Mandates coming soon
August 3, 2021 — Indoor masking and limited testing and vaccination mandates are headed for Mendocino County. Public Health Officer Dr. Andy Coren asked the Board of Supervisors for their support as he prepares a health order mandating universal indoor masking in public places, both for vaccinated and unvaccinated people. Coren said the order will come out this week, and go into effect on August tenth. And he’s extending the state public health order mandating vaccinations or frequent testing for firefighters and EMS and law enforcement personnel.
Coren is also offering guidance, which is less stringent than an order, advising employers to implement a vaccination or testing policy for their employees.
Covid-19 cases have been surging, with the delta variant now firmly ensconced in the county. Public health reported the deaths of two elderly men in Willits last month, bringing the local death toll up to 52. Fourteen people are in the hospital with covid, including six in the ICU. One fully vaccinated local person has passed away from the virus during the course of the pandemic.
The upcoming orders received wholehearted support in written and oral public comments, including one representative of some of the county’s top business concerns. Julia Kendrick Conway introduced herself as a founding member of the Mendocino County Wedding and Events Task Group, then said the economy “needs a mask mandate now,” to avoid another shutdown.
Conway also read a letter from the Mendocino County Lodging Association, expressing similar sentiments.
The Chambers of Commerce around the county have masks and hand sanitizer available for businesses. Coren reported that the supply of all three vaccines is plentiful. Supervisors directed the county government’s Human Resources department to devise a policy requiring proof of vaccination or regular testing, in what they hope will be an example to other employers.