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The Mendocino County Public Health Officer, Sheriff and Ukiah Police Chief have a press briefing after a new case of COVID- 19 was confirmed.  The Sheriff says it was an avoidable case. An individual released from Chino State Prison who was supposed to report to Stanislaus County and did not, instead making their way to Mendocino County…

The Mendocino County CEO says there’s been about 500 tests conducted with four positives until Friday, when the fifth was announced. The Public Health Office apparently notified by the Sheriff that the man may have been exposed and he was tested within hours, then after the positive test was confirmed he sheltered in place with a family member in Ukiah.

Also on Friday, Congressman Jared Huffman said we needed more testing and more Personal Protective Equipment before we can open up the Calif. economy. Huffman says once there’s enough tests, and PPE stockpiled a surge of the virus can be handled and some of the stay home orders can be relaxed. He also says two months into the crisis, and he hasn’t seen a national strategy for ramping up testing and providing that gear for healthcare workers. He says there’s nobody even in charge of that effort, and at the federal level, it’s been chaotic, adding that he hopes Gov. Gavin Newsom will be successful getting testing ramped up in the state which he said he’d attempt before the end of the month.

State Senator Mike McGuire on the call with Huffman talking about the record unemployment adding that today a new call center was opening from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., seven days a week. McGuire says there will be 600 more staff members trained who can start this week at the call centers. And next Tuesday, April 28th there will be another program, partnering with the federal government, for independent contractors, gig workers and sole proprietor business owners so they can apply for unemployment with payments backdated to Feb. 2nd or whenever these workers were impacted by the pandemic. The payments are $600 a week for four months.

A memo that said an inmate at Chino State Prison who was released and supposed to be in quarantine, ended up in Ukiah. On Friday the memo dated April 9th about the inmate being exposed to an infectious COVID-19 case was sent to the Stanislaus County Department of Health. The inmate released early after meeting certain criteria due to the pandemic. He was supposedly screened and given a mask and educated about the virus and told to immediately report to Stanislaus County. The Corrections Dept. says they made the required notifications to the offender’s identified county of release. The probation dept there reportedly granted him a pass to travel to Mendocino County. Then the Sheriff here was informed and in turn informed our Health Officer and the man was tested and found to be infected. He’s sheltering with a family member at a home in Ukiah.

Six new resident doctors are reporting to Adventist Health Ukiah Valley Family Medicine Residency Program. They will work in the program during the second year of the program for rural family medicine in Mendocino and Lake County. These six will all work as residents in Mendocino. The Program Director Dr. Chris Deuel says after successful interviews the next class of residents are arriving for a total of 12 residents in Ukiah serving the community. There were more than 750 applications from across the country and around the world with 85 chosen, then whittled down to six after interviews.

New details have been released about nursing homes and the coronavirus pandemic. The Calif. Dept. of Public Health says there were more than 3,000 positive cases, infecting both patients and staff. This was as of last Friday, the state releasing a “point in time snapshot”. The Press Democrat reports the cases representing 86% of the 1,224 nursing homes who reported data from the previous 24 hours. One nursing home in Sonoma County was on the list: Apple Valley Post-Acute Rehab where a staffer tested positive April 9th. They were asymptomatic. Since the pandemic broke out, most skilled nursing facilities are not allowing visitors after dozens of residents started to get infected and die. As of yesterday’s count, the state had a total of nearly 31,000 cases and almost 1,150 deaths.

We may have another stimulus for small businesses and Congressman Mike Thompson getting ahead of it, sending a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Friday saying he’s received multiple inquiries from small businesses who have had major issues applying for the relief, saying they’re not getting access to the loans and money is gone. Thompson says big companies got there first, like Potbelly Corp. and Ruth’s Hospitality Group, which is Ruth Chris Steak House who got $20 million in forgivable loans. The comments were in a virtual town hall meeting last Thursday with the Lake County Sheriff and Public Health Officer as featured guests. Thompson telling someone who asked that all of the money appropriated was used and that a fourth bill was being worked on now. They could vote on it tonight.

Students in Calif who can’t participate in long distance learning because of a lack of internet access or a computer may soon be in luck. The California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond says about 1.2 million people in the state cannot get online at home and the State Board of Education has a task force working on getting them donations. Google gifted 100,000 Wi-Fi hotspots and 4,000 Chromebooks,. The task force will also have a public hearing so internet service providers can inform what they’re doing to improve internet access during the pandemic.

Lake County is working on a new Emergency Operations Plan, the last from two years ago. The County Office of Emergency Services working on the plan that sets up details about what the county will do in the case of drought, wildfires, floods, severe weather and pandemics. Lake Co News reports the office is doing its biannual review and looking for input from the community.  You can get a look at it on the Lake County News website. We’ve also put up the info to send in your comments on our website and Facebook page. Comments and suggestions will be accepted for three weeks, from Monday, April 20, through Friday, May 8.

A fire in Clearlake has gutted a home and damaged one nearby. The fire Saturday afternoon destroyed a single wide mobile home, shed and three cars. The Lake County Fire Dept on the scene finding the mobile home engulfed and the shed and a stick-built home threatened. There were also downed power lines thrashing about and 1,000 rounds of ammo exploding. Water was shut down for a time too, challenging firefighters due to a broken water main. Besides the 3 cars, shed and mobile home 100% destroyed, the stick built home was 40% destroyed. Nobody was home at the time the fire occurred and the resident of the stick built home got out safely with some dogs.

The Ukiah Unified School District Trustees have certified the results of the March 2020 election with Measure A being approved with more than 55% of the vote. The Measure will have a Citizens’ Oversight Committee put together which is a state requirement after a local bond is passed. The committee watches over the money brought in by Measure A for repair and modernization of schools. The committee will be made up of at least seven volunteers who serve for two years each. It has to be made up of members from the business community, a senior organization, and a taxpayer organization, plus parents with children in the District.

Those interested in serving on the committee may obtain an application online at, or pick up an application by contacting Debbie Ornelas, Office of the Superintendent and Board of Trustees, at 707.472.5002,, 511. S. Orchard Ave., Ukiah, CA 95482. The application deadline is Friday, June 5, 2020.

A man from Covelo’s been arrested for looting at a couple of markets. Deputies say they busted Neil Bruce Waldron after he was seen in the area of burglary in progress last Friday at the Village Hearth. Deputies say they found the front door to the business open and a broken window with things rummaged through there. The owner says an Apple IPAD was missing and between that and the damage to the store, it was about a $1,300.00 loss. Deputies also found that Keith’s Market, also in Covelo also been broken into as well and found doors broken, glass shattered and other damage. The manager showed deputies video surveillance where they saw Waldron carrying a pellet rifle shattering glass to get in, the same as at Village Hearth. He’s accused of causing $4,000 damage in this store. He was arrested for violating the shelter in place order due to COVID-19 and for Looting, Second Degree Burglary and violating probation and held on $20,000.00 bail. Deputies got a call about a third ripoff and are investigating if it’s connected to Waldron or not.

Nokia and U.S. Cellular partnering to provide more cell service because of expanded demands due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It comes after the FCC granted temporary authority to U.S. Cellular to use extra spectrum to increase capacity which is licensed to Advantage Spectrum and is going to be made available remotely on Nokia’s Airscale Radio Access Network. The company says it will mean better capacity for 250 sites situated on swaths of land in California, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin.

Another inmate apparently exposed to coronavirus upon discharge from a prison, landing in Fort Bragg. The Fort Bragg Police Dept. reports getting a call from the Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall about the release of two prisoners from a state correctional facility who may have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus, one of them released to Ukiah, found to be infected, the other in Fort Bragg was negative for the virus. The Police Dept says there was no notification of the Public Health Dept. in Fort Bragg from the County Health Office. The inmate that ended up in Fort Bragg was reportedly also in the Chino facility, but housed in a different building from where the COVID-19 outbreak was reported. Mendocino Coast Clinics tested the Fort Bragg former inmate who agreed to meet there and was said to be cooperative and got there at the instructed time. On Friday the test came back NEGATIVE, but as we’ve been reporting the former inmate who ended up in Ukiah was confirmed to have coronavirus. The Mendocino County Public Health Officer reported they were isolating with a family member in Ukiah ever since.


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