Update 8/10/20 — (Original article included below) — Two employees in the assessor-clerk recorders office have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Sarah Dukett, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, and close contacts have also been sent home to quarantine, although she declined to state how many have been sent home and how many remain to staff the office. The employees who have tested positive “did not work the public counter and the exposure to the public has been deemed low,” Dukett noted. Public health staff and staff at the assessor’s office are working in coordination to “monitor the situation,” and the office is being closed for deep cleaning, although no re-opening time has been provided yet.
Staff in the assessor-clerk-recorder’s office are being tested for COVID-19 today, county registrar-clerk-recorder Katrina Bartolomie told The Mendocino Voice in an email. Bartolomei noted that county staff had been tested “routinely.” County staff have been encouraged to get tested regularly at the free OptumServe testing location in Ukiah, according to Dukett.
“All my employees are very caring and devoted to serving the citizens of Mendocino County, we are so very sorry this has happened, we do not have control over what’s happened I just want my staff and the public to be safe and understand how hard this is on all of us. We pray no one else in our office tests positive,” Bartolomie wrote.
Any candidates interested in filing can call the election office at 707-234-6819 to discuss filing logistics, Bartolomie explained. New candidates, not incumbents, can file documents to run in November in elections with extended deadlines until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, August 12 (see the list here). Bartolomie added, “we have a window that we can help people through so no one has to come into our office, we will wear masks, face shields and gloves while we are helping them.”
MENDOCINO Co., 8/9/20 — Staff at the county’s assessor-clerk-recorder’s office are currently in the midst of processing candidate filing paperwork to establish who will be on the ballot for this November’s election, but in the midsts of this busy moment county staff announced today that due to possible COVID-19 exposure, the office will be temporarily closed until later this month.
The temporary closure was announced by the County in a press release today, which noted that a small number of workers will continue to staff the office in order to continue processing candidate filing paperwork and preparing sample ballots and election information for voters. However, the office will remain closed to the public until further notice; no specific date in August or factors to determine re-opening were provided in the release. The release also did not include additional information concerning the potential COVID-19 exposure, or how many county staff may have been exposed and when.
The deadline for candidates to file has been extended until August 12 in a number of local elections, particularly for the Point Arena City Council and a variety of special districts. Candidate filing deadlines are extended when incumbents do not file for re-election, allowing for more time for new candidates to file for the open seats. Many special districts do not have as many candidates as available seats and so are not competitive races, although the districts play a key role in essential services throughout the county — read more about it here.
You can see the current complete list of candidates and extended filing deadlines at this link, which was updated on Friday, August 7, the deadline for other seats in which the incumbents already filed to run again. You can also register to vote and check your registration status here.
Here’s the announcement regarding the COVID-19 exposure released today, if you’re having trouble seeing this PDF follow this link: https://mendovoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/08.09.20-ACRE-Closure.pdf08.09.20-ACRE-Closure
Editor’s note: this article has been updated to include comments from the registrar and county executive office, clarification regarding the extended filing deadlines, and information on voter registration and submitting paperwork during the office closure.