COVID-19: Inyo County back to “Red” this week? | Mono County falling back as well?

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.

California's Four-Tier Color Coded Reopening Guidelines, COVID-19During 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.


10 Responses to COVID-19: Inyo County back to “Red” this week? | Mono County falling back as well?

  1. Edie T Trimmer November 4, 2020 at 2:19 pm #

    I would like more detailed information about how and where the increased cases are occurring. For example, I did read a letter from a Bishop school about a case with an elementary student.
    Are cases associated with family or social gatherings? We’re speculating about the source of increased cases.

  2. sugarmags November 4, 2020 at 1:29 pm #

    it would be nice if Inyo County would focus on that actually have a history of virus transmission. Instead, they’re stopping locals from doing activities that would be good for morale for our beat up psychies, such as soaking at saline valley hot springs. At least the gyms are still open! we can go to bars but can’t soak wearing masks….sheesh. Far as I know, there’s been no transmission in gyms and hot springs.
    I read an article on how colleges were confusing ‘fun’ with ‘risky’ activity and shutting down college students from doing reasonable things, which just caused them to do more risky things, but in private. Inyo County seems to be doing the same….fun does not equal risky. Identify the real risks and limit that!

  3. Standup November 3, 2020 at 8:41 am #

    Inyo’s approach to covid is almost like trump’s, pretend it doesn’t exist and act normal, maybe it will go away. This recent surge in Inyo starting in October, was the largest we had in the general public and the largest cases counts. Inyo county is not doing their job protecting the community. Inyo is lax on all fronts, they have no overall comprehensive plan to deal with on going problem. We have big enough problems with our own population and enforcement/rule following add tourism to the mix you have recipe for disaster. School, restaurants, business, public buildings like post offices, all place were you should be vigilante about the virus. Maybe write to your council person and/or the county. Maybe if they have enough people telling them to do their jobs, they might do it actually.

    • Inyo Citizen November 3, 2020 at 9:51 am #

      What, pray tell, do you suggest Inyo County isn’t doing that it should be doing?

      The County has adopted local public health orders requiring distancing and masks and Covid-safe business plans; distributed masks, signage, and sanitizer to businesses; taken enforcement actions against businesses including going to court for a restraining order against a non-compliant businesses, ordered infected and exposed indivuduals to isolate/quarantine, brought in free testing, put up infected persons in hotel rooms, embarked on a serious public information campaign, and undertaken monumental efforts to contact-trace known cases…

      Blaming the government for things that aren’t perfect will always be en vogue, but will rarely move the ball forward. At what point do we (respectfully) confront individuals who host/attend gatherings, don’t wear a mask, go out when sick, and otherwise fail to take personal responsibility during this pandemic??? In other words, when is it time for you to do your job instead of demand someone else do it for you?

      • Charles James November 3, 2020 at 10:27 am #

        Government is the easiest and most obvious target for criticism. The question isn’t always what has or hasn’t been done, it’s what more “can still be done.” And that changes as we learn more and more about this disease. The reason that mortality rates have dropped significantly (approx. 70%) despite surging numbers of positive test results across the country, has been the result of the cooperation between government, health and medical authorities, and the most critical component, the public’s actions in response to the pandemic, when we all work together.

        Sadly, we all know that it has been the failure of political leadership in some states and at the very top of the federal government, that has allowed the virus to spread. Once this virus was allowed to be politicized, the wheels started to come off. And it was politicized at its early beginnings. Let’s hope someone in a position to make a difference will come along and offer the credibility needed to take control, provide genuine leadership, and provide the resources that will result in significant progress towards the eventual elimination or at least a level of control that will allow us to live somewhat normal lives again. Eventually, we need to return to a time that all of us can once again prosper, be around others without fear of contagion, and get back to something that is, at least as close to possible, to living normal lives again.

      • David Dennison November 3, 2020 at 1:41 pm #

        Inyo Citizen
        Thing is,it’s easy to blame the Government for the many mis-steps this Government has made concerning the pandemic.
        Lying….denying….hiding the true facts…and now,totally ignoring what’s going on.AKA. “rounding the curve”.
        But I do agree,bottom line,it’s up to the PEOPLE to do the right thing,and ignoring the lies we’re being told.
        However,confronting individuals is a slippery slope to cross into,especially in this day,age and time.

      • Inyo K November 3, 2020 at 2:53 pm #

        Agreed, I think that, unlike our federal government, the county admin has made most of the right moves for mitigation. The problem continues to be a solid base of people who refuse to take the appropriate precautions. Let’s face it, Inyo county has a lot of “masks violate muh freedoms” types.

  4. Dan November 3, 2020 at 7:03 am #

    On your chart, changing from orange to red is going up, not dropping down.

  5. Denny November 3, 2020 at 4:50 am #

    What a crock!

  6. Concerned local resident and parent November 2, 2020 at 3:36 pm #

    Thanks for the article. This portion is not correct ” generally accepted that reopening schools will result in increasing cases.” Accepted by whom? The CDC and infectious disease experts are pretty unclear, but what data and modeling exist now show that schools are not driving spread, particularly in younger kids. High school kids are more fuzzy, but it is hard to say if their after-school activities or their age has contributed to teenagers being part of spread. If virus is widespread in a community, then schools should be shut. But in communities without widespread transmission, schools are low risk if social distancing and masks are applied. Indoor dining and bars are known to cause spread, so let us close restaurants, bars and casinos before we close (or scapegoat) schools.



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