First Case of COVID-19 in Mendocino County
March 18, 2020 — Mendocino County has had its first confirmed case of COVID 19, which has prompted Public Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan to issue an order to shelter in place until April 7. Doohan did not provide details about the case, except to say that the person is not a healthcare worker and is in stable condition.
The comprehensive order includes a detailed list of exemptions, for homeless people and a wide variety of essential activities. People are allowed to seek healthcare for themselves, family members, and pets, including those living in another household. However, gatherings outside the household are prohibited, and travel is restricted. Healthcare does not include fitness centers and gyms, but shopping for groceries and quality of life items is still allowed under limited conditions. Restaurants can remain open, but only for takeout. Essential infrastructure, agricultural work or work that supports agriculture is still permitted. Gas stations, banks, legal services and media outlets are among the essential businesses.
We had a chance to talk with Doohan on the phone Wednesday night at 6:00pm, ten minutes after the press release came out. The following is an excerpt of our live interview.
Dr. Doohan will hold another press conference at 4pm on Thursday, March 19, where we hope to learn more. There will also be a special Board of Supervisors meeting about this issue at 9am on Friday, March 20.