MENDOCINO Co., 3/28/20 — Mendocino County Public Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan announced this afternoon the confirmation of the third case of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Mendocino County. This person resides inland, but was traveling and as such this does not appear to be a case of “community spread.”
Community spread is, roughly, a situation in which the virus has spread to enough people that it’s unclear how people with new cases were infected. So far all three cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Mendocino County by laboratory test have been in people who were traveling and thus appear to have contracted the disease outside of the county. This has been considered a good sign that social distancing, and sheltering-in-place, precautions have so far been successful in keeping the virus from spreading widely through our population.
For more from Dr. Doohan check out our video interview with her from last night:
Here is the press release from Mendocino County Public Health:
Post Date: 03/28/2020 3:04 PM
The Mendocino County Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan has confirmed a third case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Mendocino County. Like the first two cases in Mendocino County, this third case is thought to be travel related and does not appear to indicate community spread. The individual is from Inland Mendocino County, is in stable condition, in isolation at home with active public health monitoring, did not require hospitalization, and poses no risk to the public at this time.
Additionally, Mendocino County Public Health has reported that the first Mendocino County case, from the South Coast, who was monitored daily in isolation by public health, has recovered. This individual remained in isolation as directed for the designated amount of time- 14 days from symptom onset and until symptoms resolved.
Regarding the new COVID-19 case, Dr. Doohan stated, “Public Health was notified late yesterday evening of a third COVID-19 case. This person is on home isolation, doing well and does not pose a risk to the public. The individual is being actively monitored by public health along with their primary healthcare provider. The healthcare facility 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. We will continue to release announcements of new cases promptly, by 6pm each day.”
This third positive COVID-19 individual was identified through the Public Health Lab system in coordination with our healthcare providers. Across the nation, the current situation for COVID-19 testing is highly problematic due to shortages of the test sampling materials and limited testing capacity. In response to this challenge, Mendocino County Public Health has developed a process for facilitating COVID-19 testing for our healthcare partners. Currently, the Mendocino County Public Health department can facilitate testing through our affiliated Public Health lab, located in Santa Rosa.
As of today, the average turnaround time for the one commercial lab available to our County, Quest, is two weeks. The Public Health Lab turnaround time is at most 72 hours, which includes the time needed for pickup of the sampling kit from the Healthcare partner and delivery of the sample by courier to the Santa Rosa lab. Given the current restricted access to COVID-19 testing supplies and resources, the testing that Public Health facilitates for partners includes symptomatic patients from specific categories: healthcare workers, public safety personnel, people of high public health risk (nursing home residents, incarcerated people, homeless), high risk exposure (due to travel or contact) and emergency room and hospitalized patients in whom the test result will change management of the patient. Anyone who is tested for COVID-19 MUST remain in isolation until further directed by their clinician who ordered the test. People who are sick and being evaluated for COVID-19 can spread the disease unless they stay in isolation away from other people.
The Public Health facilitation of COVID-19 testing is a top priority so that our healthcare partners can increase testing efficiency and ensure that individuals most at risk can be tested promptly.
Below are the COVID-19 testing numbers as of March 27, 2020 at 3:00 p.m.
Public Health Lab:
- Negatives: 42
- Positives: 1
- Pending: 13
Commercial Lab (Quest):
- Negatives: 101
- Positives: 2
- Pending: 28
- Total: 131
- Recovered: 1
“To keep COVID-19 from spreading like wild-fire in Mendocino County, we must make sure everyone continues to Shelter-In-Place, and maintain physical distancing while carrying out essential activities and business. Additionally we must make sure that people who are sick with COVID-19 symptoms, and their close contacts, stay isolated and quarantined away from others as directed by their clinicians and Public Health” said Health Officer Dr. Doohan.
- Be familiar with the Shelter in Place order and follow it’s directives (https://www.mendocinocounty.org/community/novel-coronavirus)
- Keep a distance of at least six feet away from others when in public
- 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
“As of today, the average turnaround time for the one commercial lab available to our County, Quest, is two weeks.” A two week turnaround time is obscene, particularly since Quest’s average turnaround is 72 hours, sometimes less. It’s bad enough that Mendocino county is not testing many people, as evidenced by the number of tests that have not been processed, but combined with this kind of lag time, the number of people one positive individual could infect is appalling.
With the rapid spread of the Colvid- 19 “VIRUS ” now Mendocino has its third KNOWN case and that we shouldn’t be concerned about it spreading because we are staying home ,washing our hands or wearing gloves or both and keeping 6ft away when we need to go to the store . But I’m having a difficult time understanding is that wouldn’t be to all of our best interests and most importantly not spreading the VIRUS if we knew who has it?!?.