivery services from Cleone to Albion — would like an order delivered same day, you can call in before 9 a.m. or go to their website, and all deliveries are planning to continue as regularly scheduled. If you are feeling sick, however, please do not place an order in order to reduce the risk of community spread through to store staff.
Mendocino County Library Free Services: While some Mendocino County libraries have reduced events and workshops, there are a lot of great digital resources available for county residents — movie streaming, downloading books, free access to publications and databases, and much more! If you’re staying home, you should check out the online options from the library.