May 20, 2020 — The county’s 15th case of covid-19 has been confirmed, in a man between 35-49 years of age in the Ukiah Valley. The source of the infection is unknown, as of 9pm on Tuesday night when the information appeared on the county government’s social media feeds.
The Board of Supervisors did not hire Dr. Joseph Iser as the next public health officer at its meeting on May 19. Instead CEO Carmel Angelo and Dr. Noemi Doohan, the current public health officer, will work together to seek mutual aid from the state. Iser has been a controversial figure since word of his possible appointment arose on May 5, and letters both for and against him have been pouring in to the board of supervisors for weeks. Last week, Doohan told the board she would have attestation paperwork ready in two weeks’ time: that is, documents attesting to the state that the county has what it needs to safely move ahead in the reopening process. But on May 19, she reported that the documents had already been completed, and she would be filing them the next day. That means that, pending approval from the state, some sectors of the economy, like more in-store shopping and some limited on-site dining in restaurants, could resume soon.
Testing and contact tracing are key to moving through the phases of reopening. Next week, UCSF, the University of California at San Francisco, will be training contact tracers for Mendocino County. And starting on Saturday, May 23, large scale testing will be available at Carl Purdy Hall at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds. Testing will be available by appointment only from Tuesday to Saturday, 12:30 to 7pm. You can make an appointment by calling (888) 634-1123, or going online, to https://lhi.care/covidtesting.
The City of Ukiah is partnering with public health to provide free testing today and tomorrow (Wednesday, May 20 and Thursday, May 21), in the parking lot at Mendocino College, “from 9am until we run out of tests,” said Ukiah’s Emergency Management Coordinator Tami Bartolomei. Nurses from Adventist Health and two fire department paramedics will be conducting 100 nasopharyngeal tests each day. This is surveillance testing for asymptomatic people, so you don’t have to be an essential worker to get one.
In Covelo, surveillance testing continued on Monday, with 60 more people being tested. Doohan said there are no new cases in Covelo, and everyone in the community who had been infected has recovered.
With Sunday’s announcement that one Mendocino County resident and two Lake County residents had tested positive after a service at the Redwood Valley Assembly of God Church, 330 local people took advantage of yesterday’s free testing at Eagle Peak Middle School.