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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.

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