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Another case of Covid-19 in Lake County. Now up to 42 confirmed cases after 8 new cases turn up in the last week. The Public Health Office reports only 5 are active and nobody is in the hospital. And only 4 had been in the hospital.  The office goes on to say most of the cases were due to recent contact with a known case and now that we’ve reopened a lot of businesses and there’s more movement by folks, the number of contacts has risen. The Public Health Officer, Dr. Gary Pace says they’ve been very fortunate in that most contacts have been wearing masks and social distancing, so community transmission has not been found. He does say though that two of the recent cases may have been due to contacts without masks on and they’re still investigating the cases.  Pace says large social gatherings, especially when combined with more regional travel, congregate living situations and high-traffic and interaction-intensive work settings are when there’s more risk.

The name Fort Bragg is getting a committee. The City Council had first decided not to move on a name change in light of recent racial tension, but that at a lively council meeting Monday night, there was an agreement there would be a new committee to consider the matter in response to public outcry of a new name, or a rededication of the name or to create a task force. The city’s named for Braxton Bragg, a Confederate general, who also owned more than 100 slaves. The Daily Journal reports there were protesters on both sides of the issue at the meeting where they also discussed police reform. Taking a back seat to the heated discussion, the City Finance Director announced he’s leaving for a new job and that the city would begin wastewater testing for early COVID detection.

A meeting of Sherwood Firewise Communities reminding folks to stay firesafe. The meeting on Zoom a couple of weeks ago with a couple dozen participants and a fire dept. volunteer. They reminded folks to sign up for SafetyNet notifications and make sure they’ve applied with CAL Fire for compliant address signs. They’re also working with a communications expert to get a system online that connects to EchoLink to “link” HAM radios through computers and cellphones. The Fire Dept. also looking to fill a FT paid position for a Program Coordinator and they’ve applied for a $25,000 grant to hire others on chipper days and brush clearing for those who are unable or just aren’t complying.

The Sonoma County Public Health Officer says even though there are more cases of coronavirus, she’s looking more at a trend over a two week period. The County has seen a 40% increase in the last two weeks, but Dr. Sundari Mase says she’s following various metrics, hospitalizations, case rates, hospital capacity, testing volume and the case load at skilled nursing facilities. The County added 32 more cases last night for just over 1,000 cases since the pandemic started in early March. Mase says she’s watching the county numbers and the state’s. Right now there are several active cases and a 10% hospitalization rate.

The Gov. says no, the state will not be requiring folks who come in to the state or leave and come back to quarantine like other states recently announced. NY, New Jersey and CT have announced such a move, but Gov. Newsom says he’s more interested in a mask mandate, because closing the state to others is not necessary right now. He does say however he expects visitors who come into Calif. to follow the restrictions here. Separately the governor announced the state had sent 14 million masks to Arizona, with FEMA as that state sees a surge in cases and becomes the country’s number one hotspot, followed closely by Texas and Florida.

It doesn’t look like the Mt. Konocti Lookout Tower will be up this fire season. It’s been offline because of structural issues for some time. The Forest Fire Lookout Association California Central Western Region Director says it doesn’t look like they’ll be able to get the needed repairs done this fire season. That nonprofit works with local volunteers in fire seasons keeping watch from the Konocti tower’s upper deck. They have apparently been some of the first to spot some Lake County fires since they started using the tower in 2015, after more than ten years of non-use. But it was closed again in October last year after a state inspection found it was unsafe for use.

Coronavirus cases in some counties are doubling. Outbreaks have been reported at nursing homes and Avenal State Prison in Kings County. Corrections officials report more than 900 inmates and workers contracted the virus. In Santa Cruz County, public health officials reported 50 new cases after one person got infected at a Mother’s Day gathering. More south, in Imperial County, there’s concern after gatherings for Father’s Day because they had spikes after Easter, Memorial Day and graduation gatherings. And Sacramento and Contra Costa counties also say they expect more cases due to holiday celebrations and protests against racial injustice. The Governor is blaming the recent surge on younger folks ignoring mask wearing and social distancing rules.

The Gov. noting the surge in cases the last several days, but says the way the state is handling the virus is driven by scientific data. Gov. Newsom did say though that his administration reserves the right to pause advancing into next phases of reopening and to use the “dimmer switch”. This as cases soared this week with 5,000 new cases a day the average. Hospitalizations also up 32% the last two weeks and the positive test rate at just over 5%. LA County has the most Covid-19 cases of all counties in the nation, almost 90,000 cases as of yesterday, about half the state’s 195,000 plus cases.

More cyanobacteria reported in Lake County. Water monitoring data shows concern for warning levels of Cyanotoxin at 9 sites, the Elem Indian Colony shoreline (ELEM01, Oaks Arm), Austin Park (AP01, Lower Arm), Keeling Park (KP01, Upper Arm), Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine shoreline (SBMMEL01, Oaks Arm), Buckingham (BP, Lower Arm), Jago Bay (JB, Lower Arm), CL-4 (Oaks arm, center of arm), Lily Cove (LC01, Lower Arm) and ​Lucerne (LUC01, Upper Arm). The Public Health Office reports because of very warm weather and extended light periods, shallow waters are perfect environments for algae to grow. There have been extensive patchy blooms around the Lake. More test results will be in next week.

More campgrounds are opening in the Mendocino National Forest. Starting next Wednesday, Cal Fire’s Mendocino Unit is opening the campgrounds with limitations due to the pandemic. Visitors are being told there will be no staff on hand and all facilities are self-service with recommendations, a maximum of 6 people per campsite from one household, living unit or housing bubble, make sure you bring in your own water, sanitize frequently, and pack out what you bring in.

A phone scam is being reported in Fort Bragg. Police warn about the calls residents have been receiving that’s an old trick, you’ve one a prize and if you don’t pay first for that prize, you could be arrested or get your utilities turned off. The scammer asks for a prepaid card with money on it, then to call back with the card number. Once they do that, the money’s gone and there’s no prize. Police remind never release personal information over the phone unless you’re the caller. And if the caller asks for a prepaid card, it’s a good indicator the call is a scam. The Social Security office and the I.R.S. never do business over the phone. For more info, check the Federal Trade Consumer Information website at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov and click on Scam Alerts link.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s office says while breaking up an illegal marijuana grow in Covelo they found a young woman who may have been a victim of human trafficking and arrested 8 people. Sheriff Matt Kendall says deputies found a 17-year-old Spanish-speaking female who said she was from Salinas, along with eight others who were quickly detained. Deputies found and confiscated a shotgun, an AR-15, and yanked more than 14,000 plants on two sites and found about 1,750 pounds of dried weed. The female teen said she was not a victim of trafficking but the Sheriff says he thinks otherwise as she didn’t know a soul in Covelo and that it’s dangerous for a child to be in an armed encampment, and because “this was a juvenile female causes even greater concern.” She was taken by Child Protective Services and an investigation to see if she was indeed a victim has begun. Those arrested for various crimes including conspiracy, possess assault weapon, hiring or employing a minor to prepare marijuana for sale and possession of marijuana for sale.

The Mendocino County Public Health Officer says the County is experiencing a surge of cases and that the United States is as well. Dr. Noemi Doohan says LA County has the most cases in the nation. She says the current surge won’t peak until Sept.  Dr. Doohan says the County has so far not been enforcing mask wearing or isolation for people who are infected but… SOT Dr. Doohan says if people cannot isolate, the County will help with housing or whatever is needed. Separately today, Dr. Doohan announced that according to the state there will be more than 50 people hospitalized per day in the County, which she says is very concerning. She also says here and across the state there are too many people ignoring science and not abiding by the stay home restrictions. There will be a new public health order, but no relaxing of any current orders, extending the current order until the end of July, also social and childcare bubbles back down to six people instead of 12.

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