MENDOCINO Co., 1/5/20 — Four more people have died in Mendocino County of COVID-19 since the New Year, bringing the total number of deaths confirmed from the virus to 31 people. So far, the highest number of new positive cases has been reported on New Year’s Eve, with 71 new cases reported. Two additional deaths from COVID-19 occurred in the county in the week prior to the new year.
Mendocino County has seen a significant surge of new positive COVID-19 cases in the last two months, and the increase in deaths from the virus is a lagging indicator of the surge, as most people who ultimately do not survive COVID-19 struggle with the virus for several weeks prior to their deaths. As such, it is likely that additional fatalities may be expected in the coming weeks due to the steady increase in cases through the winter holiday season.
As of January 4, the county has reported 2,663 positive coronavirus cases since the virus was first detected here, meaning the current death rate among confirmed cases is about 1.16%. The majority of deaths from the virus have been of elderly residents of the Ukiah area, where the majority of the positive cases have been located, but at least two of the recent deaths were of residents of North County.
The current seven day rolling averages for the daily new positive case rate is 26.86 cases a day, and the seven day average positivity rate for those being tested is 5.91% as of January 4.
A significant portion of the recent positive cases are tied to an ongoing outbreak at the Mendocino County jail, which so far has included a total of 80 inmates and 12 staff members testing positive for the virus, according to an update from Sheriff Matthew Kendall at the January 5 board of supervisors meeting. Kendall noted that dozens of inmates have been released from isolation or released from the jail since the outbreak was first identified in the week prior to Christmas; 44 inmates and 6 staff members are currently in isolation. One inmate of the jail has been hospitalized in connection with the outbreak.