Saturday, September 24, 2022
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The following is a statement released on the Willits City-Manager Facebook page:

Good Morning. As you may have heard, the City re-tested its sewer influent on July 14th, using a more accurate 24 hour measuring system. The “influent” is what goes into the sewer plant. This is not to be confused with “effluent” which is what comes OUT of our sewer plant, after it is treated. The results showed that COVID-19 was present. Using the data they collect, compared with our sewage flow rate, the Company, Biobot, makes a prediction of how many cases this could represent. This is not exact – they have said this is an estimate and could vary.

These are their results:

Biobot COVID19 case estimate:

190 cases
(2% incidence rate)

Using a reported flow rate of 0.64 MGD

Please keep in mind that this includes not just people who live in Willits or Brooktrails, but all the people who may have been passing through town that day, using our facilities.

I would also like to assure you that the “effluent” that comes out of our plant, has been treated. This treatment kills the virus. Therefore the effluent does not contain Covid-19.

As a reminder, our Public Health Officer has alerted us Mendocino County is in a “Surge”, with our cases now doubling every 11 days and six people in the hospital, one in the ICU. It is imperative that we follow the Public Health Order, practice social distancing, and mask indoors or outdoors when we cannot maintain 6 feet of distance. Wash your hands often and clean off surfaces often. Thank you for taking care of all of us.

The Optum Serve facility is available in Ukiah for free testing.
Appointments can be made by calling 888-634-1123 or on-line at the County of Mendocino website.

The COVID-19 hotline is (707) 234-6052.


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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFever
I like to think of myself as a journalist for the everyman. Journalism has become a craft practiced by the urban elite. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at if you know a story that needs told.

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