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Parks have been open across the state without parking so that only locals could go. Now the parking lots are starting to re-open at some parks. More than two dozen state parks and beaches in Santa Cruz, San Benito, Sonoma, Riverside and Orange counties, plus in Lake Tahoe, parking lots opened. Mostly they are only half opened to allow for social distancing and hopefully, lower capacity because of the continuing pandemic. There are 36 state parks still closed in Calif. Officials say the state reopened some lots last week in consultation with local and state health officials. They also say they think visitors won’t travel across county lines, and they’ll only visit their local parks until more restrictions can be relaxed. The state is reminding people to stay close to home to slow the spread of the virus.

Because of a loss of billions in the state budget, some healthcare benefits may be cut. The Governor had proposed expanding Medical which was cut in the 2008 recession, but now that’s probably not going to happen, in fact in the Governor’s recently released post coronavirus budget, it has cuts in services and provider rates, and rescinded expansions. There’s a cut to coverage expansion for older Californians — including undocumented seniors — and cuts for some adult dental services. It also says they want to cut payments for hearing exams, speech therapy, eyeglasses, podiatry, acupuncture, occupational and physical therapy, pharmacist services and diabetes prevention program services.

Napa is opening deeper into Phase 2 of the state’s 4 phase plan. The state has found the County met the attestation benchmarks. That means there’s a low case count of COVID-19, expanded testing and evidence a county has the necessary infrastructure to detect and safely isolate new cases. Napa has recorded 92 cases, with half still active. They’ve lost three residents to the disease, the most recent death was May 10th. They can reopen schools, and businesses with social distancing in place, but wineries and tasting rooms are still closed. Residents are still being told to stay home unless they can maintain social distancing while participating in allowed activities

A 15th case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Mendocino County. The Public Health Office released the news on their Facebook page late last night with little information. The post says the infected person is a man between 35 and 49 years of age from the Ukiah Valley, and in isolation. They go on to say they’re investigating the source of the infection and are performing contact tracing. As far as the recent case of a traveler nurse in Fort Bragg, more tests were performed and the hospital reports no other cases have been found so far. Mendocino Coast District Hospital reports no evidence of community spread of COVID-19 after testing more than 150 people. 14 tests are still pending.

Another case of COVID- 19 in Mendocino County has been announced and now much more testing was made available. Not a lot of info except it’s a man between 35-49 years old in the Ukiah Valley in isolation. Now even more at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds in Ukiah. The OptumServe machine will start next week. The Mendocino County CEO Carmel Angelo reported yesterday at the latest Virtual Board of Supervisors meeting the testing will happen for the public Tuesdays through Saturdays from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. First responders will get the first set of appointments in the morning, followed by emergency operations staff, and departmental response staff, then the public will get access in the afternoon. There will be a website up soon for appointments to be made, plus a phone number for those without access. The City of Ukiah is also offering free, drive-thru testing at Mendocino College.

Sherwood Firewise has their meeting regarding fire safety in Brooktrails online. It’s fire season already. The group met last Thursday over Zoom and more than 2 dozen residents were online discussing the past and future of fire safety. They discussed SafetyNet, a local incident notification system, where residents can register online for emergency notifications. They’re also getting address signs which have been approved by CAL FIRE so they can be found in the case of a fire. The area was also recently awarded a $12,000 grant from North Coast Opportunities so they can get a paid part-time Program Coordinator and another $70,000 grant for Roadside Fuel Reduction and Chipper Days. And the group also won a third grant of $500 for Firewise work.

Schools in Lakeport are going to continue providing free meals for kids under 18 until at least the end of June. The Record Bee reports the School District has been offering meals since the stay home order was issued by the governor’s office. Before the outbreak there had been free or reduced priced meals for students in this program, but now they are all free whether they’re enrolled in a local school or not, no questions asked. The U.S.D.A. is helping kids across the country during the pandemic, just last Friday there was an announcement of extensions of waivers so food programs could continue into summer.

Mendocino County is not getting a new Public Health Officer after all. The Board of Supervisors reportedly decide against hiring Dr. Joseph Iser in a closed door session yesterday. The Mendocino Voice reports the County instead will look to the state for help and potentially extend or modify the current public health officer, Dr. Noemi Doohan’s role even though she moved to San Diego and has been working remotely. Iser looked to be a shoe-in, but apparently there was concern about why he left previous positions, reputation and press reports there had been problems with the doctor at his last job in Nevada. The Board made the announcement last night in public session and directed the CEO to ask the state for mutual aid.

Lakeport will approve the sale of safe and sane fireworks but there will be no fireworks display. The City Council voted against the annual celebration but agreed fireworks could be sold the first week of July. The City Manager asked the Council about the matter, there are normally a handful of nonprofits that sell the safe and sane fireworks, the only kind allowed in the city. The City Manager says the approvals would be contingent on the current health crisis. At the same time reports that the Lake County Public Health Office has approved a social distancing plan for the sale of the fireworks.

The work is nearly done on improvements at Library Park in Lakeport after the seawall came down in flooding. The park should be all the way open by the beginning of June as stay home orders are lifted in the County. Lake County News reports the $800,000 dollar project was done by a contractor out of Oregon. And the final work by another company for the promenade for an additional $400,000.  The City Council has accepted the final construction and authorized filing a notice of completion.

A Middletown High School Senior has been chosen for a scholarship from Mediacom Communications. The $1,000 to Alessandra Diaz recognizing a student for outstanding leadership and academic accomplishments. They pick 60 graduating seniors each year for the scholarships to support their post-secondary education. It’s the 19th year they’ve funded the World Class Scholarships for students in areas served by the cable and broadband company. About 1,200 students usually apply for the scholarships each year. Those who win have to go to an accredited two-year or four-year college, university or technical school within the United States.

Ukiah’s got its community testing site set up after the Governor announced more than 80 new COVID-19 community testing sites coming across the state for underserved communities. The site at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds. More details released today that it will be situated in the Carl Purdy Hall and starts this Saturday. The testing this Saturday from 7:00 am – 7:00 pm. Tuesdays – Saturdays after that from 12:30 pm – 7:00 pm. As we previously reported, this is through a partnership with OptumServe. It’s by appointment only. The Mendocino County CEO thanked Senator Mike McGuire and Assemblyman Jim Wood for their help making it happen.

Mendocino College doing their best to bring their 2020 graduates a commencement to remember. It was supposed to be in person Friday, but then a survey went out to graduating students about what they wanted instead, due to the pandemic. They all said they wanted to postpone and not have a virtual ceremony. The Mendocino College Foundation is gifting each student with a $50 dinner voucher to be used Friday at a local restaurant so they can still celebrate on the actual day of graduation. The Foundation also put up money so banners could hang in the district, including over State Street in downtown Ukiah and yard signs for students.

An 11th case of COVID-19 has been reported in Lake County. The Public Health Officer Dr. Gary Pace reported the positive test was confirmed thru one of the County clinics. The infected person is reported to be stable at home and isolating and they’re conducting contact tracing. It’s the third case in less than a week. Two others were from the Redwood Valley church service on Mother’s Day, where Mendocino County also got its fourth case. It comes as both counties have reported they intend to apply for attestation with the state to reopen deeper into Phase 2 of the Governor’s 4 phase plan to reopen non-essential businesses.

 

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