Dr. Noemi Doohan said Friday afternoon that a person “from an outside area” was tested positive for corona-virus, Mendo’s fifth case. The person is a male age 19-34 and was asymptomatic, said Dr. Doohan, and is now quarantined at a home somewhere in Mendo with a relative.
Sheriff Matt Kendall added the more interesting details, revealing that the man was an early release from Chino state prison, not a Ukiah resident. He was ordered to turn himself in to Stanislaus County Probation and follow their quarantine regimen, but instead he ended up in Mendocino County. The (former) inmate had a known contact with a coronavirus patient before being released. He was freed from Chino on April 8 and was in Ukiah for an estimated six or seven days before being contacted and tested. Kendall complained about how the guy could be released like that and not go to Stanislaus Probation, saying that the situation “was pretty disheartening for me. Letting somebody like that go with a known exposure is kind of like throwing sparks in dry grass. We don’t need any more of this in the State of California.”
Ukiah Police Chief Justin Wyatt added that the probationer was apparently authorized simply by phone by Stanislaus Probation to come to Mendocino. Wyatt was also quite upset that anyone could authorize this relocation and not let Mendo know.
Mendo Probation Chief Izen Locatelli said he was annoyed that the corona carrier was in the Ukiah area for six or seven days as well. Locatelli said people were being released from state prison in “large batches” fanning out over the state on buses and there didn’t appear to be enough being done to track them.
Kendall added that he was “quite upset,” and that he had contacted a top state prison authority and the problem was being addressed. But, Kendall added, how many have already been released?
Dr. Doohan said that the corona man was asymptomatic and had assured her that he had quarantined himself since being released.