MENDOCINO Co., 8/12/21 — Mendocino County reported 95 new COVID cases Thursday hitting a record in COVID-19 cases since the first one was reported in the county. The highest daily case rate previously reported was 57 on December 9 and 16, 2020.
In the last week, since August 5, there have been 319 new cases reported, bringing the total to 5,211 cases, according to Mendocino County Public Health. Fourteen people are currently hospitalized and eight are in the ICU. There are 96 people currently in quarantine. The highest number of daily cases reported today were in the Ukiah area (53). The North Coast and North County both saw 20 new cases. However, the county has not provided data for the positive case rate, which tracks what percentage the people taking a test actually test positive, since June 27.
Ann Molgaard, Director of Public Health, said in a COVID-19 briefing to the Health and Human Services advisory board Wednesday, that Fort Bragg is experiencing “an uptick” in COVID cases that has outpaced previous daily case rates, but did not call it an outbreak.
In a press release published Wednesday concerning Fort Bragg cases reported at specific businesses, Public Health said they are “prepared for the possibility of outbreaks due to the transmissibility of the Delta variant and the increased close contact during the summer months. Public Health still urges members of the public to exercise their best judgment when making decisions that might affect their own health and the health of the community.”
Molgaard also noted that while the contagiousness of the Delta variant has been compared to the chickenpox, it is more deadly. Public Health officials still recommend vaccines as the most protective measure against the coronavirus. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study found that vaccination offers additional protection, greater than natural immunity, against reinfection for those who have had the virus.
Four more people lost their lives to COVID-19 in the county after a long surge, making a total of 54 deaths since the pandemic began. Mendocino County’s new masking order went into effect this week on August 10, and Public Health Officer Dr. Andy Coren provided more details about the recent surge during updates to the Board of Supervisors and the media last week. You can read more here.
Adventist Health, which operates all three hospitals in Mendocino County, announced that beginning August 13, visitors will be restricted until further notice, with a few special exceptions including “accompanying a child needing care, assisting someone with a disability/cognitive impairment, or end of life situations.” Everyone entering the hospital will be required to wear a well-fitting mask and visitors will need to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative test. The Adventist Health press release outlining this policy at the Ukiah Valley, Howard Memorial, and Mendocino Coast hospitals is included below. Adventist Health Mendocino Coast also shared a video on social media featuring a local nurse asking people to wear their masks and get vaccinated to help lessen the burden the current surge is placing on staff.
As cases surge across the state and the country, the California Department of Public Health announced Wednesday that California will require all teachers and school staff to show proof of vaccination or submit to regular testing, the first state to do so. The CDC is now recommending pregnant women receive the vaccine based on new evidence.
There was a significant turnout at the free testing provided at the Veterans’ Hall in Fort Bragg on Tuesday, according to several people seeking testing that day. One reported being the 177th in line during the third hour testing was available, with a significant line behind her, all wearing masks and social distancing, including four police officers in uniform. Staff had those waiting prepare their OptumServe patient ID numbers and sorted those waiting for tests into multiple lines in advance to ensure the wait was not too long despite the high number of those seeking testing, which had declined overall across the county since the surge in December and January.
Here’s the announcement from Adventist Health:
The number of Covid-19 inpatients in Mendocino County is at among the highest it has been since the start of the pandemic. We continue to ask our community to obtain the vaccine and remain masked. Meanwhile we will be changing the hospital visitation policy effective Thursday morning, August 12.
The health of this community matters to us. Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases and the highly contagious Delta variant, we are not allowing visitors into our hospital except for special circumstances till further notice.
Exceptions will be made for a visitor accompanying a child needing care, assisting someone with a disability/cognitive impairment, or end of life situations. Visitors will be required by the State of California to show proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within the last 72 hours.
If a visitor needs a COVID-19 test before entering our hospital for a special circumstance, they should contact countywide testing locations receive a COVID-19 test.
Because health is our highest priority, anyone entering the hospital or clinics will need to wear a mask over their nose and mouth, and under their chin AT ALL TIMES. Visitors who don’t comply with this rule will be asked to leave.
We thank you for your understanding as we help protect our patients, staff and community.
COVID TESTING & VACCINE INFO: For more information on COVID-19 vaccines, testing, and masking, contact the Mendocino County Public Health COVID19 Call Center at (707) 472-2759 or visit their website here. You can read our ongoing coverage of the pandemic here, and find the current county COVID-19 data here.