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The University of California will have in person classes in the fall. The president Janet Napolitano reported yesterday all classes would be open with instruction this fall. The Cal. State Univ. system announced all online instruction in the fall. The Univ. of Calf. system reported a $1.2 billion loss due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Napolitano says she thinks most, probably all of the campuses will be in a sort of hybrid mode, a mixture of virtual and in person. The same is happening across the country as schools have high touch areas and physical distancing could be a challenge. It goes like this, lectures are moved online, and small classes and labs are held in person.

Beaches in Mendocino County and state parks have reopened for local use ahead of the Memorial Day weekend. More than 20 sites along the coastline and some inland properties have opened with restrictions in place to keep the spread of coronavirus down. The Chief Ranger of the Sonoma-Mendocino Coast District says they’re monitoring and if appears it’s becoming unsafe, without proper social distancing, or they see a potential health hazard, they’ll address it. The re-openings do include most restrooms and parking lots, but not at campgrounds, the parking however, is limited. Visitors are encouraged to walk or bike.  State parks on the Sonoma Coast remain closed.

Lake County’s moving deeper into Phase 2 of the Governor’s Roadmap to Recovery. This means this will be outdoor dining at restaurants and in person shopping allowed. The state approved the Public Health Officer’s attestation yesterday. The criteria from the state is that a County has a low rate of infection, sufficient testing capacity and the ability to trace and isolate new cases. Dr. Gary Pace spoke to the Board of Supervisors the last couple of weeks about the attestation and confirmed Monday he was applying for a variance this week. There have been 12 COVID-19 cases in the County, four are new. As far as the reopening goes, car washes, pet groomers, tanning salons, landscape gardeners and outdoor museums can also reopen and only Church offices, that’s for one-on-one religious counseling, but no services yet. Also childcare services with 10 or fewer children. Customers and employees of the businesses that reopen must wear facial coverings. After two weeks a reassessment to see if there can be indoor dining, day camps and afterschool programs to resume.

A new report from the CHP says since more people were at home, traffic accidents were also off, and so were arrests. The CHP Commissioner says people were listening to government stay at home orders for non-essential travel, so there was a significant reduction in commuters. The data from their traffic records system said there was a 75 percent decrease in crashes from March 19 to April 30 compared to a year ago. Plus records showed 88 percent less people died on the roads and 62 percent less were injured in crashes. They made 42 % less arrests for DUI, from March to April there were 4,223 in 2020, down about 3000 from the same period a year ago.

The 12th case of coronavirus has been confirmed in Lake County. The fourth this week as the county gets ready to go deeper into Phase 2 of the Governor’s 4 phase reopening plan for the state. The Public Health Officer Dr. Gary Pace says the 12th case was confirmed during community testing and contact tracing has begun to make sure it doesn’t spread into the community. He says the confirmed case is at home in isolation. Earlier in the week 2 other cases popped up, they too are at home in isolation. And the fourth new case is in a hospital in Ukiah. Only two cases needed to be hospitalized during the pandemic. Eight earlier cases have all recovered. Pace reminds that as restrictions are lifted, they expect some community spread, and reminded about the importance of social distancing and those who are vulnerable to stay at home.

The Lakeport Police Dept. beefing up patrolling after recent incidents. Lake Co News reports police say they’re seeing more DUI’s; and dangerous driving has been reported to police. They say as the County reopens after strict shelter in place orders, traffic is increasing and there’s been some poor driving on the roads and DUI crashes last weekend. The Chief reminds to drive safe and don’t endanger other people’s lives.

It’s nearly summer and with that Yosemite National Park could soon reopen, but due to the pandemic, there will be changes: visitors have to have a reservation and it will be limited to about half capacity of the past. That’s to slow the spread of coronavirus. Park officials need to get the approval of the federal government before reopening. Several other major national parks including Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, and Joshua Tree have already reopened in a limited way. Some of them don’t have lodging open and restaurants are mostly closed. Yosemite Park officials have not confirmed an exact reopening, just sometime in June, probably in coming weeks they say. There will be no shuttle buses, and visitors will be encouraged, but not required, to wear masks. Trails may be one way only and there will be signs up reminding about social distancing at nearby grocery stores and gas stations.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors says as businesses reopen they won’t be that strict about restrictions, and will be more about education. At the latest Board meeting the Public Health Officer Dr. Gary Pace asked for ideas about how to enforce his new public health order which allows lower-risk businesses to reopen but with written plans by business owners about how they’ll help to slow the spread of coronavirus with social distancing, disinfection and other practices. Pace supported more education for the public on how to follow the guidelines and less citations and fines. He says he’s already noted most businesses want to do the right thing, and reopen safely.

Businesses still struggling due to the pandemic are getting a helping hand from Pacific Gas and Electric Company. The Utility company is offering support to businesses dealing with financial hardship by offering temporary loan deferrals. It’s for business customers with an On-Bill Financing (OBF) loan under PG& E’s Energy Efficiency Financing program. The customers can defer the no interest loans for up to six months.  The loans have been made for business customers to trade old, worn-out equipment for energy efficient models. Those interested will get a reduction in their monthly OBF loan repayment to $0.01 during the 6-month deferral period, then the loan will just be extended six more months.

A union that represents 100,000 RN’s in Calif. is condemning a vote by a legislative committee regarding infectious diseases. The California Nurses Association’s condemnation came after the state Senate’s Labor, Public Employment, and Retirement committee said no to the bill that would have made nurses and other direct-care healthcare workers automatically eligible for workers compensation for infectious and respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. The author of the bill says it could have brought “gender and economic parity” to nurses, a female-dominated profession, given that California police officers and firefighters, male-dominated professions, already have presumptive eligibility for a whole host of illnesses and injuries.

A man in Ukiah’s been arrested after a fire was started inside the airport, damaging three cars, a motorhome and a boat. Police report they got a call to the Ukiah Municipal Airport Tuesday morning reporting they saw people running from a fenced area by the runways.  Cops say they heard noises like somebody throwing rocks against something and found a man inside the fenced area trying to pull a trash bin up a hill. 33 year old Justin Malugani covered in a white powdery substance that comes from fire extinguishers. They say they saw broken windows and he said there was a fire on the property. They searched and found cars were sprayed with the white powdery stuff. He was arrested after being found to be on probation for other fire-related incidents. He was being held on $30,000 bail.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife are making new plans for the crabfishing industry, with possible early closures. The agency says if there are too many whales and sea turtles in the Pacific Ocean, the state can close the season early. This comes after a lawsuit by an environmental group. The Center for Biological Diversity looking to avoid Dungeness crab gear entangling whales off the California coast. The public still has a month and a half to comment on the proposed regulations which come after a settlement between the agency and the environmental group to avoid humpback whales from getting caught in the gear, something they say prevents the endangered animal from recovering.

Mendocino Coast District Hospital is not taking pregnant mothers in because of coronavirus, to give birth, so Mendocino Coast Clinics has partnered with the hospital to deliver babies. The Executive Director for the Clinics says they’ve worked with the hospital for years and know they hold the same high standards, so they will take care on for mamas at 28 weeks and once the child is born, they can continue care for them at the clinics. The pregnant patients getting their prenatal care at Mendocino Coast Clinics create a birthing plan at 20 weeks’ then at 28 weeks, the plans are transferred to the hospital for delivery. The patients have to go to Willits or Ukiah for exams; but some can be done on the phone during the pandemic and deliveries take place at Adventist Health Ukiah Valley.

There’s a new website for Mendocino County after the state of California moves into Stage 2 of business reopening. In partnership with West Business Development Center businesses can use the site to make sure they’re in compliance with reopening protocols. has information and resources for businesses who are eligible to open in Stage 2 so they can develop a Business Reopening Plan, which is a requirement to reopen in Mendocino County using a Safe Operations Business Protocol checklist so they can follow health and safety protocols for their workplace. There are worksheets there for various business sectors, such as manufacturing, retail, childcare, construction, and others. Those are the only businesses right now who can reopen in Stage 2. Once you come up with your Reopening Plan, you can self certify it using the site and download a certificate. That gets posted at your business site.

The County also requests that business owners complete the business impact survey, which will provide information on the total dollar amount of economic impact of the pandemic crisis. The survey can be accessed at

The County of Mendocino encourages all small businesses in the County to visit their website at

For business-related support with loans, employee relations and digital commerce, contact West Business Development Center at

The City of Willits has announced the County was approved for reopening in Phase 2, the state has approved its attestation. So a new Shelter In Place Order should be forthcoming. We should hear more from the Public Health Office, for sure tomorrow. It generally means eligible businesses, including restaurants, can reopen deeper into Phase 2 of the Governor’s 4 phase plan, the Roadmap to Recovery. The businesses can use the new County website to self-certify. The City of Willits also says the City’s Chamber of Commerce is at the ready to help any businesses who may need help with their reopen plan. They can be reached at 459-7910.

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