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MENDOCINO Co., 3/21/20 — Mendocino County Public Health issued a “shelter-in-place” order to all residents on March 19, some days after more six Bay Area counties gave a similar order, and shortly before Governor Gavin Newsom ordered the entire state to shelter in place to reduce the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The order issued by Mendocino County was modeled after the one in the Bay Area, and Sonoma, but officials also included some variation to deal with our rural character. The orders include specific provisions as to what are considered “essential businesses,” as wells as essential activities, that can continue to operate in this rural area — but with different orders now coming down from local, state, and federal officials, there has been some confusion as to how local officials and residents should proceed if the orders contradict.
In order to clear up some confusion around what businesses can be operational, and how, during the shelter-in place, Mendocino County officials have put together a “frequently asked questions” guide for residents. Here’s the the text of Mendocino County order, including a list of essential businesses, and here’s the statewide order, and a statewide “essential needs FAQ.“
Mendocino County’s shelter-in-place order is scheduled to last until at least April 7, and is enforceable as law, and the statewide order does not currently have an end date. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office have deputies actively contacting business owners and even shutting them down to ensure compliance, including a hotel and restaurant in Gualala on March 19. (Here’s the county’s March 19 notice to hotels).
During the Mendocino County emergency Board of Supervisors meeting held March 20, county supervisors and officials, including county counsel, said they and many other county and municipal officials were in discussions with the governor’s office as to how to proceed concerning local restrictions that allowed for more permissive business operations than the state order, which was less specific but in some ways more restrictive. Now the county has issued a “FAQ” to help residents navigate what activities are work is permitted.
So far only one positive case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Mendocino County, out of 76 tests and 38 pending results reported on the evening of March 20. However, Interim Public Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan said she now believes “community spread” may be taking place within the county.
If you have questions about the order, check the FAQ and the county’s COVID-19 webpage, and contact the county’s call center (details below). You can also check our guide to COVID-19 information, and our complete coverage here. If you want to report activity that violates the order, contact the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office or your local police department.
- The Mendocino County COVID-19 call center can be reached at 707-234-6052, on nights or weekends the call line will be monitored by county dispatch. The county is monitoring the line and will expand the hours if necessary.
- El condado de Mendocino ha establecido un centro de llamadas al 707-234-6052, y el correo electrónico [email protected]. El centro de atención telefónica está abierto de lunes a viernes de 8:00 a.m. a 5:00 p.m. Con personal bilingüe.
- You can also email [email protected] with questions.