The Ukiah Daily Journal

13 cases confirmed in county

55 contacts of Fort Bragg nurse return negative

- By Justine Frederikse­n @JustFreder­iksen on Twitter

The Mendocino County Public Health Office Wednesday confirmed that a 13th case of COVID-19 has been identified in a local resident.

Public Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan described the person as a resident of the Ukiah Valley who is married to someone who previously tested positive for the virus.

“I believe that this individual got the infection from their spouse,” said Doohan, speaking in an interview with The Mendocino Voice Wednesday afternoon shortly after the latest case was announced via a Tweet from the Public Health Office.

“This person never got sick and was not tested, but came forward during one of our rounds of surveillan­ce testing,” Doohan continued, describing the person as “sheltering in place, wearing facial coverings and having completed their quarantine.”

Doohan described the required quarantine period as being either “10 days from the onset of symptoms, or 10 days after the date of testing if they didn’t have symptoms.”

To explain how the latest positive result could come so many weeks after the positive result of their spouse in March, Doohan said, “We see this quite frequently, in which people remain positive up to two months after they got sick, because the non-infectious, dead bugs can still create positive results.”

Doohan added that the original positive result between the two spouses was related to travel out of the county, and “there is no concern that this is related to community spread.”

More than 100 tests have been performed on people who may have had contact with a nurse who had been working at the Mendocino Coast District Hospital in Fort Bragg and who tested positive for COVID-19 this week.

Cici Winiger, the communicat­ions manger for Adventist Health Ukiah Valley, as well as the hospitals in Willits and Fort Bragg, said that 104 tests have been completed on employees who may have had contact with the nurse while she was working at MCDH from April 29 until May 5.

As of Thursday morning, Winiger said that 55 of those tests have come back negative, and that more tests will be performed this week.

“We are currently calling patients who visited the hospital during that time,” said Winiger, explaining that it is unknown where the nurse may have contracted the virus, “because she left the Fort Bragg hospital on May 5, but did not show symptoms until she was back in Oregon, seven days later, and was tested on May 12.”

Winiger said that anyone who visited the hospital, either as a patient or assisting one, is advised to call the contact hotline at 707-961- 4718.

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