By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews):
Sources: Needles City Manager Rick Daniels and San Bernardino County Department of Public Health (Information):
Needles, California: Needles City Manager Rick Daniels provides ZachNews on Wednesday, January 12th, 2022 the latest information locally regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and where COVID-19 rapid result testing kits is being distributed.
During the interview, Needles City Manager Rick Daniels spoke to ZachNews Photojournalist Zachary Lopez about the latest COVID-19 that had hit some of the employees at the City of Needles, what the City of Needles is doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and where local residents can pick up for their family a COVID-19 rapid result testing kit.
As of Wednesday, the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health reports that there are 524 Total COVID-19 Cases, 3 Outbreak COVID-19 Cases, 521 Community COVID-19 Cases, 6 COVID-19 Deaths, and 6,251 Total COVID-19 Tests in Needles, California.
*** Dashboard: Latest COVID-19 Information for San Bernardino County, California: ***
Needles City Manager Rick Daniels tells ZachNews that the City of Needles has approximately 60 employees; we had as many as 11 test positive for COVID-19 within the last week, but none of those recent COVID-19 cases were serious or life threatening.
“Nationwide there has been a big spike in the number of COVID cases. From our experience in the last week, the COVID cases have been very mild; primarily headache and some body aches that some have experience, and some people have experience no symptoms. So you know, it’s all individual.” said Needles City Manager Rick Daniels.
Needles City Manager Rick Daniels tells ZachNews that the of those 11 employees, three employees have now tested negative for COVID-19 and have returned to work, and we at the City of Needles expect the rest of the employees back in about the next 4 to 5 days.
“We’re anxious to get people back to work,” said Needles City Manager Rick Daniels.
ZachNews asked Needles City Manager Rick Daniels about how has City of Needles employees been headlining the COVID-19 situation, including on service and limited staffing due to those City of Needles employees who are sick and trying to get well from COVID-19.
“We had… for example… most of the people that were sick were on our utility crews. So we had to have public works people helping with the water crew, and we had electric crew people… but you know you adjust – you adjust your workforce. We heave had people in the finance department filling in for people in the billing office. But employees have been great and willing to do what is necessary to keep on providing the best quality of service we can to our residents,” said Needles City Manager Rick Daniels.
On Wednesday, December 15th, 2021, the California Department of Public Health issued a mask mandate across California after an increase in COVID-19 case rates and an increase in hospitalizations after Thanksgiving Day 2021.
Recently, the California Department of Public Health extended the indoor statewide mask mandate in California to Tuesday, February 15th, 2022 amid surging cases of the omicron variant of the COVID-19.
Since the indoor statewide mask mandate in California was issued, the City of Needles have posted signage telling the public that face masks are required to enter the buildings, including Needles Administration Building on Third Street and the Needles City Council Chambers on Bailey Avenue near J Street, and that face masks are available for those of the public who don’t have a face mask.
In addition, the City of Needles have limit the amount of seating inside the Needles City Council Chamber by taping off seating for social distancing for those in the public who want to attend public meetings.
Needles City Manager Rick Daniels tells ZachNews that the City of Needles has back up plans in case of any COVID-19 situation that may effect providing service to the community.
“What we have done is we have back up crews so for example, in the event that the electric crew all get hit with it (COVID-19) at the same time, we have a private contractor that we can call in. Public workers; if we have an emergency where most of them are gone, we have emergency crews we access. This is a 24/7/365 business and it’s our job to provide the service in whatever way we can,” said Needles City Manager Rick Daniels.
Needles City Manager Rick Daniels tells ZachNews that the City of Needles is not going to shut down by COVID-19, and work will continue to make sure the lights are still on and welcomes the community to attend the public meetings with the City of Needles.
“We are not shutting down City Hall. We had a City Council meeting last night; people were free to attend, and we encourage masks when they are in group settings indoors,” said Needles City Manager Rick Daniels.
Needles City Manager Rick Daniels also tells ZachNews that there are no restrictions on local businesses and retailers, and that all facilities in the City of Needles are open to the community unlike last year were they were restrictions and even closures in the community related to COVID-19.
“No; the gym is open, the restaurants are open. They haven’t gotten to those kinds of restrictions; and hopefully this too will pass because at some point everyone would have had it (COVID-19), and I can’t wait for that day when we no longer living in an pandemic,” said Needles City Manager Rick Daniels.
But for now, Needles City Manager Rick Daniels reminds the community to continue to wear face masks, social distancing of 6 feet, wash your hands, stay home if you are sick.
When speaking about how people can help those people who are sick such as helping to run errands for them to get food and medicine for the, Needles City Manager Rick Daniels spoke about how generous the community is.
“That’s one of the strongest attributes of this community, is the care people have for their neighbors, friends and family, and it’s the most generous community I ever had the opportunity to live in, and that’s why I love living here,” said Needles City Manager Rick Daniels.
Needles City Manager Rick Daniels also tells ZachNews that people should exercise reasonable caution but not be afraid to live life.
“You can’t let your life freeze up because of this but people need to exercise reasonable caution,” said Needles City Manager Rick Daniels.
Needles City Manager Rick Daniels then spoke to ZachNews about the City of Needles has received free COVID-19 rapid result testing kits, and gave them out to local non-profits and churches to be distributed to the community for free.
*** Where to get free COVID-19 rapid result testing kits: ***
Set Free Church of Needles:
404 F Street
1 (760) 877-3940
Saint Vincent de Paul Society (Thrift Store):
839 Front Street
Downtown Needles, California
1 (760) 326-4420
Fire House Ministries:
809 Bush Street
1 (760) 443-4342
Needles City Manager Rick Daniels tells ZachNews that there are no cost to get a COVID-19 rapid result testing kit, and people who need a test can contact those organizations.
“There are no requirements from us; they are free. We provided them at no cost because the City of Needles received them at no cost to Set Free Church, to Saint Vincent de Paul and to Fire House Ministries. So if people need a test and can’t get one, then contact those organizations; they are in the phone book or online; and there shouldn’t be any restrictions in the use of those. So we encourage people that are exhibiting symptoms to be tested,” said Needles City Manager Rick Daniels.
Needles City Manager Rick Daniels also tells ZachNews that there’s a COVID-19 rapid result testing kit per family, but not sure if there is any residence requirements to get a COVID-19 rapid result testing kit.
“There’s a test kit per family but that’s a requirement not of us; but I doesn’t know of any residence requirements or anything like that. The goal is to get them out on the street,” said Needles City Manager Rick Daniels.
Needles City Manager Rick Daniels spoke to ZachNews about how the COVID-19 vaccines is being distributed and remind the community to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
“The Count Public Health shifted to vaccines by private vendors as supposed to the big mass vaccination clinics they had last year. So vaccines are available at pharmacies, they are available at a doctor’s offices, they are available at Tri-State Health Clinic. So there are plenty of places for people to go to get vaccines,” said Needles City Manager Rick Daniels.
*** COVID-19 Vaccine: Needles, California: ***
Tri-State Community Healthcare Center:
1402 Bailey Avenue
1 (844) 444-1424 or 1 (760) 326-0222
According to Tri-State Community Healthcare Center, you can make an appointment to be vaccinated (COVID-19) if you are a healthcare worker at high or medium risk. Please make an appointment before going to the location. Please only make an appointment for one session. No walk-ins will be accepted at the vaccination site. On-site registration is not available. You must register for an appointment before coming to the site via Patient Portal or by calling Tri-State Community Healthcare Center.
*** COVID-19 Vaccine: San Bernardino County, California: ***
The City of Needles hopes that everybody continues to stay inform and monitor the COVID-19 pandemic situation in your community from the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health as well as the California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
*** More Information and Resources regarding COVID-19 for San Bernardino County, California: ***
ZachNews and the community sends our thoughts, prayers and condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives to COVID-19.
ZachNews and the community also thanks City of Needles employees for their hard working during the COVID-19 pandemic in continuing to provide service to the community; all emergency responders and hospital employees for their hard work and dedication to helping people during the COVID-19 pandemic; and hope you all stay healthy and safe as we continue to stay strong, caring and being helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stay tuned to ZachNews for the latest information on COVID-19 in Needles, California.