Inyo Board of Supervisors Receive COVID-19 Update Under the Regional Stay-at-Home Order

Southern Region, which includes Inyo and Mono Counties, are under the state’s strict Stay-at-Home Order

At Tuesday’s December 8 Inyo County Board of Supervisors virtual meeting, there was a COVID-19 Update on how ICU bed capacity shortages in other counties could affect Inyo County.

Inyo County Health and Human Services went over the state’s new regional stay-at-orders, explaining how it will affect the county’s businesses and residents. Marilyn Mann, the HHS Director, told the County Board of Supervisor that there was an unprecedented increase in COVID-19 cases in the state with increased hospitalizations and positive test results.

Between Nov. 15 and Dec. 2, there was an increase of new cases of 112% across the state and hospital admissions had doubled. Mann told the supervisors that the state projects that by mid-December, ICU bed capacity will be maxed out.

Critical ICU bed capacity is 15% or below, triggering the state’s Regional Stay-At-Home Order

Mann explained that the “The order that was issued (on Dec. 3) was an attempt to try to curb this surge on our hospital system.” The state’s Department of Public Health will track a region’s staffed ICU bed capacity and, if that bed capacity is at 15% or below, the order will be issued. For the Southern Region, which includes Inyo and Mono counties, the Order went into effect December 6 (Sunday) at 11:59PM.

“I know that there’s a lot of controversy,” said Mann, “about the response to COVID-19, but access to ICU beds in our region and statewide is critical for us even if we have all of our ICU beds available locally.”

Patients that require critical care are regularly transferred out of both the Northern Inyo Healthcare District and the Southern Inyo Healthcare District. When it is something they are not equipped to handle.

Out of state, Renown Health Hospital Network in Reno, Nevada, is not an option for Inyo and Mono counties. 

While the local health care districts often use the Renown Health Hospital Network in Reno, Nevada. According to Mann, that will not be an option as Mann as Reno was reporting that Renown Hospital was treating 34 patients in an overflow alternative care setting in an enclosed garage.” She went on to say that the impact on our hospital system is not just exclusive to the state of California.”

Speaking after Mann, Anna Scott, deputy director of the county’s Health and Human Services Department, noted that there are only 4 ICU beds at Northern Inyo Hospital and none at Southern Inyo Hospital, which severely limits the county’s capacity and ICUs require higher staffing.

It doesn’t help an already strained critical staffing situation if health care workers are exposed to the virus and must be isolated or quarantined.

The Southern California Region was at 13.1% of ICU bed capacity on Dec. 4, dropping to 12.5% on Dec. 5 when the order was issued. Southern California’s collective supply of intensive care unit beds has continued to shrink, falling to 9% by the state’s latest estimates as of Wednesday, Dec. 9, its lowest point yet — a full percentage point decline from one day earlier.

During the third week of the Order, State health officials will be looking at the projected available ICU bed capacity for the following fourth week. If more than 15% of capacity, the Order would be lifted at that time. Once the Regional Order is lifted, the counties in that region will return to the tier status as outlined in the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

Currently, fifty-four out of 58 counties in California are in the purple tier, which includes both Inyo and Mono counties.


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6 Responses to Inyo Board of Supervisors Receive COVID-19 Update Under the Regional Stay-at-Home Order

  1. Lynn December 11, 2020 at 5:00 am #

    Are you able to go to the Keoughs hot spring pool? And camp?

    • Charles James December 11, 2020 at 9:52 am #

      According to their Facebook page:
      Keough’s is open, limited capacity, masks required upon entrance and social distance kept.
      Weekdays 11-6
      Weekends 9-6
      Closed Tuesdays
      The water is great, come take the plunge and enjoy a healthy, outdoor, socially distanced activity
      (Remember to ALWAYS call first. Things “change” quickly. Their phone number is (760) 872-4670–SWM)

  2. JaneE December 10, 2020 at 9:39 am #

    OT: Back about 9 months ago, there were a series of videos by local doctors explaining about the precautions for Covid-19. Do you think you could do an update with them – to explain what we have learned, where we are at, and what we need to be doing now? It seems that any “authority” mandating actions is a red cape for some people, but if they know the people involved who are concerned about the health and safety of the community, it gets more traction. It wouldn’t hurt to prepare people for the vaccination campaign, and let them know what to expect as vaccination reactions and how long it takes after the shot to get immunity (and how it varies from vaccine to vaccine, when we get that data).

  3. inyoface December 10, 2020 at 9:13 am #

    Can someone please explain why even before the state order, why Inyo was not in purple with all those new cases in the last 2 weeks? The public really wants to know! Is Inyo county health dept. taking care of its community or looking for loop holes for this businesses to operate? The irony is we had stay at home order from the state but Lone Pine had indoor dining available for the past 2 weeks. Explain that Charles. What is going in Inyo? Something is afoot and has been.

  4. Lydia December 9, 2020 at 11:11 pm #

    This says both Mono and Inyo County are Purple Tier. When iI checked tonight (Wednesday) at 9 pm, Inyo was still Red.

    • Charles James December 10, 2020 at 1:09 am #

      Thanks, Lydia. I’ll go back and check. My information was that it was purple. The Stay-At-Home order is actually more stringent than the purple tier. But again, technically, Inyo County may not have been “officially” downgraded to purple by the state. We’ll ask…and thanks for paying close attention and bringing this to our attention. Stay Save whatever the color code!


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