COVID-19 continues to impact community government, even as the vaccine roll-out continues.
The city has no plans to reopen meetings to the public for physical attendance "for the time being," according to City Manager Ron Strand on Tuesday. The most recent council meeting was also closed to the public for in-person attendance.
Vaccinations have been made available to frontline officers at the city, according to Strand at the council meeting Jan. 7.
The Ridgecrest Police Department lobby remains closed; people are asked to ring the buzzer to be let in. Mask-wearing is mandatory in RPD "due to a couple of exposures," Strand said last week.
As of Thursday, certain city departments were open with safety precautions in place.
Numbers and vaccination update
On the local front, Ridgecrest Regional Hospital on Tuesday reported 1,235 positives, an increase of 27 since yesterday. Of these 1,163 have been positives from residents in the community — 26 of which are new. The rest are 72 positives from out of town residents, including one new test result.
Of positives in the community 1,042 (25 new) are from Ridgecrest; 63 (1 new) are from Inyokern; 49 from Trona and 9 from "other" in the service area.
There are 141 pending tests and have been 8,606 total for RRH.
There have been 2,394 RRH free community tests in all.
A total of 487 phase 1a vaccines had been administered as of Tuesday.
This is preliminary data and is subject to change, according to the RRH Facebook page.
Meanwhile, vaccines will soon be rolling out to phase 1b, according to RRH.
As soon as Phase 1b is opened officially by the county, RRH will be sharing information on COVID-19 vaccination appointment booking for those in the eligible tiers.
Phase 1b Tier 1 will be up first. This will include people 75 years and older; those at risk of exposure at work in the education; childcare; emergency services; food or agriculture.
Phase 1b Tier 2 will follow. This will include people 65 to 74 and those at risk of exposure at work in transportation and logistics; industrial, commercial, residential, and sheltering facilities and services or critical manufacturing.
Also in this tier will be "congregate settings with outbreak risk" including the incarcerated and the homeless.
For more information, see https://kernpublichealth.com/covid-19-vaccine-schedule/.