A recent spike in Covid cases may return Inyo County to ‘red’ status.
The state rates each County’s Covid-risk level on a four-tiered system.
Red is the second-highest level, where Covid spread is considered “substantial.”
Inyo County is currently assessed at the orange, or “moderate” tier.
At the Inyo County Supervisors regular meeting held Tuesday, October 27 via Zoom, Assistant Health and Human Services Director Meaghan McCammon told Supervisors that during the October 17-24 reporting period there was quite a spike in cases and that the County had probably met the red threshold. “Our stats are pointing that way,” she said.
The Red threshold, for small counties of under 106,000 in population, is 14 cases/week or a 5% test positivity rate.
Inyo County Health Officer Dr. James Richardson said there had been 18 new cases by his count since October 20.
Inyo County had 231 official cases of of Tuesday, updated to 240 official cases by Thursday.
McCammon said County officials have noticed a growing laxness in adherence to Covid protocols, with people going to work sick, sending kids to school sick. “It seems that we were getting a little comfortable.”
Richardson echoed concern regarding an increase in cases at schools, saying, “It’s just a matter of time.”
What would a return to the Red designation mean?
For example, more restrictive caps on indoor dining (50 to 25%) and gyms (25 to 10%) wouild be impoosed. Bars that don’t serve food would be closed.
In Mono County, there have been four new cases reported this week and the County remains at the Orange tier. What’s interesting is that the County’s positivity rate is 13.8%, pointing to the fact that virtually no testing is being done.
However, The Sheet learned
Thursday via a County source that the Marine Warfare Training Center has had 27 cases. The Sheet was unable to reach a base spokesperson as of press time.
Safer by the dozen
The Sheet received the following press release this week.
Dr. Tom Boo, Mono County Public Health Officer, issued an updated Public Health Order (Order) relaxing the restrictions placed on gatherings and outdoor wedding receptions. The Order aligns with the State’s recently updated guidance on general gatherings, but maintains stricter local guidelines on wedding ceremonies and receptions. The Order is effective immediately, and violations may be punishable by law.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) defines gatherings as “meetings or other events that bring together persons from multiple households at the same time for a shared or group experience in a single room, space, or place such as an auditorium, stadium, arena, large conference room, meeting hall, or other indoor or outdoor space.”
1. Limited gatherings of persons from different household units are permitted up to 12 persons from a maximum of 3 different households. Such gatherings shall comply with the State Gathering Guidance issued on October 9, 2020:
2. Religious, cultural, and political protest gatherings continue to be permitted with precautions and in compliance with State guidance for those activities: https://covid19.ca.gov/stay-home-except- for-essential-needs/. Such constitutionally allowable gatherings are subject to limits defined by the County’s tier status under California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy.
3. Wedding ceremonies shall continue to be restricted to 30 persons, including the wedding party and guests, and are subject to State guidance for weddings and places of worship: https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance/#worship/
“Throughout California we believe that informal gatherings of friends and relatives who don’t live in the same household are helping to drive this epidemic. Distancing is the single most important thing that we all can do to prevent the spread of infections. Face coverings are required throughout California at all times in indoor public settings and outdoors when distancing is not possible. And please keep washing those hands and cleaning those surfaces,” stated Dr. Tom Boo, Mono County Public Health Officer. “Most importantly, please stay home when you are ill and seek testing and care if you are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19. Employers and employees must work together to ensure ill persons stay home from work. Violations are punishable by law.”