40% Increase in Positive COVID-19 Cases Over Just Two Weeks Sparks Concerns, But Little Enforcement Action from Inyo County

Inyo County COVID-19 cases increased 40% in just 2 weeks.

During Tuesday’s, June 30, Inyo County Board of Supervisors virtual meeting, Marilyn Mann, Director of Health and Human services, reported that the county has experienced a “spike” in confirmed COVID-19 cases over the last two weeks. There are 32 current, positive COVID-19 cases, the most recent one added just that morning on Inyo County’s COVID-19 website. Mann said that there is an increase in cases as “there is more movement in communities.”

Two weeks ago, the Inyo County Situation Update for June 15, reported 24 cases. Since then, there have been 13 more cases, with the most recent one confirmed on Tuesday morning. Mann said that the majority of cases, 20, have fallen between the ages of 19-49, which is consistent with reports coming from around the country and the state that the major increases have been coming from young adults.

According to Mann, there are no current cases in Inyo County that have been hospitalized. Those that are positive for the virus or exposed to it, or who may have been exposed, have been quarantined or self-isolated at home.

Consistent with other reports coming from the state, the county is seeing this “spike” in cases, in part, because people are not fully following the guidelines of avoiding gatherings and are engaging in some non-essential travel, despite the Governor’s Stay at Home Order still being in effect.

There has been little evidence or reports that Inyo County has been enforcing its public health orders, especially on the wearing of face coverings/masks inside businesses, although it is well-known on social media the a number of businesses are known to be flouting the health orders. Most responsible business owners appear to be at least trying to enforce it; many succeeding, while a few don’t even bother to pretend to respect the health orders.

A rare example of health enforcement action happened over the weekend in Mono County when the Public Health Officer, Dr. Tom Boo, ordered the immediate closing of the Tiger Bar in June Lake after repeated warnings, to protect the public. There have been no known similar actions, much less warnings, by Inyo County Public Health. In fact, it appears that nothing is really being done to protect the public in the enforcement area other than provide reminders along the highway and providing posters for businesses  that state “Inyo County requires mandatory face-covering/mask,” which is often simply ignored by visitors and some residents as well.  A few irresponsible business owners are not requiring their customers or their employees to wear masks in the workplace.

Recognizing the non-compliance issues, Mann said the county Health and Human Services Department has been looking at the issue with the county attorney regarding enforcement strategies. She noted that her department is not an enforcement agency. On the other hand, Inyo County residents might wonder how it is that Mono County just proved that it can enforce a health order, even shut down a business immediately, in the interest of public safety, while Inyo County appears to be sitting on its hands doing nothing? So far, Inyo County’s idea of a “measured response” appears to have been” no response at all.”

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GC
GC
1 year ago

Remain terrified – Question nothing – Stay home.
Is ignorance really bliss?

Sweetie Pie Sugar Plum
Sweetie Pie Sugar Plum
1 year ago

When supervisor Pucci talks to me he cups my hands and calls me sweetie all the time. No mind that I am a middle aged woman with a PhD, but yeah, sweetie. Ok. Sir, yes sir Mr. Man Pucci sir!

AntifaAnnie
AntifaAnnie
1 year ago

..but listen to all that freedom!

Trouble
Trouble
1 year ago

Anybody else starting to realize our government and insurance providers have done absolutely nothing but lie and deceive us lately? Self Isolation is not a treatment!

Eastside Local
Eastside Local
1 year ago

Seems the Governor and the mayor’s across California are directly responsible for this surge because they allowed unfettered protests about George Floyd and BLM happen for a month.

Rick Deckard
Rick Deckard
1 year ago

Inyo County officials have failed and are continuing to fail the citizens by total lack of enforcement. There needs to he some resignations. While at the Cielo Hotel, housekeeping staff were not wearing masks the morning of July 2. Thanks Charles James for great reporting.

Raccoon Boy
Raccoon Boy
1 year ago
Reply to  Rick Deckard

Yes Rick – Inyo County continues to flirt with Trump’s ignorant and dangerous ambivalence about the dangers of this virus; its lack of enforcement of the mask requirement being the latest example.

But, while certainly warranted, there will be no accountability, let alone resignations.

Inyo County is governed by retrogrades.

Benjamin
Benjamin
1 year ago
Reply to  Rick Deckard

I think our government is broken, has anyone tried turning it off and back on again yet?

Art La Cues
Art La Cues
1 year ago
Reply to  Benjamin

Good reporting, Charles. I was amused by one supervisor asking if there was any evidence that bars were conduits for the virus’ spread. You don’t have to be a health expert to answer that question. He should have asked what can the supervisors do to help insure enforcement of the county and state health mandates! Also, I see little enforcement of the speed limits on 395. The traffic races through Independence with a minority of drivers observing posted speed. Today, while crossing Edwards I.e.,.395, a motorist going at least 50 mph, rather than stop, merely changed lanes and continued on his merry way. There are a lot of selfish and stupid people on the road. (And,yes, I was in the crosswalk.)

foolmethreetimes
foolmethreetimes
1 year ago

…the lack of decent public education, favoritism toward particular business interests and all the rest you kind of have to wonder why locals pay taxes at all…

MomsOfTheRebelAlliance
MomsOfTheRebelAlliance
1 year ago

I found it sad that one of Inyo County’s first orders of business for the Covid emergency was threatening citizens what happens if they don’t pay their taxes. It is like they knew they were about to burn us, but before they lit the match they just had to make sure we knew it was all about them getting paid. No joke, look at the county website news articles in chronological order since the emergency declaration. Within the first week threats about taxes then bailouts for business. There is your priority list. Weird how the true colors show in actions instead of words. Hey moms, how does it feel for your leadership to assume your worth for you in society in the workforce, the future of your child’s education? What are they sacrificing? Ask yourself, who exactly are they working for? Are you getting mad yet? You should be.

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
1 year ago

“We’re not in the situation of New Zealand or Singapore or Korea where a new case is rapidly identified, and all the contacts are traced, and people are isolated who are sick, and people who are exposed are quarantined, and they can keep things under control. We have way too much virus across the country for that right now, so it’s very discouraging.” from the Deputy Director of the CDC today . We still have the opportunity in the Eastern Sierra to “keep things under control”. It takes everyone to work this out. Appreciate the math, the freedom to mask and all of that. Let us all hang tight, wear the mask, keep the social distance and the other mitigation measures and do the best we can

blob
blob
1 year ago

If you are so concerned with not contracting Corona virus you should stay home like we did the first 2 or so months of the outbrake. The increase started when people felt the need to get out and about, can’t say that I blame them. Where did folks go to contract the virus and bring it back to Inyo/Mono counties, or what out of towner on vacation brought it here?

ServantPeasant
ServantPeasant
1 year ago
Reply to  blob

This is all about building and maintaining a high castle to Lord over the Serfs of Inyo County districts. Period. The actions of the Board are inexcusable. We all see the writing on the wall and their soul motivation is to protect their own interests just like everyone else. Diffetence is they have the power because we gave it to them and now they use it to ensure their priorities stay priorities regardless of what happens to the working class citizen who elected them. The single mom trying to use a public school system to survive, the immigrant family who was promised a chance if they just work hard but can’t even get a living wage or afford an apartment, or the local native who gets salt in their wounds daily from the lip service of the white man model they represent. Even a lead servant is still a servant. We need a better system, this one has a virus for sure. A very overplayed, stale and stagnating virus.

ReplaceTheBoard
ReplaceTheBoard
1 year ago

You still think the Inyo County good ole boys or the Fed actually gives a care about you beyond spending your tax check on pointless airports for the rich and unnecessary office buildings? Haha, that is cute! Tell me more fables to help me feel better at bed time. Government has never been for helping the people in our generation, just padding their pockets for retirement before they abandon ship on us.

masked matron
masked matron
1 year ago

What puzzles me is why the “40 percent increase” story was not distributed to the usual email list who have been receiving the ever-rarer updates from the County. Why post it on Facebook and call it good? It is now well recognized that Facebook is a font of malignant misinformation. Please, Inyo County, send out your daily updates as you did in the past, and stop hiding the ugly truth from us.

Indygal
Indygal
1 year ago

Even one positive case has a plethora of effects. Take the staff member in Lone Pine USD who tested positive and is asymptomatic. They closed summer school and asked all of their students and families to quarantine for 14 days. That is a tremendous burden on the community. If we could all come together as a community to help each other through this, we would all do much better. Please be safe and careful everyone!

sugarmags
sugarmags
1 year ago

ok…the math is not adding up. 24 cases 2 weeks ago, 13 new cases would make 37 cases, but the article says 32 is the correct number.
and 40% of 24 is not 13. If the correct number is 8 new cases, which would match with 24 plus 8 equaling 32, that would be 33.3%.
Can we get some clarification here?

erik simpson
erik simpson
1 year ago
Reply to  sugarmags

The inconsistent numbers aren’t just coming from Inyo County. Inconsistent numbers are widely reported in the national press and from sources that ought to be able to get it straight. This lack of care in reliable statistics is probably partly responsible for the the lack of care shown by people not taking the disease seriously.

ThePunisher
ThePunisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Charles James

I have an idea. Perhaps the Inyo County Board can don masks like the Lone Ranger and handle enforcement instead of staff! They are the ones who said it was safe to open, so if it is safe, get out there gents! Support the safe opening of business like you claim! Now is your chance to live that boyhood dream!

itismenotyou
itismenotyou
1 year ago
Reply to  sugarmags

Graduate, go to college, get married they said.. Have kids, invest, save for retirement they said. Pay more for mortgage and taxes until partner has to work too they said. Its OK, we have schools and daycare they said. You can’t afford to stay home and teach your kids anymore they said.. It is required by law that the kids go to school now they said.. Be patient, keep working hard, it will be worth it they said. The model is right that is why we conquered for centuries they said. We are strong we will protect you they said. Then the virus came and abandon our kids they did.. Bailout the businesses and leave the poor starving they did. Stayed home and made requirements and made the workers work In unsafe conditions they did. Can’t enforce it they said, you are on your own they said. Pay your taxes or we will take your house and your food too they said. Now double dip us and go into debt for the second online school they forced us to take part in to get grade good enough for kids college they did. Now 1 parent stay home to teach while still paying for all the rest they ask.. but we still can’t afford to enforce it they say…. can’t even look me in the eye as a father who followed all your advice and rules and still stabbed me in the back you did. Very disappointed in you American families are.

Benny and the Jets
Benny and the Jets
1 year ago
Reply to  sugarmags

Give me a uniform, badge, ticket book, necessary protective equipment and the AUTHORITY to use them and I will enforce it. Some of us still care about our community enough and aren’t afraid to stand up for our kids, families, community services and community values. Typically we called them enforcement officers back in my day but seems like people just want to talk about defunding them on webex meetings and social media while hiding away safely in upper class castles constructed of pure debt themselves instead. You would be surprised how many of my peers (dads/moms) would gladly face their fear and step up as well given the opportunity, tools and motivations. As well as anti doxing attorneys these days, yikes!

Easy Data
Easy Data
1 year ago

A 40% increase in positive tests sounds alarming, but only if you leave out the fact that testing has also increased over 44% in the last two weeks. The positive test rate in Inyo County is dropping. It’s currently at 2.6%, which is near the lowest it’s ever been since March 25 when it was 1.7%. This is down from the high of 9.3% back on March 29. More tests means more cases. The focus should be on the positive test rate and death rate, which both are steadily declining.

And the statement regarding the County avoiding a new case for 45 days is untrue. They may have avoided a positive test for 45 days, but undiagnosed cases are obviously out there.

Issme
Issme
1 year ago
Reply to  Easy Data

I don’t care about percentages – if a positive person is out infected others, that’s what is important. A percentage number isn’t going to protect me. There is no reduced risk once you have it. People keep showing all these numbers but if you get the virus, then your odds are100% and if you die from it, it’s still 100% and no fluff and sugar coating of “well, you only have a 1.4% chance of getting it” matters anymore. When more and more people are walking around with the virus they are spreading it to more and more people who then go on to spread it to more and more people. Numbers just give people the warm fuzziess and false hope. Once you get it, you have it. Unless of course you can point out those 2.6% that do have it so we know to steer clear of them. Numbers are not protection.

Charles O. Jones
Charles O. Jones
1 year ago
Reply to  Easy Data

More “Easy Data”

The number of Covid19 hospitalizations statewide has jumped 56% in in the past two weeks. And according to the CA Dept of Public Health, the positive test rate for our state is increasing, not decreasing. So unless you think we live in a bubble here in the Eastern Sierra, the numbers you’re sharing are only a very small snapshot of a much bigger story. Particularly so considering we’re on the brink of one of the biggest holiday weekends of the year.

Jennifer
Jennifer
1 year ago

This article is not a news report it’s total partisan opinion and I miss the days when journalists just reported the news instead of slandering and opining. It is not concerning for there to be more cases when NONE of these cases have been hospitalized. Please wake up and critically think for yourselves!

Matthew
Matthew
1 year ago
Reply to  Charles James

Here is a credible public health source: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid19/index.htm

If you take the time to look at the chart you will see that last week there were 19,899 deaths in the United States from all causes. Only 313 of those deaths involved Covid-19. That is a death rate of .01% You statistically have a greater risk of dying because you over-ate last night, or you drink too much, or you’re overweight, or you drove somewhere, or you smoke, yet where are Inyo and Mono county’s enforced regulations to lessen those deaths?

According to another credible source, the CDC, there are 480,000 deaths per year due to smoking and 41,000 due to second hand smoke. Should the public health officer be putting public smokers in jail for causing 41,000 deaths last year?

Please ponder these numbers and ask yourself what you are afraid of? Do you even know?

It is a bit ironic to be celebrating our freedom and independence from a tyrannical government while our news is being spoon fed to us and we’ve been ordered by the government to not gather. (Violation of first amendment.)

Stop non-essential travel
Stop non-essential travel
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew

Matthew – you neglected to take the time to read the fine print in the “Notes” section associated with the chart and “the week ending” info. See the * …

“NOTE: Number of deaths reported in this table are the total number of deaths received and coded as of the date of analysis and do not represent all deaths that occurred in that period. Counts of deaths occurring before or after the reporting period are not included in the table. The United States population, based on 2018 post-censal estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, is 327,167,434.

*Data during this period are incomplete because of the lag in time between when the death occurred and when the death certificate is completed, submitted to NCHS and processed for reporting purposes. This delay can range from 1 week to 8 weeks or more, depending on the jurisdiction and cause of death.”

Yes, there are laws related to everything you cited, to protect citizens: no smoking in bars or restaurants, no drinking and driving, speed limits, and let’s see, if you violate those laws, then yes you are cited or arrested. Keep in mind that laws change based on circumstances, for example, the speed limit is 65mph on 395 UNTIL you begin to arrive into Bishop at which point the speed limit decreases down to 25mph through town. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that you can comprehend why this is the case.

Nobody is violating your 1st amendment rights. Nobody is forcing you to watch the news. However, part of enjoying your rights as an American is living responsibly in a community and respecting the fact that there are laws, rules, and guidelines which apply to everyone for the safety and well-being of everyone and that these can change based on circumstances.

Stop non-essential travel
Stop non-essential travel
1 year ago
Reply to  Jennifer

Hospitalization is only one concerning aspect of this pandemic. My critical thinking skills tell me YOU have been asleep for the past six months…

resident
resident
1 year ago

The Inyo County Board is like a lineup for an old spice commercial. More old white guys doing old white guy stuff than the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Surprised they aren’t wearing those funny wigs and signing things with fountain pens.. I would say Jen R. would be a nice addition if she wasn’t trying to turn the government into an extension of her for profit business at Glacier lodge. Have you ever looked at how many votes our local elected get? It is sad that they usually win by default simply because nobody runs against them. People need to take a step back.. defund the police? No, defund your elected officials rerirement plans until they do their jobs. At least the police are working during this.

Issme
Issme
1 year ago
Reply to  Jennifer

WRONG…it doesn’t matter how many are hospitalized. It matters how many are infected because they go on to infect others. Those that are sick at home go on to make others sick and so on and so on and people will end up hospitalized at some point.

Charles O. Jones
Charles O. Jones
1 year ago
Reply to  Jennifer

Not concerning? Well I hope you’re right. Similar “critical thinking” was employed by the Orange County Board of Supervisors a few weeks back. Political pressure and even death threats prompted the county health officer to resign. The newly installed health officer capitulated and rolled back precautions to appease the highly partisan members on the Board of Sups.

Now OC has been experiencing their highest covid hospitalization rates on record over the past few days. The hospitalization rate has almost doubled since the previous health officer resigned.

Low
Low
1 year ago
Reply to  Jennifer

We are criticially thinking for ourselves. And the critical thought is that 125,000 people are dead because people like yourself are not critically thinking.

InyoBoardBunkerBoys
InyoBoardBunkerBoys
1 year ago
Reply to  Low

The county board and at least some of the administration/elected officers just burned it’s constituents and are now hiding away, safe, getting paid, making everyone else go take their risks for them to make money, pay taxes and make sure they get a check while hiding in a bunker. They are hiding from us because they know they screwed us. Come outside and have a meet with us guys, or are you scared to face the people you screwed, bunker boys? Are you scared you might get sick, is that why you are on zoom or what? Maybe you should have to go out and work so you you can eat too.

Inyo Citizen
Inyo Citizen
1 year ago

Can’t the PD or Sheriff simply walk into one of these offending establishments and cite them for violating the public health orders? Why isn’t that happening? But I expect the devil is in the details. Speaking of which, which businesses are you referring to Charles, because I haven’t heard of an Inyo County Tiger Bar situation where the owner flat-out says they refuse to adhere to the public health orders??? There are definitely individuals who are self-proclaimed constitutional and public health experts who refuse to wear masks, but I’m not convinced you are comparing apples here.

Scruffy
Scruffy
1 year ago
Reply to  Charles James

aahhhh yes remember Americans are not trying to stop the the spread because we cant. but to only slow the spread IN WAVES. waves keep coming they dont ever stop ever. so if your young or healthy and you get covid 19 recovery with antibodies is the best bet.
OUR YOU WAIT IN LINE AND PAY FOR INJECTED ANTIBODIES. life will be different but must still move forward.

Charels O. Jones
Charels O. Jones
1 year ago

Watching the reemergence of this virus both locally and nationally makes me wonder – How obvious does it have to be for people to take this seriously?

That said, a big THANK YOU to all those people and businesses out there who are actually making an effort to help slow the spread.

ALSO: I know of many businesses that have been doing their best to meet the public health guidelines. I’d also like to know which businesses are not. Then I can make a mental note to not patronize those establishments in the future. I’ll gladly be a loyal customer to businesses who demonstrate their willingness to do the right thing. And I’ll gladly keep my wallet in my pocket for those businesses who do not.

Scott
Scott
1 year ago

Many great points in this post.

Many errors/typos in this post.

Looks like the word flaunt was used when the author meant to use the word flout.

dpblue
dpblue
1 year ago
Reply to  Scott

Any Bishop locals who still refuse to wear a mask (for whatever irrational reasons) are putting all our local businesses at risk of being closed again.
Let alone endangering the health of essential workers and our large vulnerable retired population.
If the health concerns of others don’t concern you then at least be concerned about the health of Bishops economy.
Please wear a mask.

dpblue
dpblue
1 year ago

Of course there’s no enforcement by the authorities.
It’s all about the Benjamins!
Sadly.

Issme
Issme
1 year ago
Reply to  dpblue

Exactly! Money over Lives. That’s the Government way.

JaneE
JaneE
1 year ago

Relying on individuals to do the right thing pretty obviously does not work.

Whenever I go to Smart & Final, everyone is wearing masks, probably because they have added a security guard on the door. Security. In Bishop. At a grocery store. Because there are apparently enough people who prefer to spread disease around the community to justify the cost.

We have heard of assaults and even killings over whether or not masks were required for entrance into private businesses, plus temper tantrums galore. Grow up people.

If the orders were actually enforced, we could maybe slow the spread again, the way we did when everyone did stay home and wear masks in public. Start issuing fines and closing businesses that flout the orders. If Inyo County doesn’t care whether its citizens spread disease, why bother with a public health department at all? If an order isn’t enforced, why bother issuing it?

Good bye
Good bye
1 year ago

Thank goodness our reps opened all campgrounds and facilities for vacationers and fishermen. This is turning out good isnt it?

Inyo Citizen
Inyo Citizen
1 year ago
Reply to  Good bye

Without the State or local law enforcement being willing to enforce the previously existing stay-at-home orders (our Governor was clear he wanted people to choose to be responsible, not have law enforcement punish them for being selfish), travelers were coming anyway, trashing the dispersed camping areas, and doing what was best for them as individuals. So opening the campgrounds (which the Counties only control some of) seems to be a lesser of two evils…

Issme
Issme
1 year ago
Reply to  Inyo Citizen

But they continue to trash the lands even with the campgrounds open. Now what…

erik simpson
erik simpson
1 year ago
Reply to  Inyo Citizen

I’ve been surprised by the number of non-local hikers on the trails wearing masks and taking evasive action with other hikers, even in situations where it probably isn’t really necessary. I’m glad to see so many visitors obviously being careful and courteous, even though distancing is generally pretty easy in the mountains. Most of the people on the trails are there for the same reasons I am, just not as lucky to be here full time. I used to be one of them. There’s no reason for locals to feel bitter and selfish.

aParent
aParent
1 year ago
Reply to  Inyo Citizen

Is it just me or does it seem like unless you are over 50 you don’t have representation or matter in Inyo County (or the United States for that matter)? Literally not a peep about schools from our government leadership while parents are still forced to work full time and teach full time into the fall. For as lazy as us millenials were supposed to be it seems kinda like you all are the ones not holding your own weight these days, trying to ride your laurels into a cozy retirement, a job well done and pat on the back from local special business interests, but the working class parent? Nah forget you folks, not like the future depends on you or your kids or anything. Don’t worry, your covid doc with kids won’t forget your priorities when choosing who to use that last ventalator on…

dpblue
dpblue
1 year ago
Reply to  aParent

Its just you.

JustAnotherSoldOutKid
JustAnotherSoldOutKid
1 year ago
Reply to  dpblue

Tell that to my graduate friends trying start college. The adults in the community only care about who is right and fighting with each other.

theexpendiblegeneration
theexpendiblegeneration
1 year ago
Reply to  dpblue

dpBlue are you kidding me?! My mom has been working for years to save up for my education sometimes multiple jobs and no matter how hard we both worked it just isn’t enough. No matter what people just hold her down and now me too. Enough. Now all this and all anyone cares about is money and you just forget about us. The expendable generations I guess. Just lets us absorb the last decades of stupid decisions for being born and being nice. So long as you get what you want I guess.

wearenotallthesame
wearenotallthesame
1 year ago
Reply to  dpblue

..or my little sister who just spent her most formative years doing worksheets while my mom worked remotely.

JustAnotherSoldOutKid
JustAnotherSoldOutKid
1 year ago
Reply to  Inyo Citizen

I know right? Unbelievable.

VillageWitch
VillageWitch
1 year ago

What is Dr. Richardson doing? I see all these efforts in Mono County by Dr Boo but nothing from Inyo county public health officials. Please shut down the casino and the campgrounds, Schats bakery and other high traffic areas. I can’t believe the number of travelers in Bishop and all of the out of state vehicles in our area.

Ian Cognito
Ian Cognito
1 year ago
Reply to  VillageWitch

Yes ma’am! We dined and stayed the night in Bishop Wednesday and stopped in at Schats Bakkery in the morning. People were crammed in there like cattle, zero air movement, terrible ventilation, a full scale petri dish.

The owner or manager(?), a guy who clearly had way too many shares of pastries in his life, walked through the back-of-house and into the public area with his nose sticking out of his mask, then sat down for breakfast with a women in the ‘supposedly’ closed dining area while watching all the patrons inch through the cueing lines, zero physical distancing. We felt extremely uncomfortable and won’t return. Only a moron would risk severe illness over a doughnut.

Listen loud and clear Bishop. You desperately need our tourist dollars and with Mammoth Lakes just a few minutes away, (where people were behaving, even on the trails), you need to clean up your covid act.

I must say though, that we generally find people there very friendly. Hopefully, this is an isolated case, but Schats clearly doesn’t give a Schit.