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COVID-19 Updates

Posted on: March 19, 2020

County of Mendocino First Confirmed Case COVID-19 3-18-20

First Confirmed Case of COVID-19 in Mendocino County Health Officer Orders County Residents Shelter-In-Place

Today, Mendocino County Public Health confirmed the first case of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Mendocino County. This individual is in stable condition and is being placed in isolation. The individual has a known exposure to a person with COVID-19.

“This first case is not shocking to us,” said County Public Health Officer, Dr. Noemi Doohan. “Mendocino County has been preparing for a possible pandemic of COVID-19 since January, as many counties around us have reported cases and community spread of COVID-19.”

Mendocino County Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan has issued a Health Order directing all county residents to Shelter-In-Place, effective starting from March 18, 2020 at 10 p.m. until April 7, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. This difficult decision is being made because Mendocino County’s first confirmed case of COVID-19 has been identified and the Bay Area is experiencing an alarming rise of COVID-19 cases — resulting in an imminent threat to our county’s health. This Order closely follows the Bay Area and Sonoma County Shelter-In-Place orders.

This Order is to ensure that the maximum number of people shelter in their places of residence to the maximum extent possible, in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. The Order directs all residents to remain at their place of residence, except to conduct Essential Activities, Essential Businesses, and Essential Government Functions (defined in the Order).

This Health Order limits activity, travel and business functions to only the most basic and essential needs, and prohibits transient lodging for non-essential purposes. To the extent that individuals must use shared or outdoor spaces, all must maintain social distancing of at least six feet between themselves and others while outside their residence. Our goal is to protect the public’s health by aggressively minimizing the spread of this pandemic.

“We have been preparing for this situation since January, so while this is a serious order, there is no need to panic,” said Dr. Doohan. “We owe our seniors, healthcare workers and other vulnerable populations in our community our strict adherence to this order, for their protection.”
Essential Activities (exemptions to the Shelter-In-Place Order) include:
 Tasks essential to maintain health and safety, such as obtaining medicine or seeing a doctor;
Getting necessary services or supplies for themselves or their family or household members, such as getting food and supplies, pet food, and getting supplies necessary for staying at home;
 Engaging in outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking, or running provided that you maintain at least six feet of social distancing;
 Performing work providing essential services at an Essential Business or Essential Government function (defined below);
 Caring for a family member in another household;
 Caring for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons.
The business community is advised to refer to Section 9 of the Order attached for the definition and a full list of essential business.
Violations of this Order are considered a threat to our county’s health, and adherence is enforceable by law. The Health Officer will continue to evaluate this rapidly evolving situation, and may modify or extend this Order if needed.
 Keep a distance of at least six feet away from others
 Don’t shake hands
 Wash your hands thoroughly and often
 Don’t touch your face with un-washed hands
 Cover coughs and sneezes (into your elbow and away from others, not hands)
 Regularly clean high-traffic surfaces

Official information on the coronavirus and shelter-in-place frequently asked questions can be found at
For more on COVID-19: Call Center: (707) 234-6052 or email The call center is open Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

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