Rapid Rise in COVID-19 Infection Overwhelms Local Health Care Resources; Mono County Public Health Urges Pre-Registration for COVID-19 Testing

MONO COUNTY, Calif. (JANUARY 5, 2022) – Following a rapid rise in COVID-19 (Coronavirus) infection, coupled with an influx of visitors and tourists, Mono County Public Health and Mammoth Hospital’s outpatient clinics and emergency room services are experiencing a surge in COVID-related health care needs, and a lack of resources to accommodate that demand. 

The demand for COVID-19 testing is at an all-time high both locally and throughout the United States, all while the resources and staffing needed to support testing clinics are diminished.  During this time, Mono County Public Health is urging residents and visitors to pre-register for COVID-19 testing clinics in an effort to avoid long lines, often in inclement weather conditions.

“At this stage of the pandemic, if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms you can almost assume you have the Omicron variant infection,” stated Jennifer Burrows, RN, MSN, PHN and Mono County Deputy Director of COVID Operations.  “For those experiencing mild-to-moderate symptoms, testing is not necessary as we seek to serve those most vulnerable.  Instead, we ask that you immediately isolate, and adhere to the current guidance to mitigate further spread.”

For those who need to test, both OptumServe and Mono County Public Health provide COVID-19 testing clinics in Mono County (pending weather-related issues).  OptumServe offers testing most Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 11am – 7pm in Mammoth Lakes.  Mono County Public Health offers testing in other locations throughout the county at various times throughout the week.  While both OptumServe and Mono County Public Health accept walk-ins at their COVID-19 testing clinics, pre-registration is strongly encouraged as walk-ins will only be accommodated pending resource availability.  Mono County Public Health will be adding pop-up testing clinics as resources become available.

In addition to the overwhelming demand for testing, the dramatic increase in positive COVID-19 cases is also impacting the Public Health Department’s ability to provide adequate contact tracing services.  It is important that symptomatic individuals adhere to the following guidance to help mitigate further spread:

  • Isolate for a minimum of five days beginning the date you first experienced COVID-19 symptoms.  Avoid all contact with others, including members of your family.
  • Notify all individuals that you have been in close contact with over the prior seven-day period isolate if they are symptomatic.
  • Once your symptoms have resolved, and following your five-day isolation period, you may return to normal activity.
  • If you experience severe symptoms, such as shortness of breath, or if your symptoms do not improve, see your medical provider or report to the Emergency Room immediately.

The Public Health Department will continue to provide contact tracing services as quickly as possible, but residents are encouraged to follow the previously outlined guidance until they are contacted.   

The COVID-19 testing schedule for January can be accessed here.