As if it is not already frustrating to predict where the COVID-19 pandemic is going next, and for how long, both Inyo and Mono County struggle to maintain their current status quo…and both may fail. The shoe(s) may drop by tomorrow, Tuesday, Nov. 3, of this week according to some local officials, or soon after.
At last week’s Inyo County Board of Supervisors’ regular (Zoom) meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 27, Health & Human Services Assistant Director, Meaghan McCammon, told supervisors something that neither they, county residents, or local business owners really want to hear: McCammon said that a recent spike in Covid cases may drop Inyo County back down to “Red status” (a.k.a. “Substantial”) under California’s Four-Tier Color Coded Reopening Guidelines.
During the reporting period covering October 17-24, there was a spike in Inyo County cases, which under the state’s guidelines threshold for small counties with a population under 106,000 works out to be 14 cases a week or a 5% test positivity rate, could result in Inyo County to be dropped to the Red-tier status.
The Public Health Officer for Inyo County, Dr. James Richardson told the supervisors that there had been 18 new cases since October 20 and the total positive cumulative cases sat at 231 official cases as of Tuesday’s meeting and current as of today, November 1, it stands at 241.
Both McCammon and Richardson said there has been a growing “laxness” evident with following Covid protocols and people going to work sick and sending their children to school sick.
It is generally accepted that reopening schools will result in increasing cases, further adding to the misery index in the county, should schools have to be closed again and businesses forced to “roll back” recent flexibility in operating guidelines. Add in the worry over both the flu season and COVID-19 both happening at the same time, and officials are concerned. It may be a long, cold winter in more ways than one.
Adding to problems in Mono County, (update as of today, Nov. 3) it has been reported that there areas many as 60 positive cases at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center outside of Bridgeport, Calif. Mono County is currently at the hard-fought “Orange,” a.k.a. “Moderate,” tier. Reportedly, Mono County officials are attempting to convince the state to not include the marines in the Mono County count as they have no control over it and if added to the county’s number count, would really set back the current Moderate tier that the County currently has under state guidelines.