Editor’s note: Mendocino Public Health published a COVID dashboard this afternoon, but after that 10 more positive cases of COVID were confirmed, and so the current dashboard does not reflect this, and we do not have detailed demographic data we use to put together graphs. We will have more data and graphs tomorrow once it’s fully updated.
WILLITS, 7/13/20 — With cases of COVID surging across the state and nation Governor Gavin Newsom announced today that he was rolling back reopening measures across the entire state, ordering that bars close entirely, and restaurants eliminate indoor dining among a slew of other restrictions. In counties that have been placed on the watchlist for dangerous COVID conditions either due to testing rates, or a dearth of available ICU beds, the governor has instituted additional restrictions including the closure of gyms, and indoor worship.
In addition the case count jumped today by another 14 cases. Yesterday saw a jump of 19 cases in the official count, a record number of new cases, with today’s additional 14, there have been 33 new positive tests recorded in the past three days, something of an acceleration of the pace at which new cases are coming in. Said the governor at the his noon update, “This virus is not going away anytime soon.”
Watch the governor’s press conference (read more below):
While Mendocino County is not currently on said watchlist, at the current pace of new COVID cases it is highly likely that the county could find itself on the list, and thus subject to greater restrictions, within a week. In a brief interview Mendocino County CEO Carmel Angelo said, “We have not been contacted by the state to say, but we have a good chance — we are at risk — of being on the watchlist. We’re supposed to [keep under] a 3% increase in our cases and we’re at 3.1% [growth].”
Dr. Noemi Doohan, public health officer for Mendocino County, has already promulgated a new public health order which brings the county orders into concordance with the states and goes into effect tonight at 11:59 p.m. That order places the following restrictions on activities in Mendocino County, per state orders:
- Bars, brewpubs, and pubs must close all operations, indoor and outdoor.
- Restaurants must ceases indoor operation, but can have outdoor dining, delivery, take-out, and drive-through.
- Movie theaters close, with the exception of outdoor movies, or presumably drive in theaters.
- Wineries and tasting rooms must close indoor operations, but may continue to operate outdoors without having to serve food
- Zoos and museums must close indoor operation.
- Card rooms must close indoor operation.
- Family entertainment centers, such as batting cages, arcades, and min-gold must close indoor operation.
If the county does find itself on the watchlist, the new restrictions will be placed on the following industries unless they can convert to outdoor activity: Gyms, houses of worship, the offices of non-essential industries (currently many offices have been reopened, nail salons, tattoo parlors and other “personal care services,” hair salons, and indoor malls.
In describing these news closures at his press conference Newsom explained that some counties are already beginning to see shortages of ventilators, a machine that in effect pumps the lungs of the most dire COVID patients so that they can breath — without sufficient supply of these machines a much higher percentage of people will die of the disease, and the worldwide shortage of such machines is often cited as a reason for attempting to flatten the curve. Though the likelihood of dying of the coronavirus disease is around 1% with treatment, it may be as high as 5% without effective treatment, and as cases spike hospitals become overrun with cases, forcing the rationing of medical equipment. Such rationing occurred in New York and in parts of Europe during the initial spring surge in cases. At such hospitals patients over a certain age, or with comorbidities were denied access to these potentially life saving technologies, with preference given to younger and healthier patients who stood a better chance of surviving.
According to Newsom hospitals in Placer and Butte counties are seeing a squeeze on ICU capacity, indicating that a surge of patients could overwhelm those hospitals and force transfers to other counties. According to the governor Lake County is also seeing a tightening of capacity.
The governor also pointed out that the hoped for warm weather decline has not materialized, and that this surge is taking place during triple digit weather across the country, in both humid and dry places.
Health officials across the state are already citing festivities over the Fourth of July Weekend as a contributing factor to this new surge. Speaking on the issued of people taking proper precautions such as wearing masks, and avoiding crowds, the governor said, “The data suggests not everybody’s following common sense.”
Read the revised public health order, in a redline version, below, if you have trouble seeing the PDF follow this link.71320UpdatedHOStage3OrderR