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11 more people in Lake County have contracted COVID-19. The Public Health Dept. reports 31 active cases and two people in the hospital. Here in Mendocino County we have 207 cases, 8 more than yesterday with 8 people in the hospital and one in the ICU. The Public Health Dept. page reports 3 people have died, but we have no other information on the 3rd. Neighboring counties reported the following totals yesterday, Glenn, 219; Napa, 632; Sonoma, 2,212; and Yolo, 1,196.

Another virtual town hall has been announced by Congressman Mike Thompson’s office regarding coronavirus. The next is this Thursday at 7. And it will be streamed on the Congressman’s Facebook page. You do not need a Facebook account to watch. His special guest this time is the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, Rep. Bobby Scott. The two will talk education and how schools can safely reopen during the pandemic. If you want to be on the Zoom call, you can email the Congressman’s office.

The fire danger level on the Mendocino National Forest has been elevated to “very high.” That means a fire can start easily, spread fast and become intense quickly. Forest officials are working to get firefighters in certain places ahead of severe fire weather. A chance of thunderstorms is forecasted for the week, which could ignite fires. So more engines and crews are being pre-positioned. The Fire Management officer for the forest says they’re plan for 2020 is an aggressive initial attack and quick containment to minimize the amount of big fires. Fire restrictions are in place across the forest.  

A nurse who traveled to Santa Rosa to help with the fight against coronavirus ending up getting it, got fired and is now suing. Courtney Jackson of St. Louis, MO suing Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa saying she was terminated after getting sick. She’s going after $1 million or more after getting fired March 28th, two days after she got out of the hospital herself because of COVID-19. She had been a traveling nurse and surgical technician for Alliant Staffing. She’s accusing them and Kaiser of discrimination, retaliation and termination. Her court documents say when she couldn’t breathe anymore and thought she would die was when she was tested and cared for. Kaiser says her suit is groundless.

The Gov. has announced a little bit of a turnaround in metrics across the state. The rate of positive cases is flattening and the seven day average is slightly down. He says the state’s positivity rate is still at 7.4% the last two weeks and the one-week average for positives was down from 7.7% to 7.2%. But the hospitalization rate is not great, 16% the last 2 weeks. Gov. Newsom says it’s not across the whole state though, as several counties are still seeing a surge in infections. Los Angeles as an example may have to close back down. The mayor blames people being less vigilant with restrictions and the economy reopening too soon.

The governor allowing some business that wouldn’t normally operate outdoors to do so, so they don’t have to close again. Newsom waiving state laws to allow salons and barbershops to reopen outdoors. This is for the county’s on the state’s watchlist. Last week he announced they would have to close but there was public outcry from thousands of salon owners who just reopened, spending big money to reconfigure their businesses to follow safety protocols.

PG&E says it’s working on its equipment so it doesn’t spark wildfires this summer and fall. The company’s most recently been blamed for starting the massive Kincade Fire in Sonoma County. Before that it was the 2018 Camp Fire and the Oct. 2017 wildfire storm in Northern Calif. The Record Bee newspaper reports interviewing the utility company’s spokesperson who says they’re working to remove dry vegetation, make sure there are no trees or other brush overgrown near their powerlines; and they’re flying choppers and drones above powerlines to “pre-inspect” the fire risk.

A man from Clearlake has waived his right to a preliminary hearing for death of a man hit by a car. Thomas Magee arrested last Sept and will be tried next January for vehicular manslaughter, murder, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, attempted murder and hit and run. The Sheriff’s office reported getting a call to Highway 20 and 7th Avenue in Lucerne and found a man down with critical injuries. That man, Joseph Symond Jackson was flown to a hospital in Lakeport where he died. Witnesses said at the time that Magee hit him on purpose, then took off. The whole thing due to a dispute over property. He was held on a $1 million bail. The preliminary hearing in the case was set for April, but due to the pandemic it was rescheduled.

An agreement between the teachers union and the Konocti Unified School District (KUSD) is falling apart. Teachers have filed for arbitration saying the school district isn’t honoring a proposal of their own. The Konocti Educators Association president says they want to be supported by their employer and that the school district has stalled, ignored agreements, broken their word and now won’t honor their own proposal. Negotiations fell apart early last month so teachers say they don’t have any other choice but arbitration due to a salary increase formula in their contract, something worked on for years. They go on to say, they’d previously had a good working relationship with the district and had even agreed on a settlement that was way below what their contract required due to the recession.

Testing for Mendocino Coast Clinics beefed up after more cases popped up at a local nursing facility in Fort Bragg. Nearly 200 people were tested Sunday. They were going to test 150 people at a local church but changed things up after four businesses reported employees had tested positive for coronavirus. Those performing the tests say many of those who showed up had been in contact with the positive cases at these businesses, the Ukiah Co-Op, the Sherwood Oaks Health Center in Fort Bragg, Fort Bragg Center for Laser & Cosmetic Dentistry and Ardzrooni Vineyard in Anderson Valley. The tests were sent to Richmond for processing and results were expected within 72 hours. Those who test positive will get a call from the Public Health Dept. and Mendocino Coast Clinics will call those who test negative.

The largest number of cases of Covid-19 reported in California as it just trails New York in the most cases across the country. On Monday, the state reported 11,554 cases recorded. Deaths have also been rising, the seven day average has been at between 90-100 a day since July 10th which is the highest rate since March. But the governor says there are some brighter spots in all the dark news. Gov. Newsom says the positivity rate is 7.2% as opposed to a week ago when it was 7.7%. The state’s Health and Human Services Agency reports they’re seeing encouraging news in the positivity rate. But at the end of May it was about half what it was a week ago, around 4%.

Another death of a death row inmate at San Quentin State Prison. 58 year old Troy Ashmus died Monday. There’s an investigation into the death, but the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation says they believe it’s related to COVID-19. He’s the seventh death row prisoner and the 12th prisoner at San Quentin who have died due to confirmed or suspected virus infections.  He was serving time and landed on death row for the rape and brutal murder of a 7 year old in 1984.

A little reported fact about reopening schools, elementary schools can apply for a waiver so they can stay open. The Press Democrat reports the Governor didn’t mention this at his press conference Friday on in school instruction. The newspaper reports the Santa Clara County superintendent of public schools and their director of public health inviting public and private schools to apply for the waiver. Counties on the state’s watchlist can also apply for the waiver. There’s apparently no guidance on what conditions a county has to follow to allow elementary school kids to go to school in person.

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