'An Open Letter to Our Beloved Visitors'

Staff Writer


An Open Letter to our Beloved Visitors: 

Editor’s note: This letter was sent to all of Mammoth’s potential visitors this week from most of the county’s leaders asking potential visitors to not come to the county until the COVID-19 crisis had abated.

We, the first responders (firefighters, paramedics, nurses, doctors, law enforcement and healthcare providers), members of the Unified Command Emergency Operations Center (EOC), members of the Mammoth Hospital Medical Staff, Members of the Mammoth Hospital Incident Management Team, the Mono County Public Health Officer, and elected officials of Mono County and the Town of Mammoth Lakes raise our voice in plea and concern for our beloved visitors to this area. 

Mono County is a rural county with limited resources. COVID-19 is a respiratory illness which causes extremely low oxygen levels. Mono County is at high elevation, and the town of Mammoth Lakes sits at approximately 8,000 feet. Due to elevation, patients with severe respiratory illnesses are often transferred to hospitals out of the area that can provide intensive care support over a sustained period of time. Our one hospital has two intensive care beds, four ventilators and one Intensivist who is board certified in pulmonary and critical care medicine. As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, those referral hospitals could become saturated with intensive care patients limiting our ability to transfer. In that situation, an influx of patients at Mammoth Hospital could mean that we may have to make life and death decisions as to who will receive critical care measures such as life support with mechanical ventilation. 

Although the current number of COVID-19 cases in Mono County remains relatively low, the per capita rate remains one of the highest in California. We are concerned that an influx of people coming into the area could overwhelm our local healthcare resources. 

Mono County, which includes the Town of Mammoth Lakes, has issued Stay at Home orders that are in alignment with orders of the State of California. These orders prohibit all non-essential travel. We are appealing to everyone to follow the Stay at Home orders in order to keep everyone safe. 

We care deeply about the well-being of our residents, second homeowners, and visitors. Please help us to help you be safe and healthy: 

  • Travel only when necessary per the Stay at Home orders 
  • If Mono County is home for you, please stay at home 
  • If Mono County is not home for you, please remain at your home 

To our beloved visitors, we cannot wait to welcome you back with open arms.
The Mountains Will Be Calling Again. 

Until then: Distance, Wash, Cover, Love Each Other! Warmly, 

Mammoth Hospital

Mono County Public Health

Mono County

Mammoth Lakes

Mammoth Lakes Tourism

Mono County Sheriff’s Office

Mammoth Lakes Fire

Mammoth Lakes Police Department