There has been an unprecedented increase in COVID-19 cases throughout California, particularly within the last 10 days. Mendocino County has also seen a rise in cases. Within the last seven days, our county’s case rate (average number of new cases per day) has jumped by 69%. Because of this surge, Mendocino County Public Health was alerted by the state that our county has officially re-entered Purple Tier 1, or “widespread” COVID-19 community risk status, effective Tuesday, November 17, 2020.
In line with new state guidelines, our new tier assignment is based on a seven-day average with a four-day lag. As of today, 41 of the 58 counties in California are now in the Purple Tier 1 as a result of the state’s revision.
“We’re disappointed that due to the new criteria developed by the state, our data requires we move back to the Purple Tier,” says County Health Officer Dr. Andy Coren. “This impacts all Mendocino County residents. If your family has not been affected by the virus, it does not mean they never will be. It is when we as individuals let our guard down that COVID-19 has an opportunity to spread. Mendocino County is experiencing a dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases, which is being fueled by household spread and continued gatherings. We urge business owners to abide by Public Health Guidelines. This includes limiting facility capacity as required, and prioritizing the health of your patrons. We also urge individuals and families to not engage with indoor gatherings of any size, even if no one reports feeling ill. This virus is deadly, and can spread quietly through asymptomatic carriers.”
In alignment with the state's Purple Tier 1 category, the following industries must abide by these guidelines in order to slow the spread of COVID-19:
- Restaurants must operate by means of takeout or outdoor dining only, while abiding by social distancing requirements, as well as facial covering requirements when not consuming food.
- Gyms must operate outdoors only, while abiding by social distancing and facial covering requirements.
- Places of worship must operate outdoors only, while abiding by social distancing and facial covering requirements.
- Retail stores are limited to a maximum of 25% capacity, while abiding by social distancing and facial covering requirements.
- Skilled Nursing Facilities may no longer have in-person visitors.
- Schools may remain open for on-campus instruction, if they had already opened on-campus instruction while the county was in the Red Tier. Such schools are urged to ask staff to test for COVID-19 regularly. If a school did not re-open on-campus instruction in the Red Tier, their campus must remain closed.
The state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy lays out a clear picture of what the different tiers mean to each business sector. For a complete list of allowable activities under the Purple Tier 1, please visit www.covid19.ca.gov. As a reminder, all businesses must complete a COVID-19 self-certification process prior to opening for the first time at www.mendocinocountybusiness.org.
“Mendocino County staff started preparing a COVID-19 pandemic response months ago, building a strong county response team,” said County CEO Carmel Angelo. “We are here as disaster service workers and will continue to serve the public, 24/7, as long as our COVID-19 pandemic response is needed.”
The state is re-starting the time clocks for all counties, requiring that Mendocino County spend at least 21 days in the Purple Tier 1, and meet Red Tier 2 requirements for two consecutive weeks before advancing to the next less restrictive tier. To help continue the progressive re-opening process, the public is urged to wear a mask, practice social distancing and frequent handwashing, stay home when sick and avoid gatherings. The public must follow isolation and quarantine requirements.