We have known a return to the more restrictive Tier-2, “Substantial” (Red) category was coming considering the high rates of positive COVID-19 reports coming out of Mono County for the past several weeks. The reclassification to the more restrictive tier was largely the result of the outbreak of COVID-19 cases out of the U.S. Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center located twenty-one miles north of Bridgeport, but not all of them. Mono County Health officials had no control over what did or, more importantly, did not happen at the Marine base when the outbreak occurred, but it’s the county residents and businesses who will pay the price for it.
[Mono County issued an official press release this morning titled “MONO COUNTY REASSIGNED TO MORE RESTRICTIVE (RED) TIER OF STATEWIDE BLUEPRINT FOR A SAFER ECONOMY.” Sierra Wave has it posted in its entirety at the end of this article.]
The Marine Corps had its own, self-contained protocols at the base, which at best proved “inadequate,” at worst, “reckless, if some reports that have come out from several sources claiming to be from the base are true. One comment made by a Marine claiming to be from the base, said that in the Marine Corps, “sickness is called malingering.” One social media website used by members of the military, is called Imgur.com, and some of the comments posted, if true, are revealing…and disturbing.
Believe it or not, the reclassification by the state to a lower tier could have been much worse. Most of the state is in a “Purple Haze,” with 94.1 percent of California’s population in the most restrictive tier.
There were twenty-eight counties moved back to Tier-1, “Widespread” (Purple) category this week under the California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. To see just how bad things have gotten, visit the state’s online “Dashboard Tracking COVID-19 website page for a better sense of how the entire state and each of the 58 counties are faring.
Not all the news is unremittingly bad, although it often seems that way these days. Many of the restrictions in each tier are not as “set in stone” as many believe. There is some flexibility built into the plan that allow for special circumstance that can mitigate some of the more negative effects. It’s called “adjudication,” and counties can plead their case to the state, which is what both Inyo and Mono Counties have been doing. Our local officials are trying to keep things as “open” as possible without endangering the public or shutting down our local economies.
With Thanksgiving next week, health officials are encouraging families to “downsize” their family get-togethers to the “no more than ten people.” Between the current flu season and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, large gathering will make the already bad situation much worse.
From our family here at Sierra Wave to your family, please be safe, use good judgement, and have a Happy Thanksgiving! At least you don’t have to “socially” or “physically” distance yourself from the turkey.
Official Press Release from Mono County Health Department:PR_MONO COUNTY REASSIGNED TO MORE RESTRICTIVE TIER_11-16-2020_FINAL-compressed