We thought a brief update from Public Health was a good idea. Last week, our county qualified to move back to the less restrictive Red Tier. This means that some businesses can reopen at limited capacity and not try to conduct business outdoors (not a good option in Del Norte during the winter months). For example, restaurants, places of worship and movie theaters can open at 25% capacity (or 100 people, whichever is fewer), and gyms can open indoors at 10% capacity. There are other changes, too many to list here, but the basic rule changes are easy to find at the state website “Blueprint for a Safer Economy.” Now the trick will be to hold on to it. We still need to be as vigilant as we can, so our case numbers stay low. This means continuing to wear masks, proper hand hygiene and maintaining social distance when around others. We don’t want to lose ground; our community and economy has been hit hard enough already.
We also want to thank everyone at our last drive-through vaccination clinic. We focused on elders and older teachers, and we absolutely could not have done any of it without the help of a lot of people, most of whom were volunteers. To date, we have done (along with our partners) almost 2,200 doses, not including all the doses at the prison and the hospital. We gave out over 300 doses at the clinic. Those are pretty good numbers for a small county in California.
We will keep holding events, and when the supply of vaccines gets better, we hope to have more of them. We also need to distribute vaccines to our local medical offices, so they can vaccinate their patients. It’s a multipronged effort, getting vaccines into arms, and it’s going to take some time. So, once again, we ask people to be patient. There are more than 5,000 people over 65 in Del Norte County, which is 10,000 doses for our seniors just by themselves. We have a ways to go.
While we work through this, a few reminders for all. We at Public Health have not been honoring vaccine requests from residents out of the county, with few exceptions, such as essential medical workers who are assigned here. There is no way we could let that happen without depleting our stock of vaccines. We are getting all sorts of requests from people who own second homes in Del Norte and we are turning them down. Our vaccines need to be for people who live here, period.
Calling to get your name on a list is just that, putting your name on a list. We don’t have enough vaccine to guarantee that you will be called back anytime soon, but it is the first and most important step. As we have said, calling us or your medical care office is equally valid. We just need to know about those who want a vaccine.
Here is the “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” link;
Dr. Warren Rehwaldt
Del Norte County Public Health Officer