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The Sonoma County Public Health Officer is allowing further opening of businesses including nail and waxing salons, massage and tattoo studios, and skin care boutiques. These were added by the state in an updated list of sectors to open during the pandemic, with restrictions. Dr. Sundari Mase had intimated, but not confirmed, many other businesses could open too, including hotels, resorts, campgrounds and vacation home rentals. No word yet though on gyms and yoga studios, bars, movie theaters, card rooms and family entertainment centers including bowling and miniature golf.

The Lake County Public Health Officer is allowing more businesses to reopen in his updated stay home order. The County has 34 cases of coronavirus, but Dr. Gary Pace says things remain stable in the County because people are taking precautions. There are only 2 active cases and contact tracing is ongoing for the 34th case identified Monday after a social gathering. So the businesses allowed to open today include Nail Salons, Estheticians, Skin Care, Cosmetology Services, Electrology, Body Art Professionals, Tattoo Parlors and Piercing Shops and Massage Therapy.

The Governor has signed a bill into law so every Californian will get a mail in ballot. The Governor citing public health safety and large groups of people gathering at polling places. The bill approved by the legislature yesterday. There will still be voting booths for those who want to take part. The bill passed the Assembly 68-5, those against were Republicans. Others in their party said the ballots wouldn’t be mailed to people who were considered to be inactive voters. Another part of the new law says any mail in ballot sent in will have 17 days to get their ballot back to the Secretary of State.

Mask wearing in the state mandatory. The Governor has put out a new order saying masks are critical to “keep people around you safe, keeping businesses open and restarting our economy”. The order as the state keeps opening deeper into the 4 phase reopening plan and spikes of coronavirus reported across the state. Nearly 4,300 new cases were reported Thursday. Most counties are now allowing dining at restaurants, shopping at malls, hair and nail salons, family entertainment, camping and more. The new order requires facial coverings when your inside or in line at any indoor public spaces, in a healthcare setting such as a hospital or pharmacy or while waiting for and riding in public transportation and any outdoor spaces where you cannot physically distance yourself at least six feet away from others.

Police chiefs across California endorsing a play for finding and getting rid of bad cops. The California Police Chiefs Association looking to help toss officers with a history of bad behavior, may be mentally unstable, have criminal records or a history of misconduct. The Attorney General Xavier Becerra is backing a similar plan. The Chiefs also looking to work with Becerra’s office for investigations into deadly force incidents, but that’s only if it’s requested by local officials.

After a spike in new cases of coronavirus in Mendocino County, the Ukiah City Manager says he’s trying to get as much info from the County about where it was contracted. Seven cases reported this week for a total of 54. The Mendocino County Health Office had announced many of the new cases in the Ukiah Valley from graduation or end of school year parties and church services. Ukiah City Manager Sage Sangiacomo says he wants additional details about the dates of those events while understanding privacy needs to be protected.

The winner of Congressman Jared Huffman’s annual Congressional Art Competition is from Ukiah High. Diya Patel’s artwork will be shown in the U.S. Capitol Building for one year and she’ll win two tickets to Washington D.C. for the ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception for the new display. They’ve not said when the trip will be yet due to the pandemic. The 11th grader’s piece is entitled “Trapped”. The artwork is submitted each year to recognize and encourage artistic talent in each congressional district dating back to 1982. Since then, more than 650,000 high schoolers have participated nationwide.

The Willits City Council voted against the urgency ordinance to fine people if they don’t follow the County’s Public Health Order. Last month the Council considered the ordinance and last week they gave it a resounding thumbs down. The ordinance needed four of five councilmembers to vote yes for it to be approved. The ordinance, if it passed would have made it a violation of the law to attend mass gatherings. But councilmembers said they heard from the public that they were already challenged after businesses had to close. But one councilmember supported the idea if some wording in it could be changed to make sure folks knew it was more about education and they wouldn’t be heavy handed or intending to hurt the community.

PG&E had a webinar to hear from the public on the expected public safety power shutoffs this year. They were looking to explain their new approach to the intentional power downs, hoping to impact less people, they say, than last year, when millions of Californians were without electricity for several days at a time. It’s planned for red flag or fire weather days to prevent wildfires, like when there’s strong winds, low humidity, and dried-out vegetation. The utility’s Wildfire Safety Program Director explained that last year there were multiple weather events triggering the power downs and they expect it to be less this year with improvements like substation microgrids. They’re also preparing 63 substations across 19 counties.

Most of the University of California’s undergraduate campuses are offering classes only online in the fall. Some may be in person, but nine have announced online classes due to the coronavirus pandemic. Berkeley, Riverside and Santa Cruz announced this past Wednesday they’d be online after Davis, Irvine, Merced and Los Angeles had already announced most classes would be long distance learning except science labs and small discussion seminars. UC San Diego has not made an announcement. The California State University system is doing the same, with most classes online except those that are hard to do virtually.

The Community Foundation of Mendocino County doling out money for relief during the pandemic has granted $200,000 to the West Business Development Center. The grants to support micro-businesses impacted by COVID-19. The Business Innovation and Resiliency Fund for Mendocino County announced it would distribute grants of up to $5,000 each for as many as 40 micro-businesses.  Those getting the grants have to have less than five full-timers, show their business could survive after the pandemic with a specific need for the money in order to pivot their work. They’re accepting applications for part of this money starting today. You can find more info online at the Chamber of Commerce website the Greater Ukiah Business and Tourism Alliance and of course at The Community Foundation of Mendocino County.

Schools in Willits have some new ways to handle the upcoming school year during the ongoing pandemic. During their school board meeting this week, board members continued their discussions from a week before with the school Superintendent Mark Westerburg. He discussed three possible scenarios: return to normal operations, start with a “COVID Schedule”, with smaller classes and social distancing, or resume distance learning. Board members say they’ve been getting questions and hearing from the public that they wanted to help with the decision making. And Westerburg says they have to consider the safety of students and teachers, the quality of education provided, and whether the district can afford whatever the plan is. They meet again on Monday.

Since the Governor has added certain activities under Stage 3 of reopening the state, the Mendocino County Public Health Officer has changed our Public Health Order to coincide with the state. That means additional industries can open, and there are some other changes going into effect today. This means masks or facial coverings are mandatory. Personal Care services which require touching a client’s face or body, can reopen but workers have to wear a face covering the entire time, same with customers unless it’s a face treatment.  Dr. Doohan is also allowing transient or outside visitors to stay in hotels, motels or vacation rentals, but with family members of one household. And there has to be 24 hours between vacancy for deep cleaning. Public saunas, steam rooms and hot tubs are closed, but private hot tubs in these businesses can be used by one family but must be drained and cleaned between each reservation’s use. 

The City of Fort Bragg has its first public meeting since the state of emergency went into effect related to coronavirus. The meeting will have strict guidelines and safeguards due to the ongoing pandemic on Monday. The City expecting a larger than normal turnout so there are some rules and notices. First off, traffic closed on certain streets, only nine members of the public and 4 press people with social distancing requirements. It’s first-come basis and no in and out privileges. So if you leave, you lose your seat. If you have public comment you have to wait in a socially distanced line outside. There will be marks on the sidewalk to help. The open grassy areas of the Guest House Museum are open to the public and they’re trying to put up outdoor speakers. If you’re outdoors, masks are required if you cannot keep six feet apart from others.

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