On March 31, 2020, the Yolo County Board of Supervisors held a teleconference meeting to hear COVID-19 updates from several County departments. The meeting was recorded and can be found here. Below, I've highlighted some of the information presented. As Dr. Chapman shared, we are still in the early stages of this crisis. Over the next two weeks, it is critical that we all continue to shelter in place and practice physical distancing measures in order to avoid a catastrophic surge on our healthcare system.
The work being done by County staff, the cities, hospitals and healthcare providers, and numerous other community partners is truly making a difference as we all work to stay healthy and safe while we flatten the curve. The collaborative partnerships in our region continue to be impressive and impactful. As always, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your thoughts.
In shared service,
Dr. Ron Chapman, the County Health Officer, offered a COVID-19 update, which can be heard here (at 03:20). Highlights from his report include:
Nationwide: over 160,000 confirmed cases; over 3,000 deaths; numbers are increasing rapidly
California: over 6,000 confirmed cases; over 150 deaths
Yolo County: 25 cases; 1 death
The number of confirmed cases in Yolo County is only the tip of the iceberg due to limited testing available. There are many more undiagnosed cases in our county. If you experience symptoms, stay home and self-quarantine.
Yolo County is actively working to prevent a "surge" during this crisis. A surge happens when a lot of sick people require medical care at the same time, overwhelming the healthcare system. A surge can range from mild to catastrophic--Italy and New York are experiencing catastrophic levels.
There have been confirmed cases in all cities in Yolo County. The County is working to establish an online dashboard that will show the confirmed cases of COVID-19 by city. (City of Winters will be included with unincorporated Yolo County.) This dashboard will be published soon, hopefully this week.
Shelter-in-place order is in effect through April 7, but the County is considering extension.
As more time passes, we will gain better understanding of the impact of our efforts and will be able to determine if stricter orders are necessary.
Pop-up testing labs and home tests are not FDA approved. Doctor-ordered tests are the only reliable tests.
Brian Vaughn, the Yolo County Public Health Director, offered a COVID-19 update, which can be heard here (at 46:45). Highlights from his report include:
The County is in daily communication with hospitals. Currently, there is no major surge.
Hospitals in Yolo County currently have adequate supplies, but we are early in this crisis and have not seen a major surge.
Currently, there is one COVID-19 patient in a Yolo County hospital (ICU) and three other suspected cases.
Hospitals are prepared for a surge and are practicing surge-ready protocols, such as screening patients outside.
County has requested more ventilators to match with bed capacity.
PPE is currently not being rationed; we have no gaps in PPE as long as we don't experience a huge surge.
There is no need for homemade masks for healthcare professionals at this point.
Regional communication, especially with partners in the Sacramento area, is continuing.
Sandra Sigrist, the Adult and Aging Branch Director with Yolo County Health and Human Services, offered an update, which can be heard here (at 1:11:10). Highlights include:
The County and the cities have been working together and, over the last 12 days, have placed over 100 unsheltered individuals in motels.
The Board of Supervisors allocated funds for this.
Approval from state for additional emergency money.
FEMA has approved this action.
The County is continuing to provide services for these individuals:
Food delivery from Yolo Food Bank via Yolobus.
County staff calling individuals daily to screen for symptoms.
Case management, such as "runners" to pick up and deliver medications.
Partnership with cities' homeless coordinators and law enforcement.
Nolan Sullivan, Yolo County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) Service Centers Branch Director, offered an update, which can be heard here (at 1:24:00). Highlights include:
The County is continuing to provide non-contact services to over 56,000 residents each month with CalFresh and MediCal benefits.
Yolo Food Bank has delivered over 60,000 pounds of additional food each week to 1500 low income and vulnerable families.
Beginning on April 1, Yolo County HHSA will have bilingual staff available Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm, to answer questions, provide assistance and resources, and act as a hub for individuals, local small businesses, and regional partners experiencing employment and business challenges. This phone number is 530-661-2641.
Yolo County Agriculture Program Coordinator, Esmeralda Garza, is available to assist undocumented residents and mixed immigration households in understanding how to access medical care, unemployment support, food resources, and community information. A dedicated phone number is in the works; for now, residents can email email@example.com or call 2-1-1.
Yolo County Sheriff, Tom Lopez, provided an update, which can be heard here (at 1:48:00). COVID-19 mitigation efforts at the jail have included:
Taking temperature of all employees before entering the building
Increased screening at bookings (temperature, increased questioning)
Isolation unit on site for symptomatic inmates or those potentially exposed to the virus; currently 10 beds, but can expand to 50.
Currently, three inmates are in the isolation unit. Medical masks are being worn by these inmates.
Court orders allowed for the early release of 20 inmates who had less than 60 days to serve in order to create space in the facility.
In-person visits have been halted. Inmates have been granted two additional free 10-minute phone calls per week.
Mail is being quarantined for 24 hours; outside vendors are no longer entering facility.
Cleaning is being conducted two times each day.
Current bed population is at 50% capacity, allowing inmates to be housed in individual cells.
Chief Probation Officer Dan Fruchtenicht's report can be heard here (at 2:11:45) and includes the following details:
Currently, there are four youth housed at the Juvenile Detention Facility.
Visitations have been reduced and are conducted only as non-contact visits through glass windows.
Volunteer programs have been suspended.
Yolo County Office of Education is providing learning packets and are working on distance learning plans.
Areas for isolation have been identified in case the need arises.
Cleaning has been enhanced and detainees are being screened outside the facility.
Alex Tengolics, the County's Legislative and Government Affairs Specialist, offered a report on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). It can be heard here (at 2:20:00) and includes the following details:
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) is a $2.2 trillion federal stimulus package designed to provide relief to several groups impacted by COVID-19.
$139 billion is for states and local governments to pay for costs incurred due to COVID-19.
The National Association of Counties (NACo) is looking into how smaller counties like Yolo will access these funds.
CARES Act will involve a paycheck protection program and an expansion of the Small Business Administration loan program for business with fewer than 500 employees.
Direct assistance to individuals and families (depending on income): up to $1200 one-time payment per person; $500 per child.
Unemployment benefits will be expanded.
Eric Will, Management Analyst with the County Administrator's Office, gave a report on the Community Benefit Fund. His report can be heard here (at 2:30:40) and includes the following details:
Last week, Yolo County Board of Supervisors approved allocation of $250,000 toward the Community Benefit Fund
County staff has been working in collaboration with the Yolo Community Fund to:
Community needs were identified as:
healthcare, including childcare
social safety net, including basic necessities like shelter, mental health services, and distance learning
viability of non-profits/continued funding
The Donation Portal will be established on the Yolo County webpage and will go live as soon as possible, hopefully within the next 24 hours.
Conversations with strategic partners--cities will be taking this to their council meetings on April 7.