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The Governor announcing schools can potentially open again by July. The potential as part of his multi step reopening of California announced yesterday. The earliest the Governor says there would be a reopening but allowing some retailers and manufacturers the ability to reopen within weeks. Childcare and summer schools, parks, trails and other outdoor spaces can also reopen soon. But he’s not confirming a firm date for schools reopening, admitting though that there’s been learning loss under the statewide stay-at-home order with both teachers and students struggling to adapt to at-home learning. Plus the state cannot make school districts reopen, teachers unions and local school districts can work on that. The Superintendent of Public Instruction says “major questions still need to be answered.” Like can it be done safely for teachers, students and school staff.

Several hundred residents of the Round Valley Reservation in Covelo have been tested for coronavirus after six members of one family got infected. The Mendocino County Public Health Officer reports they tested almost 200 people Monday and will continue to test as many people on the Reservation as possible. The tests reportedly taken to the Sonoma County lab. Dr. Doohan says the results will guide on next steps for the entire County. She told the Board of Supervisors yesterday about her concern after another reservation, that in the Southwest, had the third largest outbreak in the country, after New York, and New Jersey. There was an outbreak in one family on the Reservation last week after one member traveled to the Bay Area, got sick and infected others. That brings the total of cases in the County to 11 confirmed. The National Guard was supposed to be sending surge tents to Covelo, according to the Sheriff, but yesterday the County CEO reported the state was going to wait instead, to see what the test results revealed.

One of the managers of the ER at Adventist Health Ukiah Valley says the emergency room has been pretty quiet. The Daily Journal reports the ER visits were down 50%. At the Redwood Medical Group, they report less visits to the ER as well because of the Shelter in Place order. They say those who are visiting maybe should have come in sooner. One man having a heart attack waited a day because people are trying to be careful, but it makes it more difficult they say, in the long run. With coronavirus it’s different, they say they want people to call first so a staff member can meet them outside and mask them and take them to a private room to be treated.

In Sonoma County, loosened rules for the Shelter in Place Order. As we reported yesterday, we were expected that hiking, running, walking, cycling and fishing would soon be allowed in all Sonoma County parks. The Public Health Officer is not allowing it along the coast though. The changes in effect starting today. Parking lots are closed and anyone who drives to a park and leaves their car nearby risks getting a ticket. There’s also nobody allowed along the Russian River for recreating or water sports to make sure there’s not a rush of visitors from out of town. They will also not have any open restrooms, playgrounds, dog parks, campgrounds, sport courts, picnic areas, disc golf courses opened yet either. They are considered high touch areas.

The Lake County Public Health Officer reporting to the Board of Supervisors at their latest meeting about more easing of restrictions in accordance with Stay Home orders. Dr. Gary Pace had already lifted some restrictions last week but is concerned about going further right now to make sure there’s no surge in cases. There were some limited uses allowed on Clear Lake and Pace says it went well, saying if there is overcrowding, they will have to step backwards into more restrictions again. It comes after the board sent a letter to the Governor’s office to ask for local authority over shelter-in-place orders saying a county government is in a better position to figure out what kind of regulation is needed in Lake County. But Dr. Pace said he doubted the state would grant that authority.

The longer the pandemic lasts, the more folks are visiting food banks. At the Redwood Empire Food bank, they report double the average visitors. During a regular year, they’ll serve about 82,000 people, but believe they have served 164,000 now. This month so far, the Food Bank in Lake County served an average of 83,000 meals/day as opposed to 58,000 previously. They are also asking for donations of food and money. In Lucerne they reported a jump of more than twice as many visitors and also asked for help with donations. We are participating in a Radiothon tomorrow,  Radio Cares Feeding
America.  We’ll be asking for donations for Feeding America through RadioCares.org, listen tomorrow for more information.

The public is encouraged to visit their Vimeo page (https://vimeo.com/redwoodempirefoodbank) to check out videos highlighting of what the Redwood Empire Food Bank is doing as a result of COVID-19.

After the next computer modeling on the pandemic returned to Sonoma County, the Public Health Officer loosened restrictions. Dr. Sundari Mase says the strict public health emergency restrictions looks to have helped avoid a surge of cases. They are slowly lifting the restrictions and instituting aggressive tracking of infected patients along with expanded testing. Dr. Mase says there have only been 22 hospitalizations, but mostly only between 2-4 people at one time. She also says their intent for intense contact tracing, more tests of up to 800 a day should help to continue to flatten the viral curve and keep peak hospitalizations next year below 500 patients with an apex in local cases next summer, of 2021.

The Lake County Public Health Officer says large gatherings and events are not coming back anytime soon. In a report to the Board of Supervisors yesterday, Dr. Gary Pace says he will most likely extend the current stay at home order through the middle of May. It’s supposed to expire Sunday.  Dr. Pace says the last of the six people in the County who tested positive will soon be allowed to come out of isolation. Pace told the Board he sees loosening more restrictions coming in two week periods so he can assess how it’s all going before lifting anymore restrictions. He also reported attempting to get more local tests which are in short supply and surveillance testing at nursing homes. The Dr. reminded the Board that Gov. Newsom’s Shelter in Place order takes precedence over the County’s.

The fishing season is on. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) says you can fish for ocean salmon, groundfish and Pacific Halibut after all. The fisheries are set to open Friday and will go on despite the shelter in place orders. But you are reminded about non-essential travel and social distancing. Anglers told to first ask local officials about harbor services and where to access because so many sites have been closed due to the pandemic. But there are openings in Fort Bragg, San Francisco and Monterey for Salmon, the boat-based groundfish fishery is open in the Northern and Mendocino management areas [Oregon/California state line to Point Arena and the groundfish fishery in other California management areas are open. The Pacific Halibut fishery also will open statewide on May 1.

A young man from Willits and Lakeport has been sent to prison for seven years for robbing a Subway in Ukiah. 21 year old Dorian Michael Coon convicted by plea back in January for the December 2018 heist at the Subway where he was carrying a pellet gun. He was found at the restaurant when police arrived. He was shot multiple times and was taken to a hospital. Witnesses say he was shot by another customer in the restaurant with a concealed weapons permit. The pellet gun apparently resembled a real gun. His co-defendant, 20 year old Alexander Donovan Romero of Willits got 3 years probation last year. He also had to serve 180 days in the county jail, which he had done.

The Gov.’s plan to pay for meals to be delivered to seniors may be in jeopardy. Gov. Newsom’s program is said to be the first-in-the-nation which pays for and delivers three meals a day for vulnerable seniors during the pandemic. But the AP reports there’s only enough money for about two weeks until it runs out. The money mostly comes from FEMA, but it’s not really been made public exactly how many cities and counties are part of the new plan and when the FEMA money would expire. And the government documents also don’t lay out what FEMA has budgeted for the program. The Associated Press reports FEMA said it would cover 75% of the program and deliver the food from local restaurants. The state, cities and counties would have the cover the other 25%, but could also get paid some back through local and state sales taxes.

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