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This is an informational email with lots of great tips from a Virologist.

Below is the most detailed description of the coronavirus I’ve read. James Robb, MD UC San Diego, is a virologist who’s worked with this virus for almost 50 years. COVID-19 has an affinity for pulmonary receptors that is extraordinary.

Feel free to copy and send to family & friends.

Subject: What I am doing for the upcoming COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic

Dear Colleagues, as some of you may recall, when I was a professor of pathology at the University of California San Diego, I was one of the first molecular virologists in the world to work on coronaviruses (the 1970s). I was the first to demonstrate the number of genes the virus contained. Since then, I have kept up with the coronavirus field and its multiple clinical transfers into the human population (e.g., SARS, MERS), from different animal sources.

The current projections for its expansion in the US are only probable, due to continued insufficient worldwide data, but it is most likely to be widespread in the US by mid to late March and April.

Here is what I have done and the precautions that I take and will take. These are the same precautions I currently use during our influenza seasons, except for the mask and gloves.:

1) NO HANDSHAKING! Use a fist bump, slight bow, elbow bump, etc.

2) Use ONLY your knuckle to touch light switches. elevator buttons, etc.. Lift the gasoline dispenser with a paper towel or use a disposable glove.

3) Open doors with your closed fist or hip – do not grasp the handle with your hand, unless there is no other way to open the door. Especially important on bathroom and post office/commercial doors.

4) Use disinfectant wipes at the stores when they are available, including wiping the handle and child seat in grocery carts.

5) Wash your hands with soap for 10-20 seconds and/or use a greater than 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer whenever you return home from ANY activity that involves locations where other people have been.

6) Keep a bottle of sanitizer available at each of your home’s entrances. AND in your car for use after getting gas or touching other contaminated objects when you can’t immediately wash your hands.

7) If possible, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard. Use your elbow only if you have to. The clothing on your elbow will contain infectious virus that can be passed on for up to a week or more!

What I have stocked in preparation for the pandemic spread to the US:

1) Latex or nitrile latex disposable gloves for use when going shopping, using the gasoline pump, and all other outside activity when you come in contact with contaminated areas.

Note: This virus is spread in large droplets by coughing and sneezing. This means that the air will not infect you! BUT all the surfaces where these droplets land are infectious for about a week on average – everything that is associated with infected people will be contaminated and potentially infectious. The virus is on surfaces and you will not be infected unless your unprotected face is directly coughed or sneezed upon. This virus only has cell receptors for lung cells (it only infects your lungs) The only way for the virus to infect you is through your nose or mouth via your hands or an infected cough or sneeze onto or into your nose or mouth.

2) Stock up now with disposable surgical masks and use them to prevent you from touching your nose and/or mouth (We touch our nose/mouth 90X/day without knowing it!). This is the only way this virus can infect you – it is lung-specific. The mask will not prevent the virus in a direct sneeze from getting into your nose or mouth – it is only to keep you from touching your nose or mouth.

3) Stock up now with hand sanitizers and latex/nitrile gloves (get the appropriate sizes for your family). The hand sanitizers must be alcohol-based and greater than 60% alcohol to be effective.

4) Stock up now with zinc lozenges. These lozenges have been proven to be effective in blocking coronavirus (and most other viruses) from multiplying in your throat and nasopharynx. Use as directed several times each day when you begin to feel ANY “cold-like” symptoms beginning. It is best to lie down and let the lozenge dissolve in the back of your throat and nasopharynx. Cold-Eeze lozenges is one brand available, but there are other brands available.

I, as many others do, hope that this pandemic will be reasonably contained, BUT I personally do not think it will be. Humans have never seen this snake-associated virus before and have no internal defense against it. Tremendous worldwide efforts are being made to understand the molecular and clinical virology of this virus. Unbelievable molecular knowledge about the genomics, structure, and virulence of this virus has already been achieved. BUT, there will be NO drugs or vaccines available this year to protect us or limit the infection within us. Only symptomatic support is available.

I hope these personal thoughts will be helpful during this potentially catastrophic pandemic. You are welcome to share this email. Good luck to all of us! Jim

James Robb, MD

Evictions in Mendocino County get a temporary ban for those who cannot pay their rent due to the coronavirus. The Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an Executive Order a couple weeks ago prohibiting a landlord from evicting tenants for 30 days after a proclamation or declaration of emergency and renting to someone else for more money. Now the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed an Urgency Ordinance for a temporary prohibition on evictions during the pandemic. There’s a time limit on the ordinance, but it can be extended. The same ordinance also helps those who own their home so they don’t go into foreclosure. You will eventually have to pay though, but there’s no language on possible interest, late fees, and penalties. The ordinance only applies to unincorporated areas of Mendocino County.

The Lake County Public Health Officer Dr. Gary Pace has some new thoughts on preparation for COVID-19’s eventual entry into Lake County. There are still no confirmed cases in the County, but Dr. Pace says it will probably be here in the coming weeks, or it already is. Dr. Pace is asking for more to be done to prevent a massive outbreak because of the county’s limited healthcare system. The Record Bee reports Dr. Pace saying he’s not sure there will be more restriction, but there needs to be more sacrifice of personal needs for the good of the community. He’s assigned someone in his office to start to research supply chains and a way to get more tests to the area.

A couple of families in Ukiah have lost their home after a fire breaks out. The fire Wednesday night before midnight looks to have started in a furnace closet in the apartment building. Ukiah Valley Fire on the scene and Mendocino Deputies and police officers from Ukiah went door to door to evacuate residents. The fire had spread to the attic of the building after the fire started in the second story apartment. The five other families living in the building were able to stay.

An update for the Board of Supervisors in Mendocino County by the Public Health Officer on the Shelter-in-Place Order. Dr. Noemi Doohan and the Deputy Health Officer Jen Banks delivered information to the board with the Sheriff Matt Kendall and Lt. Shannon Barney, the head of the county’s Emergency Operations Center. County CEO Carmel Angelo is the incident manager for the emergency event and Dr. Jim Flaherty, a recently appointed deputy health officer. Doohan stressing how serious the situation is and there are some in the community not following the shelter in place order. She says the Bay Area had an explosion of cases and there are more and more cases closer to the region. She says there’s been no peak in cases here or problems with equipment in hospitals locally, but if we don’t take serious efforts of social distancing and shelter in place, seriously, it’ll happen. Supervisor McCowan chimed in saying if we don’t take it seriously, 30,000 to 40,000 people could contract the virus in Mendocino County and 3,000 would need hospitalization. The numbers were confirmed by Dr. Doohan.

The new Deputy Health Officer Dr. James Flaherty gave an update yesterday… no change in the numbers.

Testing Numbers – Updated Daily by 8pm

  • Total Tests Taken: 170
  • Total Positives: 2
  • Total Negatives: 131
  • Total Pending: 37

No decisions will be made on a possible Hemp Cultivation Pilot Program until after the coronavirus pandemic. The program for temporary cultivation and to see if it’s compatible with cannabis cultivation and there’s no cross-pollination. It would also look to have hemp only grown from female cloned plants, male hemp plants would not be allowed and that cultivation sites have to be no less than 10 acres and located in a zoning district. There’s a ban on hemp now until next February even though Hemp is legal at the state and federal level. No date for a vote was given at Tuesday’s meeting with some supervisors saying there were more pressing issues to consider at this time.

Humboldt County has seen a spike in confirmed COVID-19 cases. Right now there are 12 cases after just having five on Tuesday. Some of the new cases were in a group who had traveled. So a case popped up in a household contact. The Humboldt County Health Officer reminding that travel increases the risk and says it’s everyone’s responsibility to cancel non-essential travel and to heed the shelter in place orders. The new cases are in isolation and an investigation underway to see who else may have been in contact with the confirmed cases.

Because of the statewide shelter in place order, the US Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region is closing recreation facilities at the statewide National Forests. The closures for developed recreation facilities until at least April 30th to try to promote social distancing and not allow groups of people to come together at the recreation sites. So they’re closed to the public but the trail system is open with hiking and walking outdoors allowed. But adhering to social distancing. Forest Service asking the public to be cautious and ask yourself if your personal participation in outdoor recreation poses an unnecessary risk to others.

Police in Fort Bragg observing a moment of silence for the sixth anniversary of one of their deputies killed in the line of duty. Yesterday the department stopped their duties to remember fellow deputy, Ricky DelFiorentino who was killed just before noon on March 26th 2014, ambushed by a man on a crime spree from Oregon to Fort Bragg. The Interim Police Chief John Naulty also on the scene of the incident and heard the gunfire and stopped the suspect, shooting him to death. DelFiorentino’s death was the first of a Mendocino County deputy since April 1995, when Deputy Bob Davis died in Covelo during a shootout. Former Sheriff Tom Allman said there were only five fatal shootings of deputies in the county since 1850.

Mayors in Southern and Northern Calif. are warning their residents to pay attention to the shelter in place orders. There are more than 3,000 cases in Calif, the 4th highest behind New York, New Jersey and Washington. The mayor of San Francisco warning people to stay inside or the city could see a surge like New York City. She says if people continue hanging out in groups and interacting, the spread of the virus could increase and there won’t be enough hospital beds, ICU units or ventilators to support those who will need them. The Mayor of New York has had the same warning for his residents. The Calif. Health and Human Services Agency says the number of Calif. cases is doubling every three to four days comparable to New York.

Several million N95 masks are being delivered to healthcare workers in Calif. and New York. 39 million masks are being delivered to the 2 states, but not beyond. The Service Employees International Union says they want the masks to be widely distributed, but there are not enough, hospitals in Arizona didn’t respond to an offer of 2 million masks though. The union’s members work across Calif. They say they found there were more suppliers too who could produce 20 million more masks a week and millions of face shields. Those buying the masks include the State of Calif., Greater New York Hospital Association, Dignity Health, Kaiser Permanente, Stanford Health Care, Sutter Health, Los Angeles County, Riverside County and Santa Clara County.

Retired state workers and transferred workers are being utilized to process the more than one million unemployment claims that have come in after massive job losses related to the pandemic. Some of the first cases hit Calif after cruise ships with sick people docked and others traveled from the place where it all started, Wuhan, China. But thankfully the numbers have yet to explode like in New York. They are growing quickly here though, and about 30% of the country’s unemployment claims are in Calif. Thousands of businesses are also closed. The governor reported more than a million people filed for unemployment since March 13th. The unemployment dept. says they’re working as fast as they can to handle the claims. The governor has also said there will soon be hotel rooms set up to help with patient loads.

Two men on a cruise ship that had coronavirus aboard have died. The men were on the Grand Princess, the ship that went from San Francisco to Hawaii in February. Federal officials say less than half of the passengers aboard were ever tested for the virus. They were both in their 60’s. One of them taken from the ship to a hospital March 9th, after the ship docked in Oakland. The ship stayed there a few days as passengers disembarked and were taken to quarantine. The other man was one of those taken to Travis Air Force Base, then after he got symptoms he was taken to a hospital. One of them died last Saturday, the other on Monday. There were 3,500 passengers and crew from 54 countries aboard the ship. The ship infected after a man from Northern California got sick on a previous voyage on the same ship. Only 1,100 of the 2,400 passengers were tested, some declined tests. 103 of the tests were positive and 699 were negative, the rest are still pending.

 

No rate increases from the Ukiah Valley Sanitation District as planned. The Daily Journal reports there was a special teleconference Tuesday with the District’s board of directors who voted unanimously to hold off on the planned rate increases for sewer customers. The newspaper reports due to state law utility companies are required to send rate increase notices to customers, both the Ukiah City Council and District previously approved a study on rate increases and sending notices to customers because of Proposition 218 which requires notice ahead of an increase. But at the meeting this week board members decided to reconsider the rate increase at a time when the pandemic has caused a loss to so many.

The Lake Mendocino recreation areas are officially closed to the public. This is part of the revised shelter- in-place order by the Mendocino Public Health Officer, so now you cannot access the north or south boat ramps, or all day-use areas. Also, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the public should not even visit the lake and stay at home. The closure has no date certain for how long it will last. The latest order says any exercise that includes walking, running, hiking and biking need to be at home somehow and that you may not use a car to get to where you want to go to recreate. If you do go with someone else, you must maintain social distancing protocols.

The state is loosening cannabis and booze restrictions, but in Mendocino County, dispensaries and recreational retailers can only operate curbside pickup or delivery options. There are some changes to essential businesses including babysitters which are considered essential and may come to the home of a family whose parents are working at an Essential Business. Those who work at animal care facilities are also included. No vacation rentals are allowed that is not considered essential to the governmental regulations on essential business. Restaurants are considered essential businesses but there’s no customer self-service allowed. Employers may not allow a sick employee to work. The sale of clothing does not allow handling or trying on of a possible purchase. All recreational sites, including parks, playgrounds, beaches, waterways for recreational purposes, and congregational areas, picnic tables and canopy areas at recreational sites are closed.

Emergency housing for the homeless in Lake County is being looked at. Lake Co News reports various local agencies are working for a stop gap measure for those who are homeless and therefore more vulnerable to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Public Health Officer Dr. Gary Pace told the news site, there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lake County. Pace ordered Lake County residents to do what the Governor ordered, shelter in place, the homeless had been exempted as for the un-sheltered or those with no housing options. The health officer reported to the Board of Supervisors at their meeting Tuesday about his concern for the homeless at the time of the pandemic and says it could spread into the community as there’s no social distancing, less places for hand washing and other ways to prevent the spread.

The Lake Area Rotary Club Association says they’re raising money for senior centers dealing with coronavirus. Lake Co News reports the association had been a major fundraiser for fire recovery in Lake County, but changed course yesterday, with a new mission for emergency relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization says its Fire Relief Fund will donate $40,000 to the four senior centers in Lake County who have lost income from their thrift stores because of the virus, plus they’re seeing more of a demand for home-delivered meals from Meals on Wheels.

More tests are being conducted in the state for coronavirus. The State Department of Public Health reports the amount of tests have more than doubled, yesterday saying almost 67,000 tests were done. Commercial and private labs along with the state’s 22 labs and county health labs are all currently testing. About 18,300 tests came back and another 48,600 are pending. When more tests are done, more cases arise. Lake Co News reports there were 3,185 confirmed cases in Calif. and 67 deaths because of COVID-19 in California. Dr. Gary Pace, the public health officer in Lake County says there’s been 35 tests have come back negative, and 15 to 20 more are still pending.

Mendocino Coast Healthcare Foundation donating four more ventilators at Mendocino Coast District Hospital as they expect critical needs patients.  The $165,000 to also cover the cost of other equipment to run the ventilators. The healthcare foundation says the hospital CEO says the funding will save lives. They report spending several weeks assessing the Mendocino coastal healthcare community’s most pressing needs and have reached out to local healthcare organizations, clinics, and practitioners about the pandemic. The foundation says its starting a special fund to protect public health and help those affected by the disease.  They’ve got more money to provide and are asking also for donations to help cover community healthcare to buy more masks and Personal Protective Equipment, supplies like hand sanitizer, wipes, and other products to clean and protect surfaces from contamination and thermometers and assessment equipment.

Some smaller shops in Ukiah want the community to know they’re also delivering groceries like the larger chains. Forks Ranch Market says they can deliver if you please pay for groceries over the phone with a credit card. They’re looking to stay in the valley with their deliveries. They’re also offering curbside pickup. Redwood Valley Market says they’re also delivering to customers but only for special circumstances like those who have to self-isolate because they are sick or elderly. Westside Renaissance Market is also offering delivery. Raleys is offering the same. Safeway and Costco are also doing curbside pickup.

Crab fishing season in Humboldt County is essentially done. The president of the Humboldt Fishermen’s Marketing association says the entire seafood industry has been devastated by coronavirus. The crabbing season is usually slower in March anyway, but apparently it’s much lower than ever before beginning with a total stoppage of China accepting live crabs. Then the domestic market took a hit as restaurants started closing. It comes after terrible crabbing seasons including last year when the season prematurely closed because of whale entanglements off the California coast.

No cell phone service to call for help has led to the destruction of a home by fire in a remote location in Fort Bragg. The Fire Chief says they went out to the two bedroom home Tuesday morning, finding flames “pouring out of every window and the front door”. The Chief says they couldn’t save the home after nobody there could get inside to call from a landline and there was no cell service on the inside earlier. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time. But the chief says he thinks it probably started in the chimney. Nobody was home at the time. Someone was staying there but were not there when the fire broke out.

In Mendocino County, new measures at a couple local markets to serve seniors. Harvest Market in Fort Bragg and Harvest Market at Mendosa’s in Mendocino are offering senior hours, they say they will have freshly-sanitized carts, handwashing stations and blue tape on the ground in front of registers and counters to remind you to follow six-foot distancing between others for social distancing recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. The elderly and immunocompromised can shop between the hours of 5 a.m. and 8 a.m. in Fort Bragg and in Mendocino, the same group can hit the market between 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. They also have signs up inside and outside the store to remind people not to enter if they feel sick, to maintain social distancing and leave reusable bags at home. You will also notice glass in front of registers as a barrier between the cashier and customer. There is also a handwashing station outside to encourage you to wash before entering and when you leave.

Plans being worked out for Lake County employees to figure out who is essential and nonessential, plus new paid leave and remote work options. The Record Bee reports employees of the county will find out if they can get emergency paid sick leave, as part of new federal legislation, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act which could cover up to three months leave for county workers who need to care for a family member. The Lake County Administrative Officer says accrued sick leave can be used for the first two weeks of leave and the rest has to be paid by the county. She also says other counties are even offering more, and they’re discussing that possibility.

Some restrictions on cannabis dispensaries and restaurants easing due to the pandemic. Marijuana retailers are being classified as essential so they can stay open during the coronavirus crisis. But as with all other essential services, there are social-distancing orders. Cannabis shops have been given waivers so clients can buy it from their cars and have it delivered to their homes without a signature required so they don’t have to knock on your door. Customers will instead text a picture of their state identification to the dispensary. There’s been reports of long lines outside dispensaries with some reporting their sales are surging.

Some local seamstresses and sewers are making face masks or repairing masks as there’s a massive shortage across the country. They don’t protect as well as professional masks according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and should only be used with caution. But the site lists bandanas and scarves as last-resort options for health care providers. In Chico a group of volunteers at Enloe Medical Center have been sewing like crazy. They have 400 volunteers who’ve been told to stop their usual workloads because of the virus.

An emergency meeting’s been called of the Lake County Board of Supervisors regarding the coronavirus. It comes after the Governor’s executive order on sheltering at home. The State Public Health Officer also recently distributed a list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” who have to keep working even though there’s a Shelter-In-Place across the state. The Board of Supervisors can define who they feel are “critical government workers.” An Ad Hoc Committee was created for that at the meeting earlier this week and that will be one of the topics of tomorrow’s emergency meeting. The Chair of the Board says they’re working with County leaders to come up with the list which has been a challenge. The other matters to be discussed cannot wait until next Tuesday’s Board meeting. The meeting is online tomorrow at 3pm. You can attend by emailing PublicComment@lakecountyca.gov, to schedule Zoom Meeting access

There are still no confirmed cases in Lake County. The County is not stating how long the shelter in place situation will go on, but the County says in China it took about a month for the viral activity to start dropping, they also took more stringent measures than we have in the states. Testing has been a challenge according to the Public Health Office, in Lake County and throughout the region.  The office is starting to research places to get a hold of supplies too. The Public Health Officer says even though we have no cases and there’s a lack of tests, it doesn’t change the preparations needed, stay home and keep social distancing.  He says it’s possible the virus will arrive in the coming weeks (if it hasn’t already), and that delays are helpful for preparations, and buy time to get needed supplies.

The Mendocino County Public Health Officer with a stronger message to residents, in alignment with the state order requiring everyone to shelter in place at home except for essential needs. Governor Newsom issued an immediate Executive Order and now the Health Officer ordered an alignment order that went into effect last night at 10, until further notice. The major changes include a stricter list of essential businesses, the closure of all parks in Mendocino County until further notice. County Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan also confirmed a second case of coronavirus in the county related to high risk travel she says. She also says it doesn’t indicate community spread and they’re being monitored closely. She says where it was confirmed they used proper Personal Protective Equipment and handled the case in an exemplary manner.

In Lake County, the Public Health Order is more restrictive too. The Public Health Officer limiting residents activity, travel and business functions to the most basic and essential needs. Also lodging for out of towners is now prohibited and those who want to use shared or outdoor spaces, have to adhere to social distancing of at least six feet between themselves and others while outside their homes to protect the public form the spread of the pandemic. The Public Health Officer Dr. Gary Pace says violations of the order will be considered a threat to the county’s health and will be enforceable by law.

Also in Lake County, all County Parks are closed for all uses except Essential Activities. Walking, hiking or running has to be with Social Distancing Requirements, gatherings and most outdoor activities are banned, they include disc golf, golf, skate park use, basketball, tennis, guided, sport, and/or recreational fishing are prohibited. All public boat ramps, docks and other waterway entryways are blocked. All playground equipment is closed as coronavirus can live on plastic and steel for up to three days.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors Chair commenting after their latest meeting that residents have to listen to the recommendations of Public Health Officials. Moke Simon goes on to say residents need to listen to the governor and abide by a Social Contract, and do what we’ve been asked to do, at the same time he understands how it’s affecting the economy. The Board is also asking for folks to follow the Shelter in Place order, so they’ve put certain measures into place to prevent Rental Housing Price Gouging. District 5 Supervisor Rob Brown with fines attached of up to $20,000. They also adopted a temporary remote work policy and have an Ad Hoc Committee figuring out which County workers are essential and cannot work remotely.

The Farmers Market in Ukiah is staying open with some operational changes. Farmers Markets across the country are considered an essential business. The Daily Journal reports the Market Manager says there’s usually a limited number of vendors this time of year anyway, and that those and food booths will put some precautionary measures in place. The state Department of Public Health put new guidelines in place because of coronavirus which Ukiah is following, more space between booths for social distancing, two people must be on site for each vendor, one will bag and the other to handle the money. They’re also encouraging patrons to wash produce thoroughly before eating.  There will be no music, there are hand sanitizer stations, and no restrooms.

The Lake County Public Health officer Dr. Gary Pace reporting to the Board of Supervisors that more actions beyond the countywide shelter in place order are necessary to stay ahead of the coronavirus pandemic. A countywide shelter in place order went into effect last Thursday just ahead of the statewide stay at home order issued by the Gov. The countywide order’s been updated since even though there are still no confirmed cases. Dr. Pace says there are 35-40 tests out locally, they were all negative. But there are many confirmed in the region. Pace says even if more tests were done and positive cases were confirmed, it wouldn’t change how the county should handle the virus.  He also suggested more restrictions like the county controlling social movement for a month, determine which county workers are essential, get more staff at the Public Health office and quarantine those confirmed with the virus in separate facilities that are yet to be identified; and surge planning with the county’s health care facilities.

It’s a unanimous decision by the Clearlake City Council to sign a letter of intent for the sale of the former Austin Resort property. Developer Bailey Building and Loans wants the two pieces of property which the city council agreed to for just over $915,300. The City Manager says there are two properties on the lakefront land across from City Hall, one owned by the city and the other by the city redevelopment agency’s successor agency. The developer looking to put up a hotel, restaurant, marina and amphitheater.

No more intake or transfer for prisoners in Calif. The Governor issuing a new executive order for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to temporarily stop intake and/or transferring of inmates and youth at 35 prisons and four youth correctional facilities. So they have to stay in custody for the next month, with a possible extension if needed. This comes under the Emergency Services Act. It also directs the Board of Parole Hearings to find a way to do their hearings online with a start date of no later than April 13th, continuing for two months. That way staff, parole board members, victims, families and their representatives, inmates, attorneys and others can still attend.

Clear Lake recreation shut down, as we’ve reported because apparently there were just way too many people out on waterways. The Press Democrat reports the Public Health Officer in Lake County closed Clear Lake starting yesterday, like Sonoma County, because there were crowds outside. The newspaper reports the pandemic threatens the county’s economy after about 5 years of catastrophes since the 2015 wildfire season, there have been giant, historic fires and major flooding which totally took down the sea wall at Library Park in Lakeport. The Board of Supervisors chair Moke Simon says it’s to protect everybody in Lake County and surrounding counties. There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Lake County, but 2 in Mendocino and nearly 40 in Sonoma. One local on the lake telling the newspaper people were out elbow to elbow on docks fishing last weekend with 8 or 9 people on boats at a time.

Since the coronavirus literally went viral, many urgency measures and ordinances have gone into effect across the state. The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors has unanimously passed an urgency ordinance so that evictions in Mendocino County will be put on hold until May 31st. The ordinance literally bans evictions but doesn’t mean you won’t eventually have to pay your rent, just that you cannot be evicted. It may be extended beyond May 31st too, depending on when the shelter in place orders across the state and locally wrap up. The barring of evictions applies to renters of residential and commercial properties by landlords and for homeowners by banks if there may be a foreclosure. The Deputy County Counsel told the Board of Supervisors yesterday that the person owing the money, would still be on the hook to pay it. The Fort Bragg City Council has the same plan in the city, but has put their ordinance on hold. During their teleconference council meeting Tuesday, the council put together an ad hoc committee on COVID-19 after several residents called council members or emailed them regarding the coronavirus. So an urgency ordinance regarding possible evictions was put on hold. The City of Willits is currently meeting on telephone conference and was supposed to ratify their emergency declaration from last week and was also considering a moratorium on evictions as are many other cities across the state including Berkeley, and the County of San Francisco which already implemented eviction moratoriums.

CalFresh reports even though walk-in eligibility and employment services are currently suspended, you can still apply for benefits through C4Yourself.com, GetCalFresh.org, and CoveredCA.com. The application websites let you fill out paperwork and upload documents. The CalWORKs and CalFresh applications are screened immediately and expedited if necessary over the phone.

With the Shelter in Place order, law enforcement say they’re more in education mode, than enforcement. In Lake County the Public Health Officer ordered the shelter in place last week, then put in more restrictions closing down lakes and other local waterways and lodging facilities unless healthcare workers, COVID-19 emergency workers, construction workers of critical infrastructure and permanent residents living in vacation homes before March 9th. The public health officer also released more measures yesterday to clarify the previous orders and some local law enforcement say people coming into the area from elsewhere make restrictions even tighter. The Sherriff says there were loads of cars at local motels and folks standing close together at docks fishing, and not following social distancing guidelines. Many people reportedly coming form the Bay Area where coronavirus numbers are climbing.

A generous donation by a local vineyard to help people in Napa, Mendocino and Lake Counties affected by the virus. Andy Beckstoffer of Beckstoffer Vineyards says they’re donating $100,000 by way of $300 checks, 100 of them per county. It will be up to each County’s Chamber of Commerce to decide what individuals and families get the money which will mostly be for hourly workers who have no job now because of layoffs from COVID-19. That will include hotel housekeepers, dishwashers, waitstaff, busboys and others. The checks will be made out to those chosen, not to Chambers of Commerce or other organizations and there will be no administrative costs or fees.

The Mendocino County Public Health Officer is issuing a revised Health Order so it follows the state’s more closely. The state issued its order last Thursday requiring all Californians to shelter in place, except for essential needs and to maintain or access critical systems or services. The State and Local Health Order says Sheltering-In-Place means staying at home and do not leave unless necessary to slow the spread of the virus. They warn to limit your essential activities as much as you can, leaving only to get food, see your doctor, fill a prescription, go to work if it’s defined as essential, to get your children to and from childcare or help others you care for to get the things they need to live, be healthy and stay safe.

A meeting of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors to talk about a possible hemp ordinance to be placed in the Mendocino County code. It would also permit a temporary pilot program to grow industrial hemp in parts of the County. It comes after the board temporarily banned cultivating industrial hemp to protect marijuana from cross-pollination and so staffers could get information and recommendations from regional counties about possible regulations and ordinances. Hemp is legal in California and at the federal level, but there’s been concern about possible damage to cannabis. The meeting tomorrow is online with some county staff at the chambers in Ukiah. There will be no in-person public participation to reduce the risk of exposure to the coronavirus.

The state’s been working to get more protective gear for healthcare workers and first responders, with work across the globe and locally to get the equipment shipped her. The state’s trying to get 1 billion sets of gloves, hundreds of millions of gowns, surgical masks and face shields. The Gov. Gavin Newsom remarked yesterday it would take, a heroic effort to get the personal protection equipment for the expected surge in COVID-19 cases. The state’s looking to charter flights from China with gear aboard, there’s talk about 3-D printing of surgical masks and working with other states to get better deals on equipment and supplies. The Los Angeles Mayor says an Anheuser-Busch beer plant in Van Nuys is making hand sanitizer and another in Baldwinsville, New York, will be doing the same.

All jury trials are shut down for two months in Superior Court in Calif due to the virus. The Chief Justice announced the two month suspension yesterday. The Governor announced the closure of all parking lots at beaches and state parks to prevent the spread of the virus after reports of massive amounts of people on the beach and in the mountains the first weekend of the statewide shelter in place order. The state’s most popular beaches in Malibu, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco would be closed to curb crowds. And parks in Marin County were also closed and access restricted to the Santa Monica Mountains in Los Angeles County. The stay at home order did allow for outdoor exercise, but social distancing has to be maintained.

A Navy hospital ship in San Diego has sailed to Los Angeles to treat non-coronavirus patients. A 1,000-bed ship, the Mercy should get there in less than a week with doctors able to perform surgery aboard the ship which contains nine operating rooms. They can also treat intensive care patients.

The Gov. Gavin Newsom says no to releasing violent inmates due to the coronavirus pandemic but has not ruled out other relief so the state’s homelessness crisis doesn’t get worse. An inmate and five employees in the state’s prison system were positive for coronavirus, so pressure was applied apparently to release some of the state’s 123,000 convicts early. The Governor says he’s got no interest in releasing violent criminals from prisons and says he’s not going to use the crisis as an excuse to create another crisis.  Some inmate advocates and lawyers say the prisoners should be released so there’s enough space for social distancing.

Intro: Local groups are springing up across the state to produce homemade face masks for medical providers if they run out of the real thing – but some experts say the masks may do more harm than good. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says on its website that health-care providers might use homemade masks as a last resort, but Ken Zinn, with National Nurses United says the N-95 respirator is the minimum protection necessary for all health-care workers.

:11  “They downgraded the guidance to allow hospitals to say to nurses and other front-line workers, ‘Well, just wear a scarf or a bandanna.’ This is absurd. Scarves, bandannas, surgical masks, none of them keep front-line health-care workers safe.”

Tag:  A 2015 study published in the British Journal of Medicine cautioned against cloth face masks, saying they may increase infections because they retain too much moisture and don’t filter out enough particles. Some doctors have warned that they may give a false sense of security. On Monday, North America’s Building Trades Unions announced that its member groups will be donating N-95 respirator masks to local hospitals around the nation.

***

Second Cut: Shelley Blume is with Coachella Valley Mask Makers, which is handing out kits that enable people to make paper-cloth masks with a glue gun. She says the group hopes to make a thousand masks a day, then sanitize them and make them available to local hospitals.

:10  “So these masks are not meant to replace the personal-protection equipment mask. They are to supplement medical staff who otherwise would not have a mask.”

Tag:  Hospitals are scrambling to see if they can accept the masks and figure out under what circumstances they might be used. Tenet Healthcare, which runs 13 hospitals in the state, says it will accept handmade items once the CDC issues guidelines. The California Department of Public Health on Monday declined to give guidance on homemade masks, directing people to call their local hospital to inquire.

There’s been $100 million set aside in emergency grant funding for California counties, continuums of care, and California’s 13 biggest cities for the homeless.  The Governor signed a Senate Bill allocating $100 million for the homeless population to be protected from coronavirus, getting homeless people off the street and into immediate housing. The 13 largest cities getting about $43 million and the state’s 58 counties will receive $27 million. And the state’s 44 continuums of Care will receive about $30 million dollars. The money can be used for medical services like testing and other services, like shelters, supplies and equipment for emergency shelter operations.

Another measure to make sure coronavirus doesn’t spread, even though there are no confirmed cases in Lake County… Lakeport announced the closure of all parks. Starting today until further notice, the parks are closed including Library Park and its public park, the public restrooms there and the dog park at Westside Community Park. This follows the city of Clearlake closing Redbud Park and Thompson Harbor, including the boat launch ramps, parking lot and other recreation facilities. Same in Sonoma County, parks closed after a busy weekend on beaches. The County ordered all parks in the city, county, state and federal parks closed, and parks on school grounds and beaches. But those that are paved, multiuse pathways outside park boundaries are open, plus the Joe Rodota Trail and the West County Trail. No change at Lake Mendocino.

Some nurses take to the streets in Santa Rosa because of a lack of masks as they tackle COVID-19. The nurses are employed at Kaiser Permanente and Santa Rosa Memorial. Apparently there have been multiple complaints filed against Kaiser because of a lack of masks as the pandemic spreads. Nurses at Kaiser in Santa Rosa picketed yesterday because of the new rules saying they could be fired or side-lined if they wear masks that are donated to them even by friends and neighbors. The chief nurse representative at Kaiser for union nurses says they’re in danger without adequate personal protective equipment. For their part Kaiser says they’re providing the right equipment and they just can’t assure the integrity of protective equipment not provided by Kaiser Permanente.

Support is being offered to Redwood Credit Union customers dealing with sheltering in place. The credit union is considered essential business so they’re open. They say they’re following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) health and safety guidelines, with hand sanitizing stations, antimicrobial soaps, social distancing in the queues, and more cleaning at the branches and ATMs. They also have online options including a mobile app. They’re also offering members 0 percent interest loans up to $5,000 for both member businesses and individuals, 90-day payment deferrals on all consumer, credit card, mortgage and business loans, waiving all late fees over the next 90 days and the loans won’t be reported as delinquent to the credit bureaus during any payment deferral period, early withdrawals will not be penalized either.

Another case of coronavirus has been confirmed in Mendocino County. 42 tests are still pending as of this morning. The Public Health Office says they’re trying to release updated numbers daily and is posting them on their Facebook page. The Health Officer Noemi Doohan announced the second case at today’s Board of Supervisors meeting saying it was someone living in “inland Mendocino County” now “in isolation, not considered a risk to the public and not a health care worker.” She says they would not have exposed anyone with what they had been doing in their daily life and that they were exposed outside the County after direct contact with an infected person. The County is also working on a more restrictive shelter-in-place order including closing many state parking lots at parks and beaches.

The Governor says the social distancing measures put into play in the state could go on for two to three more months. The Governor says the state needs to get more hospital beds too because of the pandemic. Gov. Newsom says the state needs to increase by two-thirds the hospital bed capacity in the state so there are 50,000 beds for a predicted surge in infections. This as the president says he wants to reopen the government by Easter. The state also trying to get ahold of 1 billion medical gloves, 500 million N95 masks, and 200 million face shields for first responders to protect themselves from the virus.

A resident in Sonoma County has died from the virus. The Press Democrat reporting it’s the first resident to die from coronavirus and being hospitalized for serious illness. The newspaper reports the County’s Interim Public Health Officer got news of the death the same day the number of those with the virus doubled. Sutter Santa Rosa confirmed the death happened Friday. The Public Health Officer says we need to be prepared for it to get worse over the next week as each case infects three more people, but she also says it’s what they had been expected. The Chair of the Board of Supervisors says the virus is spreading throughout the community, but also says she believes they now how sufficient testing capability, so the numbers of positive tests going up is to be expected.

You may have felt an earthquake over the weekend. A 4.8-magnitude earthquake hit yesterday morning in the Pacific Ocean off Humboldt County. The U.S. Geological Survey reports the quake was 7-miles deep and hit about 30 miles west of Petrolia. Many shake reports coming from as far away as Chico and Crescent City, but the most coming from Eureka and Arcata. There were no reports of injuries or damage.

The governor has agreed to a deal so Pacific Gas & Electric can emerge from its bankruptcy filing this summer. Gov. Gavin Newsom and the utility company announced the deal Friday with PG&E agreeing to change the makeup of its board and operations and also agreed to move into the direction of a sale or the state taking over the company if it cannot get out of its bankruptcy by June 30th. The filing in bankruptcy court Friday that the utility agrees to more regulatory oversight and that it will pony up billions more for wildfire prevention.  The CEO of the company says they are anticipating state regulators will approve of the final deal after the Governor supported it, so they can exit Chapter 11, pay wildfire victims as soon as possible, and participate in the state’s Wildfire Fund.

A new surge tent has been set up at Ukiah Adventist Health for coronavirus patient care. The Daily Journal posted pictures of the new tent after getting a guided tour showing the hospital is ready for what may be to come. The newspaper reports the set up is in the emergency ambulance bay, and is fully equipped with private rooms for up to six patients at a time. It’s ventilated for infection control, has lighting and heat and can be decontaminated and sterilized after every exam. If the tent reaches capacity, the hospital says there are other unused areas in the building that could also work for COVID-19 patient care.

Coronavirus cases are still rising regionally, but there are still no confirmed cases in Lake County. But there’s still been people recreating in the face of the state’s announced shelter in place order by the governor. So the Public Health Officer says he’s got an addendum to his emergency order that starts this morning and will go until at least April 10th, immediate closure of County of Lake waterways, including Clear Lake, Blue Lakes, Highland Springs Reservoir, Cache Creek, Lake Pillsbury, Indian Valley Reservoir and any other public, navigable waterway to any recreational boating activity. He is also calling for the immediate end to lodging in hotels, motels, campgrounds, RV parks, and vacation rentals, except for medical staff, COVID 19 emergency workers, construction workers of critical infrastructure, and permanent residents who lived in those places before March 9th.

Anyone interested in being part of the next Lake County Board of Supervisors meeting is asked to contact them ahead of time if they want to participate. The Chair of the Board Moke Simon says we’re in “unprecedented times” and that he knows “firsthand the severe effects this crisis is having on local businesses and families”, adding that residents have to adapt, and do everything to keep people safe, which includes the way the board conducts business. So the board meeting’s can be viewed online. The meeting tomorrow is moved until April 7th.

For those interested in viewing any discussion item, Board and Planning Commission meetings will be accessible through the County website and Lake County PEG TV (TV8).  Agendas and live and archived video are available at:

https://countyoflake.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx

For needed County services, call ahead, the Department Directory is available at:

http://www.lakecountyca.gov/Government/Directory.htm

Recent Press Releases and Public Health Orders from Dr. Gary Pace and more Lake County-focused information are available at http://health.co.lake.ca.us/Coronavirus.htm, and accessible through the County’s homepage, http://www.lakecountyca.gov/.  A Dashboard was recently developed, and provides key data, such as confirmed cases in surrounding California counties.

If you have public health-related questions about COVID-19, please direct them to MHOAC@lakecountyca.gov, or call Public Health’s COVID-19 line, at 707-263-8174.

Even though there’s been a reprieve given to county’s for the Presidential Primary election, the Lake County Registrar of Voters Office reports they will certify the results by the deadline of March 31st, next Tuesday. Governor Newsom had issued an Executive Order that had extended the deadline for County Election Officials to complete their official canvass of the March 3rd election and certify the election results by April 24th instead. The Lake County office says unless there are any unforeseen circumstances the official canvass won’t be delayed. There’s also a reminder for vote-by-mail voters who received a “Signature Verification Statement” or an “Unsigned Ballot Envelope Statement” that they have until March 27th to turn in those completed forms. They can do so thru the US Postal Service, a fax, email, or in person (by appointment only).

A man in Branscomb reports a burglary in progress at his home after he left just to cut wood. Mendocino Sheriff’s Deputies went to the home and say they found there were three men who had all left before they got there. They reportedly ransacked the home and took a locked gun safe out to the driveway, damaged an expensive television set, writing on it in marker. The victim told police he dated one of three men’s mom’s and told them where she lived. They found the three men there, Winter Costa, Kameron Miller and Lucas Counts. Stolen property was found there, and they were arrested for Burglary, Conspiracy and Felony Vandalism. Plus Costa for making criminal threats. They were all being held on $50,000.00 bail.

Since the risk from coronavirus continues escalating in the region, the Lake County Public Health Officer is adding on to other emergency orders already issued. Since Sonoma County had their first death from Coronavirus Friday and there’s presumed community transmission with 11 known cases Dr. Gary Pace says most people are honoring the shelter in place order, even though there are no confirmed cases in Lake County. There are about 50 hospital beds, 11 ventilators with the potential to scale to 16 if needed for a population of 65,000. Dr. Pace says health facilities are actively engaged planning for the next phase of the outbreak, but resources are limited. He reminds not to ignore the stay at home order, not to mix with other people and ignore social distancing rules or have any out of town guests. He says churches need to cancel their in-person services and go to Facebook streaming or some other online strategy. Restaurants with indoor or outdoor dining need to change to take out, delivery, curbside and drive-through, bars and night clubs need to close. Small convenience or other stores selling mainly chips and candy are not essential and should be closed.  All entertainment venues like golf courses, gun ranges, bowling alleys, movie theaters, swimming pools, skating rinks, skate parks, batting cages indoor & outdoor, all youth or adult sports events should close, all gyms, fitness studios including yoga, Thai Chi, boxing, karate, gymnastics, etc. should close. There should be no recreational outdoor events like disk golf, golf, boating, fishing (but fishing for food is okay), skate parks, basketball courts, tennis courts, etc. All convention Centers, and centers providing live entertainment should close as well as hair and nail salons, including spas, massage parlors and tattoo parlors.  Local law enforcement, Health Department inspectors, and your neighbors will be monitoring the situation.  Enforcement activities will be increased in the coming week.

If you have questions, look on the website: http://health.co.lake.ca.us

If you still have questions, send an email request: MHOAC@lakecountyca.gov.

You can also call during business hours: 707-263-8174

A man from Willits has been arrested after a fight at his home. Cops say they got a call to a brawl at a home in the city and when they got there, they say they found two men still actively fighting in a small travel trailer who had to be separated by Deputies. They say there was a woman there with a serious injury on her face and nose. So they interviewed others there, finding Shannon Henson was upset with the victim for inheriting the property they lived at. Deputies say Henson smashed the woman’s truck windshield and went to his home located on the same property. The woman confronted him and says he punched her in the face. Her husband got involved, to try to stop the assault. The victim went to a hospital and Henson, who was found to be on probation, was arrested and held on $35,000.00 bail.

Hands Up Lake County has a contest not unlike Shark Tank and Startup Mendocino to give seed money and training to startups, but in a competitive way. The nonprofit started after the 2018 Mendocino Complex fires. The two co-founders came up with the nonprofit after the River and Ranch fires. And after several businesses closed after, they started the Hand Up Lake County project. They say their new project will include a gala and monetary awards. They’re accepting applicants April 1st to May 30th. You have to be at least 18 years old and have an idea for a local startup or already own a small business in Lake County to qualify.

To apply (for free) to the Hand Up Lake County contest, visit http://www.1team1dream.net for an online application beginning April 1. Contact Olga Steele at 916-849-8170 for more information.

Another case of coronavirus has turned up in Napa. Napa County Public Health confirmed the case Sunday, hours after the county’s first case was found. The second case is someone in St. Helena where they are isolated and there’s no known connection between the two. The County’s Public Health Officer, like so many others across the country, says, with more testing, additional cases were not unexpected. She says it’s critical for “those who have respiratory symptoms to stay at home and isolate themselves from others, even if they still feel well enough to go out”.

More than $40 million dollars has been diverted in emergency funding so California’s health care system can get equipment and services for the response to coronavirus. $30 million is going to lease Seton Medical Center in Daly City and St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles for three-months. Seton Medical Center is open and will expand capacity for up to 120 COVID-19 patients starting next week and St. Vincents, which closed in January, will reopen to care for up to 366 COVID-19 patients as soon as possible. This comes after the state already went into partnership with local officials, to reopen Community Hospital in Long Beach. It can care for up to 158 patients.

PG&E has pleaded guilty to criminal acts related to the Camp Fire in Butte County. The company admitted 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter as part of what might be considered a plea agreement with the State of California and the Butte County District Attorney’s Office. For that, the company admits guilt to causing 84 deaths and another count of unlawfully causing a fire. This was in writing by the utility company in a filing with the SEC. That puts the company ahead of other catastrophes including the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010, where 11 people died in the Gulf of Mexico and its own deadly natural gas explosion the same year that killed eight in San Bruno, Calif. For that the company was also found guilty in court for felonies associated before and after the explosion.

Parks are still open in Sonoma County and now officials are considering closing them down after crowds were all over the beach and in recreational areas not paying any attention to social distancing guidelines. The Press Democrat reports non-essential park services were suspended and parks restrooms have been closed because of the coronavirus, but the newspaper is reporting there were massive crowds over the weekend at Sonoma and Marin County beaches and packed parking lots and jammed stretches of sand. Sonoma County Supervisor Lynda Hopkins is in the district and says she’s consulting with public health officials, the county administrator and the parks director about a response to the crowds and a possible closure of parks. Marin County on the other hand immediately closed all parks after Sunday’s crowds.

More info on the first case of coronavirus in Mendocino County, a woman under 30 years old. Public Health Officer Noemi Doohan says the case was probably due to contact with someone else who had been diagnosed with COVID-19, so now they’re tracking all known contacts…

The case was diagnosed at a clinic and the patient did not need to be hospitalized. She is said to be in isolation with her condition improving. She is not a threat to public health.

Doohan says she had to call a business who was actively disregarding the order to close, Breakers Inn and the Vue restaurant in Gualala. The health order says restaurants can prepare and serve food, but “only for delivery and carry out.”

The Sheriff has reminded the public that health orders, and now, we are assuming here, that the Governor’s order, will all be enforceable by law. The Sheriff says enforcement is mostly education, to begin with.

A resolution to declare a state of emergency in Ukiah was done online, the city council meeting virtually. The meeting was streaming from council chambers Wednesday and in the physical chambers were only the City Clerk, City Manager and Council member Jim Brown. City hall has been closed to the public, but public meetings access has been allowed so far. The agendas are for routine and urgent business only with no sensitive matter being streamed. The City Manager says critical government services needed for the community will continue and that they’re focused on utility services, water, sewer and electric.

Before the Gov. ordered the statewide shelter in place, Coyote Valley Casino in Redwood Valley said it was closing until at least April 7th. This after health experts said it was wise. But their Coyote Valley C-Store and gas pumps remain open, because they’re considered an essential business. They opened in 2016. Included nearby are nearly 50 homes, a community center, a hotel was supposed to open later this year.

Since the expanded testing in Sonoma County, another case turned up, the ninth. Now they’re dealing with a shortage of supplies, with county officials asking for state and federal help. There’s been 229 tests in Sonoma County, with nine positive results and 207 negative. Thirteen tests are pending. And local officials say they need way more tests. Coronavirus tests are being done in Sonoma County by LabCorp, Quest Diagnostics, Kaiser Permanente and the county’s health lab which now says it will get some test kits from Kaiser.

The Gov. has announced a shelter-in-place mandate for the whole state to slow the spread of coronavirus. A tweet with a link to his executive order last night. The mandate starts today. Governor Newsom’s order says those in critical sectors should report to work. Also grocery stores, pharmacies, banks and other essential services will be open. Essential things you can do, get medications, shop for groceries and supplies, care for family members and exercise outdoors. This decision as the federal government announced more than $1 billion in aid to sick residents and to be able to care for patients. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in California was more than 800 yesterday after rising 21% overnight.

The Gov. warns as much as half of the state’s population could get infected with the coronavirus during an eight-week period. Newsom sent a letter to President Trump saying the case rate in the state is doubling every four days. The letter says the Governor’s office is projecting about 56 percent of the state’s population — 25.5 million people — will become infected over an eight week period.

You can get your child’s meals delivered from the Ukiah Unified School District. They’re starting a delivery service today for any child 18 years of age or younger in the district with five routes Monday through Friday until further notice. Visit www.uusd.net and click on the link next to the school bus for a list of food delivery stops and times. They’ll also continue the meal pickups at school sites from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Monday through Friday at Frank Zeek, Grace Hudson, Nokomis, Oak Manor, and Yokayo Elementary Schools. In the Hopland, Calpella, and Eagle Peak areas, schools are one of the stops on the bus route. Students have to be present at the pickup sites.

Confirmation of more cases in Contra Costa County. Health officials confirmed a 42nd case yesterday afternoon. But it was only up one from the day before and only three more since Tuesday.  The spread of confirmed cases there went from six March 6th to 39 Tuesday night.

Seniors are being allowed to shop before others at some markets across some Bay Area counties. Safeway has seniors-only hours due to binge buying during the pandemic. Things like bottled water, eggs, pasta, meat, and canned goods could be seen in the early hours. A spokesperson for Safeway says the dedicated hours are for seniors and other vulnerable customers. Target and some Safeways in San Jose reported toilet paper sold out within minutes after the doors opened for the day. So those stores, Whole Foods and Walmart have either started the senior and vulnerable customer hours or announced they would start soon.

In Lake County locals are urging seniors to start using available services like getting help with meal delivery, delivery services from pharmacies and other services available through local senior centers. Volunteers working thru Meals on Wheels are bringing food in Lakeport, Kelseyville and Lucerne for homebound seniors, and anything else they’re in need of.

To find out what the current needs or ways to be a part of Lakeport’s efforts, call the Lakeport Senior Activity Center at 707-263-4218 or join the Covid19 – Lake County Seniors and Disabled Support Network Facebook group.

Cops continue with services in Lake County, but will need phone calls first for non-emergencies, as we’ve been reporting, the same in Mendocino County. Lake Co News reports the Lake County Sheriff Brian Martin is only booking felony cases into jail and closed their lobby. You can visit their website to report crimes online. The news site reports Clearlake and Lakeport have closed their lobbies to the public too. For the police departments, besides reporting crimes online, you can stay in touch through their Facebook accounts.

The Clearlake City Council conducted a meeting by phone. Lake Co News reports the Mayor Russ Cremer and council members Phil Harris, Joyce Overton and Russell Perdock were in chambers, but with social distancing in place, and the Vice Mayor Dirk Slooten attended on the phone. The public could also watch online. This comes after the city’s director of emergency services, who’s also the city manager declared the local emergency due to the virus. There are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lake County. The council ratified the emergency declaration at the meeting and will again at their next April 2nd. The city council also unanimously voted for an urgency ordinance to stop evictions for nonpayment for at least 45 days.

The Sacramento Bee is reporting a lack of testing for coronavirus is preventing public health officials to know exactly how many people are infected. The newspaper reports there are most likely unidentified COVID-19 cases which therefore cannot be isolated. The report says the World Health Organization Director-General said testing, isolation and contact tracing are the “backbone of the response” to the pandemic, during a virtual press conference Monday, and that all countries should be able to test for suspected cases, without this, they cannot fight blindfolded and should know where the cases are. The Sacramento Bee report quotes a top health official who says testing in that region is so far behind where it should be, the actual number of those who are infected may be 20 to 100 times higher than what’s been reported.

The Mendocino County Public Health Officer is reminding that her order for businesses to close is a legal document…

Dr. Noemi or Mimi Doohan says she ordered the closure of the Breakers Hotel and Vue Restaurant in Gualala.

Dr. Doohan says it’s going to hit some harder than others, but it’s what has to be done to protect healthcare workers and first responders.

The state Attorney General Xavier Becerra sending out notice to large online marketplaces they need to do more to fight price gouging as it relates to coronavirus. Becerra says price gouging during a time of national emergency is not only disgraceful, it’s illegal. He wants the platforms and marketplaces to take immediate and vigorous steps to eliminate predatory behavior, adding that they know it’s illegal. Becerra also says anybody who feels they may have been the victim of price gouging to report it to the state. Violators could face fines of up to $10,000 and jail time.

The state unemployment office is reporting massive amounts of people filing for unemployment. The latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report says the week ending March 14th showed Californians filed more than 58,200 initial claims for jobless benefits, a 34% increase and 42% higher than a year ago. The Governor says it’s going to get even worse, adding the state had 80,000 unemployment applications only on Tuesday and they normally average about 2,000 unemployment claims a day.

There’s a confirmed case of coronavirus in Mendocino County. The Public Health Officer Dr. Mimi Doohan had already announced a shelter in place directive starting last night until April 7th. This comes after Sonoma County’s order and the confirmation, now, of the confirmed case of COVID-19. Dr. Doohan says it’s not surprising after surrounding counties had reported cases and community spread. The order to be sure the maximum amount of people shelter in their homes to slow the spread of the disease. It directs residents to stay home except for Essential Activities, Essential Businesses, and Essential Government Functions. It means social distancing if there are shared spaces to protect the public’s health. The order will be enforceable by law.

The MTA reports they’re reducing bus service in Mendocino County. Starting today buses won’t run as frequently, and there will be no Sunday service at all during coronavirus health advisories. after 4pm, temporary schedules will be updated inside all buses, bus shelters, on social media at mendocinotransit.org. the buses are equipped with hand sanitizing wipes as supplies last and they’re disinfecting interior bus surfaces whenever the buses are in service.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office has ordered no visitors at the jail. The order to protect the inmate community and others from coronavirus. There are no cases in the jail though. Starting last night family visitation was being cancelled. The Lake County Sheriff’s office announced they understand and value that visitation is an essential part of rehabilitation, but at this time they have to make difficult decisions to protect the health and wellness of all who live and work in the Jail.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office commenting on their new Shelter in Place order saying they know there will be significant hardships due to the cancellation of certain events, school closures, limiting group activities, and the closing of bars and tasting rooms. The order went into effect this morning at 12:01 AM asking everyone to stay home with family, except for essential activities. It follows the big 6 Bay Area Counties and Sonoma and Mendocino County, which just announced the same yesterday, at the same time the first case arose there.  There are so far, no cases confirmed in Lake County and there have only been tests on a few dozen. The Public Health Officer reports they’re trying to get more tests and more laboratory capacity. The order goes through April 10th.

A local emergency has been declared in the City of Willits. The City following the orders of the Mendocino County Public Health Officer and says they’re announcing a Shelter in Place order following Mendocino County. The city says the emergency order gives them the opportunity to mobilize resources, accelerate emergency planning, streamline staffing, facilitate inter-agency coordination, and allow for potential future reimbursement by the state and federal governments. The Emergency Operations Center will also open, at the lowest level, in Willits. That will allow the City to coordinate with its dispatch center. But city facilities and departments are closed except very limited hours at City Hall for essential services. They encourage residents to use their website and drop box to make payments or send them thru regular mail.

After the announcement of the Shelter in Place in Mendocino County, a group of business owners and managers got together to talk about the response. The Mendocino County CEO Carmel Angelo was in attendance. And a representative from Kwine was there with the following information, Santa Clara County is a hot spot, the first couple of cases came from there, one from a cruise ship passenger, who has since died. And they mentioned the state of other Bay Area counties not being good. They have a couple of ideas on response, either, test and isolate people who test positive and isolating anyone who had any contact with that person, or what we are currently doing, shelter in place. The Public Health Officer has warned that things could change on a dime, as they have been day by day. People will continue to be tested, but they also warned that there could be people walking around with the virus who show no symptoms.

The Public Health Officer in Lake County is issuing a shelter in place order, following several other counties, and joining with the 8 million ordered to stay home during the coronavirus outbreak. Dr. Gary Pace says the order as of 12:01 a.m. means no travel unnecessarily or conducting of nonessential business outside your home, of course there are exceptions including allowing people to shop for food and get medical care. The order is in effect until April 10th to slow the entrance and spread in the community. He says the outbreak response is continually changing but due to the increased spread of the infection in the Bay Area. He says the order is to limit mixing of people so there’s less opportunity to spread the virus. They ask not to call the Sheriff’s Dept. or police or 911 for non-emergencies.

A temporary closure of California State Parks to camping has been announced. But non-campground outdoor areas of parks, including trails and beaches, are open. They remind you if visiting a park to practice social distancing with at least six feet between other visitors and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Restrooms ae staying open, and visitors are advised to take soap for hand washing and alcohol-based hand sanitizers if there’s no water available. This follows an order for the temporary suspension of all guided tours and large events and the closure of visitor centers and museums.

Lakeport has announced an emergency proclamation because of the coronavirus. The City Council declared the local emergency at a special meeting before their regular meeting Tuesday where they also approved a broadband implementation plan and upcoming infrastructure projects. The City Council will have to approve the emergency proclamation at every council meeting. After the proclamation was approved the city manager sent out a Nixle alert to start the process. As with orders in many other cities and counties in the state, it means a stop to all non-essential activities or travel and limiting activities to grocery shopping, getting gas, going to doctor’s appointments and following court orders.

Free meals are being offered to Ukiah Unified School District students during this home-schooling period. Kids 18 years old and younger can get a grab-and-go breakfast and lunch during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. They normally serve as many as 5,500 meals a day and since there was community wide interest in providing the meals during the home schooling period, it was decided to continue. Funding comes from state and federal reimbursement programs. So bagged meals are available at schools until April 13th. But the locations could change with the new county-wide Shelter-In-Place Order which began last night at 10 p.m.

A man in Ukiah has been jailed on attempted murder charges after reportedly beating another man and leaving him at a shopping center alone. Police say they got a call to a loading dock behind the CVS on South Orchard Avenue Tuesday morning after a man was seen lying in a pool of blood. Police say he was bleeding from his head. After speaking with another man at the incident, he denied knowing anything. Then officers say the guy, identified as David Giusti starting leaving the area, but they detained him, finding he was covered in blood and had a bloody wooden dowel with his personal belongings in a shopping cart. Apparently Giusti and the victim had an argument, so he was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, inflicting great bodily injury and mayhem (permanently disfiguring). He was held on $250,000 bail.

A couple more cases have been confirmed in Sonoma County as more tests are being done. The Public Health Officer says there’s been a shortage of test kits and that’s slowed testing. There have been about 200 tests at county, state and federal laboratories. 159 tests were completed a week ago at five local health centers to see if there was community spread.  Two new cases were confirmed yesterday. So there’s been a total now of six in Sonoma County. Health Care providers following the testing criteria from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: fever, cough and shortness of breath, and if there’s been travel to coronavirus crisis areas like, China, Italy and Spain.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is closed to the public. The lobby will stay closed until 04/13/2020 so if you’re reporting a crime or have an emergency, call Central Dispatch or 911. For non emergencies call the main number. If you need to speak with someone at the Sheriff’s Main Office please call the office main line at (707)262-4200.

The Governor has announced a major uptick in Unemployment Development claims. Gov. Newsom reported 80-thousand claims filed Tuesday alone, compared to an average day of about 2,000 claims. The hospitality industry especially suffering. A union representing restaurant and hotel workers in the Sacramento area says it’s hit their members hard. Most hotels they have employees working at are normally about 85% filled this time of year, now they’re at 25-30% occupancy. The Employment Development Dept. says they’re working as fast as they can to process claims, even calling retired workers back in to help with the massive surge in claims.

A day after the governor commented that most schools probably wouldn’t come back this academic year, he issued an executive order to suspend standardized tests. That means regular testing for more than 6 million students will be put off, but it still has to be approved by the federal government. Gov. Newsom says it’s stressful enough for students, families and educators right now without the additional burden of annual testing. He says their main focus is to support the mental and socioemotional health of students while still providing educational opportunities like distance learning.

Federal loans may be available to businesses in Northern Calif. thru the Small Business Administration after the emergency declaration due to COVID-19. That includes Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, Sonoma Lake, Mendocino and Napa counties. The declaration due to economic impacts because of coronavirus starting in Jan. It’s part of SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans for small, nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private nonprofit organizations of any size.
The deadline to apply for business economic injury is Dec. 16, 2020.

All Mendocino County Elected Officials and Department Heads are being allowed to close their offices to the public, to help protect the health of their employees while still providing essential public services. Essential services will stay open, but all non-essential services will be closed. The lobby and reception area for Health and Human Services will be closed, but they’ll be providing any emergency or critical services to protect and support the community. The Treasurer Tax Collector is not changing the deadline for property taxes due to state law. So they ask payments to be snailmailed in. The Assessor – Clerk – Recorder announced they’re open by appointment only and have limited essential functions. They would like a phone call first. They’re also finishing work on the primary which just happened a couple weeks ago.

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors is doing all work virtually and won’t be having any in person participation. You can livestream on the county’s YouTube page. The new state order effective tomorrow will suspend a Brown Act requirement for Board members for one member to be physically present and for the public to be able to access the teleconference location. This is to minimize the risk of exposure to the public. You can submit questions to the board via email instead and public comment will be attached with the latest agenda on the board’s website.

bos@mendocinocounty.org

https://mendocino.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx

The manager of Angelina’s grill and bar in Fort Bragg reached out to our news department to let the public know they’re open for delivery with food runners or curb-side service between 10 AM and 7 PM.

The Mayor of Fort Bragg has posted a letter to the public online, thanking folks for their kindness. And because of the shelter in place order from the Public Health Officer, just a reminder to only conduct essential business which includes, getting any needed medications, visiting doctors, dentists and taking animals to their doctors too. You are also allowed essential exercise like walking, jogging or strolling along the Coastal Trail or at Otis Johnson Park. And a reminder too, to walk with family, but keep a six-foot distance from strangers as you exercise and get fresh air. Also to offer those in need a helping hand with the same, and to support local businesses during this time of crisis.

The Mendocino County Public Health Officer has announced a Shelter in Place stance similar to surrounding counties even though there are no local confirmed cases. Health Officer Noemi Mimi Doohan has ordered the Shelter in Place in a coordinated effort with the big 6 Bay Area counties (San Francisco, Marin, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Contra Costa and Alameda). Since Sonoma County’s Shelter-In-Place Order, Dr. Doohan issued the local order in alignment with the region. The Health Order takes effect today at 5:00 p.m. goes into full effect at 10:00 p.m. in response to almost 300 confirmed cases and 5 deaths in the seven Bay Area jurisdictions plus community spread in neighboring counties. The Health Officer is recommending residents cancel any nonessential travel to any of the Bay Area counties. Please visit http://www.mendocinocounty.org for the latest local news on COVID-19. For general health related questions or other concerns regarding COVID-19, please call Mendocino County’s Call Center at (707) 234-6052 or email callcenter@mendocinocounty.org. The call center will be open during regular business hours, Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The Health Officer has also announced a three week ban on public and private gatherings of more than 50 people. This will last until April 7th. Further, any gatherings of 10-50 people should use social distances of at least six feet from any other attendee. The order differs from a directive, in that orders allow the sheriff’s office to enforce the orders if they’re not followed. Any violation is a misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both. The Sheriff also at the press conference yesterday. Sheriff Kendall says he consulted with police chiefs in Mendocino County and they’d educate people first before punishing. The Sheriff says there will also be more deputies on the street since they won’t be sending any personnel to training in different parts of the state.

The health officer says they’ve completed 52 tests, three by the public health lab, and 49 at commercial health labs. 19 were negative, and the rest are pending. She says there’s currently no evidence of community spread in Mendocino County and there’s a shortage of tests and a problem getting them back quickly too, like many other places across the country. Doohan says she believes they will get more tests and there is no evidence there’s any clustering of cases or any confirmed cases.

No more on site education in Ukiah Unified School District. There’s now remote learning, which began yesterday and will, for now, continue thru Spring Break on Monday, April 13th. Also, no after school activities, childcare, or field trips. The County CEO says they’ll decide in the next few days which offices will stay open as some are larger than others. The Board of Supervisors are also holding a special meeting to deal with the crisis this Friday March 20th at 9 am. There will also be a virtual meeting held for faith based leaders and churches coming up, but no date certain was given. They will talk about ways to provide essential services to seniors and possible food options. And the County says it’s monitoring folks returning from high-risk countries, and are checking with them daily and bringing food to them if they need it.

Hoarding is the new normal as Americans stock up on everything to clean their homes to reduce the risk. California’s state water regulators are reminding people not to flush the cleaning solutions down the toilet as they don’t break down like toilet paper. There are already reports of problems in some sewer systems. The State Water Resources Control Board says wipes, paper towels and similar products flushed down toilets will clog sewers and cause backups and overflows at wastewater treatment plants which is another public health risk during the coronavirus pandemic.

Some students who attend Universities in Calif. who will now switch to online learning say they want a tuition discount. The Press Democrat reports there’s now an online petition circulating after University of California Irvine freshman Rose Oganesian considered it shouldn’t be the same price. Oganesian’s petition says students should get at least a partial refund whether they start their spring quarter later this month or if they’re already in the middle of their spring semester. As of the last check there were already more than 5,200 who’d signed the petition originally just for UC Irvine, then amended to include all public campuses in California.

The interim public health officer in Sonoma County has ordered all residents to stay at home and limit all but essential business and government operations for three weeks. The mandatory directive, but not an order, due to the coronavirus. It was issued last night and continues until at least until April 7th. There are four confirmed cases in Sonoma County from community spread. Three were healthcare workers. Dr. Mase says if they don’t have any preventative measures, there could be a peak of cases that could tax the healthcare system and put it overcapacity.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors’ Vision 2028 Statement” meeting’s first order will be to figure out ways to promote economic resilience for Lake County residents. The Board met at their regular time on Tuesday and talked about the potential for community spread of the virus. There have been no confirmed cases in the County so far. The Board Chair Moke Simon says they’re taking it very seriously and have to keep residents safe, especially the most vulnerable. The Board moved to ratify Sheriff Martin’s Emergency Proclamation and adopt a Resolution so that residents are not evicted right now if they cannot pay their rent because of COVID-19. They’re also trying to find a way so there’s electronic access to Board meetings, and are working on continuing as many County services as can be responsibly provided.

A body found along the Mendocino Coast earlier this month was a man missing for a year and a half. The Sheriff’s Dept. says it was 44 year old Lewis Compton of Westport who was out of touch with his family since November of 2018 after running from a CHP officer investigating a hit-and-run crash. Cops say the man had run from the crash, then abandoned a Jeep on the side of Highway 1. He was reported missing six days later, but deputies didn’t search because they were reportedly concerned he might have been armed. Then March 7th, near where his abandoned jeep was first found, human remains, clothes and shoes were found. State Assemblyman Jim Wood, who’s also a forensic dentist, compared Compton’s dental records and the skeleton’s teeth, finding they were a match.

We have a shelter in place order in Mendocino County. The Public Health Officer, Dr. Mimi Doohan says, yes, the 7 other nearby counties, are not that nearby, but it’s the smartest thing to do, based on science after cases arose regionally, starting with the epicenter in Santa Clara County where a couple of cases first arose in Northern Calif. Many people at yesterday’s meeting spoke out, including some healthcare providers. Dr  Suzanne Hiramatsu, a Physician at Ukiah Valley ER says she agrees with Dr. Doohan’s Shelter in Place Order as does, Harvard Schooled, Ukiah resident, Dr. Drew Colfax…

The Public Health Officer in Lake County says testing for the virus is limited everywhere, including Lake County. Dr. Gary Pace says that means if the virus hits locally it may be too much for health care facilities to handle. The comments at yesterday’s Board of Supervisors meeting where he updated county leaders on local developments. He told the Board he wasn’t sure how long things would go on, and that, “It’s a sobering time.” There were also two new public health orders, one about school closures, the other on limiting groups. And like other regional counties, he encouraged, but did not order residents to shelter in place.  He says testing has been a challenge after some private labs sent tests back because they were overwhelmed or it would take a week to get results. The public health lab in Santa Rosa is reportedly running tests for three counties, including Lake, the others are Sonoma and Mendocino. But those tests are only being run on very sick individuals.

The Clearlake City Council is prepared to ratify a local emergency proclamation connected to the virus. They also say their next meeting for tomorrow night will be livestreamed on PEG TV’s Youtube Channel. The streaming meeting after the Governor issued an Executive Order allowing council members to attend city council meetings telephonically. They’re also encouraging community members to do the same, saying they can observe in person, but due to current health risks, they can also watch online. The City Council will talk COVID-19, but is also going to consider the purchase of Austin Resort which is located across from City Hall.

The Gov. has announced the California National Guard is now on alert to protect local communities and to help fight the spread of COVID-19. The Guard directed by Gov. Newsom for humanitarian missions, including food distribution, ensuring resiliency of supply lines, and supporting public safety as required.

 

Clearlake police justified in the deadly shooting of a man who was stabbing his half-brother. The D-A’s office ruled the shooting death of Rocco Morgan, Jr. last July by officer Brittany Shores was justified. District Attorney Susan Krones says Morgan was shot by Shores as she saw him beating his brother and stabbing him. She believed the victim’s life was in danger and fired a shot, which did nothing, so she fired again before leaving to get backup officers. Morgan was taken to a hospital and died later.

The City of Willits reports taking major precautions due to the outbreak… City Hall is reducing its hours from 10-4 for the public. They are canceling the March 25th meeting, the next one April 8th might also be canceled. All events of over 25 set for the Community Center have been canceled, the Community Development Department will be closed to the public and will have meetings via phone. All essential meetings are canceled, water shutoffs are postponed for a month. They want people, whenever possible, to use the drop box in front of City Hall, pay by mail or use their website. Police and Sheriff substations are limiting call response to only urgent calls and encouraging phone calling instead of in person visits.

Mendocino County Public Health says it’s actively responding to the threat of COVID-19 and after the local emergency was called on March 4th, there are no local cases. But since there’s rapid spread in San Francisco, Mendocino County is following CDC guidance and ordering a ban on non-essential public gatherings of 50 people or more.  Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan says there should be social distancing in gatherings of 10-50 people, and mitigation measures have to be implemented. Any violation of an order is a misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both. The order in coordination with the big 6 Bay Area counties (San Francisco, Marin, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Contra Costa and Alameda). A press conference is being held this afternoon with more information for the public which will be live streamed on the Mendocino County YouTube Channel (www.youtube.com/MendocinoCountyVideo) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/mendocinocounty/).

Some restaurants and bars staying open even after the Governor issued a directive for closures. The Daily Journal reports visiting some businesses who said they would only close, when forced to do so. The newspaper reports Safeway on South State Street had modified its hours, open 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. Ukiah Natural Foods had modified fresh selections, closing the salad bar and removing seating near the coffee and juice bar.

MTA is closing their office in Ukiah and implementing work from home rules for their non-essential staff. They say they may also have to reduce service or modify some schedules. They’re monitoring phone calls at dispatch and will update their website as needed.

Other sources of information you can monitor on a regular basis are the Mendocino County Department of Public Health https://www.mendocinocounty.org/government/health-and-human-services-agency/public-health  and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) https://www.cdc.gov/

Safeway has announced hiring a massive amount of people because of panic shopping due to the coronavirus. The hiring in Northern Calif, with more than 2,000 immediate openings at Safeway, Andronico’s, Vons, and Pak ‘N Save stores. The openings area also for western Nevada, and Hawaii. The hiring includes paid training, flexible scheduling, and employee discounts at Safeway. If you apply to be a delivery driver, a commercial driver’s license is not required.

More instructions from the state regarding food, beverage and other service venues. The governor says the new aggressive, but necessary actions will protect communities. Bars, wineries, breweries and pubs should be closed, except for venues authorized for the sale of beer and wine to be consumed off premises. And any that provide meals are considered restaurants for these purposes, they should be closed for in-restaurant seated dining and open only for delivery or drive thru. The state says to remind employees about best hygiene practices, clean more, including menus, cash registers, pens, pencils and nonfood contact areas. Make sure there’s social distancing and limit how many people line up for food.

The Mendocino County Health Officer tweeted a photo of herself and another staffer with a box of coronavirus test kits. The caption says “We’ve got COVID-19 test kits!” But they only received 50 of them. They’ve used 38 of those with 0 positives, 16 negatives and 22 pending.

The Mendocino County Health Officer, CEO and schools Superintendent announcing schools transitioning to modified schooling today. Home schooling thru at least April 3rd with no work right now, as this would be spring break. Teachers are meeting today to decide how to deliver the schoolwork to kids. Teachers looking to distribute thru email or Google Classroom. Anyone without internet can get it printed. In Fort Bragg and other schools, meals can be provided for kids but the child has to be at the school to receive it.

Dollar General stores are having senior only time before opening. Starting today the corporate office is encouraging member stores to have their first hour of operation for seniors only. The CEO thanking customers for their understanding of this decision and asking those younger to visit later in the day so at risk populations can get there first and alone. With this announcement, they say they’ll also close an hour earlier for employees to clean and restock.

Intro: Sacramento lawmakers are pressing for health-care reforms that they say will help combat COVID-19. The Health 4 All Coalition announced their legislative priorities for 2020 on Monday — designed to get more people covered and cut costs for patients. State Senator Richard Pan, who also is a pediatrician, says Senate Bill 65 would cap health insurance premiums and copays at a percentage of people’s income.

:07  “We need to provide some limits on cost sharing so that people don’t just have coverage but they can actually afford to get the care. “

Tag:  Another bill would have the state of California start manufacturing generic drugs so no company could gouge consumers.

Second Cut: Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula, also a doctor, has sponsored Assembly Bill 4, which would open up Medi-Cal to all income-eligible adults, regardless of immigration status. He says we can’t stop the spread of disease while hundreds of thousands remain uninsured.

:07  “Health care is a human right. Our undocumented Californians should be treated with the same dignity and given this right.”

Third Cut: Last year California expanded Medi-Cal to include undocumented low-income young adults. State Senator Maria Elena Durazo says the next step is to include undocumented seniors.

:15  “The health-care safety net system has always been the smartest thing to do, and that’s even more important right now.”

Tag:  The Health 4 All coalition also supports a bill to establish a state office of health-care affordability; and one to raise the assets limit for seniors so they don’t lose access to Medi-Cal for having small amounts of savings.

It may not be long before residents in Sonoma County are told they must shelter in place at home for up to three weeks so they don’t come into contact with anyone else. There are already 7 million people in six other Bay Area counties with the same restrictions on travel and business operations. The county’s interim public health officer has not decided yet, but there may be an announcement sometime today. The first confirmed case of a resident infected from an unknown local source has heightened the local public health emergency. And then another person was revealed to have COVID-19 over the weekend, but they haven’t said how that person contracted the illness.

The DMV out with new guidelines due to the pandemic. They’re asking law enforcement not to be terribly strict for 60 days while enforcing driver license and vehicle registration expiration dates, using their own discretion so at-risk people like seniors and folks with underlying health conditions don’t need to visit a DMV field office. The 60 day period from yesterday, to protect other DMV customers who would otherwise have to come to a DMV office, but are worried they may get sick. The agency says most things you need to do at the DMV can be done online, thru snailmail or at kiosks statewide or in their business partner locations. So they’re telling police to be flexible during this unprecedented time. If you need a REAL ID, the federal government requires an office visit though.

Lawmakers are reportedly approving as much as $1 billion in new spending for the coronavirus outbreak. They immediately suspended work for the next month too. This is reported to be the first unexpected work stoppage in the Legislature in 158 years. It comes after lawmakers in both parties voted overwhelmingly to allow the Gov. Gavin Newsom to spend money without their oversight. A government historian says the last time lawmakers unexpectedly suspended meetings was back in 1862, when a flood took over most of the capitol and also forced the new governor at the time, Leland Stanford to use a boat to get to his inauguration.

State Senator Mike McGuire and Mendocino County public officials, and Superintendent of Schools Michelle Hutchins are having a “telephone town hall” on coronavirus. The meeting tomorrow where you can call in, listen or email questions ahead of time. McGuire’s office says they’re working with all levels of government to ensure a unified approach to the coronavirus response on the North Coast and that needs are being met. He says they also want to make sure residents are up to date on the most accurate information to protect themselves, their families and their communities.

The telephone town hall this tomorrow at 7:00 p.m.

Who: Senator Mike McGuire, Mendocino County leaders, public health officials and the county Superintendent of Schools.

What: Telephone Town Hall to provide the latest updates on our response to the coronavirus.

When: This coming Wednesday, March 18, at 7:00 p.m.

How to attend: Dial (877) 226-8216, enter code 2864418 and follow the prompts. You will be connected to the live town hall via telephone and you will be able to listen to the officials providing updates. Email your questions and comments in advance and in real time on Wednesday evening to: Senator.McGuire@Senate.ca.gov

Ukiah Schools are closing due to concerns about coronavirus. Schools will close tomorrow thru spring break, April 13th. Students will transition to remote learning, getting complete lessons for home schooling. They will not offer any after school activities or childcare, and field trips. The administrators say they will communicate in the near future about remote learning, meals, and social-emotional support for our students.

The California Gov. is calling for seniors and people with chronic conditions to stay inside during the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The Governor says they will have more instructions tomorrow after the administration and private industry get together on the details. The governor has not given any date he expects the self-isolation to end. It’s also not illegal yet, but the governor says he would consider an executive order if he had to, to make it mandatory if the directive is not followed.

The California Gov. has ordered all bars, wineries, nightclubs and brewpubs to close and is urging seniors and others with chronic health conditions to isolate themselves at home so the spread of coronavirus slows. And restaurants and pubs, and nightclubs will start closing down. The same is being required in other states, including Illinois and Ohio with other states considering the same measures. Newsom is offering these as guidelines and says they’ll enforce if necessary as the sixth death was recorded.

Calif. State health officials are also asking movie theaters to keep attendance lower and have people sit six feet apart from strangers. Same for gambling venues, casinos are being told to have clean chips and clean slot machines more often.

Verily, the life sciences arm of Google’s parent company Alphabet, is helping San Francisco launch a tool to help people find coronavirus testing. Something President Trump alluded to in his press conference with various CEO’s last Friday. The online tool would direct people to mobile, drive-thru testing. The first in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. There are now more hospital beds available and closed hospitals will be reopening in coming days. They’re also trying to get more of the state’s 108,000 homeless people indoors.

Some stores have also limited sales of toilet paper and other items to stop hoarding. Thousands are being told to work at home if they can. And colleges, universities are holding classes online and public schools are closing for at least a month. Some school districts were offering meals to the neediest and in San Francisco libraries and indoor recreation centers are being turned into childcare centers for low-income families.

A mock frost at the recycled water or purple pipe project has gone off without a hitch. Ukiah’s director of water and sewer utilities says the frost test went better than they expected. Last Thursday they had sprinklers connected to the purple pipe running. Some who were part of the test said the water pressure was fine and there were no issues. The recycled water project can deliver around 3,400 gallons of water a minute, nearly 5 million gallons/day. They released about 4 million gallons Thursday.

After the president said health insurance companies have agreed to waive any copayments for coronavirus, some insurers say, that’s not exactly right. UnitedHealthcare says they indeed are waiving cost sharing, including copays, coinsurance and deductibles, for COVID-19 diagnostic testing at approved locations. Aetna says they’ll do the same. Same for Anthem, but some can only get tested at emergency rooms, so that’s a different story.

A healthcare worker in Rohnert Park has been diagnosed with the coronavirus, one of two new cases.  Health officials in Sonoma County report, before this, three cases connected to cruise ships were noted, but these two latest cases popped up this weekend. An employee at Rohnert Park Health Center the first person to have contracted coronavirus locally. But they state they believe it was contracted outside their facility.

A judge in Northern California has approved a request by prosecutors in the Golden State Killer case to request more DNA from the man charged in connection to the case. The judge also says the prosecution can decide whether or not to offer Joseph James DeAngelo the ability to plead guilty so he can avoid the death penalty. The former police officer is accused of more than a dozen murders and more than 50 rapes in the 1970s and 1980s. Prosecutors were allowed to take 4 more swabs of DNA from DeAngelo so he can potentially be linked to other cases. DNA was taken 2 years ago when he was first arrested for more than 2 rapes.

Lake County schools are closing until the beginning of April due to the coronavirus.  Superintendents for schools met last night and made the decision even though there are no cases of the virus in Lake County, but the Lake County Sheriff’s office declared a state of emergency late Friday afternoon due to local cases of COVID-19 in neighboring counties. Lake Co News reports the Office of Education will get more info out to families and update the situation on the Lake County Office of Education’s website.

The Ukiah Senior Center has announced a cancelation of a free tax service. The AARP free tax prep service which had been set for every Monday and Wednesday until April 15th will not go on, for now.

Redwood Coast Village which coordinates volunteer help for seniors says they’re in dire need of volunteers under the age of 65 to help for essential services. Lake Co News reports Redwood Coast had just started a phone buddy system, they need driving and food shopping help. For more info call 707-442-3763 x217 or email
rcv@redwoodcoastvillage.org.

After the statewide public health state of emergency was declared in Calif. the Mendocino County Public Health Officer followed suit for a county wide public health emergency. That’s for the county to be reimbursed for any expenses incurred related to the coronavirus. Now we’re hearing about price gouging. The County is reminding that price gouging of up to 10% higher than what the price was on March 3rd, the day before the public health emergency was declared, is prohibited. Anyone caught price gouging could face criminal charges, be jailed and face fines of up to $10,000. The County also says while there could be legitimate reasons to raise prices, that will be at the discretion of the District Attorney.

A departure plan has been agreed to finally for the Grand Princess cruise ship that’s been docked off the Port of Oakland after disembarking, then quarantining passengers. Now crew members were able to leave the ship which were temporarily anchored in the San Francisco Bay as chartered flights were brought in for the crew to a non-commercial portion of San Francisco International Airport. The ship was set to leave last night and as of Saturday more than 2,900 individuals, including more than 2,400 passengers and more than 500 crew had disembarked. The ship was hit by the coronavirus on a previous voyage. It will be remediated and decontaminated with a bleach solution to disinfect it.

The Fort Bragg Police Department says it’s closing its front lobby immediately to protect the community from coronavirus. The police department out with a statement this morning that they will not be providing fingerprint services to the public at this time either. They will still help the public in person, but you have to call the front office first to request service.  They go on to say, it’s not uncommon for them to have up to eight people in the lobby at a time for various reasons so they’re encouraging most services over the phone when possible. They will also not be available for any public meetings between now and April 6th. Any meetings scheduled during that time period will need to be moved to a different location or cancelled.

No cases of the coronavirus in Lake County but the Public Health Officer says there could be cases they don’t know about due to the ability to test people for COVID-19. On Friday Dr. Gary Pace declared a public health emergency because of the virus in neighboring regions. He says residents in Lake County are at low risk of getting the illness, and tests are generally back within two days. But he says they’ve been extremely limited because the system has been bottlenecked. He says things are improving slowly though.  People at high risk will be prioritized, those who have traveled abroad, have underlying health issues, have been exposed to a confirmed case, work in a high risk situation, like a healthcare facility or are very sick.

Lakeport is considering declaring a citywide emergency due to coronavirus. The Lakeport City Council will take up the matter at their meeting tomorrow. There are already state and federal declarations.  Lake Co News reports the City Council will also consider the proposed adoption of the Lake County Master Broadband Plan prepared by the Upstate California Connect Consortium to assess the landscape for residential and business customers. They will also consider a resolution to use SB1 money to repair some roads. The city should be able to pull about $91,000 out of that fund for this fiscal year.

Adventist Health Ukiah Valley says they are ready for coronavirus should there be a local case. President Jason Wells says staff are taking necessary precautions to protect themselves, so they don’t end up quarantined.

The hospital’s chief medical officer Dr. Bassant Parker….

Wells says there will be no visitors allowed now, like many other hospitals across the country….

They have 100 beds total, and Wells says they can increase as needed….

The first public discussion is planned for the Lake County Board of Supervisors on the coronavirus. The board’s meeting at the usual time tomorrow morning in the courthouse. You can watch the meeting online at the County website or on Channel 8.The board is also expected to ratify the Sheriff’s emergency proclamation from last Friday.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Dept. says due to the coronavirus they’re changing protocol for how they patrol. They will follow directions and guidelines being distributed by the CDC and Mendocino County Department of Public Health. So office employees will try to handle non emergencies on the phone first. Dispatch will ask for your phone number so deputies can first try to solve your issue via telephone. They will dispatch officers as needed and assess the possible exposure to officers of coronavirus. The lobby will also be closed at Fort Bragg and other offices until further notice, but staffing levels will not change. The main office in Ukiah will stay open to the public, but no live-scan fingerprinting will take place. Walk in traffic will mostly be on the lobby phone for non-emergency service.