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Delta surge: numbers six times higher than just one month ago

August 18, 2021 — Mendocino county is experiencing a fourth surge of covid cases, with a peak over the weekend and a record 95 cases on Thursday. County Public Health reported the death of a 49-year-old man in Ukiah yesterday afternoon, bringing the death toll to 56. Five of those deaths have been reported this month.

Deputy Public Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan said that full genome testing is not widely available, but she’s confident it’s the delta variant that’s sweeping through the county.

While hospital and public health officials assured the Board of Supervisors yesterday that healthcare staffing is still at safe levels, they warned of burnout and reported less eagerness on the part of employees to sign up for extra shifts, as so many did at the beginning of the pandemic.

The more contagious delta variant is affecting many more children than the original virus. Adventist Health does not have a dedicated pediatric ward, and vaccines are still not available to those under twelve. Meanwhile, Dr. Bessant Parker, the chief medical officer for Adventist Health in Mendocino County, reported that other types of hospital admissions have not let up.

With 85% of hospital cases among the unvaccinated, vaccine mandates are growing more widespread. The hospital has until September 30 for its employees to be inoculated, which means that they need to start the two-shot regimen within the next couple of weeks. The numbers of vaccinated workers across the three hospitals ranges from 70-75%. Seventy two percent of the overall county population over the age of twelve is at least partially vaccinated. Coren said he wants to avoid industry-wide shutdowns that upended people’s lives at the beginning of the pandemic, but gave a hint of restrictions that could be forthcoming.




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