UPDATE 8/18/21 — According to the August 18 case count update from Mendocino County Public Health, the announcement of 113 cases on August 17 was in error — however, no additional information as to the error was provided. Public Health’s Facebook post states that the previous day’s count was in fact 78 new cases, which would have put it at the second highest daily case rate since the previous peak of 95. However, today’s positive case rate was 89. That means the three highest daily case rates recorded in Mendocino County since the start of the pandemic have all occurred since August 12.
Here’s the latest Facebook post from Public Health:
UPDATE 9:50 p.m. — Mendocino County has just released the new daily positive COVID-19 case count, which sets a new peak of 113 cases. The previous peak was 95 cases on August 12; before that the previous high had been 57 cases on several days during the winter surge in December, 2020 and January, 2021.
According to the county’s post on social media, that brings the average daily case rate to more than 45 positive cases daily. There are 23 people in the hospital and six in the ICU, a slight decline in overall hospitalizations since the weekend, and 453 people in isolation.
Here’s the county’s Facebook post from August 17, and the original article covering today’s COVID-19 fatality and hospital capacity below:
MENDOCINO Co., 8/17/21 — A 49 year old man from Ukiah has died from COVID-19, the second death in Mendocino County reported in as many days, the fourth in August, and the sixth in the recent surge. The man was not vaccinated, according to the county’s announcement (see below). Sixty-five additional cases were reported over the weekend.
The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Howard Memorial hospital in Willits is full and Adventist Health hospitals in Mendocino County reached a greater number of admissions this weekend than at any other point since the COVID-19 pandemic started. At the regular Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, Public Health Officer Dr. Andy Coren warned of a “hospital crisis brewing,” explaining that the strain on staffing and bed capacity due to the COVID-19 surge across the county and region could mean residents seeking surgeries or non-COVID medical attention may face difficulty finding timely care.
Coren told supervisors the current average daily positive case rate was around 37.5 positive cases this past week, which he said was six times the average daily positive case rate from one month ago, and there are now double the number of hospital admissions compared to the winter surge. He added that Mendocino County was not the worst county in the region in terms of numbers of positive cases, and several patients from nearby counties were currently in local hospitals — although several Mendocino County residents were in out-of-county hospitals.
Judson Howe, president of Adventist Health in Mendocino County, said local hospitals had reached a peak number of 27 patients over the weekend, and that there was “significant fatigue” amongst staff. Howe explained that Adventist was coordinating between different individual hospitals to ensure adequate resources, noting Ukiah had several beds remaining, and the hospital on the coast had 75% ICU capacity. Mendocino County has a total of 16 ICU beds.
Over 85% of current admissions are amongst unvaccinated people, and Adventist Health has had to delay or cancel life saving surgeries due to the current surge, said Howe, calling the situation emotional. Adventist Heath’s Dr. Bessant Parker explained that there is no pediatric ICU in the county, and so any children needing intubation due to COVID-19 would need to be transferred to regional hospitals.
Dr. Doohan noted the surge driven by the delta variant in Mendocino County is “quite alarming,” and added “we’re calling it the fourth surge,” or “the surge of the unvaccinated.” She said that many people were continuing to go to work and gathering while positive for COVID-19, which was leading to further cases, and advised people that while vaccination was not “completely protective,” it was extremely effective in preventing fatalities from the virus.
More about the surge is in our previous article from August 16. Here’s the announcement from the county:
Public Notice: Mendocino County Public Health has been notified of another Mendocino County resident who has been lost to the COVID-19 Virus. We send our condolences to his family and friends.
A 49 year old Ukiah man has been confirmed as Mendocino County’s 56th death. At this time
Public Health asks all Mendocino County residents to exercise caution when placing themselves in situations that could expose them to COVID-19, especially considering the new more infectious Delta variant. Mendocino County Public Health asks that you follow all CDC and CDPH guidance’s at this time. Vaccination, masking and social distancing remain the best options for combating the Covid-19 Virus.
The individual in question was not vaccinated.