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Huge waves reported at the Noyo Harbor entrance. The Coast Guard’s station Chief Petty Officer reported waves up to 20 feet high, and called it a “bar closure”. That means no military or civilian vessels can pass thru the area. There were high tides with about 8.5 foot tidal change and a long period of swells. He also had a warning, don’t turn your back on the ocean, stay back away from beaches or bluffs and check the weather forecast. Anyone onboard a ship should check the weather, have access to life jackets, and have a marine VHF radio in case of emergencies. Kym Kemp is asking anyone who may have pictures of yesterday’s waves to share them. You can upload them onto the suite.

The Lake County Sheriff’s office reports several overdoses last week. Last Thursday several people took pills apparently sold to people as if it were the drug Ecstasy/MDMA. One person died after taking one of the pills, two people ended up in the hospital and another had to have two doses of Narcan to be revived. The Sheriff’s office reports seeing social media posts and pictures of the unknown looking pills, but said they were unable to verify if they were connected to the incident. They are investigating the pills in the pictures and any possible connection to the overdoses, plus the person who died will have an autopsy and they will have to wait several days for toxicology results. One of the calls from Upper Lake Thursday, the Narcan administered at the Big Valley Rancheria.

A couple of people in Covelo had to be medevacked to the hospital after possible dog bites. It was transmitted over the scanner, one woman lost a finger and a man had an abrasion on his arm, losing skin. The two were treated for shock and taken by air ambulance to the hospital. Covelo Fire and Cal Fire were reportedly involved in caring for the two on Saturday.

Two kids reported as absent from school leads to the arrest of their parents who were nowhere to be found… now arrested. Ukiah police say they got a call Friday night, just before 11 to check on the kids, 3 and 7 years old. They went to a home and found the kids alone. Parents Stephanie Phillips and Sean Finnegan in bed and could not be awakened. Police went inside, fearing a medical emergency and found the pair in bed, the dad, with a pipe in his hand. Cops found suspected heroin nearby along with multiple Xanax pills around the bedroom, where the kids could get them. The parents ended up getting arrested for leaving the kids unsupervised, and drug possession and other crimes. The mom was also on probation. The children were taken by child protective services and brought to other family members.  

Calif. continues to deal with a seemingly unstoppable surge of COVID19 cases. 695 deaths reported Saturday alone and 468 yesterday. Nearly 30,000 deaths so far from the pandemic. The cases have surged without a flattening of the curve since Halloween, then record hospitalizations around Thanksgiving time. Hospitals across the state are struggling and many are even over capacity. In Los Angeles, there’s talk of rationing care because there are barely an ICU beds available. The post-Christmas surge is upon us. On Thursday and Friday in Los Angeles County, there were almost 20,000 cases a day. The county’s Public Health chief science officer says hospitalizations and deaths will continue to stay high due to gatherings and travel over the holidays. Los Angeles County has around 40% of the state’s COVID-19 deaths.

The Governor says he’s putting aside $15 billion in economic relief due to the pandemic. It’s part of a larger, $227 billion proposal that has to be approved by lawmakers. He also asked for $5 billion in “emergency funding” to tackle five areas, reopening schools, boost coronavirus vaccine spending, small business grants and fee waivers and $600 direct payments to around 4 million people. The money all from tax revenues the state got during the pandemic. Newsom says the state is continuing to be challenged. His office says they’re putting the most money ever into schools, $90 billion. The budget has been adjusted as there was an expectation of much higher losses due to the pandemic, but apparently the expected shortfall didn’t occur, so the state has more money to spend than anticipated.

No to a water rate increase in Clearlake. Last week the city council said it would oppose the 23% rate hike proposed by the Golden State Water Company over the next three years. The company is allowed to raise rates every three years. This proposal would mean nearly 15% more next year, then another 8% by the year 2024. The council has asked city staff to draft a letter for the California Public Utility Commission voicing their opposition. For their part the Golden State Water Company had a representative on the Zoom meeting and said the company hoped the council would have supported the rate increase. The Board Chair Bruno Sabatier called out the company and said the city’s poverty rate was 33% so the company instead should apply for grant funding for their needs.

Some school districts in Calif. being challenged by the needs to update ventilation systems in order to reopen to in person learning in the midst of the ongoing pandemic. The state Assembly has introduced a bill for money to be made available for schools to upgrade their HVAC systems. Teachers unions and state leaders are asking schools to find ways to improve indoor air quality with newer filtration systems or air purifiers, or completely replacing outdated heating, cooling and air ventilation (HVAC) systems. The Governor’s plan to reopen schools calls for testing, contact tracing, masks, and ventilation upgrades.

There could be up to 900 vaccine shots a week given in Mendocino County. At least that’s the hope from the county’s Public Health Officer Dr. Andy Coren. During his Friday media availability Coren said the vaccination plan was supposed to be slow to begin with, then ramp up. He says there will be a mass vaccination clinic up to 3 days/week. Nearly 300 were given their first dose on Thursday last week. He says the short term goal is 900 people/week, which will steadily increase number as more doses arrive. So far the county has received about 2,450 doses to date. The last shipment of 975 Pfizer doses were for the second shot. But the county was expecting more doses which will be updated on the public health department’s website as they arrive. Dr. Coren says the county has 31% ICU capacity at the moment. He also noted a recent outbreak at the Safeway in Willits and of course a major one at the Mendocino County Jail where 94 cases emerged.

A working group of experts on the vaccine has announced who will be next in line for the coronavirus vaccine as doctors across the state say they’ve been forgotten. But a new updated tiered based approach should have health providers getting vaccinated. People over 64 years old, teachers, childcare workers, food industry and agriculture workers and non-medical first responders are in the next group along with prisoners, the homeless and those in essential transportation, manufacturing and construction workers at risk of exposure. Then one last priority group, those over 49 years old, people ages 16 to 64 with chronic conditions or disabilities, and essential workers in the water, defense, energy communications, financial and government sectors.

The Mendocino County Public Health Officer says they’re aiming to vaccinate 900 residents a week. In his weekly address, the first since the holidays, Dr. Andrew Coren gave an overview of where we’re at with the pandemic. First off, we have had a couple of outbreaks recently. The jail, where there were nearly 100 cases of the virus in inmates and staff. Also 5 cases in a micro cluster at the Safeway in Willits and at Mayacama Industries. Coren says the daily case rate is around 32 individuals per 100,000 residents. And we’re gaining on 3,000 positive cases so far and 2914 and 31 deaths. 332 are in isolation and 13 people are in the hospital, including one in an ICU. 28 new cases were confirmed yesterday. The county has 31% available ICU beds. The trigger for economic lockdown is 15%. There is a new travel advisory across Calif, a warning not to go outside a 120 mile radius from your home and avoid travel to or from other states or countries.

Calif. had its deadliest weekend so far due to the pandemic. Cases continue skyrocketing, especially in Los Angeles County. There have now been over 30,000 deaths since the pandemic started last year. It took 6 months for the first 10,000 deaths, and less than a month to go from 20,000 to 30,000 deaths in Calif.  Calif. is ranked third for the most deaths, behind Texas and New York which has had about 40,000, most of which happened at the very beginning of the pandemic. Calif. officials reported a 2 day record of deaths this weekend, 1,163. There are also way more hospitalizations too.  Still health officials have a warning for Calif. residents, the worst is yet to come. The hotspots in the state are in 15 counties in Southern California and in the San Joaquin Valley. This is where many are listed as lower-income residents who could also be living in congregate situations or work at places where they must be in close contact with customers or other employees.

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