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The response deadline for the US Census has been extended to Aug. 14th because of the COVID-19 crisis. Mendocino County was planning to have hundreds of workers going door to door to contact anyone who had not responded to mail invites, but of course all door to door visits have been tabled. According to the U.S. constitution, the Census has to happen every ten years, so it will have to be done in spite of the pandemic so the government represents the people by district appropriately. The census helps figure out how many seats there should be in the U.S. House of Representatives, the number of Electoral College votes and to redraw congressional districts. Locally, the Census Chair of Committee is asking people to respond online. Mendocino County is falling behind by about 8% in reporting for the Census. Ukiah is just over 1% behind.

The bus service going to Santa Rosa has been put on hold by the Mendocino Transit Authority to try to help stop the spread of coronavirus. The Daily Journal reports regional bus #65 from Fort Bragg to Willits, Ukiah and finally to Santa Rosa is going only as far as Hopland. And the same route to Santa Rosa is discontinued during the state’s shelter-in-place order. And bus #95 on the south Mendocino coast from Point Arena to Gualala and to Santa Rosa is also discontinued while we have the order to shelter-in-place. The MTA’s route #75 bus is continuing for south Mendocino coast residents Monday through Friday from Gualala north to Navarro and through Anderson Valley to Ukiah. There is Saturday service from the Navarro Store to Ukiah and back only.

There a new relief fund set up in Mendocino County for those affected by coronavirus. The Community Foundation of Mendocino County reports with the help of donors, they have a new COVID-19 Relief Fund. A $100,000 gift from the Community Foundation from the Disaster Fund. Other donors include Jim and Arlene Moorehead, Sonoma Clean Power, Savings Bank of Mendocino County, and the Poseley and Allende Families. So far the new fund has raised $206,000. They were trying to get to $250,000, but now say they’d like to get to $300,000. The fund looking to reach up to 55 percent of Mendocino County who may not have the resources to get through because of financial impacts of long-term business and school closures.

A fire breaks out and totally destroys a home in Hopland. The Fire Dept. reports getting a call yesterday morning about an explosion, then fire in the McNab Ranch area. There they found the home fully involved, calling it a total loss. The Fire Chief says they were however able to save the home next door. They’re trying to figure out how the fire started, but the chief says it does not appear to be suspicious. All of those in the home evacuated safely and no injuries were reported.

3,500 inmates are expected to be released early since they’re about to be paroled. The state is trying to make room in over-crowded prisons due to the pandemic. The Governor also announced no intakes from jails which should lower the population over the next month by about 3,000. Those being released are within 2 months of the earliest possible release and are not behind bars for a violent or sex crime. The inmates will first be screened for medical or mental health problems and that they can find somewhere to place them in the community. So they are not guaranteed.

The Governor says working hard to keep people at home has helped prepare for an expected peak surge of COVID-19 cases. The Governor says the peak of cases has not come when expected, but he didn’t say whether that meant there would just be a lower amount of cases. A current model shows the state’s hitting the lower numbers of earlier projections. But Newsom says that could all change in a day, so that’s why we need to be cautious. The state’s trying to get 50,000 more hospital beds on top of the 75,000 on hand now so there’s enough room if there is a peak surge.

A telephone town hall is being held by State Sen. Mike McGuire. Tonight at 6:30 p.m. McGuire’s district will get the latest update on coronavirus. He says they’re working with all levels of government to make sure there’s a unified response to the pandemic on the North Coast and that the community’s needs are met.

Who: Senator Mike McGuire, along with Del Norte, Humboldt and Trinity county public health officials and a University of California physician focused on infectious diseases.

When: WEDNESDAY, April 1 at 6:30 p.m.

How to attend: Dial 844-767-5679, enter code 204015 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 critical updates.

How to ask a question and get involved with the Town Hall:  Email your questions and comments in advance and in real time on Wednesday evening to: Senator.McGuire@senate.ca.gov

Stay up to date on coronavirus efforts across the state and here at home via the California COVID-19 response website (https://covid19.ca.gov), the County of Humboldt’s web page (https://humboldtgov.org), the County of Del Norte’s web page (http://www.co.del-norte.ca.us) and the County of Trinity’s web page (https://www.trinitycounty.org/COVID-19).

Another town hall for the North Coast, this one tomorrow with Congressman Mike Thompson on Facebook Live. Thompson’s office says he’ll be answering questions about the response by the federal government on COVID-19. It’s happening Thursday on the Congressman’s Facebook page from 7 to 8 p.m. Thompson will answer questions submitted on Facebook, by mail and over the phone from constituents. He’s inviting all of his constituents from California’s Fifth Congressional District and members of the press. His district covers all or part of Contra Costa, Lake, Napa, Solano and Sonoma counties.

There’s a new callout from the governor about COVID-19, he’s created a campaign, called “Stay Home. Save Lives. Check In”. It’s a way to make sure older Californians who are isolating alone at home and may not have enough food, have someone checking in on them. The Governor says “no older Californian should be forced to go outside to get groceries or their medication.” So he wants neighbors and friends to check on older adults in our lives and help them during the pandemic. The campaign urges checking in with those 65 or older with a call, text or physically-distanced door knock to be sure they’re ok. The state also wants local non-profits and faith-based organizations to do the same for seniors in their networks. There’s also a new hotline 833-544-2374 – in coordination with the non-profit local 2-1-1 systems.

The first confirmed death from coronavirus announced in Napa County. It happened yesterday, an adult patient, which is all they are saying, until they notify the patient’s immediately family. The Napa County Public Health officer says now more than ever’s the time to “practice physical distancing, and if we are sick, even with mild illness, make every effort to self-isolate from others and follow the shelter at home order.” There have been 15 COVID-19 cases in Napa County, 4 in Mendocino County and zero in Lake. The latest info we have on other neighboring Counties, Colusa with one, Glenn has two, Sonoma has 78 cases and one death, and Yolo has 24 and one death.

New provisions to the shelter at home order in Sonoma County. Residents and businesses have to continue staying at home at least another month, but now there are some allowances for folks who are still rebuilding after wildfires devastated their neighborhoods. Construction work related to healthcare, affordable housing, temporary housing, critical services, public works projects and some limited residential and business repair projects are allowed, short-term vacation rentals are not allowed and there has to be more strengthening of social distancing on businesses allowed to stay open. This all comes from the County Health Officer after the announcement that all schools statewide probably wouldn’t open again this school year. The extended order covers several other Bay Area counties — Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo and Solano. The Mendocino County Public Health Officer has previously said that she also tries to stay in alignment with the big Bay Area counties and speaks with those public health officers daily.

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