MENDOCINO Co., 11/27/22 — Covid-19, influenza, and RSV are circulating at high rates around the country and flu season has arrived early on the North Coast, leading to significant increases in the numbers of infants and children visiting the emergency room. Mendocino County Public Health is warning residents that emergency rooms across the county are now experiencing long wait times for care, according to a press release issued Friday.
In order to “reduce the burden on overwhelmed emergency room staff,” the public health department has issued guidance on factors people should consider when deciding whether to go to the emergency room, included below.
On Nov. 19, the county public health department issued a warning that rates of child hospitalization were the highest in the last two years, due to the early arrival of flu season locally, and recommended that residents make sure they were vaccinated for Covid-19 and the flu, staying home when sick but seeking treatment when needed, and masking in indoor public places and high risk environments.
In particular, infants and young children can be particularly sensitive to RSV, for which there is no vaccine, and other respiratory viruses. Covid-19 and flu vaccines are available at many locations including county vaccine clinics, doctor’s office, community health clinics, and pharmacies.
Here’s the announcement from Mendocino County Public Health:
Public Notice: Cold and flu season has begun early in Mendocino County and emergency roomsMendocino County Public Health press release issued Nov. 25, 2022.
across the county are seeing very long wait times for care as a result. To reduce the burden on
overwhelmed emergency room staff, Public Health recommends the following guidance for
deciding whether to go to the emergency room:
At-home treatment: Treat mild cases of flu, cold, or COVID at home with plenty of fluids and
supportive medications like cough medicine, Tylenol, Advil, etc. Use local Test to Treat clinics,
or telehealth services that prescribe the flu and COVID treatments.
Go to the Emergency Room: Go immediately if you see or feel danger signs: shortness of
breath, dehydration (from vomiting/diarrhea) or ANY change of mental status.
In addition, Public Health expects local schools and employers to temporarily suspend return to
work/school slips so that providers can assess and care for the many sick people currently in
Public Health continues to encourage getting flu and COVID vaccines as the best way to fight
the winter viruses and avoid overwhelming emergency room staff. Vaccines and treatments are
available at local pharmacies, through your health provider, and at Public Health offices and
clinics throughout the county. Please see the Vaccines webpage for more information.
Questions? Contact the Call Center 707-472-2759.