MENDOCINO Co., 4/6/20 — Mendocino Public Health and Adventist Health (which operates Howard Hospital, the Ukiah Valley Medical Center, and will soon take over the Coast Hospital) will soon begin conducting “surveillance testing,” that is, the testing of asymptomatic people in the hope of more accurately identifying the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The tests will focus on the “frail elderly,” the homeless and people who work with those populations.
All previously testing in Mendo has been done on people who were already showing symptoms, including the four confirmed cases.
One of the most vexing things about the coronavirus pandemic as it has unfolded in the United States is that a dearth of tests have resulted in uncertainty over just how many people are infected with the disease, when, and where. For a great many people COVID-19 has mild symptoms, and can even be asymptomatic — and beyond this many people may be asymptomatic for some days while still “shedding” the virus and spreading the disease.
These facts about the virus in conjunction with a nationwide shortage of tests for the virus, and the complete absence of other kinds of testing protocols that were deployed in East Asia have meant that widespread identification of the infected has remained elusive.
The new step of treating asymptomatic people in Mendocino County will be valuable in assessing the actual spread of the virus and thus the danger to posed by those essential workers who remain in the work force, and by all of us when conducting essential activities.
The county also released this short video
Here is the press release from Mendocino Public Health:
County Public Health Partners with Adventist Health Ukiah Valley for Targeted COVID-19 Testing
Post Date: 04/06/2020 8:05 PM
Mendocino County Public Health, in partnership with Adventist Health Ukiah Valley, and with the Public Health Regional Lab in Sonoma County, will be conducting focused testing (formally known as ‘surveillance testing’) for COVID-19 in vulnerable populations. Surveillance testing is a tool used to look for asymptomatic people who may be infected with COVID-19 and to identify if undetected community spread is present in Mendocino County. The surveillance testing will focus on those who are experiencing homelessness, the frail elderly, and individuals who serve those populations as well as others.
“We want to ensure that COVID-19 is not silently circulating in our county,” said Mendocino County Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan. “Many of our county’s most vulnerable residents, who are at high-risk of developing serious complications if they get COVID-19, are currently living in congregate environments like shelters, or on the streets. Offering free testing to these groups can go a long way to evaluating the COVID-19 risk to our County now.”
“It’s important that we reach out to our homeless population and provide access to care, especially to the most vulnerable. We believe it’s part of living our mission and we’re happy to partner with Public Health in reaching out to the community wherever they need us,” explains Jason Wells, president of Adventist Health for Mendocino County.
The focused Covid19 sampling will occur at Plowshares Peace and Justice Center in Ukiah, because it’s an essential business that provides food, and other necessities for economically disadvantaged and vulnerable populations including those experiencing homeless, elderly and medically compromised.
Focused testing of vulnerable populations is an important step to understand if COVID-19 is circulating undetected in specific populations, and to respond by providing isolation and quarantine if any persons with COVID19 infection are identified.
All testing that has been done thus far in Mendocino County has been targeted to symptomatic people who had illness consistent with COVID-19 and were evaluated in the primary care clinics and hospitals and other clinical settings in the County. Of the 295 tests done, 4 patients tested for COVID-19 were positive.
Hope the testing will be on the Coast as well.
What are all the symptoms of this virus, I am 75 and have a severe migraine for 3 days now, I must leave the house to pickup prescriptions otherwise will stay in, I have no family. Thank you
A bad, persistant headache is definitely on the list (although not a diagnosis!) A friend of mine in the Bay Area who’d had a bad, daily headache and no appetite, plus a dry cough for a week (no fever) was told by the Kaiser advice nurse that she should strictly isolate and that those all sounded like suspicious symptoms. And of, course, she should come to the hospital if she developed any trouble breathing. Can you get someone to pick up your prescription or have the pharmacy deliver it?
Most symptoms are similar to influenza. Symptoms that should concern you will involve significant shortness of breath or worse.
Best to stay home and rest, trying to manage the migraine as best you can, including lots of fluids.
Where do you live, specifically? Myers in Ukiah delivers, and I believe CVS is also delivering, too. And if you’re out in the more rural areas, maybe someone nearby can pick up prescriptions, etc., for you. Best for all reasons for you to stay home.
As a homeless person. And compromised health issues. I would like to know when and where to go to receive the test.
Why? So you can be locked up “for your own good”? It’s not like you’ll get anything special to help you get better if you test positive. “Take Tylenol, and rest.”
I’d recommend people AVOID taking any test. A positive test will lead to being locked up somewhere if you’re homeless – a gilded cage. And the tests are not exactly “accurate.” Double-digit errors, both false positives and false negatives.
It’s your choice, of course. Your Right to Choose…to accept the test, or reject it. But please consider the implications of your choice before deciding.
Nice thinking J.C.Tokalenko. No one homeless or otherwise will be locked up against their will. But they would find out definitively if they should self-isolate. Knowledge is power if you know what to do with it.
My mother is 71 and has fibromyalgia. She’s had a migraine and scratchy throat for 3 days now, but no fever. If I can find out when this focus testing will start and how long it takes to get results (even if there’s a possibility of it being inaccurate), I’ll drive her to Ukiah from the coast to be tested.
So I just called Public Health Dept. Covid-19 help line. NO focused testing for the elderly are available and NO timeline as to when it will be rolled out although I was told that they received a lot of calls about it already. They will start testing the homeless first. Thank you for the false hope. I was advised to contact her primary care provider for recommendations.
1) where exactly do you think homeless people will “self-isolate” if not in a mandated place such as a motel room or otherwise? Will they be free to go? If not, then how is that not house arrest? The bottom line: if someone has symptoms they think are consistent with CoV, they should avoid others! The test is not ipso facto “proof” of anything.
2) why do you feel YOU need a test? Personally, I’m glad testing is going slow, especially for the elderly, since it does them no good, but has potential for harm (e.g., “OMG, I have COVID-19, I’m going to die!”).
End the Shutdown; It’s Time for Resurrection!
By Ron Paul, MD (Ob/Gyn)
For many millions of Christians, Easter is a time to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Others may celebrate the arrival of spring and the promise of new life. Whatever one’s beliefs, after several weeks of mandatory “stay at home” orders and the complete shutdown of the US economy over the coronavirus, this self-destructive hysteria must end and we must reclaim the freedom and liberty that has provided us so much opportunity as Americans.
To do that we should first understand that much of the hysteria is being generated by a mainstream media that has long prioritized sensationalism over investigating and reporting the truth. Government bureaucrats are also exaggerating the threat of this virus and appear to be enjoying the power and control that fearful people are willingly handing over to them. One “coronavirus” bureaucrat even told us that we can no longer go to the grocery store! So we should just starve?
It is certainly possible to believe that this virus can be dangerous while at the same time pointing out that radical steps are being taken in our society – stay-at-home orders, introduction of de facto martial law, etc. – with very little knowledge of just how deadly is this disease.
On March 24th, the CDC issued an alert stating that doctors should classify “probable COVID-19” or “likely COVID-19” as Covid-19 deaths. Perhaps that explains the seeming drop-off of pneumonia deaths this year and the simultaneous spike in Covid-19 deaths as some researchers have reported.
The BBC reported last week that, “At present in the US, any death of a Covid-19 patient, no matter what the physician believes to be the direct cause, is counted for public reporting as a Covid-19 death.”
Does that sound like a scientifically sound way of determining how deadly Covid-19 really is?
What is most dangerous is that although this virus will eventually disappear, the assault on our civil liberties is not likely to be reversed. From this point on, whenever local officials, county officials, state governors, or federal bureaucrats decide there is sufficient reason to suspend the Constitution they will not hesitate to do so. Anyone who challenges the suspension of the Constitution “for our own good” will be labeled “unpatriotic” and perhaps even reported to the authorities. We have already seen hotlines springing up across the country for Americans to report other Americans who dare venture outside to enjoy the sun and build up their vitamin D protection against the coronavirus.
The government is justified in cancelling the Constitution, we are told, because we are in an emergency situation caused by the Covid-19 virus. But do people forget that the Constitution itself was written and adopted while we were in an “emergency situation”?
Did the framers of the Constitution fail to add an 11th Amendment to the Bill of Rights saying, “oh by the way, none of this counts if we get sick”? Of course not! Those who wrote our Constitution understood that these rights are not granted by the government, but rather by our Creator. Thus it was never a question as to when or under what conditions they could be suspended: the government had no authority to suspend them at all because it did not grant them in the first place.
Our country is far less at risk from the coronavirus than it is from the thousands of small and large authoritarians who have suddenly flexed their muscles across the country. President Trump would do well to end this ridiculous shutdown so that Americans can get on with their lives and get back to work.
Americans should remember the tyrants who locked them down next time they go to the ballot box. Let’s demand an end to the shutdown so we can resurrect our economy, our lives, and our liberties!