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The first doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine have arrived. Some frontline healthcare workers got shots yesterday during a public ceremony at Adventist Health Hospital in Ukiah. The Mendocino County Public Health Officer Dr. Andy Coren was there for what he called a historic occasion in Mendocino County. Dr. Coren says the vaccines will be given per CDC guidelines in an ethical and equitable framework. Dr. Coren said so far 2,000 or so have been infected in the county and 24 people have died, not to mention the continued economic loss, social problems, and psychological suffering, calling the vaccine “a light at the end of the tunnel”. But Dr. Coren reminded we still have a ways to go for herd immunity and that everyone needs to continue to wear masks, maintain social distance, wash their hands, and avoid gatherings. During the same ceremony, the president of Adventist Health Ukiah Valley and Howard Memorial said doctors, nurses, housekeepers, people who deliver food to patients, people who serve in clinics, and people who do swabbing for the county will be first in line.

The vaccine has arrived in Sonoma County, which local hospital and county health officials called a historic turning point. The Press Democrat reports the chief medical officer at Sutter Santa Rosa Regional called the vaccine a ticket out of the pandemic. They received nearly 5,000 doses the same day the county reported over 600 new cases, almost twice as many as the last record high of 343 cases a couple weeks ago. The county’s public health officer says this week has seen some of the darkest days of the pandemic so far. Dr. Sundari Mase says there’s still a lot of work to do, getting people vaccinated … but they see it as a turning point. The first to get the vaccine are health care workers with direct exposure to patients at acute care hospitals, psychiatric emergency facilities, senior care home staff and residents, paramedics and dialysis center staff.

There are less and less ICU beds in the state, the latest metric for when a county has to shut down its economy. Hospitals have almost 15,500 confirmed COVID-19 patients, over double the summer peak from July. From that number, nearly 3,300 are in intensive care. Not all in ICU are COVID patients, but between them and others who need critical care, we’re at a bit over 3% ICU bed availability in Calif. right now. No more room in Southern Calif. at all. The Bay Area went under 15% yesterday, triggering the latest stay home order. 98% of the state’s 40 million residents, are subject to the order

The vaccine has arrived in Lake County. The first doses are supposed to be administered to frontline health care workers today. The Public Health Officer Dr. Gary Pace confirmed to Lake Co News the first shots will be at Sutter Lakeside Hospital in Lakeport. The county got 975 doses as the state sees cases explode and closure of businesses once again. Dr. Pace told the Board of Supervisors Tuesday they’re planning a major surge in hospitals and a tough winter ahead. The Pfizer vaccine arrived in Lake County the same day a panel for the Food and Drug Administration recommended approval of the second vaccine, from Moderna. They should start to send millions of doses of their vaccine across the country next week. As of Thursday there were 1,375 total cases in Lake County and 21 deaths.

New stickers in Lake County for Quagga/Zebra mussels are available. If you want to launch into any Lake County water body, you must have one and check in with a screener before entering water. The stickers are the same for residents and visitors, $20. And rescreening and inspections, as needed, are free. The mussels can decimate aquatic food chains and threaten sport and game fisheries, they can bring disease and alter the chemistry and biology of a water ecosystem and increase cyanobacteria. Lake Co News reports other water bodies across the state have suffered millions in maintenance, cleaning and filtering because of infestations. One quagga mussel can produce 20,000 or more offspring in one season.

A home in Ukiah’s been destroyed after its attic ignited. The fire on Orr Springs Road Wednesday night, three miles west of State Street. Fire officials say as they arrived, they could see flames with the attic, fully engulfed in flames. They jumped on the flames right away to try to contain the fire to the attic, but no luck as they also had some trouble accessing enough water. The home was described as a total loss, but there were no injuries as those inside were able to get out safely. They’re investigating but say it didn’t appear to be suspicious and may have started due to an electrical or chimney problem. Apparently, the fire was discovered after someone in the home heard a popping sound, smelled smoke, then reported the fire as the home started burning.

A new member will be appointed to the Ukiah City Council as a member was just recently elected to the Board of Supervisors. On Wednesday, the city council voted unanimously to appoint, rather than hold a special election, to fill Maureen Mulheren’s seat. The city would have had to fork over $30,000 for a special election. Plus, it wouldn’t be held until next May. Mulheren’s seat isn’t up for two years. One of the new council members suggested taking the idea to the public. Over 10 letters came in for public comment with more than half saying 18 year old Cameron Ramos should be seated. He ran in November and got 1,129 votes. But some of the letters also said another top vote getter, Jenny Kimbler should be appointed. The council will accept applications for the seat for anyone interested until Jan. 21st, then will move forward with the applications a week later.

The final meeting of a tough year for the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors where, once again coronavirus was top of mind. The board discussed vaccine distribution and got public health updates along with Measure B project updates too. The Daily Journal reports the board approved everything on the agenda right away except two items, which they’ll pick up at a later meeting. As we reported earlier this week the Mendocino County CEO Carmel Angelo spoke about the mass casualty plans for the county in light of a recent explosion in COVID19 cases statewide. Dr. Andy Coren, the county’s Public Health Officer says the county’s seeing about 29 new cases a day and there has been a total of 24 deaths. As of Tuesday, there were 12 people in the hospital, three of them from outside the county.

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