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Health officials in Sonoma County getting aggressive against the coronavirus. Certain hospitals, clinics and urgent care centers will start testing in the county. They’re starting a so-called “enhanced surveillance” program to test as many as 80 patients who present with flu-like symptoms at a time. The program is to see if Covid-19 is being transmitted from person to person in the County. The County’s interim health officer Dr. Sundari Mase says they want to determine if there are any coronavirus infections in the community they haven’t detected, going from a passive stance to a more proactive response. Mase says there’s been no new cases of coronavirus since Saturday.

An urgency ordinance adopted in Ukiah due to the homeless encampments near the Ukiah Municipal Airport. The Daily Journal reports the City Council adopted the ordinance so the open space near the airport is noted as Runway Safety Areas to be kept clear. The Asst. City Attorney says the issue’s more urgent now as groups of people have been loitering in the area which is unsafe. There are two areas across from the northern and southern ends of the runway owned by the city that will now be kept vacant. They could affect if there is a flight that either overshoots or undershoots the runway or needs to make an emergency landing. So those caught in these areas will be ticketed for trespassing.

A proposed subdivision in Ukiah referred to the Planning Commission by the City Council will probably be appealed. The Daily Journal reports after the subdivision on North School Street went before City Engineer Tim Eriksen in January many neighbors nearby appealed saying there would be terrible traffic and that they were opposed to the three plot subdivision, but two parcels might be fine. Then when it came time to have public comment, nobody spoke out against it as Eriksen approved it. He even told a few audience members there, they could speak out if they wanted to. A City Council member appealed the subdivision for his district due to property value decreases and possible flooding. The City Council member also reportedly lives across from the plot of land. That Planning Commission is expected to get the appeal March 25th.

The Redwood Valley Water Infrastructure Retrofit Project is moving forward after the Board of Supervisors gave the project a thumbs up. The Board giving the approval for the Department of Transportation to advertise for bids and find the lowest bidder for the construction and improvements. The Daily Journal reports the planned Retrofit Project would help stop earthquake hazards that threaten the Redwood Valley County Water District and protect infrastructure should there be an earthquake in the future. The project to replace more than 10,000 feet of main water lines, including the installation of as much as 3,300 feet of new water main lines, and replace 146 water services lateral connections.

The name of a woman killed in a car crash on Highway 20 has been released. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office reports 58 year old Mary Mahoney of Guerneville died after her Toyota 4Runner went down an embankment by Walker Ridge Road Tuesday night. She apparently tried to swerve back onto the road after driving onto the dirt shoulder but rolled the SUV. It’s also reported, she did not have her seatbelt on. She was thrown from the vehicle and died at the scene. She had a 20 year old female passenger with her who had minor injuries and was flown to an out of county hospital.

All in-person classes at Sonoma State University have been temporarily suspended due to the coronavirus. There were only three days of classes that would be online as it’s spring break next week. The college says they’ll resume regular classes March 24th depending on the status of the health crisis then. They school says the move to online classes is so faculty and staff have enough time to figure out the whole remote or virtual class model in case the virus outbreak gets more serious in the last several weeks of spring semester which ends May 8th.

A two week quarantine has been put in place at a Northern California assisted living facility after an elderly patient there died from the virus. Carlton Senior Living has confirmed a resident at their facility in Elk Grove died Tuesday at a hospital. Now the 140 residents there are being isolated in their apartments. In Washington State there were 19 deaths at a similar facility, so the Gov. banned all visitors at nursing homes. The Sacramento County health dept says they’re investigating if any other exposure happened at the Elk Grove facility and says no visitors will be allowed at that home until there are no contagious residents.

New policies have been announced by the governor regarding large public gatherings. The State says all gatherings should be postponed or canceled across Calif until at least the end of March. And any gatherings that do go on should not be with more than 250 people, and that those events that do proceed should only if the organizers can attain social distancing of 6 feet per person. And further, that gatherings of those at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, should be limited to no more than 10 people, while also following social distancing guidelines. The Gov. says it’s only for a short time saying it could save dozens of lives and preserve critical health care resources. Gatherings noted as events or bringing together people in a single room or single space at the same time, like at an auditorium, stadium, arena, large conference room, meeting hall, cafeteria, or any other indoor or outdoor space.

Local hemp industry regulations have been discussed at the Lake County Board of Supervisors meeting. The board will have to read the regulations again at two future meetings for final adoption. There will now be a new permitting process for hemp growers, stricter restrictions on the local industry, setbacks for grow sites will be established in a new zoning ordinance will also be part of the new regulations. Anyone interested in growing will have to have background checks, prove they have land ownership or a lease agreement for cultivation, identification of a legal source of water for cultivation, a zoning permit, registration with an applicable water board, a pollen management and crop destruction plan, and a surety bond.

A former High School music teacher has pleaded not guilty to sex crimes with children. Former Kelseyville High teacher Cory Cunningham has been charged with sexual penetration by object on a minor, willful child endangerment, contacting a minor to commit a felony (lewd act) and annoying or molesting a child under 18. He’s charged for a December 2019 incident with a 17-year-old student. He was first placed on administrative leave, then arrested. The school district has a lawyer representing it in the case, but the superintendent says they’re not sharing information that could hurt the case. Cunningham taught band, jazz ensemble, choir, guitar and music appreciation. He is due back in court April 27th for a preliminary hearing.

Congressman Mike Thompson’s Phone Act with Congressmember Anna Eshoo of Palo Alto has been referred by the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology to the full committee before a possible vote on the House floor. If it passes, residents who lost their homes in natural disasters would be able to keep their phone numbers for free. Survivors currently in danger of losing their phone numbers, and current law prohibits phone companies from allowing folks to keep their phone numbers as they rebuild their homes.

Five University of California medical centers are taking on the coronavirus, offering tests in house. UC Davis Medical Center released the news yesterday they’re starting their own in-house testing for coronavirus, making it the first health system in the country to do so. UC Davis hospital officials say they’ve been able to treat three of the first patients in the country to end up sick and will use their newly attained knowledge to help with the testing shortage. None of their healthcare workers got sick either. This because of a lack of federal government test kits. The tests at labs also at UC San Francisco, UCLA and UC San Diego which can all be turned around within 24 hours. UC Davis and Irvine are the next who are expected to offer in-house coronavirus tests.

An executive order has been issued by the Governor waiving the one week waiting period for unemployment. Governor Newsom also set other guidelines including delaying the deadline for state tax filing by 60 days for individuals and businesses who cannot file on time due to public health requirements related to COVID-19 filings, the order directs residents to follow public health directives and guidance, including the cancellation of large non-essential gatherings that do not meet state criteria; allows the state to commandeer property for temporary residences and medical facilities for quarantining, isolating or treating people; allows local or state legislative bodies to hold meetings via teleconference and make the meetings accessible electronically; and allows local and state emergency administrators to act quickly to protect public health.

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