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It’s now official, Mendocino County is on the state’s watch list for coronavirus cases. One of more than 40 counties being monitored even though it appears the state is flattening the curve of the latest surge. There were nearly 15,000 new cases confirmed as part of that backlog of almost 300,000 test results hanging in the balance due to a data mix up. The Governor announced yesterday Santa Cruz came off the watch list, but with Mendocino was Amador, Calaveras, Sierra and Inyo counties. The state’s been identifying about 9-10,000 new cases a day for a week, but the positivity rate is lower than it’s been. He says the numbers are still high but trending in the right direction with hospitalizations down.

Since last week when the Hoopa Fire Department and Office of Emergency Services announced new cases COVID- 19, four more have been identified. They reported five cases Friday, but four more for a total of 42 cases have been reported. There are currently 24 active cases. With 18 recovered and no deaths. The commander of the COVID- 19 incident management team says it’s a life and death situation, something where everyone needs to work together. And it’s not political. The local medical center said an employee was positive for the virus but was not in contact with the public. They’re bringing in more people to help including 6 contact tracers and a dedicated hotline operator.

After a lightning storm at the end of last month sparked a couple of fires… the Red Salmon Complex has charred more than 15,000 acres. The firs are burning in rugged and remote forest land in the Trinity Alps Wilderness on the Six Rivers and Shasta-Trinity National Forests northeast of Willow Creek. The Red and the Salmon fires make up the Complex that both started July 27th. The fires are 35% contained. The fires are near each other and continue to grow steadily together. The north and east sides of the fire are being managed and fire lines are being constructed. They’re also using drones to watch fire activity.

Those living in the state without an employer sponsored health insurance plan after losing their job due to the pandemic can get it through the state. Covered California has extended its enrollment deadline for a couple more weeks. And Mendocino Coast Clinics is offering to help with registration. The executive director says they have patient advocates ready with free support for enrolling. Three people on staff are bilingual in English and Spanish and the majority of their services can be provided on the phone. Covered Calif. is part of The Affordable Care Act of 2010, aka Obamacare.

The City of Clearlake giving startups and small businesses a boost with a Shark Tank like competition with thousands available. The Record Bee reports a $10,000 sponsorship from the City is one of the various sponsors for the inaugural “Hands Up Lake County” which offers a cash award and ongoing mentorship to winners. There’s a $ 5,000 grant from premier sponsors, the owners of The Lodge at Blue Lakes too, for a total for first prize of $15,000. The deadline to apply is two Mondays from now, August 31st.

The Cobb Area Council trying to entice tourism, is spending $25,000 on marketing. There will be an economic development sub-committee with business owners, artists and community members to help steer consumers to the area for the benefit of the community. Local experts on the project include a website and logo designer, and local photographer. The new chairperson of the Council says she has great confidence in the marketing team which is being funded by a grant the Council got last September for the economic development of the area after the Valley Fire.

With the high heat, could come some blackouts. We warned there could be rolling blackouts or power downs during the Flex Alert the next couple of days. PG&E said they might turn off power yesterday between 5 and 10 p.m. but that didn’t happen. The company says after looking at forecasts of their electricity supply and demand, it wasn’t needed. The California Independent Systems Operator issued the Flex Alert through tomorrow for voluntary conservation because extra electricity use could tax the grid. Then late yesterday they issued a statewide Stage 2 Emergency, but it was canceled by 7:30 p.m. last night. 

Two people are recovering after a head on crash on Highway 20 east of Clearlake Oaks. The Clearlake office of the California Highway Patrol reported 20 year old Stephen Collins of St. Helena and 48 year old Robert Vogler of Kennewick, Washington each had major injuries in Friday afternoon’s crash. Collins in a Chevy Volt headed east and Vogler in a Chevy 2500 van headed west. The CHP says for some reason the Volt crossed over and hit directly into the van, head on. The van overturned and the highway was blocked for a couple of hours. The two men life flighted from the area to the hospital. Law enforcement says they don’t suspect either drugs or alcohol as factors in the crash and said both men were wearing seat belts.

The latest demographics related to COVID-19 in Lake County have been released by the public health officer. 32 more cases than a week before for a total of 272 cases as of yesterday. Public Health reports 138 of those cases were from a close contact to a known case; 51 were still being investigated; 40 were listed as “other/unknown”; 25 are from out of county contacts; 10 are thought to be from community transmission; six cases presumed work contact; two others holding, from Lake County Jail. The data shows most of the cases were in females, and most were in the Clearlake area, followed by the Northshore area, Lakeport, then Kelseyville, Loch Lomond and Cobb area.

As many as 20 fires have started on the Mendocino National Forest by lightning. The fires broke out Sunday are being managed as one incident called the August complex. As we mentioned yesterday some are very small, about ½ to ten acres, but the largest, the Doe Fire, which yesterday was only 100, was pegged at about 2,000 acres. The fire’s burning by Valley View Orchard 35 miles northwest of Willows in Bear Canyon. The next largest in the complex is the Pine Kop Fire at 750 acres, then the Rockwell Fire which is 400 acres. The fires are 0-percent contained. The Box Fire in the Snow Mountain Wilderness is 25 acres. Some of the other fires are contained and being monitored.

The search is on for a man in Covelo the Sheriff says is connected to the murder of another man and injury to another. Mendocino Sheriff Matt Kendall says they’re continuing to look for Jameson Jackson using bloodhounds, choppers and ground crews. Yesterday afternoon there was a shelter in place order for neighbors after one man was shot in the head, another hit on his earlobe. Jackson is reported to be the same man, who at the time was just 15, who was involved in the murder of Brooktrails store owner Joan LeaFeat. He was arrested again in March for domestic battery and second-degree robbery. The sheriff has detained a woman he says was with Jackson. The pair seen near the Round Valley Tribal Cemetery but ditched the car they were in. A gun magazine was found inside.  

Something the Sonoma County Public Health Officer says is alarming along with a spike in cases, six more nursing home residents have died from complications of the coronavirus.  57 people have now died from the pandemic in Sonoma County. And last week alone saw more than 735 more infections.  Health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase says there are many reasons, but also says they’re not allowing the virus to get away from them saying the county is a state hot spot though. The latest deaths reported over the weekend all people over 64 with underlying health conditions. Three were men and three were women. They all died between Aug. 7 and Aug. 13.

The Medical Director at Sherwood Oaks Skilled Nursing Facility in Fort Bragg where there had been a COVID outbreak says their last two residents at Adventist Health Mendocino Coast are back. Dr. John Cottle says the last two patients who were positive came back yesterday. Of the 2 dozen residents and 8 staff members who contracted the virus all recovered except for 7 residents who passed away. They have also hired more temporary staff, and had implemented strict isolation policies which are still in place. They’re doing weekly testing, the next round of results are expected this weekend. No staff have tested positive in a month. And no residents in the last week and a half. 

The Governor calling out power regulators in Calif. for allowing residents to go without power during a major heat wave as many are bound to their homes amidst the pandemic. Gov. Newsom called the blackouts experienced by 100’s of thousands “unacceptable” and has ordered an investigation. Newsom wrote to the heads of the California Public Utilities Commission, California Energy Commission and California Independent System Operator saying he was only told about the intended blackouts moments before they started. He says there was no time for residents to prepare, and that it was unbefitting of the nation’s largest and most innovative state.

A bunch of test results have come in after 300,000 were backlogged, and with that is some better news. The results showing a decline in hospitalization rates. There was also fewer than 130 deaths on Sunday, the first time since last month. The information also shows lower community spread and that those testing positive over a two week time span was at 6.5% yesterday. The Governor says all of that is an early indicator that the state was “stabilizing, and moving broadly in the right direction”.

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