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Another person in Mendocino County has been lost to COVID-19. The Mendocino County Deputy Chief Executive Officer Sarah Dukett reported a 53-year-old man from the “South County” died. That area includes the towns of Comptche, Philo, Boonville, Yorkville, and Hopland. Dukett reported the individual died at this home in hospice care. As of last night there were 37 new cases reported too for a total of 1816 cases in the county since the pandemic first surfaced. The public health dept. dashboard has been averaging over 20 cases/day and about a 4.5% positivity rate. And the president of local Adventist Health Hospitals says they’re prepared for a surge in needed beds. There are currently 72 beds filled, lower than usual for this time of year. They also have 16 ICU beds open and could make 45 available if needed.

A bunch of marijuana has been stolen in an armed robbery at a fast food restaurant parking lot in Willits. Police say they’re on the lookout for one of two people they say were involved in the Burger King parking lot heist yesterday afternoon. One of the vehicles was believed to be a Black Toyota 4Runner or Sequoia with Florida plates driven by a white man, described as clean cut. Another possible vehicle said to be a white Subaru driven by a white female adult following the black Toyota. The CHP reported the vehicles speeding thru Garberville and the CHP chased as a vehicle stopped and a person got out and ran near the Laytonville Fire House. They sent Bo the police dog sniffing around. He tracked the suspect and they were arrested, but one person is still on the run.

The Sonoma County Health Officer is still deciding if there should be stricter lock down measures as the second wave of thanksgiving gathering spurred Covid-19 cases arrives. The board of supervisors say they’ll stand by Dr. Sundari Mase’s plans to follow five neighboring counties before the entire Bay Area is forced to shut down so as to not over-run hospitals. Cases and hospitalizations are already rising and Sonoma County had the lowest amount of ICU beds available in all of the greater Bay Area. The Press Democrat reports Mase has taken the stance of watching and waiting before putting any new restrictions in place. The only issue Mase says is if they have less restrictions than neighboring counties that could bring more people to restaurants, and unwanted travel that risks higher spread.

Since we’ve been seeing a dramatic increase in cases across the state, central valley and southern calif, the hardest hit, now in Trinity County, medical staff report no ICU beds available. Trinity Hospital says the latest surge in COVID-19 cases they also are dealing with limited staff. The hospital has limited medication and personal protective equipment too. They put out a statement saying all of their respiratory, life-saving equipment is needed for long-term ventilator support which has been enough in the past. They have usually transferred the sickest patients out by ambulance or helicopter to a higher level of care. But the hospital says where they might have done that, other hospitals are also overrun with patients and are denying transfers. They say early detection is key right now and they highly recommend treatment thru an outpatient clinic provider. They say they will do their best if someone ends up in the emergency room and won’t turn anyone away, and if they have to they will work hard on patient transfer.  

The Middletown Area Town Hall needs new blood. Lake Co News reports the board needs new members for their 3 member board. They’ll take nominations at their next and final board meeting for the year, tomorrow night. The meeting, like so many others these days, on Zoom. The nominations are one at large and two who will represent Middletown proper. The three currently on the board do not want to serve again. Last month they said there were no nominations yet, but Lake Co News reports some nominations might be in the offing as some folks did step up since then. If interested, you have to live and be registered to vote in the South Lake Fire Protection District.

To join the Zoom meeting click on this link; the meeting ID is 872 2935 2332. Call in at 888-788-0099.

A new transitional housing hub has opened in Clearlake. Hope Center working with Adventist Health Clear Lake and Hope Rising with about $4.5 million from state and local grants. It’s the first ever permanent facility for homeless people in Lake County. There was a ribbon cutting ceremony last month. And last week they had their first patient. There can be 14 men and six women enrolled at a time. They will then get help finding sustainable permanent housing and other support services. They have eight staffers there including a social worker and management there 24/7. For more info: www.HopeRisingLC.org.

Police in Lakeport seeking the public’s help as they investigate illegal hunting at the city’s wastewater treatment facility. The Lakeport Municipal Sewer District wastewater treatment plant has reportedly seen more hunting in the area. Neighbors have reporting hearing gunshots and staff at the facility have apparently found evidence of the same, especially, they say, on the weekend. They’re asking anybody who may know anything about any illegal hunting activities there to call police. 

Coronavirus case numbers continue to rise across the state, yesterday we had another death too in Mendocino County, for a total now of 24 deaths and 1,816 cases. State health officials say over 10% of the new cases end up in the hospital within 3 weeks and of those hospitalizations, 20-30% end up in an intensive care unit. So they say that could mean more than 4,000 hospital patients in coming days and another 1,000 ICU admissions, and that’s only after the tally of state cases on Monday. It doesn’t yet include any possible surge from Thanksgiving gatherings or travel. The state reported over 10,000 residents in the hospital as of Sunday and 2,360 in ICUs.

There are still thousands of unpaid unemployment claims and claims are going up again due to new lockdowns and layoffs. The Employment Development Department has not been able to catch up to the backlog of claims that have been filed since the pandemic first started. For the week that ended December 2nd, there are over 725,000 Californians awaiting payments of backlogged claims. There had been reports they were finally catching up, but it’s gotten worse over the last month. As of November 11th, the backlog number was 542,000 or so.

A new bill has been introduced by North Coast Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry hoping to get better internet access. The ‘Internet for All Act of 2021’ a partnership with State Senator Lena Gonzalez to upgrade the State’s broadband under the California Advanced Services Program. It would be a fresh round of money into technology, bring reform to achieve Internet for All as an extension of other bills from 2017. The two say the pandemic has exposed major gaps in internet connectivity and sufficient speeds for too many Californians especially as many work from home, help their children with distance learning, access telehealth services and safeguard small business participation in the virtual marketplace. Curry says one in eight homes do not have internet access and even higher in communities of color, leaving families and students disconnected.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company says they’re trying to help customers during the pandemic and are here to help financially. They’re reminding customers they have resources and programs in place to help lower energy costs. They say they will have protections in place until next April including a moratorium on service disconnections for non-payment; post-enrollment verification and re-enrollment requirements are suspended for the California Alternate Rates for Energy Program (CARE) and Family Electric Rate Assistance Program (FERA); security deposits are being waived for small commercial businesses and customers who are Medical Baseline can qualify for lower rates.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office say they’re not sending wireless alerts, but you may get one by mistake saying the county’s in lockdown. Wireless Emergency Alerts are going out to cell phones from the Southern California and San Joaquin Valley Regions related to the mandatory stay-at-home order which does not affect residents in Lake County at this time. But the sheriff’s office warns from past experiences there have been times where unintended recipients get one of the alerts. If you have any other questions you can check with Cal OES.

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