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The first death from COVID-19 has been announced in Humboldt County.  Kym Kemp reporting the resident of Alder Bay Assisted Living died over the weekend at a hospital. The County had just applied for a variance, attesting there had been no deaths in recent days.  The County may have to wait a couple weeks before getting that variance now. There had been 22 new cases in the last 2 weeks as well. The County Health Officer had sent in the attestation that the County had met or exceeded the Governor’s guidelines this month. The death was a 97 year old woman.

Police in Fort Bragg updating a cold case disappearance. Police say family members called to report Michael Miller was missing one year ago on May 15th. They say Miller was on parole and was listed as a missing person in the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. They say he has an active felony warrant and if you see him, to call police immediately and not to contact him. The last he was heard of was on the phone from the Hospitality House. He also had not accessed his bank account since about that time. His family says before this contact, the last time they spoke to him was in November of 2018. They say from November 2018 to January 2019 they think he was with friends or camping in Fort Bragg. They say he could be in Ukiah, Nevada, or Montana and they thought he might have been at the Ukiah winter shelter. He responds to the name “Chico” and the last time family saw him they say he weighed between 140-150 lbs. He’s 5’08” tall with brown hair and brown eyes with multiple upper body tattoos.

Similar to the latest micro break out from Mendocino County where people at a church service have tested positive. A similar case in Butte County, also on Mother’s Day. One person tested positive after 180 people went to church service. The positive test came back the next day. The public health dept. in Butte County issued a statement warning people not to gather, saying that could cause a major setback and close the county down again. Butte being one of 22 counties who received variances to open sooner than most. Health officials doing contact tracing to let everyone who was at the church service know so they can self-quarantine. They’re also working with local healthcare partners to get tests for all attendees.

Two new cases of coronavirus in Lake County and one in Mendocino County all three believed to have been due to a church service Mother’s Day.  The Lake County and Mendocino County Public Health Officers out with information about the outbreak. A 14th case in Mendocino County Friday night led to an investigation into its origin. Contact tracing started immediately to make sure asymptomatic contacts were quarantined and symptomatic contacts were tested and isolated. The case in Mendocino is an elderly man in Ukiah who had reportedly been in close contact with two people in Lake County who were diagnosed with COVID-19 on Saturday. The three people apparently at an inland Mendocino County church where a virtual service was also attended by some in person. There was singing at the church. Both public health departments are trying to find anyone else who may have either also been there, or been in contact with the three cases. One of the Lake County residents now in the hospital here in Ukiah. The other two cases are isolating at home. Mendocino’s Health Officer says they’re trying to talk the church leaders into revealing the name of the Church so anyone else who may have been in contact with anyone there can be contacted and possibly tested. The office didn’t say what precautions may have been taken for singing at the Mother’s Day service, but did remind there should be plexiglass between the singers and physical distancing.

The Governor announcing low risk workplaces could open in Phase 2 of the 4 stage plan to reopen the state. But in Lake County, the current changes are staying until the Board of Supervisors hears from the Public Health Officer about opening any sooner. Waterways are open with social distancing, low risk retail is open for phone and online purchases and curbside pickup. This follows the state order for reopening. Later phases of Stage 2 include shopping malls and swap meets, personal services, limited to: car washes, pet grooming, tanning facilities, and landscape gardening, dine in restaurants, no bars, outdoor museums and open gallery places, government offices that were deemed non-essential and some children’s activities and childcare. Lake County is asking for a  local variance to the state’s orders. Dr. Pace says if approved, the first day of new openings wouldn’t happen before the Tuesday after Memorial Day weekend.

The Shelter in Place order in Mendocino County has been revised to match modifications allowed by Governor Newsom’s Stay-At-Home Order. The new order went into effect Friday and will not be amended until June 8th.  Now limited group activities can start with groups of no more than 12 referred to as a “Social Bubble” from either a Household Support Unit, a Childcare Unit, or a Children’s Extracurricular Activity Unit. This means there can be an interdependence of people in smaller rural communities like seeing family from other homes, helping with carpooling, childcare, recreation, religious services, etc. There is no need within the Social Bubbles for social distancing during activities permitted in the order but following other restrictions like staying home while sick and obeying quarantine and isolation orders. The Social Bubble units are separate, so you can only be part of one. Other changes include outdoor museums, galleries and botanical gardens can open, landscapers, gardening services, some limited services that can maintain social distancing like laundromats, dry cleaners, car repair shops, car washes, pet groomers, and dog walking. Business where telework is not possible, consider Work Groups, like a Social Bubble, where groups of 12 work together for four weeks at a time. There are more orders on the Health Officer’s website.

The Health Order and a summary of the major changes are available online at https://www.mendocinocounty.org/community/novel-coronavirus/health-orderThe order is enforceable by imprisonment and/or fine thus we urge all residents to closely read the order and follow it.

A protest at the Mendocino County Courthouse, like many in America, wanting to reopen their businesses. The Daily Journal reports the protest in Ukiah Friday ahead of the Public Health Officer’s announcement about new allowances made to her Shelter in Place order. The County, Dr. Doohan says will not immediately apply for a variance or what’s being called “Attestation” where the County can verify it can meet the required readiness criteria, low number of COVID-19 cases, adequate protection for essential workers, hospital readiness for a possible surge in cases and testing capacity. Dr. Doohan says they’re already working on it…

Dr. Doohan says she was surprised at at least one Board Supervisor saying he wished she would move faster. She says she’s allowed a significant amount of limited reopening and wants to see what effect is before moving deeper into Phase 2 of the Governor’s 4 phase plan. Dr. Doohan says she’s working as quickly as possible to get the attestation done so the County can move into Phase 2 by this Friday. However that was before the new case popped up in Ukiah connected to a church in Mendocino County… and two Lake County cases linked to the same Church, with one of the infected now in the hospital in Ukiah.

The remainder of Low Gap Park has reopened to the community. So the Ukiah Skate Park has also reopened. Restrooms, tennis courts and the playground at the entrance are still closed, but you can now park at the park in the lot. Dog parks are still closed, but hiking trailers and disc golf are allowed once again. The Skate park is only open Thursdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. with a city employee keeping capacity at only 12 at a time with proper physical distancing.

A man in Fort Bragg has been arrested after an unrelated burglary call from Point Arena. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reports while investigating they found a person of interest in Terry Kelly who they say was on active felony probation in Amador County. He was found parked after reports of a stranded driver in Fort Bragg. His car found packed with miscellaneous property so he was searched. There cops found packaged, unopened consumer goods which they say had recently been stolen from an Amazon Fulfillment Warehouse. They also found he had stolen a dump truck trailer parked in Irish Beach, in Manchester. He was then arrested for possession of stolen property and booked, but released with zero bail due to the pandemic.

Many people in Calif. for filed for unemployment have still not received benefits. People in Southern Calif. have been told their debit card is in the mail. Apparently the Employment Development Department has been only using EDD debit cards. So if you didn’t get one, but have within the last three years, you would just get that reloaded. New debit cards that went out but expired will get a new one. A new report has some people applying the end of March and still not getting any money from the state. The EDD released a statement saying there may be a many different reasons someone had their payment delayed and are best mitigated by the unemployment claims analysts.

The Sonoma County Health Officer is coming up with that County’s reopening plan to loosen restrictions due to the pandemic. But Dr. Sundari Mase says the plans need to be approved by the state. The plan has not been made public or whether she would apply for a variance or attestation. The Board of Supervisors is asking Dr. Mase to draft a waiver. During a press conference on Friday, she said she’s not necessarily seeking a variance, but instead a phased reopening plan, tailored to that county and getting guidance from the state.  There was a new health order announced Friday though with certain businesses being allowed to reopen, Mendocino County is following closely, including pet groomers, dog walking services and car washes, laundromats, dry cleaners, car repair shops and landscapers.

 

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