Nearly three weeks after Mendocino County officials announced the County’s COVID-19 trends would lead to placement on the State of California’s watchlist. Governor Gavin Newsom announced officially yesterday that Mendocino County has been added to the watchlist.
Mendocino County’s Public Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan has reiterated during the last two County COVID-19 updates that the state’s data lagged due to database breakdowns in the State’s CalReady system and data glitches in state labs.
According to the California Department Of Public Health, Mendocino County’s addition to the state watchlist was driven by “family and community gatherings, increased community spread, increased spread among the Latino population within large household settings, outbreaks in congregate livings such as skilled nursing and assisted living facilities.”
The state watchlist describes seven actions being taken to address Mendocino County’s COVID-19 trends:
1) Health Officer orders that align with Watch List requirements in effort to proactively flatten the curve;
2) NPI interventions through collaborative efforts with cities and business community as well as radio, Facebook Live, newspaper and social media to increase public messaging on the importance of social distancing, not gathering, and mandates for face coverings;
3) education on staying within household bubbles, using traditional and social media messaging in English and Spanish to provide guidance on safe practices;
4) increasing bilingual case investigators and contact tracing staff to ensure clarity and accurate information gathering;
5) outbreak testing of skilled nursing facilities and businesses with outbreaks to quickly identify and isolate individuals with COVID-19;
6) engagement of industry groups and community based organizations for outreach to vulnerable populations;
7) working with hospital and health systems to monitor and prepare for the surge.
The proactive measures integrated into the Mendocino County Public Health Officer’s Orders included shutting down the following businesses unless they could operate outside or by pick up: “gyms and fitness center; places of worship and cultural ceremonies, like weddings and funeral; offices for non-essential sectors; personal care services, like nail salons, body waxing and tattoo parlors; hair salons and barbershops; indoor shopping malls.”
Just last Friday, to further efforts to slow the COVID-19 surge in Mendocino County, Dr. Doohan announced two other modifications to the Public Health Order: gatherings for worship, protests, memorial services must be 50 people or less. Extracurricular Activity Bubbles for Children must not allow children to engage in contact sports.