UPDATE 7/6/20 — The count of COVID cases in Mendocino County rose by another seven today, up to a total of 92 people who have been confirmed to have been infected with the coronavirus at some point. Of the two were Cal Fire firefighters who reside in the county. Four other firefighters for Cal Fire fell ill here in Mendocino County in this same outbreak, but as they reside in other counties, those four cases are not being counted towards the Mendocino total.
Last week also seems to have seen the first death of a Mendocino County resident due to COVID — though no official declaration of a cause of death appears to have been made yet, and his death is not yet being counted as a COVID death in the official County tally. The man had been hospitalized in Mendocino County, but was discharged some weeks ago to a rehabilitation center in Marin County, according to his family. More details can be read in his family’s statement here.
For more information about the small outbreak among firefighters in Leggett follow this link.
On another note, in recent weeks people have asked us for graphs and analysis of the pandemic in Mendocino County, so we’ve produced the following graphs to help breakdown just what’s happening. These graphs, of course, only give a partial snapshot of what’s happening. The reality of community spread means that there may be a great many infected, and asymptomatic, people who have simply not been tested and are actively spreading the disease.
In the graph below, contrasting recovered people with active cases, we can see a clear trend upwards. Without a vaccine it is likely that an ever greater number of people will be infected and recover or die (green and orange lines), until heard immunity is reached. However, depending on how fast this happens a larger or smaller percentage of people will be in isolation or hospitalized at any given moment. One of the main ideas behind the goal of “flattening the curve,” is to ensure that the spread of the disease is slow enough to keep the number of people in the hospital low, so that hospital and other infrastructure isn’t overwhelmed. In a situation where hospitals are overwhelmed the quality of care will decline, and the death rate will go up. In addition, people who are in the hospital for other more routine reasons will see their quality of care impinged on. The more elusive goal would be to flatten the curve sufficiently for the discovery of a vaccine to arrive before millions of people die.
Mendocino Public Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan said in her last press conference that by August there could be 50 or more people in Mendocino County hospitals each day — though not 50 new hospitalizations each day.
The graph below shows the racial composition of infections, as a percentage of total infections. While Latinos make up roughly a quarter of the population of Mendocino, the percentage of infected people belong to that racial group is well above half, and has risen over the course of the pandemic.
In this graph we’ve plotted the number of people in each age group who are infected. As is clear, while the people infected initially skewed older, as the pandemic has progressed people of prime working years between 19 and 49, and also children. The purple line represents our attempt to produce and average age of infected people, and is plotted on the right vertical axis. To get this number we calculated a weighted average using the middle age of each cohort as an average for the cohort.
Finally we have our region breakdown (a definition of regions is available below). This is also plotted as a percentage, not in raw numbers. As is clear early in the pandemic things were more evenly distributed, but now the Ukiah Valley area has become the hotspot with a very large majority of cases.
UPDATE 6/24/20, 7:00 p.m. — Two cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Mendocino County since yesterday, bringing the total to 74. Both cases were in the Ukiah Valley. Both people were between 19 and 49, and both were Latino, making it the cases that more than 50% of all cases in the county are now among Latino people.