Health Officer Confirms 19 New Covid-19 Cases and First Outbreak at a Skilled Nursing Facility
Post Date: 07/12/2020 4:30 PM
Today, Mendocino County Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan confirmed 19 new cases of COVID-19 reported to the County over the last 2 days. County staff has been working all weekend conducting case investigation and contact tracing. The number of Mendocino County COVID-19 cases is now 132 (91 Recovered; 1 hospitalized; 40 on home isolation).
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Mendocino County is experiencing a rise in COVID-19 cases and it’s important every resident help slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep our community safe by wearing a facial covering that covering the nose and mouth; practicing social distancing; avoiding gatherings, confined spaces and close contact with others. COVID-19 incubation period is up to 14 days and Public Health is concerned we may experience an additional spike in cases resulting from increased activity county-wide over the 4th of July holiday weekend.
Of the 19 new cases, 3 are residents at Sherwood Oaks Skilled Nursing Facility in Fort Bragg. On July 7 an employee of the facility tested positive for COVID-19 and was promptly placed into isolation. Following the positive case an immediate plan was made in collaboration with Public Health to test all the employees and residents. The results of these tests included 3 positive test for COVID-19, all of whom were residents of the facility. These results were reported to Public Health on July 11. Once the COVID-19 status of the employee was reported to the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) on July 7, the facility went immediately into outbreak response with full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all staff and isolation of residents in their rooms. In addition, the facility was following the Health Officer’s Medical Masking Order which provides additional protections to SNFs.
The 3 new cases in the SNF were identified through testing conducted by the SNF on July 8 and processed at the Public Health Viral and Rickettsial Disease Lab (VRDL) in Richmond. The VRDL is available to the County for COVID-19 outbreak testing. All 3 individuals are currently asymptomatic. Case investigation and contract tracing was immediately initiated. The recent death at the facility tested negative for COVID-19 and the cause of death at this time is presumed to be unrelated to COVID-19. Public Health is doing further investigation and awaiting the death certificate. In addition, Public Health has reported this outbreak to the State as required and will be working with the State in support and review of the actions to contain the outbreak. Thus far Mendocino County is not on the State watch list. Additional testing will be conducted Monday, July 13, in effort to monitor and continue timely response to this outbreak.
Public Health and the SNFs throughout the County have been meeting weekly for months, led by our Medical Health Operational Area Coordinator (MHOAC), to allow a coordinated response to potential outbreaks and to ensure SNFs have sufficient PPE and prevention protection protocols in place. The County and SNFs follow all the State guidelines including; using Optum Serve to do surveillance testing for 100% of SNF staff monthly and offering SNF surveillance testing to residents through Public Health. The preparation, planning, frequently testing and adherence to State guidelines were a key factor in the quick and coordinated response to this outbreak.
SUPERVISOR TED WILLIAMS: "I have been in contact with the skilled nursing facility over the past days. Everything required and beyond is being done by the dedicated hard-working staff. County and state public health officials are monitoring the situation and the facility is complying with all regulations. Some of the staff cannot return to work because of exposure to the positive person or because their families are scared."