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The Ukiah Streetscape Project is ongoing, this week, they’re doing the underground work on Standley Street after underground utility and fire lines were reportedly found. They will reopen Perkins Street to car traffic. And the City of Ukiah will pick back up ticketing cars downtown which had been on hold during the shelter in place order and the streetscape project. The Mendocino Voice reports the work on Standley Street will extend the underground work until next Wednesday. Utility construction starts on South State Street this week at Church Street headed north toward Henry Street. Construction is taking place Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. with Standley between State and School Streets closed to traffic.

A nurse working at Mendocino Coast District Hospital in Fort Bragg has tested positive for coronavirus. The Hospital released the information saying she is a traveler nurse from Oregon who comes to Fort Bragg for work. The Mendocino County Public Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan announced that the nurse would not be added onto the official County number as the nurse was tested out of County.

Dr. Doohan told the Board of Supervisors during their meeting this morning that her office would do whatever they could to help the Hospital with contact tracing. She also says they will be getting help from the state in tracing the cases in Covelo on the Round Valley Indian Reservation as she believes the outbreak may now have gone underground. They will also be offering free anonymous testing in Covelo tomorrow.

Some legislators say they want to know why the government has wired a half billion dollars to get masks from a medical supplier overseas that was only in business three days. A Democratic Assemblywoman from Laguna Beach says she wants to make sure the right controls are in place and that tax dollars are spent efficiently and responsibly. There’s an accountability and administrative review committee which is having a hearing this month to find out about the transaction revealed by CalMatters. It shows nearly $457 million dollars was wired to Blue Flame Medical on March 26th, but then worked to get the money back within hours. CalMatters says the company was founded 3 days before by two Republican operatives with zero experience in the medical supplies field. Nine GOP lawmakers joining colleagues on the other side of the aisle to get to the bottom of the expenditure. The state canceled the 100 million N95 mask order after bankers doing the wire transfer alerted the California Treasurer they were suspicious.

Much work has been done during the Lucerne Alpine Senior Center closure during the pandemic. The center closed temporarily to save money due to staffing issues and alleged theft and improper invoicing procedures. The Record Bee reports volunteers of the Center were all at risk and most of the board members are over 70 years old. The manager Rick Rodavic says they also closed so they don’t have to pay their utilities, food, gas, maintenance and other monthly necessities. He says even while they’re closed it can cost up to $3,000 a month to operate. But he’s been working around the Center during the closure, replacing some flooring, fencing, painting and treating the place with bleach before the reopening. Rodavic also went public with some of the scams and stealing that had taken place and the removal of some volunteers so they can have a clean record moving forward.

In Lake County a thumbs up vote for masks to be worn at county government facilities once they reopen. And any government employees have to wear them at work. The Public Health Officer has not required face coverings otherwise so far but has been saying it’s a good idea to do so. The board will revisit the urgency ordinance they considered last week with requested changes added in. That includes it saying wearing masks is a requirement to slow the spread of coronavirus, but state it’s not a guarantee and that courts would decide if they would require masks separately. The urgency ordinance that went into effect last week says it’s just during the “COVID-19 State of Emergency… or until otherwise ordered by the Board of Supervisors.” It also has other safety measures included like physical distancing, and when masks should be worn.

Congressman Mike Thompson put out a Covid-19 survey to his constituents and has released the results. It was done between May 1st and May 8th from more than 4,600 people. The results say respondents want more help from the federal government. They want more programs like the Paycheck Protection Program and expanded unemployment insurance. Most people responding also wanted a cautious re-opening plan, ensuring the health and safety of everyone. Congressman Thompson says the information will help with his work to try to get more Federal relief back to his district.

Another person in Sonoma County has died from coronavirus. The Public Health Officer says it was someone over 65 years old like the other three people who also succumbed to the disease. It comes a week after the third death. Dr. Sundari Mase says it shows the County is not out of the woods yet. She told the Press Democrat more cases will probably be detected because they are conducting more daily tests. She told the newspaper, as the state reopens and people get back to local workplaces and visit parks and other public places there will be more spread of the virus in the community. In Napa County, they reported their third death due to coronavirus in an elderly patient.

As more and more businesses start to reopen, they’ll have to do business in an entirely different way. There can’t be things like buffet breakfast, self-serve coffees or welcome platters in lobbies at lodging spots. Hand sanitizer stations will have to be set up and floor markings 6-feet apart to remind about social distancing, and some will employ staff temperature checks. The tourist economy has been devastated by the coronavirus stay-at-home order. The Governor announced the next part of phase 2 in the reopening of the state, with some retailers being allowed to reopen with modifications this Friday. But nonessential travel is not yet allowed. Some communities may be allowed if they meet certain benchmarks in two week intervals.

Almost half the counties in the state have reportedly asked the governor’s office for permission to further open their economies. The Gov. announced last week some businesses could reopen with curbside pickup, that manufacturing and construction could begin with restrictions. The Governor’s office says they’ve spoken to 19 counties already and were speaking to 9 more with some potentially getting looser restrictions approved by today. The governor says some of the conversations have included 2 of the 3 counties that opened before the rest of the state, and that the conversations were going very well. One large business also defied the governor’s order. Tesla restarted operations yesterday, its CEO Elon Musk says if anyone gets arrested, he’ll be on the front lines with his workers, and that it should only be him. As of yesterday there were nearly 68,000 coronavirus cases and more than 2,700 deaths.

There are new federal guidelines for taking ocean salmon and Pacific halibut from waters off California. The federal regulations for Pacific halibut were published nearly two weeks ago and Ocean salmon within days after that. Ocean salmon and pacific halibut sport fishing opened May 1st but you have to follow your County’s COVID regulations. That includes non-essential travel and physical distancing. You’ll also have to check with your local authorities on harbor and access points. The dates in the Klamath Management Zone, between the Oregon/California state line and Horse Mountain doesn’t open until June 6th.  For Fort Bragg and San Francisco that opened May 1st and goes until Nov. 8th and finally for the Monterey area between Pigeon Point and the U.S./Mexico border that also opened on May 1st but only goes through Oct. 4th.

A more localized test could be coming for entry into University of California campuses. The President of the University says she wants to replace the SAT and ACT as admission requirements. Janet Napolitano came up with a five year plan which has been sent to the Board of Regents ahead of their May 21st meeting. She’s asking for the current test requirement to be suspended through 2024 so they can come up with a “new test that better aligns with the content UC expects applicants to have learned and with UC’s values.” But she says if they can’t come up with a test for fall 2025 applicants, then standardized testing should be totally eliminated.

 

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