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Local officials held a community information meeting about coronavirus. The Mendocino County Public Health Officer Mimi Doohan. Dr. Doohan spoke on the virus and her expertise and says she’s closely following the pandemic.  She says they’re being very transparent about the disease in the county…

The County is reminding the public not to shake hands, stay home when you’re sick and to keep about six feet away from others. She says it’s usually a pretty mild illness, like getting the flu. For more information a call center has been set up that’ll be open until 5 pm today, after hours, the phone number will be rolled over to the dispatch center: 707-234-6052 rolls you can also email callcenter@mendocinocounty.org

Fort Bragg is getting proactive against coronavirus. At an unofficial State of the City address, the Mayor William Lee and other city officials at city hall yesterday spoke on the issue, reminding folks to stay calm. There are five people in the hospital in Fort Bragg with respiratory illness, 2 diagnosed with the flu, but the mayor didn’t say if any of the patients were tested for the virus. He confirmed the city has enough testing kits for the population and that they can get more if needed. The city manager also on hand saying the city’s getting ready to open an Emergency Operations Center like they had during the PG&E power shutoffs last year. She says though that there’s no intention of opening the Center unless there’s a confirmed case in Mendocino County.

The latest Grand Jury report has been released in Mendocino County. The 2020 Continuity Report has not been done for ten years. It looks at prior grand jury investigations on county and city government and special districts. The reports generally recommend changes and provide a critique of department operations. Last year they looked at the Board of Supervisors, Mendocino County CEO, County Office of Education, and the Ukiah Valley Sanitation District.

Repair work is complete at the Ukiah Wastewater Treatment Plant. Due to dry weather last month, the ponds still in terrible condition after winter rains the last few years. The Public Works Director Tim Eriksen says levees around the percolation ponds at the Wastewater Treatment Plant were damaged last year. A contractor has been hired after things were on hold due to the City’s recycled water project.

The monthly meeting of the Little Lake Fire Protection District and the discussion of ambulance service came up for Ukiah. The MedStar Ambulance CEO was on hand looking for support from the fire chief to stay in business in Ukiah. Which he got. Then they discussed a firehouse update and where they’re at with the buildout. There have been plan reviews and expenditure reports to pour over and discussions on design. They also discussed new fire rigs, already purchased and adopting a new fire code. The staff noted at the meeting that they’ve only just begun work on the preliminary budget.

A town hall with the Mendocino County Public Health Officer Mimi Doohan, zero cases in Lake and Mendocino County, Sonoma County had 2 cases and Marin had 3.

The latest numbers show there have been 177 cases in the state and 4 deaths, the epicenter is said to be the Bay Area. The County is following the state on mass public gatherings, that they should be canceled or postponed. And the ones that do go on need to be much smaller, with enough room for social distancing.

Sonoma County is taking decisive action, suspending activities, closing schools and in person services thru the weekend. Sonoma State announced a temporary closure, Santa Rosa Junior College, and the most populous schools are suspending in person classes, starting spring break early. Sonoma County school administrators are reportedly planning for a possible extended closure during the break due to the expanding global pandemic. The Press Democrat reports the Sonoma County Office of Education has advised local administrators to also reschedule or cancel extracurricular activities, including dances, field trips and theater productions.

Events canceled in Lake County… the Soper Reese Theatre and Lake County Winegrape Commission announced canceling or postponing events due to coronavirus. There are no cases of the disease confirmed in Lake County, but it’s in accordance with a directive from the state to postpone or cancel non-essential gatherings through the end of the month. So the March 14th performance of the Rural Jazz Collective and March 21st performance of Wendy Dewitt’s Hell’a Piano Party are canceled. As is the Lake County Winegrape Commission’s Momentum 2020, a local wine industry event set for March 26th.

Normal visits will not be allowed at the Lake County Jail. The Sheriff’s Office announced it’s because of COVID-19. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office Detention Division made the same announcement. The Lake County office says they understand how visitation is essential for rehabilitation, but right now, they have to make difficult decisions to protect the health and wellness of all who live, work at or visit the jail. Family and legal visits will be held as scheduled for a spouse or domestic partner, children, parents and siblings only. They’re also canceling nonessential events and tours. They’re also working to continuously keep staff informed of the situation, like giving them information from the CDC and Public Health agencies.

The Napa County Public Health Officer has declared a local health emergency. Much like Lake and Mendocino County before it. Dr. Karen Relucio declared the local emergency for Napa County in response to the COVID-19 pandemic but they have no confirmed cases. It’s just to get resources faster, move quicker with emergency planning and response, and get future reimbursement by the state and federal governments if there are cases. The declaration is for seven days and has to be ratified by the Napa County Board of Supervisors. So far 33 counties, cities and tribes have declared public health emergencies, including Lake, Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Orange, Santa Clara, San Diego and Sonoma Counties.

California Community colleges are suspending their in person classes due to the coronavirus. Many are doing online instruction and calling for an early spring break first. Presidents of various campuses held a webinar earlier this week and the statewide chancellor said they don’t have to go thru a formal approval process to do so. There are 114 community colleges in the state with about a quarter of them announcing online instruction to prevent the spread of the virus. There are more than 2 million students in the system, most go part time. Yuba Community College in Clearlake, (Woodland Community College) announced online yesterday that they were one of the many. The City College of San Francisco canceled in person classes and is moving into spring break a week early. Same with two in Santa Clara County where one Corona patient died. Same for Berkeley City College and the College of Alameda.

Calif. Congressmembers Mike Thompson, John Garamendi, Jared Huffman and Doris Matsui have introduced a bill so cruise lines will have to pay back passengers who had their trips canceled because of the coronavirus. This for tickets purchased on or before February 1, 2020. It would apply to cancellations from the cruise line or the passenger because of the ongoing pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised that travelers defer all cruise ship travel at this time. Huffman says it’s important for travelers to cancel if they don’t feel safe without worrying about losing their hard earned money.

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