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MENDOCINO Co., 3/24/20 — Mendocino County Public Health Officer Noemi Doohan confirmed this morning at the Board of Supervisors meeting (held remotely), that a second person in Mendocino County has tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). In light of this development, and with increasingly strict measures being taken across the state, Doohan issued a revision to her shelter-in-place order of last week, significantly tightening restrictions. The order is now indefinite, with no end date, and effective until further notice. Additionally, the order is enforceable as law, and violation of it may carry a fine or jail sentence. (You can read the order in full here, or at the bottom of the page)
According to this order all parks are closed, county and city. The Army Corp of Engineers which is responsible for Lake Mendocino has also closed all recreation areas of the lake and all campsites, including boat ramps, the walking trails along the dam, and other trails.
This new order limits activity, travel and business functions, “to only the most basic and essential needs, and prohibits transient lodging for non-essential purposes.”
Here are the current COVID-19 testing numbers according to the county:
- Total Tests Taken: 124
- Total Positives: 2
- Total Negatives: 75
- Total Pending: 47
The press released issued by the County does not include details as to what the additional restrictions are, beyond the closure of parks, and the fact that the new order brings the county’s strictures in line with the states. And these orders are quite details, and a careful reading is advised to best understand the new law during this troubled time. However, a comparison of the two orders, shows some differences right off the bat:
- People may leave the house to get exercise, including hiking, biking, and jogging. However, they may not drive to a place to exercise, and so exercise must be conducted from your house or walking distance of your home.
- Whereas the previous order included an exemption for businesses that businesses that supplied products that “would enhance the quality of life,” the new order omits this provision.
- The new order bans vacation rentals. Whereas the previous order did not specifically reference vacation rentals, this new one explicitly bans them.
- This new order includes the closure of all outdoor recreational areas, including beaches, rivers, parks, playgrounds, and picnic tables.
- Both orders only allow restaurants to deliver or pick-up.
- Both orders allow the sale of clothes only if the customer can do so without handling the clothing.
Here is the press release sent by the Public Health Office:
Health Officer Issues Revised Shelter-In-Place Order
Post Date: 03/24/2020 7:49 PM
On March 17, 2020, Mendocino County’s Public Health Officer issued a Health Order requiring all residents to stay home except for essential needs.
On March 19, 2020, California Governor Newsom issued an immediate Executive Order, requiring all Californians to shelter in their place of residence, except as necessary to maintain or access critical systems and services. Today, March 24, 2020, the County Health Officer revised Mendocino County’s order to align with California’s Order. This Order goes into effect today, March 24, 2020, at 10:00 p.m. and will be in place until further notice. The major changes in the Order includes: stricter list of essential business to align with the State order, closure of all parks within Mendocino County and the order will be in place until rescinded. We urge all residents to closely follow the restrictions in both the County and State Health Orders.
This revision is especially important, as the County Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan has confirmed a second case of COVID-19 in our community.
Regarding the new COVID-19 case, Dr. Doohan stated, “This case is related to high risk travel and it does not appear to indicate community spread. This person is on home isolation and does not pose a risk to the public and will be actively monitored by public health officials along with their primary healthcare provider. The clinic where this case was identified used proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and handled this case in an exemplary manner that protected their healthcare workers, staff and patients from exposure. The Health Officer was informed of this case this morning. We will continue to release announcements of new cases promptly, within hours, when possible.”
This Order is to ensure that the maximum number of people shelter in their places of residence to the maximum extent possible, in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. The Order directs all residents to remain at their place of residence, except to conduct Essential Activities, Essential Business, and Essential Government Functions (defined in the Order).
This Public Health Order limits activity, travel and business functions to only the most basic and essential needs, and prohibits transient lodging for non-essential purposes. To the extent that individuals must use shared or outdoor spaces, all must maintain social distancing of at least six feet between themselves and others while outside their residence. Our goal is to protect the public’s health by minimizing the spread of this pandemic.
“We have been working closely with our state partners to identify areas of the local Public Health Order that can be modified to closely mirror Governor Newsom’s statewide Shelter-In-Place Order,” said Dr. Doohan. “We owe our seniors, healthcare workers and other vulnerable populations in our community our strict adherence to this order, for their protection.”
Essential Activities (exemptions to the Shelter-In-Place Order) include:
- Tasks essential to maintain health and safety, such as obtaining medicine or seeing a doctor;
- Getting necessary services or supplies for themselves or their family or household members, such as getting food and supplies, pet food, and getting supplies necessary for staying at home;
- Engaging in outdoor activity, such as walking or running provided that you maintain at least six feet of social distancing and be we within walking/biking distance from home; (Please note that all parks are closed in Mendocino County)
- Performing work providing essential services at an Essential Business or Essential Government function (defined below);
- Caring for a family member in another household;
- Caring for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons.
The business community is advised to refer to Section 9 of the Order attached for the revised list of essential business.
Violations of this Order are considered a threat to our county’s health, and adherence is enforceable by law. A coordinated response of all law enforcement agencies in Mendocino County has been implemented. The Health Officer will continue to evaluate this rapidly evolving situation, and may modify this Order if needed.
By adhering to the Order, Mendocino County can help “flatten the curve.” Governor Gavin Newsom in a recent news conference shared the following statement: “Just assume that you potentially are contagious and act accordingly. Socially distance yourself from others. Just use common sense. Be a good neighbor. Be a good citizen.” Our actions can save lives. If all Californians adhere to sheltering-in-place we can help stop the spread of COVID-19.
- Keep a distance of at least six feet away from others
- Don’t shake hands
- Wash your hands thoroughly and often
- Don’t touch your face with un-washed hands
- Cover coughs and sneezes (into your elbow and away from others, not hands)
- Regularly clean high-traffic surfaces
- If you are sick stay home unless you need to seek medical care in which case you should call ahead
For more on COVID-19:
Call Center: (707) 234-6052 or email [email protected]
The call center is open Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.