COVID-19 Cases Rocketing in Inyo and Mono Counties: Is the second holiday surge from Christmas or New Years?

Hospitals and Emergency Rooms are increasingly becoming overwhelmed, along with their staffs.

The public has been warned repeatedly by local public health officials of the danger of the winter months with the holiday travel, and holiday gatherings when people are increasingly indoors in close quarters with others, and having family, friends, and visitors insisting on coming to our area during the holidays. In an odd twist, many of those that come here feel that they are safer while they are here than from where they came from, which are often Covid-19 hotspots. Little has been done to discourage the behavior, so it’s likely to continue. That scenario has played out many times over the past few months and it is coming home to roost, not just here in the Eastern Sierra, but across the country.

In just the past few days alone, the positive Covid-19 reports from Inyo and Mono counties have been surging and the local hospitals are asking that those needing non-emergency and non-lifesaving medical care to not come to the hospitals and emergency rooms, but instead, call first, and follow their advice.

Even as many hospitals and nursing homes have begun receiving the new Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, the number of cases in the public have continued to escalate, and it has health officials and medical personnel understandably worried because of the risk of having our local medical resources overwhelmed. And that include their staff.

The national numbers from across the country as of yesterday are: 

  • Cases= 21.1 million (+239,000)
  • Deaths= 357,000 (+3,664)

Inyo County has reported a whopping 90 new cases of Positive Covid-19 in just the past few days alone, and an additional 5 new deaths, which brings the total of deaths in Inyo County attributed to Covid to 25. While deaths in Mono County have remained low and fairly steady at 4 deaths, their Positive Covid-19 cases in the past several weeks have surged as well.

Currently, Inyo County reported on Monday, Jan. 4, that they had 675 positive Covid cases, which was an increase of 56 from their last report. Then yesterday, another 34 cases.

As bad as it seems here…and it can get far worse. According to CBS News, the Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Agency  issued directives that ambulances should stop transporting patients to hospitals if they have virtually no chance of surviving, including those whose hearts and breathing have stopped and who couldn’t be resuscitated by paramedics.

Hospitals running low on oxygen.

Oxygen is also in very short supply. Covid-19 victims can use as much as 9 to 10 times the amount of oxygen normally used with most other non-Covid patients.

Los Angeles announced that, because of an oxygen shortage and overflowing capacity of ICU and hospital beds, that paramedics should not bring anyone to the hospital who will not likely survive.

The agency also issued a directive on Monday directing ambulance crews to administer less oxygen. Supplies have been strained because of the pandemic.

,

33 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Concerned
Concerned
1 year ago

We have a problem with the tourism and our government has decided that the tourist dollar is more important than human lives in this community, but to me what is worse is that there are many churches blatantly violating these orders contributing to the spread of the virus. Why are… Read more »

Ben
Ben
1 year ago
Reply to  Concerned

I am not sure which church you are referring to directly but the church I attend (LDS) is and has been taking place on zoom, quite successfully I might add. Those conducting the meetings are very respectful of social distancing/masking protocols when necessary.

The Process
The Process
1 year ago

I have seen a lot of comments here and on the various social media platforms along the lines of “where is the government, where is Inyo County, why aren’t they doing anything?” While I certainly understand the frustrations and fears, that isn’t exactly how the democratic process works. While venting… Read more »

JB
JB
1 year ago

Why [edit] is the ski area still open? 90% of visitors are heading there. Condo/Airbnb’s were packed the last few weeks. Close the ski area and no one will come up here. Simple as that.

eric hein
eric hein
1 year ago
Reply to  JB

It’s not that simple, there are plenty of other reasons people are coming up here. But I agree it’s a great place to start.

Rodney
Rodney
1 year ago

Three things:
– human existence on this planet was only supposed to be temporary by design.
– everything that is happening right now has been predicted in the Bible. #endoftimes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpEDSvaP_-8
It is what it is.

big dice mcgee
big dice mcgee
1 year ago
Reply to  Rodney

If you and Nostradomus keeping counting on endless predictions eventually you’ll
be right. PS keeping hoping and in your final hour you can say I told
you so. Wow what a life.

Mono Person
Mono Person
1 year ago

Obviously, these orders have not worked. We have been doing this for 9 months and nothing really helped. The numbers are the numbers, the Rona will always be with us and we need to learn to live with it. Let’s try something else – OPEN THE BUSINESSES!!! And don’t tell… Read more »

eric hein
eric hein
1 year ago
Reply to  Mono Person

So until there’s a pile of bodies in Schats everything is okay? Sorry to break the news for you but the “Rona” doesn’t kill you instantly. It needs people like you to get infected and then go around unprotected blissfully enjoying your life. Just remember there are over 350,000 people… Read more »

Mono Person
Mono Person
1 year ago
Reply to  eric hein

So what is your solution? At least I am recommending to do something different, because what we have tried for 9 months hasn’t worked. And please don’t say, “If everyone followed the rules…” We are Americans, we have never followed “the rules” since the revolutionary war. So try again….

eric hein
eric hein
1 year ago
Reply to  Mono Person

You’ve already proved my point. People keep talking about masks and social distancing not working but it hasn’t really been tried. People driving down to Orange county, going to restaurants and even a bar getting on with their life in the current epicenter with a new form of covid that… Read more »

Mono Person
Mono Person
1 year ago
Reply to  eric hein

And you prove my point – keep knocking your head against the wall – feels good, right?

eric hein
eric hein
1 year ago
Reply to  eric hein

Danged if you aren’t right, responding to you is just like banging my head against the wall. Just one last question, in your place of business…..do you have any rules?

David Dennison
David Dennison
1 year ago

You have to look no further than the week-end traffic from down south,the hub of COVID cases and deaths, coming up here as if nothing was going on. And the rules and regulations being ignored by our business’,hotels,motels and restaurants. And last,but not least,our County officials allowing it to happen,… Read more »

Justin
Justin
1 year ago
Reply to  David Dennison

You wouldn’t have a home to live in or a grocery to shop in without the tourist dollar. Its the only economy up there. Its a non self sustaining area to live. Same as the state of Hawaii. Nice place to get to live but don’t kid yourself about wht… Read more »

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

I’ve only lived in Bishop for 20 years; but not a minute of my time living here has required or been supported by “the tourist dollar”. Don’t kid yourself Justin, your southern california elitism ain’t all that.

Genevieve Woods
Genevieve Woods
1 year ago

Inyo County residents don’t know who the dead are. Except for the rare obituary that mentions COVID we are in the dark. There is no reporting on it. We don’t know if the cases are coming from visitors coming in or residents themselves. With so many cases the virus is… Read more »

Mark
Mark
1 year ago

It doesn’t seem as if one of our local radio stations won’t provide information about the mortality rate in Bishop. On top of that I’ve had an encounter with a Bishop Police Officer who wasn’t wearing a mask. It seems like it’s a political decision here in Bishop.

Richard Hanley
Richard Hanley
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark

The police not using masks is a real problem! Also this wink—wink—nod nod about the motels being opened and Mammouth Mountain. Hell people are just plain stupid!

More info wanted
More info wanted
1 year ago

I think it would be helpful for the county to list the ages and genders of the deaths, or at least for the media to press for this info from them. Listing basic death statistics like age (or at least age group like the positive cases) is not violating any… Read more »

nclydepeak@yahoo.com
1 year ago

Dearest Genevieve, you are correct the eastern sierra dead have no voice. I am sorry. Too many people are getting sick , too many people are dying here locally. The degrees of separation are gone, I know too many people here locally that have gotten sick, too many people’s parents… Read more »

Harold
Harold
1 year ago

Why are there so many deaths here compared to mono?

Sierra Lady
Sierra Lady
1 year ago
Reply to  Harold

Harold, because Inyo has an older population who probably have more underlying health issues.

bb68
bb68
1 year ago
Reply to  Sierra Lady

And yet….by far the majority of new cases are in the 18-49 age range

eric hein
eric hein
1 year ago
Reply to  bb68

You mean the ” I’m invincible ” range.

AK
AK
1 year ago

The news just keeps getting more depressing. There are still people out that believe this is all a political hoax. I worked in Mammoth last week, and the house next door had seven vehicles parked out front. This was in a very high dollar neighborhood, I doubt all these vehicles… Read more »

mtalicelighthouse
mtalicelighthouse
1 year ago

Where is the Inyo county leadership? Can you say recall. Messaging and enforcing goes a long way. Inyo does nothing to protect its citizens. They think they are helping us by turning a blind eye to all the rule breaking businesses that encourage and support travel, Also nice to know… Read more »

Sierra climber
Sierra climber
1 year ago

Maybe they should blame the super markets or the bakery in Bishop or even the Ski areas

Rick O'Brien
Rick O'Brien
1 year ago
Reply to  Sierra climber

Ski area’s , YES . Super markets ??? Where do you buy YOUR food ?

David Dennison
David Dennison
1 year ago
Reply to  Rick O'Brien

Rick O’Brien The problem there,with your logical thinking and post,is the “elite” feel the ski areas are “essential”….for THEM and THEIR friends that choose to come up here to recreate and have their fun. It’s “THEIR ” Constitutional “right”…to ski and have THEIR fun,when and where they want. And the… Read more »

erik simpson
erik simpson
1 year ago
Reply to  Sierra climber

I doubt many visitors are coming from anywhere to shop at Von’s, or even Schat’s. It’s just possible that they come to ski, and maybe even climb.

eric hein
eric hein
1 year ago
Reply to  erik simpson

The lines at Schat’s are long, luckily we have multiple grocery stores but friends of mine in Mammoth tell me Vons is a nightmare. Massive lines outside waiting to get in, maybe that’s a good thing depending how crowded it is inside. The question also might be are the climbers… Read more »