Mono County submitted an adjudication request to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) on November 9, 2020, stating that the COVID-19 cases confined to the U.S. Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center (MCMW) in Pickel Meadows should not count toward the total cases in Mono County in terms of tier assignments.
In the adjudication request, Dr. Tom Boo, Mono County Public Health Officer wrote that “Mono’s recent spike in incidence is driven by an outbreak at a remote military base over which county and state have no authority and there is no evidence at this juncture of any effect on SARS-2CoV transmission outside the military base. Therefore, movement to a more restrictive tier of economic, social and religious activity would have no mitigating effect on the cause of, or the course of, increased transmission rates. The substantial harm that would be incurred throughout the county would therefore be unwarranted.”
If the Adjudication request was denied, the MCMW cases would have resulted in Mono County being reassigned to the Tier 1 purple (most restrictive) tier.
The CDPH determined that “Military officials put in place measures to restrict movement of base-related personnel in and out of the base (including the trainers from the community) to mitigate spread into the community. Since the trainers from the community fell under the military’s mitigation strategy, and were thus isolated from the County’s population, it is reasonable to exclude those cases from the case rate calculations for the County.”
The CDPH made the determination to approve that request, stating that Mono County will be assigned Orange metrics for Tier Assignment of November 10, however, due to a concerning rate of rise in cases throughout California, Mono County was moved to Tier 2 (substantial) Red Tier due to an increase in case rates (18.4 case rate/100,000 and 5.3% testing positivity rate) that that was beyond the Small County threshold.
Chair Corless, Mono County Board of Supervisors stated that “While we are relieved about the adjudication, Mono County is not out of danger from COVID-19. What happens now is up to us – if we want to have a safe, successful winter, we need to wear masks, keep distance and practice good hygiene.”
“This is great news for the Town of Mammoth Lakes, particularly as we get closer to our peak holiday season and ability of the business community to adequately serve not only our residents, but thousands of winter visitors,” stated Mayor Sauser, Mammoth Lakes Town Council. “I am deeply concerned however, that we as a community need to do better. Our individual behavior directly impacts each and every person, family, neighbor and business. We are literally all in this together and now more than ever, we need to adhere to public health mandates and recommendations to protect the health and well-being of our community.”
View the complete COVID-19 County Tier Adjudication Request and Determination (11/18/2020) report here.
Regression to Tier 2 Substantial (Red) applies capacity limits to several Activity and Business Tiers. To view tier level descriptions, statewide county rankings, and what activities are allowable in Mono County, please visit covid19.ca.gov or view the sector summary status available on the Mono County COVID-19 Portal.
All Mono County residents and visitors are asked to do their part to #StaySafeToStayOpen. This is more than a hashtag – it needs to become a way of life. Additional information regarding the Blueprint for a Safer Economy is available online: https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap-counties/ or by visiting the Mono County COVID-19 Portal in English: MonoHealth.com/Coronavirus or Spanish:
Cover. Distance. Wash and #StaySafeToStayOpen!