2/23/21: Dr. Rehwaldt issued this Public Service Announcement to residents of Del Norte updating them on the current vaccine status. Public Health currently has enough vaccine to cover second doses for individuals who have already received their first dose, and will expand on new doses when they receive more vaccine from their suppliers. The current focus is seniors and teachers, and will expand to agricultural workers, other emergency and essential government workers, and food industry workers soon after.
2/10/21: Dr. Rehwaldt issued this Public Service Announcement to Del Norte residents to update them on recent change to a less restrictive red tier. At this time 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. These are the main changes, but you can find the guidelines for the red tier on the states "Blueprint for a Safer Economy" informational page at https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/
2/1/21: Dr. Rehwaldt issued this Public Service Announcement to Del Norte County residents to provide updated information on vaccines. He also provided a few basic pointers about the vaccine, and what would need to happen for Del Norte County to drop down to a less restrictive tier.
1/22/21: Public Health released this letter to the community today giving the community an update on COVID vaccines, who has already gotten them, and what the next steps are.
1/6/21: Dr. Rehwaldt issued this letter to the community regarding the current status of immunizations in Del Norte. He also asks that anyone in the community who is able, and licensed to give immunizations that would like to volunteer with Public Health to give the COVID vaccine, to sign up on the website that is attached to this letter, or call the Public Health Branch at 707-464-0861.
12/23/20: Dr. Rehwaldt issued this letter to the community this afternoon. Public Health is gearing up to start giving COVID vaccines in Del Norte. These will be given to high risk individuals first, such as elderly individuals, those taking care of the elderly, and hospital staff who work with COVID cases. He asks that we all be patient while they work out the logistics of providing the vaccines to residents of Del Norte County.
12/18/20: Dr. Rehwaldt released a letter to follow up from the letter released 12/17/2020. The Rural Association of Northern California Health Officers released this Public announcement today. Our apologies; we thought this was being issued yesterday, so we had bundled it with our usual bulletin. Here is the final version.
12/17/20: Dr. Rehwaldt issued this letter to Del Norte residents this afternoon. This letter was written with the assistance of The Rural Association of Northern California Health Officers. It describes the similarities in the COVID pandemic, and wildfires. The letter also recommends that we continue to maintain social distance, mask wearing, and not congregating in groups outside of your homes. Currently the Northern Region is not on a stay at home order due to our ICU bed availability remaining over 15%, but this could potentially change before Christmas if we don't do our part to stop the spread of COVID.
12/7/20: Dr. Rehwaldt issued a letter to the community informing residents about the new regional stay at home plan for the State. Currently Del Norte is not under a stay at home order, but if our region goes over the threshold for available ICU beds, we can be placed in this category. He explains what businesses will be affected if it were to take place for us. This new plan does not include schools, or places of worship.
12/3/20 COVID-19 Hotline: To alleviate the high call volumes at Public Health, we have activated a hotline for callers to leave messages regarding COVID-19 concerns. 707-464-0865. County staff would like to know your concerns. We are not able to directly respond to each reported concern, however we utilize the information you provide to recognize trends in our community so we can better provide education and guidance.
11/24/20: A public announcement was released by Del Norte Public Health today informing the community that local testing sites have expanded testing to teens ages 13-17 with their parents present.
11/24/20: Dr. Rehwaldt issued this letter to the community regarding a rise in COVID cases within Del Norte County. He asks that we stay home from work or school if we feel ill, or have symptoms of COVID due to a recent influx in positive cases acquired from workplaces. Testing demand has risen, but there are still testing sites available, the results are taking more time to come back. Also, be prepared to move to the purple tier, which means there will be changes to how businesses operate. Please continue to wear masks when in public places, or in gatherings where you cannot safely social distance, and wash your hands regularly.
11/17/20: Dr. Rehwaldt issued a letter to the community regarding new developments with COVID in Del Norte County. This fall surge has added over 50 new cases for Del Norte in the last two weeks. He expresses that we should dial back our activities to help curb this spike by continuing to social distance, wearing masks, and not gathering when it is not necessary. For those businesses that have their activity tied to tiers, we strongly recommend that you check what happens for your particular business in the Red (Tier 2) level. For those out there in our community who have been lax with wearing masks, or enforcing that and other rules about COVID 19, now is a good time to reconsider.
11/16/20: Dr. Warren Rehwaldt issued a letter to the community regarding changes in the State Tier System for Del Norte County. As of November 16th, Del Norte has been moved down a tier, and is now in the Red Tier, also known as Substantial Tier, or Tier 2. This can possibly affect businesses in Del Norte, and further guidance will be released in the coming days. It is imperative that all residents and visitors in Del Norte County follow recommendations for social distancing, masking, and handwashing at all times when in public space or workspaces indoors, and for self-isolating when you are feeling ill.
11/16/20: Public Health releases this Public Announcement regarding possible exposure to the public at Rumiano Cheese Retail Store on November 7th and 9th. Please use the CDC recommended self-monitoring guidelines if you visited this store on those days.
10/16/20: Dr. Rehwaldt issued a letter to the community regarding Halloween, and Dia de las Muertos. He provides information on safety for households who want to hand out treats, and families who want to go trick or treating. He urges individuals to follow safe social distancing guidelines including six feet of distance, wearing masks, and remaining outside when possible.
10/13/20: Dr. Warren Rehwaldt issued a letter to Del Norte County Residents this afternoon. This letter addresses the new state tiered system for counties, and what it takes for Del Norte to be dropped down on it's reopening. He also informs residents that there is new guidance regarding gatherings in the state. He thanks the community for being cooperative during contact tracing, and keeping track of who you may have had contact with.
9/28/20: Dr. Warren Rehwaldt issued a letter to Del Norte County Residents this afternoon. He speaks about COVID-19 vaccines, and what that may look like in the future. He highly recommends residents get the flu shot for this upcoming flu season. He hopes to keep the flu out of the picture in the coming months to allow healthcare professionals to focus on COVID.
9/16/20: Dr Warren Rehwaldt issued a letter to Del Norte Residents regarding the recent air quality due to the wildfires. This letter gives information on how to find the current air quality for Del Norte, and the CDC link for wildfire smoke information. He also touches briefly on the current status of COVID-19 and the States new tiered system. Nothing is to close, or change operations at this time.
9/3/20: Heather Snow, Director of Health and Human Services, released a statement this afternoon announcing The Public Health Branch's new Deputy Public Health Officer, Dr. Palak Patel. Read the letter here.
8/31/20: Dr Warren Rehwaldt issued a letter to Del Norte County Residents this morning regarding the state's new tiered, color-coded plan that replaced the county monitoring list. This blueprint for a safer economy allows counties to have more flexibility in their reopening process. This letter outlines that indoor dining in Del Norte may now reopen at 50% capacity, bars can open to outside services, and museums can move indoors again. He asks that we as a county continue to follow safe social distancing, wear masks, and limit all non-essential activities and travel.
8/17/20: A press release was issued this afternoon regarding a death in Del Norte County of a community member who was hospitalized, and confirmed positive for COVID-19. This is a milestone for our county, and a tragic reminder to protect each other, and be diligent in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
8/14/20: A press release was sent out to the community today to inform passengers who traveled on the RCT Blue-Green line or the line from Front Street to Smith River between August 4 and August 12 may have been exposed to COVID-19 and included recommendations.
7/22/20: A press release was sent to the community today in response to employee testing that was conducted at Pelican Bay State Prison. Results have started to come back with positive cases being identified, some of which are from Curry County Oregon. The positive tests from Curry County will be recorded in their jurisdiction, and not represented in Del Norte County results. Additional measures are being taken to ensure all positive cases are identified in the prison cluster. It is important to continue to be vigilant with social distancing, hand washing, and wearing masks to help prevent the spread of the virus.
7/20/20: Dr. Rehwaldt issued a letter to the community this afternoon regarding the recent positive COVID cases from the weekend. The four new cases originated from a small family gathering were there could have been more preventative measures in place. He used this as an example of being vigilant about precautions that can help the spread of COVID-19 such as social distancing, practicing good hygiene by washing your hands, and wearing a mask. Additional he addressed schools reopening in August, and the need to stay off the State monitoring list. If we remain on this list for three consecutive days, we can not open schools in Del Norte, and will be distance learning only when they open.
7/14/20: Dr Rehwaldt issued this letter to the community this afternoon following the recent order given to California by Governor Gavin Newsom. The Governor's order does set back some recently opened businesses such as movie theaters, and in restaurant dining. Additionally, this order will not allow bars to reopen at the end of this month like he had planned. Del Norte is still able to do good contact tracing, and case investigation, and our positive COVID-19 cases remain low. Health officials are seeing a lag in testing due to a shortage of ingredients to process the tests, and it is causing a delay in results being returned, some between 10-15 days. We must be vigilant as a county and continue social distancing, and wearing masks to help slow the spread of COVID.
7/10/20: Dr. Warren Rehwaldt issued a revised order for reopening Del Norte County. In this revision of the order he has added that additional Fitness Center services (weight machines, cardio machines, etc.) can begin the reopening process using the fitness center guidance provided by CDPH. No other changes were made from the previous order.
7/1/20: Dr Warren Rehwaldt issued a revised order for reopening Del Norte County. In this revision he adds limited services at fitness centers including martial arts, yoga, and dance studios. This revision also extends the date for all essential businesses, and government entities to turn in their reopening plan to July 24, 2020. All other orders that do not conflict with this order are still in effect.
6/29/20: Dr. Warren Rehwaldt gives an update in this letter to the community. He expands on the recently revised order from June 26th, and gives further information to business owners for re-opening. We have seen our first hospitalizations from COVID this week. Contact tracing is working well, they are contacting individuals within 24 hours. With 4th of July fast approaching, keep group settings to a minimum, and wear a mask if unable to keep safe social distancing.
6/26/20: Dr. Warren Rehwaldt issued a revised order for reopening in Del Norte County. This revision adds that hotels can now reopen to full capacity, but must retain one (1) un-booked room for every thirty (30) rooms in the hotel in the event a guest should become ill. It also allows museums, galleries and family entertainment to reopen. Businesses must continue to turn in their reopening plan to Public Health.
6/19/20: Dr. Warren Rehwaldt issued this revised order, adding expanded personal care services to reopen in Del Norte County, and the link to the definitions. It also removed the facial coverings portion of the original order, as we now have the Governor's order for facial coverings in California.
6/15/20: Dr. Rehwald issued a letter to the community and business owners regarding new openings for June 19th that include Massage, Tattoo, Facial, and Manicure services. This letter includes guidance on tracking patrons in businesses and guidance on how to reopen these services safely. Businesses must provide Public Health their business planning documents that have been revised as well.
6/12/20: Dr. Rehwaldt issued a revised order revising the order issued on 6/3/2020. This revised order outlines the businesses that are set to reopen on 6/12/2020, and the process which allows them to self certify so they can reopen safely. The facial coverings section of this order remains in place with no changes at this time
6/11/20: Dr. Warren Rehwaldt issued an Additional Reopening Plan letter to the community regarding the recent announcement last week by the Governor's office. This letter highlights a time frame of additional reopening guidance per business category, over the next several weeks. He reiterates for the public to remain vigilant while in the community, to continue to social distance, and wear masks. Read the entire letter here.
6/3/20: Dr. Warren Rehwaldt issued a revision regarding the letter released 5/15/2020, read it here. This letter revised the facial coverings section only, the remainder of the Order is unchanged. Please be aware of the REVISED Order, effective today, June 3rd, 2020. Thank you for your cooperation during this challenging time. We are making every effort to communicate clearly with the community and appreciate your support.
5/28/2020: Dr. Warren Rehwaldt issued a letter to hospitality owners and operators. It has come to the attention of Public Health that some hospitality owners are allowed bookings of non "essential" guests. He reminds business owners that there are still restrictions on lodging for "essential" travelers only. He also reminds operators of the penalties for not following the Public Health Order. Read the full press release here
5/28/20: Del Norte County Public Health and the Office of Emergency Services have partnered with Del Norte Unified School District, the State of California, and Verily to open a new community-based testing site! Read the full press release for more information.
5/27/2020 Public Health Officer Dr. Rehwaldt Gives the community an update on barbershops and hair salons. He also mentions the reopening with modifications of places of worship. He mentions again that with the community slowly reopening that wearing masks in public places is mandatory. Read the full press release here
5/23/2020: Public Health urges hotels to comply with state and local orders to only allow guests who are working in essential businesses or fall under the exceptions for short-term stays. Read the full press release.
5/20/2020: Dr. Warren Rehwaldt, PHO letter to the community about the recent stage 2 opening of Del Norte county, and how we can continue to protect ourselves and others from becoming ill with COVID-19. Read the full letter.
5/20/2020: Dr. Warren Rehwaldt, PHO, Public Service Announcement regarding the recent increase in positive COVID-19 cases. Read the full letter here
5/15/2020: Dr. Warren Rehwaldt, PHO, signed the Order for Implementing the County's State-Approved Stage Two Variance, detailing the county's next steps into reopening and expectations of businesses and the community.
5/15/2020: Del Norte County's variance attestation and plan for implementing Stage Two of reopening was approved by the state today. Read the full press release.
4/27/2020: Public Health Officer (PHO) Dr. Warren Rehwaldt address a new confirmed case in Del Norte County who is recovering at home. Contact tracing is used to find, and inform anyone who has been in close contact that they may also need to isolate. A guidance document has been put together and is being reviewed for relaxing some of the restrictions. He again asks that people continue to enjoy the outdoors, while social distancing yourselves. Read the Full Letter
4/20/2020: Del Norte County Public Health Officer Dr. Warren Rehwaldt gives an update to the community regarding COVID-19. With almost 250 tests done we still only have 2 confirmed cases. He informs the community that the Federal Government is working on plans to re-open the country with “gating criteria.” We have created a new “normal” of how businesses can function, and he gives key principles on how this can be done moving forward. He encourages all community members to read the White House documents that were released last week to update themselves on the current conditions of COVID-19 for our Country. Read the full letter.
4/14/2020: Del Norte County Public Health Officer Dr. Warren Rehwaldt gives an update to the community regarding COVID-19. There are still only 2 confirmed cases in Del Norte, and both have recovered well. With social distancing, and community involvement, we have helped slow the spread of COVID-19. They are working on a document in regards to the business environment that will be allowed, and not allowed during this time to clear up some confusion. Read the full letter. (Spanish)
4/6/2020: Del Norte Public Health Officer Dr. Warren Rehwaldt gives a community update regarding COVID-19. There are currently 2 confirmed cases in Del Norte, and he asks that we continue to do what we are doing as a community to help stop the spread of COVID-19. He also explains the importance of the shelter in place order to keep from having a pandemic in CA. There are now 3 confirmed cases in the neighboring Curry County, OR as well. (Spanish) (Hmong)
4/2/2020: Del Norte Public Health Officer Dr. Warren Rehwaldt informs the community of the first positive COVID-19 test in Del Norte County. He also gives updates on the recommendations of wearing cloth masks in public. Read the full letter. (Spanish) (Hmong)
4/1/2020: Del Norte Public Health Officer, Dr. Warren Rehwaldt gives an update on the current status of COVID-19 for Del Norte County. We are still one of ten counties in California who have not had a positive test for COVID-19. In this community update he offers tips for going outdoors while still following social distancing guidelines. He thanks business owners in the community for their participation in the closures, and reminds business to follow the guidelines. (Spanish) (Hmong)
3/27/2020: Del Norte Public Health Officer, Dr. Warren Rehwaldt ordered a declaration that all businesses that provide short term stays including hotels/motels, RV parks and private campgrounds, and similar lodging or housing shall not provide sleeping accommodations to any person for a period of less than 30 days, unless they have an exemption to the order due to COVID-19. Please read the full press release.
03/23/20: Our Public Health Officer offers insight on the recent changes with Italy and Spain, and how we can try to stop this from becoming a epidemic for the health care system in the United States. He expresses the importance of following the shelter in place issued by the Governor of CA, and how it affects our community, and families at large. Read the full Public Health Officer Letter (English, Spanish, Hmong)
03/19/20: We are updating our community on the recent public health emergency declaration, which included an order from our Public Health Officer, as well as discussing the testing situation, mandatory social distancing and closing dine-in features, and a request for those who have had and will cold or flu symptoms.
03/17/2020: Del Norte County Public Health Officer, Dr. Warren Rehwaldt, has declared a Public Health Emergency in conjunction with with a Local Emergency declared by County Administrative Officer, Jay Sarina. There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our community, but officials are preparing for its inevitable presence. Read the full press release, the Declaration of a Local Public Health Emergency, and the Proclamation of a Local Emergency.
03/16/2020: Our health officer provides clarification and guidance about social distancing and testing in our community in our latest community update, with recommendations on social contact, traveling, preparedness, children at home, and our elderly population.
03/16/2020: The School Board unanimously voted yesterday to close all Del Norte Unified District Schools from Monday, March 16 through April 10, with Spring Break remaining as scheduled from April 13-17. At this point, schools will resume as planned on Monday, April 20th. Please read the full press release. DNUSD Nutrition Services will still be providing meals for students. For more information, please see the food services release and bus schedule for food delivery.
03/12/2020: In order to protect public health and slow the rate of transmission of CVOID-19, CDPH recommends certain gatherings should be postponed or canceled across the state of California for at least the remainder of the month of March. Del Norte County residents are asked to follow these recommendations now. View our press release and CDPH's guidance.
03/09/20: We are urging our community to takes steps to prepare for the arrival of coronavirus (COVID19) in our county and be conscientious of new testing. We need to do everything we can as a community to make sure that those who are at greatest risk are still with us when the outbreak is all over. Please read the community update from our health officer.
03/08/2020: The results of the suspected case of COVID-19 returned and are negative. There was no evidence of coronavirus (COVID-19). Please read our Press Release from 03/08/2020.
03/05/2020: There is currently one suspected and unconfirmed case of a Del Norte County resident with symptoms of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Please read our press release from 03/05/2020.
03/03/2020: The CDC is still the deciding authority on whether a patient should be tested and all requests must go through the local health department. As of this morning, we have received no requests from local healthcare partners to test any patients as no patients have yet been suspected of carrying the virus.
02/26/2020: We are encouraging Del Norte County residents to be familiar with what we know about COVID-19 and ways our community can prepare to reduce risk. Learn more about how to prepare here. Please read our press release from 02-26-2020.
02/25/2020: The CDC has issued travel notices and created a new travel webpage specifically for COVID-19. Travel notices are changing often, so please check the CDC website for the most updated information.
02/21/2020: We understand that our community is concerned about the recent confirmed case and a suspected case of COVID-19 in Humboldt County. We would like to reassure the public that the risk remains low for both Humboldt and Del Norte Counties. For more information, please read our press release from 02/21/2020.