In partnership with Mendocino County Public Health and Adventist Health, local community health clinics have vaccinated more than 2,400 Mendocino County residents. In Boonville, Anderson Valley Health Center vaccinated 570 people. In Willits, Baechtel Creek Medical Clinic vaccinated 30, representing all the vaccine they received from the County. In North County, Long Valley Health Center vaccinated 220. On the coast, Mendocino Coast Clinics (MCC) vaccinated 675 people and Redwood Coast Medical Services vaccinated 905.
“Despite scarcity of the vaccine, once the county has provided it, the clinics have mobilized to get their communities vaccinated,” said MCC Executive Director Lucresha Renteria.
Community health centers are well-positioned to connect with the people first in line for the vaccine and have been following County guidance to this effect. The County’s vaccine distribution plan can be found at www.mendocinocounty.org/community/novel-coronavirus/covid-19-vaccinations. The phased approach gives preference to healthcare workers, people 75 and older, and people in essential job sectors such as education, childcare, emergency services, and food and agriculture.
The County’s access to both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines is limited, and community health clinics can only distribute what they receive. Renteria is hopeful that with additional federal funding to increase vaccine production and distribution, local supplies will increase. Until then, she encourages people to continue to follow safety measures such as masking and social distancing.
Another way to limit the spread of COVID-19 is continued surveillance testing, available countywide from private healthcare providers, community health clinics, and Public Health. Testing is available at no charge on the coast by appointment at MCC and through OptumServe on Tuesdays from 9:00 a.m.to 5:00 p.m. at the Veterans’ Hall at 360 N. Harrison Street in Fort Bragg where tests are first come, first serve. Inland free testing is available daily from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. through OptumServe at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds located at 1055 N. State Street in Ukiah. For OptumServe testing, people should register online at lhi.care/covidtesting before arriving to get a Patient ID Number.
For more information, call the Mendocino County COVID Call Center at (707) 472-2759 Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Alliance for Rural Community Health (ARCH) is a collaboration of six community health centers in Mendocino County, California. Our purpose is to develop and expand collaborative ways of addressing community health care issues in a cost-effective and efficient manner. Learn more at ruralcommunityhealth.org.