MENDOCINO Co., 11/6/21 — Mendocino County Health Officer Dr. Andrew Coren said Friday in a press conference that monoclonal antibody treatments, which can improve the survivability of a COVID-19 infection, are locally available — but they’re most effective when administered within 10 days of the onset of symptoms, and they’re not being well utilized by local patients because people are coming in too late. By way of example, Coren relayed an anecdote about an elderly woman who waited 10 days before seeking medical help at an area hospital.
“There’s a window …” Coren said. “Unfortunately, she came in too late and had to be hospitalized for two weeks.”
Mendocino County marked its 90th COVID-related death this week. She was an unvaccinated 56-year-old woman from the Fort Bragg area, according to a press release from public health. Coren said that masks and vaccines remain to be our best means of protection against the coronavirus and it’s variants — especially going into flu season. Booster shots are available locally, and the Pfizer-Biontech vaccine has been approved for use in children ages 5 to 11 as of this week.
“We do seem to be entering a winter wave and possibly a surge,” Coren said, adding that cold weather and the holidays could lead to an increased number of indoor gatherings and parties under circumstances that could facilitate increased COVID transmissions. “There’s still a possibility of a new variant emerging from those infected that may resist immunity.”
Coren also gave an update on the county’s controversial COVID-19 vaccination signage mandate, which requires businesses to post color-coded signs at the door informing customers whether the vaccination status of the staff or customers has been verified. Coren claimed noncompliance could lead to fines or even imprisonment, but added that enforcement efforts have been limited to educational outreach efforts in response to complaints from the public. By and large, he said, it’s an honor system.
When pressed for a specific number of Mendocino County businesses known to be in compliance with Coren’s mandate, Coren stated no such number has been documented. It remains to be seen to what extent, if any, the county has administered or enforced it’s own program in the week since the order was implemented. The Mendocino Voice has filed a request under the California Public Records Act seeking access to internal communications pertaining to the signage mandate, and will report on our findings when and if such documents are disclosed.
As of Friday, there have been a total of 7,797 total confirmed cases in Mendocino County since the pandemic began. There are currently 167 patients in isolation, with seven in the hospital and one in the ICU. There are roughly 54,100 fully vaccinated individuals in Mendocino County, and so far there have been 517 breakthrough infections confirmed in vaccinated individuals.