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Another nine cases of COVID have been reported in Mendocino County. That brings the total case load in the county to 274. There are also five people in the hospital, and one is still in an ICU. So far the county has had 6 deaths. One at a rehab facility in Marin County, one at Howard Hospital and 4 others after an outbreak at a nursing home in Fort Bragg.

The Governor announcing a couple of weeks ago he prefers for schools on the state’s watchlist to operate only online. That led to a quick turnaround in Ukiah from in person learning in two groups of kids 2 days a week each, to straight up virtual learning after it was announced by the Public Health Officer we would soon be on the state’s watchlist. That happened Friday. Mendocino Voice News has reached out to various school districts in the county for a report. Anderson Valley says they’re starting online August 25th. In Fort Bragg, schools are starting about a week sooner, August 19th, also with virtual learning for at least a month. In Laytonville, the same, but August 24th. Leggett is online, but we don’t have an official start. Mendocino starts August 21 online for 2 months at least. In Point Arena they start online August 19th. Same for Willits, but they’re still deciding on a start date. Potter Valley has no decision, and Round Valley may go in person, considering opening Sept. 8th.

A resident in Calpella is asking for the Mendocino Forest Products wood pellet plant to close during the pandemic. A group of residents gathering now to get the plant near the Coyote Valley Reservation to close while COVID-19 surges uncontrolled. They say it’s because of health concerns, being that the virus attacks the lungs, and the plant puts smoke in the air. Mendocino Voice news reports the plant does meet the official air quality requirements, but the local activists and some state organizations are sending a letter on the matter to the Air District, Board of Supervisors, and several state agencies with their request to stop the emissions.

A man and woman in Ukiah have been arrested after someone saw them toss a rock into a local business. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reports Saturday getting a call from the business owner who had surveillance footage of two people ripping off about $1,700.00 worth of wigs. They identified one person as a local transient, Oscar Cabezas-Tafoya. Cops on the lookout for the man, finding him with Luna Magdaleno, who was also seen on the footage. She was also on probation at the time. The two arrested on various charges and booked into Mendocino County Jail.

A Climate Emergency Resolution has been voted on by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors. The Climate Action Advisory Committee (MCCAAC) which the board appointed presented the plan. The committee chair said it was an important first step since the board saw how important climate change and climate adaptation are for the community. The plan includes scientific evidence of climate change and the the state’s target of 2045 for carbon neutrality and clean electricity. The plan with a declaration by supervisors of a “climate emergency” that they agree “threatens humanity and the natural and built environments” and joins “a worldwide call for a just transition away from fossil fuels.”

As cases of Covid-19 surge out of control in Sonoma County, the county says hospital capacity is at a new high. The Press Democrat reports the county health officer, Dr. Sundari Mase says the surge in hospitalizations is due to large outbreaks at more than a dozen skilled nursing facilities. There were also patients in the county who came from San Quentin State Prison where there was also a large outbreak. The county joined many others a couple of weeks ago to get onto the state’s watchlist so there had to be rollbacks in public health restrictions for several business sectors. Dr. Mase says local hospitals are also having a problem sending patients back to skilled nursing centers, so they stay even longer in the hospital, even if they don’t need to be cared for any more.

You’re not welcome in Tahoe or Truckee from out of town to slow the spread of virus. Placer County and the town of Truckee say tourists should stay away for another 2-3 weeks. They report high visitor numbers even in the midst of the pandemic.  The county put out a statement last week saying they’ve had “an exceptionally busy influx of weekend visitors” so it’s made it hard to “practice safe physical distancing.” They say it’s for those coming for a day without reservations to stay. They say they want people to plan ahead and have a reservation. The county joins others on the state’s watchlist with a 57% increase in hospitalizations and nearly 130% rise in ICU numbers.

Democratic lawmakers are proposing a $100 billion economic stimulus against “future tax vouchers” and other ways for more spending to boost the economy during the pandemic. Democratic lawmakers are the majority. Their plan allows the state treasurer to send out tax vouchers to residents to raise billions. It would allow taxpayers to pay taxes ahead of schedule at a discount. They’ve not homed in on the exact discount yet. The treasurers office says it’s a work in progress and praised lawmakers for their “out of the box” thinking. No new taxes are in the plan.

More coronavirus cases in Lake County. The Public Health Dept. posted 7 more cases yesterday, but the last update was Friday. There have now been 175 cases in the county. 12 are active, 162 are recovered and no longer considered contagious. And the county has had one death. The state’s cases continue to surge, inching up to the 500,000 mark with daily highs posted day after day. As of last night there were more than 460,000 COVID-19 cases statewide and over 8,530 deaths. Mendocino has 274 cases, Glenn has 280, Sonoma 2,617, far more than any other neighboring county and Yolo has about half as many cases, 1,424 cases and 37 deaths, more than Sonoma whose had 24 deaths.

No new cases in the nursing facility in Fort Bragg where there’s been a Covid-19 outbreak. Mendo Fever news site reports no new cases since Friday, but 4 residents are still in isolation in the facility. One has recovered and was moving from isolation today, one patient was stable, but two were reportedly on the decline. Three of the facility’s residents are at Adventist Hospital Mendocino Coast in stable position, but reportedly guarded. The news site reports there have been 13 residents infected and four have died. 8 staff members also got infected and 2 are considered recovered or out of isolation. 

The Rohnert Park Police Dept. has arrested one of their own. Officer David Sittig-Wattson has turned himself in after being accused of embezzling money from the department. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office’s is investigating the accusations against Sittig-Watson. The sheriff’s office says property crimes detectives investigated the officer and sent their work to the DA’s office who charged the officer, who was the former treasurer of the Rohnert Park Public Safety Officers Association. They had requested the investigation after accusations of four years of embezzling.

The Lake County Public Health Officer has been informing the public on demographics of cases after the county had 50 cases. Well beyond that now at 175 positive cases with 24 new cases since the last demographics update one week ago. The office reports there are more females who’ve been infected then males.  There were more cases in those 25 to 34 years old, then, in those 35 to 44 in this last demographic update. The most cases traced to another known case, then the next largest batch of cases is still being investigated. Lower case numbers from on the job contacts and in home, or congregate living, including in the Lake County Jail, where there have been two cases. Clear Lake, Upper Lake, Lower Lake and Hidden Valley Lake have had the bulk of the cases.

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