Mendocino County public health officials announced Thursday that the local masking order will remain in effect after the statewide mandate expires next week due to the high rate of hospitalizations and the risk of virus transmission lingering in the county.
According to a Feb. 10 press release, public health officer Dr. Andy Coren notes that “while Mendocino County appears to be recovering from the Omicron surge based on a decrease in reported cases in from PCR testing, this data is believed to be undercounted as it does not include all positive antigen test results.
“Additionally,” Coren continues, “County Covid-19 hospitalization and intensive care rates are still higher than they were during the Delta surge. As of Feb. 1, Mendocino County has less than 10% ICU capacity Some days there is zero or one ICU bed available, compared to California as a whole, which currently has 18-20% ICU capacity. adds stress to local hospitals and their staff, and delays other medical procedures.
Coren also noted that Mendocino County “continues to be a high-risk area, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), with high community transmission.”
Therefore, the “universal indoor masking ordinance” issued by Coren last October and updated in January, which requires masks to be worn in “most indoor settings”, will remain in effect, although “ a new exemption has been added (which states) that everyone can remove their masks in places where the operator / organizer can show documents (not including self-attestation) that all participants, including presenters / interpreters and maintenance staff, have been vaccinated and reinforced.
Coren said the need for the order will be reviewed next month.
“We will continue to assess the Covid-19 situation as it evolves and will reassess the need to continue universal masking orders on March 15, 2022, based on community transmission and the burden on the local hospital system. . For now, continued masking will protect our residents as we continue to be at the CDC’s highest risk level,” he said in the statement.
The statement also notes that Coren “strongly recommends that all eligible people in the county be vaccinated and fortified to protect against severe cases of Covid-19 and death. If you have questions about recalls or vaccines in general, talk to your doctor or call Public Health at 707-472-2759. To find the vaccination clinic nearest you, visit the Public Health website.