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

  1. Good bye May 31, 2020 at 10:26 pm #

    And there is the problem

  2. jojo May 31, 2020 at 5:31 pm #

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

    • Harold May 31, 2020 at 7:20 pm #

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

    • Stop non-essential travel May 31, 2020 at 7:43 pm #

      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 be insulting regarding our ability to stay safe, consider that San Diego County has a 3% positive rate for Covid-19 whereas Inyo County has a 0.1% positive rate. YEAH, THAT’S RIGHT – ZERO POINT ONE PERCENT! The rest of your first post is nonsensical.

      Next, scrolling down …. Make up your mind. Do you want to buy toilet paper here, or, are you going to bring it yourself from Walmart? And presumably, since you own in Swall, you pay property taxes to Mono County… ? CHA-CHING!

  3. Good bye May 31, 2020 at 12:44 pm #

    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

  4. jojo May 30, 2020 at 9:16 pm #


  5. Good bye May 30, 2020 at 4:52 pm #

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

  6. vaguelynoble May 30, 2020 at 10:00 am #

    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 a disease with a chance of death (per the current best guess of the CDC) for people under 50 that approximates that of being killed in a car accident, a disease that even the most vulnerable people (over 75 in frail health) have a 98% chance of surviving.

    Unlike southern California, the eastern Sierra cannot even pay for its government without tourist taxes. The health of a society goes hand in hand with its wealth, so impoverishing the region is going to cause far more health issues than this virus ever will.

  7. jojo May 30, 2020 at 9:52 am #

    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 not to implement measurements to open up properly.
    EVERY OPEN DOOR SHOULD HAVE A HUGE SIGN POSTED NO MASK NO ENTRY 6 ft distance .if vons needs a security guard hire one. if your camping or fishing no need for masks but do practice social distancing . THE RESIDENTS SHOULD BE READY AND EDUCATED ENOUGH TO NOW PROTECT THEMSELVES AND OTHERS IN COVID 19 AWARENESS.
    more taxes bigger hospitals more clinics

    in san diego all i see is -out of state plates.
    theyre all clean people ready to get out and spend tons of money. if you feel sick stay home.

  8. David Dennison May 30, 2020 at 7:56 am #

    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 denial a pandemic even exists,saying their “rights” were being violated for wearing a damn mask,let alone social distancing and restrictions on how many people should be in a place of business at one time,crowd gathering,etc.
    Take a look at how it is this weekend,starting early Friday with the fishing season opener,Our local market had RV’s,campers,trailers packed with people hovering in the parking lot,going in and out of the store…no masks,ignoring the 6 foot space decals placed on the floor when they were inside.
    Same kinda thing at our fast food restaurants,no social distancing,quite a few with no masks,and then packing the nearby park to eat their lunch.
    I can only imagine what it’s like farther north,with the campgrounds closed,I’m betting parking lots packed with people and vehicles,large evening parties and gatherings God knows where.
    The county,the state and the country dropped the ball on this one.Not saying everything should or should’ve stayed closed,but better planning,some type of enforcement,and people using common sense would’ve been nice.

    • BobK May 30, 2020 at 5:41 pm #

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

      • David Dennison May 31, 2020 at 9:10 am #

        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 masks” orders most business’ put into place… and the lack of 20,000 + visitors running amuck and doing as they please.
        Let’s check how things are in about a month and we’ll see how things are looking,hopefully all good and O.K.

  9. Steve May 30, 2020 at 7:52 am #

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

  10. Philip Anaya May 30, 2020 at 7:08 am #

    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 in our community have been courteous and respectful to others and have been responsible keeping distance and wearing masks in public and that is reflected in our community going 41 days without a new positive case

  11. SerAaron Vitale May 30, 2020 at 6:53 am #

    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 for 30 me and my wife had to go to drive thru several times to have our vitals checked… Why is the County creating this false information and not testing the people that should be tested?

    • More Data Please May 30, 2020 at 10:31 pm #

      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 if they became sick enough to be hospitalized. I sure wish the counties would release the numbers for likely and suspected cases, as a separate category from the confirmed cases. I think if the health departments quarantine someone, tested or not, those numbers need to be released. Seeing those much higher local numbers may help some people realize how widespread this is in our area.
      This isn’t “just one case” people.
      Perhaps our local media can press the Counties for more data.

    • Stop non-essential travel May 31, 2020 at 1:23 pm #

      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 / or you are otherwise stable, and / or you do not feel that your life is in danger, then you are advised to quarantine. Everybody *should* be tested, but regardless of the lies told to us by our administration, there are not, and have never been, enough tests. I agree, it would be interesting to know the #s of contacts, and whether there is any considerable link between contacts, such as travel, shopping, etc. Getting reliable antibody testing, and a vaccine, is key.

  12. Good bye May 29, 2020 at 6:38 pm #

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

  13. Mono Person May 29, 2020 at 4:57 pm #

    Que conviniente

  14. Anonemoose May 29, 2020 at 3:52 pm #

    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?

  15. Russell May 29, 2020 at 3:46 pm #

    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 infectious disease is.


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