Mono Likely Headed for Stay at Home Order Soon

Wendilyn Grasseschi
Times Reporter

As of a state update on Dec. 3, Governor Newsom announced that Mono County and Inyo County are likely to move into a three week, modified Stay at Home order within 48 hours of a regional ICU capacity of only 15 percent.
The region the two counties are assigned to for this purpose, called the Southern California Region, had 20.6 percent left in terms of ICU capacity, region-wide last night but is expected to hit the 15 percent sometime soon; perhaps this weekend.
The newest updates came from a local Emergency Operations Center update last night via a Cover-19 Community Conversation. Here is a brief summary of what was established during that meeting.

The Eastern Sierra was assigned to a region called the ‘Southern California Region’ due to the long-established connections for resources, mutual aid, personnel, etc., between Mono and Inyo counties during emergencies such as fires, earthquakes, etc. There is almost certainly no way we are going to get taken out of that region during this situation even if we tried, according to our local EOC managers tonight who hosted the forum. That means our fate is tied to the hospital ICU status in not just ours but all the other 9 counties in this region. Collectively, we still have 20.6 percent capacity right now; once we reach 15 percent, we have either 24 or 48 hours to prepare (I am not sure which right now) and then as a region go into a Stay at Home order for three weeks. That could occur as soon as this weekend, they said tonight, based on the current rate of increase in people needing the ICU beds in this region. There is almost no change of this not occurring, due to the ICU stats across the region right now, they said, even if it’s a few days further out than this weekend.

Then, once that occurs, we will be using the rules for this new Stay at Home order, not the Purple Tier rules, until the Stay at Home is lifted. This will mean some big changes for us including the shut-down of most short term rentals, including hotels, short term use of condos, motels, lodges, etc., except for “essential” uses, like housing essential workers; no outdoor dining at all, only take out; retail limited to 20 percent capacity, grocery and pharmacies to 50 percent; haircuts and other personal services closed; no group gatherings; no inside church services and much more. You can find the full list on the Governor’s website.

All travel is very discouraged during this time; outdoor recreation and activity close to home is encouraged.

Also important here is MMSA can stay open under new guidance from the state for operating a ski area during Covid and with the mitigations they have to meet, but they will have to decide at what point the lack of short term rental capacity will make it financially inefficient to stay open.

The location Mammoth Hospital has 2 ICU beds, with a surge capacity for ten. It has 30 other beds. Cases are surging in Mono, and they are coming from every sector, from families, businesses, visitors, everywhere; we are at a 18.6 percent positivity rate tonight, adding dozens of new cases every day. Just a note: the Marine Base cases have been removed from the Covid page and are no longer in the data set.

There is unlikely to be any place to send sick patients soon from here (and remember, having Covid 19 at 8000 feet elevation is not anyone’s idea of a good thing); three days ago Reno had 200 cases, the next day, 400, today 650 hitting their beds. The same is occurring in Southern CA. The virus is now widespread in all areas of the county, as well they said, not just in Mammoth. “Assume everyone you know has it,” they said tonight, and... if you don’t want the disease or to chance getting it, follow the rules you already know.

We know how much this deadpan recitation of this info sucks; believe me, if we were not writing it, we would likely be emotional about it; the impacts will be severe.

The meeting was packed with tons of info; please if you live here or are interested, watch it when they repost it as a Youtube video, which will be soon.
There will be another similar forum two weeks from now, or possibly next Thursday if needed.

Here is the link to the main county and Town EOC Covid page where it will be as well as tons of other stuff on Covid; stats, testing options, etc: