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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 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.

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.

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