UPDATE 5/18/20 — Here is our latest on this issue, the church has been identified:
MENDOCINO Co., 5/17/20 — Three people contracted COVID-19 at a live-streamed church service that happened on Mother’s Day; two were Lake County residents and the third is the man who is counted as Mendocino County’s 14th confirmed case of the disease. However, one of the Lake County residents has been hospitalized at Ukiah Valley Medical Center, while the other Lake County resident and the Mendocino County resident are isolating at home in stable condition.
The service was at an inland Mendocino County church, at which a group of unknown size gathered, and where singing was performed and live-streamed, presumably to the church’s Facebook or YouTube page.
Mendocino Public Health is adhering to their policy of protecting privacy and has not released the name of the church — however, they are strongly urging church leaders to announce the name of the church themselves so that people connected to these cases may be informed and seek testing for the coronavirus disease.
Here is the press release from Mendocino Public Health:
Health Officer Update on Fourteenth Case
Post Date: 05/17/2020 12:44 PM
On Friday evening May 15, 2020, the 14th Mendocino County COVID-19 case was reported to Public Health. The case investigation and contact tracing was immediately initiated by Public Health to learn the source of infection and ensure that asymptomatic contacts were quarantined and symptomatic contacts were tested and isolated. Initial findings of this investigation were determined and verified by Saturday evening, followed by a prompt Statement by Mendocino County on Saturday evening, identifying the 14th case as an elderly male living in the Ukiah Valley who is a close contact of two residents of Lake County, who themselves had been newly diagnosed with COVID-19 on Saturday afternoon.
The source of this outbreak involving three people has been determined to have happened at an inland Mendocino County church where a live stream church service with singing occurred on Mother’s Day. All three of the new cases (the 14th Mendocino County case and the two new Lake County cases) where at the venue during the live stream and two of the individuals participated in the live stream event with singing at the church. Mendocino and Lake County Public Health are working together to reach any other individuals who are contacts of these three new cases, including anyone who participated in the live stream church service with singing.
One of the Lake County residents was hospitalized at Adventist Health Ukiah Valley on Saturday. The other Lake County resident and the Mendocino County 14th case are in stable condition, in isolation, at their homes.
To protect privacy, Mendocino County is not releasing the name of the inland Mendocino church at this time, but is urging the church leaders to do so themselves in order to encourage members of the church to seek testing for COVID-19 and medical attention if needed.
Free COVID19 testing will be offered by Mendocino County Public Health on Tuesday, May 19 in Redwood Valley at Eagle Peak Middle School from 7:00 am – 2:00 pm. Any individuals who have participated in the production a live stream church service with singing in inland Mendocino County on Mother’s day and their close contacts are urged to come for this free testing if they are not sick, or to contact their medical provider and seek medical attention (call ahead) if they are sick.
It is critical for organizations where work groups engage in live-streaming of events follow section 14(p)(iii) of the Health Order by implementing the required safety measures and mitigating additional risk associated with singing like utilizing a plexiglass screen between singers in the same venue, proper ventilation, distancing greater than six feet and ensuring singers are not positioned face-to-face. The additional safety measures while signing can help prevent outbreaks seen in other areas of the Country like Washington State (https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6919e6.htm). Following the Facial Covering Order while at work is also an important step in stopping the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.
Here’s our reporting from yesterday:
And here is more information about the new health order: