Tuesday, August 9, 2022
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Today Marks the One-Year Anniversary Since the First Mendocino County Resident Tested Positive for COVID-19

An Adventist Health nurse providing the vaccine to an elderly Mendocino County Resident[Picture provided by Adventist Health]

Exactly one year ago today, Mendocino County Public Health announced the first case of COVID-19 in the county had been detected. In the year since, residents have struggled to adapt to an unprecedented event as schools, businesses, and ways of life have shuttered to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus.

A press release from March 18, 2020, indicated the first COVID-19 case in Mendocino County was contracted when the resident was exposed to someone with the virus. Dr. Noemi Doohan, the county’s Public Health Officer when the pandemic began, told residents, “The first case is not shocking to us.” She said that “Mendocino County has been preparing for a possible pandemic of COVID-19 since January, as many counties around us have reported cases and community spread of COVID-19.

As it stands now, Mendocino County has lost 46 county residents to COVID-19. There has been a total of 3,895 positives tests. 50% of those cases are tied to the Hispanic/Latino population, and 65% were traced to the Ukiah Valley.

Like the rest of California, Mendocino County’s COVID-19 cases are, thankfully, trending downward. Just this last Sunday, March 14, the county was redesignated into the Red Tier, marking the reopening of various sectors and businesses.

Looking back at the year, Mendocino County’s Chief Executive Officer Carmel Angelo said, “Mendocino County’s pandemic response has been swift and aggressive. We saved lives.”

Kimmarie Richardson, the owner of a Ukiah restaurant, The Office, has been amazed at “how much everyone has rallied around struggling businesses to help keep them alive during all of this.” She described the last year as a “hell of a ride for us all.” At one point, Richardson said dine and dashers had left her restaurant with an unpaid bill of $170.00, and another generous customer came forward to pay it. 

Regarding her customers, Richardson said, “We couldn’t have survived without them.” Though some thought her restaurant would “fold like a paper napkin,” she said, “we’re still standing a year later with the fight still in us.”  

Mendocino County’s 2nd District Supervisor Mo Mulheren celebrated how Mendocino County residents worked together to support their neighbors throughout the pandemic. “As a County, we have united to help our neighbors and support each other,” he said. “From the Coast to the North County and Inland Ukiah, we have never been more connected with resources and support to our residents.” 

Supervisor Mulheren said, “I am proud of how dedicated our community was to our local businesses, especially our restaurants. We can build a stronger local economy with the resources and connections that we have made.”

Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall said that “like every disaster that happens in Mendocino County, the pandemic has unified us. Everyone rolled up their sleeves and took care of business.” Sheriff Kendall fondly recalled how stores provided extended hours for the safety of the community’s elderly and the normalization of masking. 

Sheriff Kendall expressed gratitude that he got to work alongside Public Health Officers Dr. Noemi Doohan and Dr. Andy Coren. He described them as “incredible people with complementary strengths.”

Kendall went on to say that the pandemic has exacerbated disparities that exist in the county saying, “It’s been a hard year for everyone. The increase in suicides and overdoses. Sometimes I wonder how much the lockdown has affected those disparities.”

Another trend Sheriff Kendall saw emerge during the pandemic was the public’s expectation that the Sheriff’s Department would enforce pandemic protocols when “we have homicides and kidnappings to solve.” He wondered why, with millions of dollars of COVID-19 money given to the county, “do you think $300,000 could’ve been spent on code enforcement staff instead of lean on my deputies.”

Stephanie Dunken, co-owner of Ukiah and Willits’s Slam Dunk Pizza, said throughout the last year, “The community has been very supportive of small business. We saw many new guests and thank goodness for our regulars.” 

Dunken said she formed new relationships in the community. She noted, “Many of the business owners formed friendships that we never had before.” Looking ahead, Dunken is “Hoping the support remains as (if) we are coming out of this.”

Looking towards the future, Mendocino County Public Health Officer Dr. Andrew Coren said in a recent press release, “Please get vaccinated for COVID-19 when it is your turn. Do not turn down a vaccine unless for medical reasons. Continue to avoid large gatherings, and please remain masked while in public.”

The following timeline is a compilation of some of the major milestones in Mendocino County’s navigation of the COVID-19 Pandemic:

Significant Moments in Mendocino County Pandemic History

March 2020

April 2020

May 2020

June 2020

July 2020

August 2020

September 2020

October 2020

November 2020

December 2020

January 2021

February 2020

March 2021



  1. Lets all get together and celebrate one year of this Chinese virus and the destruction of small business because of the lock downs. And lets pretend it’s really about a virus. Wake up people to the fact that we are being enslaved by satanist globalist scum right under our noses while idiots continue to be divided and fight about race and woke gender bullshit!!! Wake up people because it’s almost too late to stop it!!!

  2. Happy birthday till the 1st anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party virus!!! Let’s celebrate the destruction of our small businesses and the Draconian lockdowns we have faced do to a pandemic with a 99.9% survival rate. Let’s celebrate the destruction of our economy and government dependency. Now tell me this is really about a virus. Don’t forget to continue wearing your muzzles everywhere you go!!! Even after you’ve gotten your Bill Gates shot to change your DNA!!! Continue walking around with a blindfold on pretending like you are not being lied to at every turn. But when you run into the brick wall you will realize that it’s too late to do anything about it. Wake up America to what is being done to us all!!!

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
Picking Brains—Baring Bones—Playing it By Ear: I'm a reporter in Mendocino County and the Founder of MendoFever.

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