Update on: After 41 days without a COVID-19 case In Inyo County, a new positive case pops up

(5/31/2020 – James) –Official Press Release attached at bottom

With the latest increase of 1 (ONE) positive COVID-19 case in Inyo County last Friday, May 29, there are some people on social media that seem to think that people are suddenly claiming that the “sky is falling,” but that is just not true. It’s not true for people in either Inyo County or Mono County. The doctors at the Northern Inyo Hospital District (and I suspect, Mammoth Hospital as well) have not been surprised in the least bit that another positive case might have shown up. If anything, they anticipated the likelihood that it will. [NOTE: Mono County has reported an increase of 2 (TWO) positive new cases over the past day, May 31.]

The increase of one positive case might be indicative of a “new surge” or it may mean “nothing at all.” No one knows, including the doctors. Very few people as a percentage of the population have been tested in both counties, and even with the low testing rates, the vast majority of those that have, have proven negative for the virus. If anything, the very low  numbers of infection might indicate that the rest of the population is “naive” (i.e., have not had the virus). The problem with that is that there’s all the more people that are still susceptible and may become infected in the future. And if it happens during the upcoming Fall flu season, in combination with COVID-19, the results might well be devastating for public health.

The very low numbers of testing in both counties is the result of having a very limited number of test kits. Nothing more, nothing less. From the start, those given priority on testing are those that are seriously ill and essential workers, especially those working in the hospitals and first responders, i.e., those at greatest risk. While the country is being told at the national level in Washington D.C. that there are plenty of test kits and Personal Protection Equipment, it simply is not true as evidenced by the continuing shortages both locally and nationally.

Dr. Will Timbers, NIHD Interim Chief Medical Officer, and Dr. Stacey Brown, NIHD Chief of Staff, have said for weeks that the numbers could change at any time either because increased testing becomes available or the virus has started to spread through the population as strict protocols increasingly become ignored by the public. Both doctors have said that it is very likely that the efforts of local residents in “flattening the curve” has been effective in keep the numbers low in Inyo County.

Everything is complicated by the asymptomatic nature of the disease. No symptoms: No need for a test. Even a negative test result, if taken again the next day or a few days later or anytime in the future, might prove positive…and there are clearly not remotely enough tests for people to be repeatedly tested that often.

With the increased visitors and tourists anticipated to be coming to the area as it “reopens,” and given the time it takes for symptoms to become evident is anywhere between several days up to 14 days, the NIHD doctors have always said that the effect of reopening of public venues always holds risk in spreading the disease.

Northern Inyo Hospital has been confident for some time now to take on whatever comes its way, and they have access to outside resources they can count on to come in to help, if needed. The hospital healthcare district is confident that it can finally start offering many of its services that have been put on hold for two months.

Both doctors, Timbers and Brown, strongly encourage the public to continue wearing face coverings, practice social/physical distancing, and washing hands with soap and warm water. If they have concerns, it’s more that people will just decide to let down their guard, stop practicing the things that have keep the virus at bay, and by doing so, allow the pandemic to take off. Let’s not let that happen.

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21 Comments
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Good bye
Good bye
2 years ago

And there is the problem

jojo
jojo
2 years ago

sorry papa we also own in swall meadows. we will be up there soon. leave some toilet paper on the shelfs for me.

Harold
Harold
2 years ago
Reply to  jojo

See, we dont need tourist money, we’re getting your property taxes. Thanks jojo!

Stop non-essential travel
Stop non-essential travel
2 years ago
Reply to  jojo

Eeeesh, EASE UP ON THE “ALL-CAPS” ALREADY! Ok, so first, we the residents of Inyo County are educated and ready to protect, and have been protecting, ourselves from Sars-Cov2 which is one reason why the majority of Inyo residents favored the delay in the fishing opener. If you’re trying to… Read more »

Good bye
Good bye
2 years ago

You stay away from the mountain and we will leave the beach alone. Our local government has gotten a little big for their britches and could use some cuts. Please follow through

jojo
jojo
2 years ago

WE ALL KNOW HOW THE LOCAL RESIDENTS FEEL – THEY OWN THE MOUNTAIN LIKE I OWN THE BEACH” BEST BELIEVE MOST PEOPLE WILL PACK EVERYTHING IN FROM THEIR HOME WALMART, COSTCO AND ONLINE BASSPROSHOP.COM BEFORE STOPPING IN TO PURCHASE ANYTHING FROM THE ANGRY LOCALS.YOUR LOCAL DISPENSARY IS ABOUT TO HELP… Read more »

Good bye
Good bye
2 years ago

Oh yeah thank God for tourist and their money. Not. Stay home your not welcome. Only by the few that want your money!!

vaguelynoble
vaguelynoble
2 years ago

One new case in 40 days and everyone sets their hair on fire. If the standard is never more reopen as long as a single new case might pop up, we’ll be cowering at home masked up and socially distanced unto the sounding of the final trumpet. All because of… Read more »

jojo
jojo
2 years ago

wow how sad nobody wearing masks in inyo. this might be the most uniformed social gathering! i live in san diego ca on the beach we dont police people most still wear masks if walking or around-if exercising no masks. inyo county scared its residents in there holes and decided… Read more »

David Dennison
David Dennison
2 years ago

Good bye Thing is,now it’s ALL about the money. Whether it was safe to open up or not,all that mattered to many was income the valley and business’ were losing by playing it safe,with at least restrictions to getting things going again. Many people were and still are in total… Read more »

BobK
BobK
2 years ago
Reply to  David Dennison

1 case in the last 40 days, and….The Sky Is Falling, The Sky is Falling!! Thanks David.

David Dennison
David Dennison
2 years ago
Reply to  BobK

Bob K And that’s the way some of us want to keep it here in Inyo and Mono Counties. The reason for 1 case in the last 40 days is because of local interest and,for the most part obeying the social distancing,the wearing masks requests and “do not enter without… Read more »

Steve
Steve
2 years ago

No surprise. Did anybody see that tourist with the mask during the long weekend? I didn’t either.

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
2 years ago

With Covid still floating around it was inevitable that there would be the next positive case. I am reminded to hold fast on staying safe and keeping others safe. I am hoping for everyone to do the same no matter if they are local, loco or just passing through. Most… Read more »

SerAaron Vitale
SerAaron Vitale
2 years ago

The numbers aren’t right anyways I had Covid so did my wife but we weren’t tested… Why? I had all the symptoms but wasn’t bad enough to be hospitalized so they wouldn’t test me just quarantined me… I was incredibly sick for 21 days total of 27 days sick quarantined… Read more »

More Data Please
More Data Please
2 years ago

Thank you for bringing that up SerAaron. I know three people that were also sick and quarantined by the Heath Department and told they likely had Covid 19, especially since they all had contact with a confirmed case. However, just like you, they were told they would only be tested… Read more »

Stop non-essential travel
Stop non-essential travel
2 years ago

The simple answer to not testing everyone is the same as it has been since March: NOT ENOUGH TESTS. If you’ve had an exposure to a confirmed case, then you are advised to quarantine. If you remain asymptomatic, great. IF you develop symptoms but they are not severe, and /… Read more »

Good bye
Good bye
2 years ago

Yeah let’s open everything!! Great Idea!! I wonder what the next few weeks will bring.

Mono Person
Mono Person
2 years ago

Que conviniente

Anonemoose
Anonemoose
2 years ago

Well since no herd immunity, now a new case, I guess we are still staying home. I go shopping about every 10 days, still see people without masks, what is it going to take to have people take this seriously?

Russell
Russell
2 years ago

Are healthcare professionals sure they have a definitive understanding of how accurate their testing is? And therefore how meaningful testing statistics are? No they don’t whether they admit to it or not. Read about Herpes type 1 virus and you will start to fathom how complex a subject that contagious… Read more »