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An inmate in the Lake County Jail has been confirmed to have coronavirus. The Sheriff’s office reports a positive case of COVID-19 in an inmate with no symptoms. They were tested April 19th. The Sheriff’s office reports after the positive test came back, the inmate was placed in isolation to avoid spreading the virus. They were tested as part of a 100 test survey to find out if the virus could be detected in the inmate population or in Sheriff’s Office staff. Everyone tested was asymptomatic, so lab testing was not prioritized. So far 91 tests have been returned with only this one positive. The Sheriff’s Office says they won’t be releasing any more info on the inmate who tested positive. They have identified all inmates and staff who may have come into close contact with them and say they’re following the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and in consultation with the Lake County Public Health Office.

The Governor has announced he will allow parts of California to reopen including some retail and hospitality businesses. The governor announced some clothing retailers, florists, bookstores and sporting good stores could reopen for curbside pickup by the end of the week, he also warned things could go back to the way they were if more people end up in the hospital and ICU’s with COVID-19. The Gov. is releasing guidance for the limited openings by Thursday which include new sanitation and social distancing requirements. Gov. Newsom says they want to be sure workers and customers are safe so there must be some modifications on physical distancing.

Fuelwood permits are available to buy now from the Mendocino National Forest. The permits are only available by mail, for $5 per cord of wood, but there’s also a minimum purchase of four cords for $20. They say to allow for three weeks to get your fuelwood tags and a map of the forest. There’s also a third party authorization form required to allow someone else to cut the wood for the permit holder if you can’t cut it yourself. The fuelwood taken has to be dead and down and the biggest piece you can take is six feet. It is illegal to remove fuelwood from the national forest without a valid permit.

Two more Northern Calif. counties are defying Governor Newsom’s shelter in place order and are allowing businesses to open. We told you last week about Modoc County, now both Yuba and Sutter Counties say they’ll reopen too. Some of the businesses posting on Facebook they were reopening after a six week closure for some. The Press Democrat reports the Sheriff of Modoc County says they never had any cases confirmed in their 9,000 residents. In Yuba and Sutter have had 50 confirmed cases between them and three people have died.

Raw sewage tested in Lake County for Covid-19 waste. The Public Health Office has released results from Biobot after samples were taken earlier this month showing the presence of SARS Cov2 or coronavirus at all four treatment plants in the County. New results came in last week for samples taken two weeks earlier, it showed a positive result in only one of the four plants, SE Regional Clearlake and Lower Lake. Then again another group of samples taken on April 21st had no presence at any of the four treatment plants.

It’s Mental Health month. Lake County Behavioral Health Services is inviting community members to get involved starting with a healthy lifestyle which the agency says can help prevent the onset or worsening of mental health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, obesity and other chronic health issues. They say it’s important to look at overall health, manage stress, eat healthy foods, get enough sleep and exercise to keep you both mentally and physically healthy. They also say all of this is critical during the pandemic and encourage all to join Lake County Behavioral Health Services to celebrate Mental Health Month by spotlighting the importance of both healthy mind and body.

The Lake County Public Health Officer has announced there will be no change in the shelter in place order thru May 17th as the Sheriff calls for a loosening of restrictions. But Dr. Gary Pace says the Governor’s Order is the overriding rule; and says the local order can be more restrictive than the State’s, but not looser. The Governor allowed elective surgeries to resume, but not much else. The Governor has said there needs to be more testing, a manageable level of infections, good hospital surge capacity, adequate protections for workers and the public; and adequate sick time for workers to be able to stay home when not well. Dr. Pace says weddings and festivals and other events with large groups won’t resume for some time. And High School graduations should be virtual. Sheriff Brian Martin says the County has not had a major outbreak and thinks there should be a loosening of restrictions. He says he’s not sure it’s still an emergency with only one active case of Covid-19 in the County.  He says the County’s aggressive tactics have avoided a surge and now residents and business owners are frustrated and they should be allowed to get back to work.

The Mendocino County Health Officer has announced she’s preparing new Shelter-In-Place orders but says she’s following what the state’s doing and won’t be less restrictive than what the Governor orders. Dr. Doohan says the governor announced a step by step approach, and right now we’re at Stage One, to build testing capacity, tracing contacts with known COVID-19 cases, get more Personal Protective Equipment and be prepared at hospitals for a possible surge and to make sure workplaces are safe with masks and social distancing. Dr. Doohan says she expects to have a new Shelter-In-Place (SIP) order May 11th.

The City of Ukiah reports a gas leak and a subsequent power outage. The Electric Utility turned the power off to apartment buildings and businesses on Waugh Lane last Friday afternoon. The leak was reported about 2:15 p.m. and power was shut off a half our later out of an abundance of caution. PG&E was out about 15 minutes after that and had the matter in hand.

A permit for a cannabis dispensary on North State Street has been delayed again. The Daily Journal reports a Ukiah Planning Commission member wondering if there was a school nearby, so that tabled the matter again. Commissioner Mike Whetzel reportedly said he visited the business and saw nearby “Pomo College Preparatory Academy” and wondered if there were classes held there, and if so, it’s only 400 feet away. It would need to be at least 600 feet from a dispensary. The Community Development Director on hand saying he didn’t know of a school closeby and that they’d postpone the permit application until their meeting May 13th.

Like many across the country, in Lakeport a protest of folks wanting to get back on the lake. A caravan of trucks pulling boats downtown calling on relaxing restrictions on fishing and boating. The lake is closed to motorized boats and people gathering in groups larger than 2 people. A couple of political candidates organized the event, one for County Supervisor, the other, running for Congress, against Congressman Mike Thompson. They say the evidence shows the curve of the Covid-19 pandemic has headed down the other side of the apex and that business can start to reopen. The Record Bee reports Dr. Gary Pace saying he approved of locals right to protest but would not be altering his shelter in place order because of the rally.

Parts of Library Park in Lakeport are going to reopen after construction work and a loosening of some of the coronavirus restrictions.  The announcement Friday that the lakefront area between Third and the north end of the Fifth Street parking area are open to the public for fishing and other outdoor recreational activities. But the Public Works director also announced the main part of the Park, between First and Third Streets would stay closed because construction was continuing and the bathrooms were also closed. Also, the public boat ramps throughout the park were closed too. Flood damage took down the seawall and work has been continuing for a couple of years there.

The Lakeport City Council is considering applying to the federal government for help from the stimulus package, or CARES Act. The council spoke last week about applying for grant funds after the city manager says he thinks the city would be eligible for nearly $71,000. The council to take public comment and talk amongst themselves on the matter at their next meeting. City staff says they could use it to upgrade the kitchen facilities at the new Lakeport Community Center in the old Bank of America building. And in that way they could support the local community more so residents have more access to food during the pandemic.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors having another virtual meeting discussing the outbreak. The meeting on your local cable network too. The Public Health Officer Dr. Gary Pace will kick off the meeting with his weekly COVID-19 update. The board will then discuss the next steps in the crisis.  Supervisor Bruno Sabatier had previously asked his fellow Supervisors to join in sending a letter to the governor to get more local control to reopen the economy but continue to follow public health orders. The Board will also consider sending a letter to state leaders to get ahold of more money for disaster response and lost revenue and a proposed urgency ordinance requiring masks in public.

A 3rd person has died of coronavirus in Sonoma County. It’s the first in nearly a month. As of yesterday there were only 17 suspected or confirmed cases in the hospital, but three were in intensive care. The person who died yesterday, the first since April 10th, was only described by one Sonoma County Supervisor as an older gentleman. They were not sharing any more information about him. So the case count so far in Sonoma County was at 257, with five new cases reported. 128 people have recovered. And the County is announcing a new shelter in place order taking effect today so more businesses can reopen. They are car dealerships, landscapers, florists and golf courses.

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