Dear Shasta County Residents:
It has been brought to our attention that a few doctors have requested a declaration from the Shasta County Board of Supervisors and Redding City Council to support a roadmap for a future COVID-19 containment policy. The presenters of this statement, though respected, do not represent the vast majority of over 400 physicians practicing in Shasta County. They do not represent medical or health care organizations, clinics or hospitals. As such, we would like to provide the following comments:
Support for Public Health Measures – We wish to stress the importance of public health measures designed to protect our community from COVID-19. National, State and County medical associations have supported vaccination and wearing masks. Our medical community is committed to providing quality care in the safest environment possible. As such, we will continue to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
Mandates– We understand the frustration by many in our community having to abide by
government-imposed restrictions. This has been a difficult time for all. Mandates are not the
preferred method for any organization to protect their employees or public. However, we cannot
ignore that nearly 550 of Shasta County residents have died from COVID-19. Nor the survivors with long term injury, some not currently recognized, which will impact their health now and in the future.
Vaccines– The vast majority of your medical community is vaccinated. We hoped our residents
would follow our lead. COVID-19 vaccines have been extensively tested and found to have an
impressive benefit and safety. Vaccinations are critical to keeping our community safe for all.
Currently, over 90% of COVID-19 patients hospitalized locally are unvaccinated which is evidence of vaccine efficacy.
Community Responsibility– We believe people have a right to their own self-determination. It is well recognized that this right has limits when it negatively affects others. With COVID-19, that right becomes a responsibility to not injure the vulnerable; many of which even with the vaccine do not develop protective antibodies.
Treatment for COVID-19— While we are grateful for new medications for the treatment of people
with COVID-19, these are not a substitute for vaccinations. The continuing number of people
hospitalized and dying is an example of the limitations of those treatment options. Research is about to bring about amazing new therapeutic options. For now, the use of unproven
medications/treatments should be avoided by our medical community.
Finally, we know this issue has been extremely hard for our community and there are many
opinions. We also look forward to stepping down Public Health measures in a manner that is
responsive to local transmission levels and fosters the full restoration of our economy, our schools, and our lives. Until then, we will continue to work together to ensure the health of Shasta County residents.
Todd Smith, CEO
Dignity Health, Mercy Medical Center
Emily Defillipo, CEO
Vibra Hospital of Northern California
Casey Fatch, CEO
Shasta Regional Medical Center
William Reeder, MD, Association President
North Valley Medical Association
Lynn Dorroh, CEO
Hill Country Health and Wellness Center
Dean Germano, CEO
Shasta Community Health Center
Shannon Gerig, CEO
Mountain Valleys Health Centers
Loren Ellery, CEO
Pit River Health Services
Tracy Edwards, CEO
Katrina Cantrell, Executive Director
Women’s Health Specialists
Tami Fraser, CEO
Shingletown Medical Center