MENDOCINO Co., 5/5/20 — The following is a letter to the editor submitted by Mendocino County District 3 Supervisor John Haschak, published here as a column, in which he updates his constituents. We encourage the other supervisors to submit letters — we will happily publish them. You can see Haschak’s previous letters to his constituents here. The opinions expressed in this letter are the author’s, not those of The Mendocino Voice.
This pandemic and shelter in place has been very difficult economically and socially for all of us. Whether you are a small business that has been closed, a worker that has been laid off or hours reduced, a family trying to keep up with school work, or just tired of being cooped up and lonely for contact with family and friends, no one wants this to continue any longer than necessary. Except for the 12 positive cases, we are fortunate that the Covid-19 has not affected us medically as it has in many other places throughout the world.
The County has a “warm line” for anyone who needs someone to talk to. This isn’t a crisis line, just a good person who can listen to others. If you are at your wits’ end, please reach out to family and friends, the warm line, or me. We are here for each other.
With the Governor’s announcement of opening Phase 2, it appears that counties will have more discretion in how they apply the general order. The Board and the Public Health Officer will look at whether an activity or business can conduct itself responsibly and safely. The new public health order is coming out very soon.
I have had discussions with the Public Health Officer about my thoughts of what can be reopened safely. These are thoughts derived from listening to many comments and discussions from people and businesses all over the county. I am very appreciative of this feedback. The continuation of loosening the restrictions will be based on several key criteria.
Testing, testing, testing. It seems that so much is dependent on testing yet that is where we are very much lacking.
Our Public Health Officer[sic], our CEO, and I have been bringing this issue up to all levels of government. We have done over 1,000 tests so far. The good news is that we have only had 12 positive cases in our county. Sonoma has around 250. Humboldt has 50. Even after the outbreak in Round Valley, we still have only a dozen cases. But we need to be persistent in our demands for more testing. This is not just a Mendocino problem, The state lacks testing materials and the national response is woefully lacking. Without the appropriate testing capabilities, it is more difficult to safely reopen our businesses, schools, and community activities.
People have asked me about the 80 new testing sites the Governor spoke about the other week. Mendocino County does not have a lab. We have to ship our test samples to the Sonoma County lab. That lab which deals with Lake, Mendocino and Sonoma says that they only have the capacity to take a very limited number of tests from Mendocino County. The Governor is only sending the Optum Serve mobile testing sites to places where they have the lab capacity to handle the tests. We don’t so again we lost out. Contact the Governor and state legislators to let them know that we are all concerned about this issue.
Please contact me with any questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 707-972-4214.
The preceding was an opinion column, to be construed as the personal opinions of the author, not as fact, nor as the opinions of this publication. Furthermore, it was not edited for punctuation or spelling, all errors are those of the author. It was likewise not fact-checked. However, we reserve the right to fact-check opinion pieces and letters to the editor, run in this publication, and to annotate such pieces with fact-checking.