Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Wednesday, Oct. 20 @ 5:03 p.m.

Del Norte Public Health Officer to Discuss 'Next Steps' For Mask Order With County Supervisors Next Week

This Public Health Branch graphic shows the downward trend in COVID cases since the mid-August peak.

Del Norte County’s public health officer will discuss “next steps” regarding his mask order with county supervisors at their next meeting Tuesday.

Dr. Aaron Stutz issued an order requiring masks in workplaces and public settings at the height of a COVID-19 surge that saw more than 400 active cases in Del Norte. Nearly two months later that Aug. 27 order is still in place, though active coronavirus cases have dropped to 31 as of Wednesday, according to the Public Health Branch.

In a news release Wednesday, Public Health officials stated they are weighing current case numbers, COVID-related hospital admissions and capacity in the intensive care unit. They’re also weighing the county’s vaccination rate, anticipated holiday gatherings and data from neighboring jurisdictions, according to the release.

“We are engaged in conversations at the state level and are talking to health authorities in bordering communities,” Public Health officials stated. “The health and wellness of the Del Norte County community is our number one priority.”

On Wednesday, the Public Health Branch identified four new COVID-19 cases with two people hospitalized.

Nearly half of Del Norte County’s population is fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, according to California Department of Public Health data through Oct. 13. Nearly 7 percent of the community is partially vaccinated, according to CDPH.

On Monday, Crescent City Manager Eric Wier told Councilors that due to the continuing downtrend in COVID cases, Stutz advised him last week that he could rescind the city's weekly testing policy for staff.

“When we were in that extreme time of 60-70 cases per day, when the hospital was overflowing, it was good to have something like that in place,” Wier said. “Now we can put that tool away. Hopefully we never have to bring it back out again.”

Del Norte County has seen 3,676 COVID-19 cases and 40 deaths since the pandemic began in March 2020, according to the Public Health Branch.

For more information about the Board of Supervisors meeting on Oct. 26, visit the county website.


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