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More cases of COVID-19 to report in Mendocino County. 199 cases, 7 people are in the hospital and one in ICU.  The most serious case transferred to Napa County for a higher level of care. The Public Health Office reporting another death of someone who’d been living at Sherwood Oaks Health Center in Fort Bragg. 7 residents have now tested positive and 2 are in the hospital. 5 employees have also tested positive. Yesterday public health had a testing site set up in Fort Bragg. Another employee at the Ukiah Co Op has tested positive. After one report last week and a closure for cleaning, we learned over the weekend of another positive case. But apparently, they were not working or in the store when the test was confirmed. Also, a positive case of an employee at The Fort Bragg Center for Laser & Cosmetic Dentistry. Testing is being done for free for any patients who might have been exposed there between June 22nd and July 13th. And at Ardzrooni Vineyard in Anderson Valley, 4 employees tested positive and outbreak testing will be offered this week. The Public Health Office reports this is all an indication of uncontrolled community spread and will probably get worse until Labor Day.

The Governor ordered the state to rollback its reopening and certain counties on the state’s watchlist had to roll back further. The Mendocino County Public Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan reported she anticipated the state would put the county on the watchlist, so in anticipation of that, and to maintain local control, she rolled back some business sectors ahead of the state doing it. On Friday the shelter in place order charged to require all bars, pubs, brewpubs and breweries to close unless they can operate outside with meals. Same for restaurants and wineries. Movie theaters and other family entertainment centers have to close along with zoos and museum and cardrooms. Gyms and fitness centers, churches and non-essential businesses are ordered closed unless they can operate outside too. Same for personal care services, like nail and hair salons, body waxing and tattoo parlors. Indoor shopping malls also have to close.

The Ukiah Unified School District has reversed course and will hold all classes online. Last week there was a method announced whereby it would be a hybrid learning environment, with 2 groups of students attending in person 2 days, and online the other 2. But the public health office was advising all online due to the recent upsurge in cases and several local outbreaks. Late Friday we got word from the School District, that they decided against that learning model and with community input they decided to go all online. The School District also says there will be many changes and improvements made to the Distance Learning program. Administrators say they’ve heard from parents, teachers, students, and families on needed changes to improve the curriculum and look forward to sharing details once everything is ready to go.

Another death has been reported due to coronavirus in Mendocino County. A 63 year old resident at the Sherwood Oaks Skilled Nursing Facility in Fort Bragg died last Thursday just about a week after testing positive for the virus. The public health office reports the patient had underlying health conditions which increased the likelihood they would have complications due from the disease. There have been 13 cases at Sherwood and the public health office says they’ve done an exemplary job responding to the situation and they’ll continue to work closely with them.

Another employee of Ukiah Natural Foods has contracted coronavirus. The co-op closed for a day last week and posted on their Facebook page that one employee had the virus and was isolating at home. They said they were hiring a cleaning company for a thorough cleaning. But then a sign was posted on the door outside Saturday saying a second staffer, who was already isolating because of contact tracing for the first case. The business closure was mandated by the Public Health Office. It will stay closed for further contact tracing.  

CalFire reports their Aviation Management Program is ready to go for the fire season. The agency conducts wildland pre-fire engineering, vegetation management, fire planning, education and law enforcement. The Battalion Aviation Chief for Mendocino County has a giant helicopter, a UH-1H Super Huey and over at the Ukiah Municipal Airport there are a couple of air tankers and an airplane.

A fire in Covelo over the weekend may have been intentionally set. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, Ukiah Valley Fire Authority and Cal Fire went out to the fire Saturday after a local restaurant was destroyed. Firefighters on the scene quite early finding the Covelo Western Auto Store burning. The store along with the North Fork Café have been destroyed. The fire took less than 4 hours to put out. The sheriff’s department says the fire was devastating to the community of about 1,200. Investigators are talking to community members to figure out the cause of the fire and asking for possible surveillance camera footage. They’re treating it as suspected arson though. No injuries were reported and there was no spread to vegetation.

The surge of coronavirus cases in Sonoma County are not lessening. The Press Democrat reports the Board of Supervisors are set to discuss how to enforce the public health order of mandatory mask wearing. So far law enforcement are supposed to give warnings and possible criminal misdemeanor citations. But the board could weigh other options like code enforcement officers and environmental health staff for civil violations. The number of cases have ramped up in the county and 20 people have died. Napa has the strictest rules nearby with fines of up to $5,000 for businesses. And Mendocino County has also put fines in place for those who don’t listen to restrictions.  The Sonoma County Public Health Officer blames most of the recent surge to holiday gatherings, religious ceremonies and at least one funeral.

More cases reported in Lake County. 140 cases, the county’s COVID dashboard not updated though since Friday. The dashboard shows 103 people have recovered and one person has died. 3 people were in the hospital as of this weekend. The county is looking good for hospital capacity, which with a surge in cases and deaths is generally what puts a county on the state’s watch list. Lake Co News reports as of Friday the two hospitals in the county each had more than a 2 week supply of personal protective gear on hand. Hospital bed availability about 50% and ICU beds at about 25 percent.

West Nile Virus has been confirmed in a sample of mosquitos in Lake County. Vector Control reports the samples were collected last week near Middletown. They say it’s typical in July, but since many are home more due to the pandemic, to remember there’s a possibility of contracting West Nile Virus too.  The vector district can help if you feel mosquitoes are hard to control. They provide free mosquito-eating fish for swimming pools or spas not being maintained, and backyard ponds, water features and animal watering troughs. A reminder to dump or drain standing water, use repellents, and avoid outdoors when the insects are around, usually that’s during dawn and dusk hours.

A man in Covelo’s been arrested after a car fire. Someone called the fire department who reported the person who started the fire might be nearby. Deputies and Investigators found Sammy Tanguileg and found he was near the 2000 Chevy sedan right before it caught fire. Arson investigators and the Ukiah Valley Fire Department and Laytonville Volunteer Fire Department on the scene with detectives and arrested Tanguileg for Arson and Committing an Arson during a State of Emergency and held on $100,000.00 bail. Investigators are also asking anyone who may have seen something to call.

A man in Ukiah’s been arrested on multiple charges after a report of a domestic assault. A week ago Saturday deputies found a woman had been physically and sexually assaulted. She says it was her live-in boyfriend and deputies verified she had been abused. They also found a seven year old girl who had been abused so she and the adult female were taken to a hospital. Soon after Antonio Becerra Jr was arrested on Assault with a Deadly Weapon; Inflicting Corporal Injury on a Spouse or Cohabitant; Sexual Penetration with a Foreign Object with Force or Fear; and Inflicting Corporal Injury upon a Child. He was held in jail on $450,000 bail. Investigators are asking anyone who lives nearby to report any further information on the man saying they believe the assaults were probably ongoing for several hours.

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