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The Mendocino County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Department is taking over the Measure B program administration. In an announcement last Friday, Dr. Jenine Miller, Director Of Mendocino County’s Behavioral Health and Recovery Services said they’ll take on all of the responsibilities for the Measure B Commission which will eliminate the need for a program manager. She says they made the decision to save money and hope it will result in more efficiencies for program management and most importantly, more demonstrable results for the community. Some of their tasks are preparing for all meetings, putting out the meeting minutes, monitoring fiscal activities for any Measure B projects and programs and to continue developing the Crisis Residential Treatment Facility and the Behavioral Health Regional Training Center.

The Mendocino County Public Health Officer has put out new guidance regarding vaccinations. Following what the state Department of Public Health is saying on how much vaccine, its storage and administration, and how the county will report vaccines. Local clinics, medical providers and the City of Ukiah are authorized to distribute the COVID-19 vaccines and follow all guidelines set out by the state. And the vaccine partners will continue to keep up with what the state is directing as far as tiers who can get the vaccine, reporting any issues with the vaccine after it’s administered within 24 hours and keep records for at least 3 years after or longer, if required by law. And will follow CDC requirements for vaccine management and the storage and distribution as well. The County Health Officer also asks partners to immediately notify of any temperature fluctuation in storage and not to bypass any distribution tiers.

The Gov. had to revise guidelines for church services and other places of indoor worship after the Supreme Court ruled it was illegal to not allow people inside, pandemic, or not. The Governor’s office revised guidelines this weekend after the ban on indoor worship was lifted. But the court did keep restrictions in place for singing and chanting. The rulings came out Friday after a couple of lawsuits argued the restrictions were a violation of religious liberty. The justices ruled California could not continue the ban on indoor services but could limit attendance to 25% of a building’s capacity and keep the ban in place for singing and chanting in doors. So the new guidance does just that, limits indoor activities at 25% for places where the virus is widespread or has substantial spread at 25%; and places where the spread is considered moderate to minimum is limited to 50% capacity.

A donation of land to Lake County will be considered by the Board of Supervisors this week. The land would be for a new park. The board is also taking time to discuss whether they should limit in person services to the public amidst the continuing pandemic. The board will meet virtually tomorrow on Zoom. The new Northshore Park being proposed would be in the name of John T. Klaus too. Last month the board considered a temporary resolution to reduce in person services because of the pandemic and to keep board chambers closed for in person meetings. As with every other meeting the Public Health Officer will also speak. 

The Governor has hosted a virtual meeting with some small business owners. With Gov. Newsom, Isabel Guzman, the Director of California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA), Dee Dee Myers, Director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GOBiz) and legislative leaders, along with state entrepreneurs who have received money from the state’s first round of Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grants. The state reports awarding $237.5 million in that first round and look to distribute the same amount again in the second round which opened for applications today. So far over 21,000 small businesses got a grant. The Governor’s 2021-22 State Budget proposal has more money set aside, $1.1 billion in immediate relief for small businesses.

Several Fort Bragg businesses have reportedly had positive COVID19 tests so surveillance testing has been conducted. Mendocino County Health officials reported seven restaurants were impacted and more than a dozen employees were infected.  The county’s Dept. Operation Center reported not all of the businesses had 3 cases, which would be an official outbreak, but all seven restaurants are apparently part of the spread. They’re identified as Angelina’s Bar and Grill, David’s Deli and Restaurant, Denny’s, Mayan Fusion, Laurel’s Deli and Dessert, Noyo Harbor Inn and Restaurant and Silvers at the Wharf. The county reported there were 15 employees from one or more of the establishments where someone tested positive. The Public Health Officer Dr. Andy Coren says there was not evidence anyone in the community had gotten it from employees, they were passing it among themselves.

The Fort Bragg mayor has put out a statement about the Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center and the Winter Shelter. Mayor Bernie Norvell says the Hospitality Center had contacted the city about using the “Old Recreation Center” for the Coast Winter Shelter because they couldn’t find another place for the shelter due to several reasons, including the pandemic and many facilities having to stay closed. A proposal was submitted the mayor says to start the shelter in December, but they had issues finding enough people to staff it. An ad hoc committee told the City Council they should raise the hourly rate so the shelter eventually opened a month late at Trinity Lutheran, but it can’t go through all of March so another venue needed to be found. The mayor says he spoke to facilities and organizations. He says he reached out to the Caspar Shul and they approved the last 2 weeks of March. But the mayor says he’s having issues with the hospitality center working with the Shul now and in his public statement wondering why, including retaliation against the city, dislike of the mayor or revenge on local businesses.

Police in Fort Bragg warning about a possible text messaging scam. Police say they’ve had multiple complaints from citizens of attempted fraud by text message, asking if they would be interested in advertising for “Bang” energy drinks, by placing a “wrap” style decal on their vehicle. The potential victims who do respond with a mailing address lets the scammer know where they live. They’ve been asking for checks for $1,950.50 to deposit in your own bank account thru an ATM or Mobile Deposit machine with detailed instructions. Police say the texts have mis-spelled words and grammar problems which are common indicators of fraudulent activity.  Police say to call if this happens to you and not to respond of you get a similar text message.

The Mendocino County Public Health Office says yes to the COVID Safety Plan sent to them by Ukiah Schools. The county is awaiting the state’s response to the same, then once it’s fully approved, and case numbers are at 25 or less positive cases per 100,000 people, the phased in reopening of schools can commence February 16th. The following week will be even more classrooms and more after the county hits the Red tier. Right now, we’re still in Purple. It’s also all contingent on what the state says.

The Calif Public Health Office is out with new facial covering guidance. As a reminder wearing a mask prevents you from getting and spreading the virus. Wearing is required across the state if you’re outside your home, with limited exceptions. As we have come to find out this past year, coronavirus spreads when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes within 6 feet of others, so covering your mouth and nose will slow the spread. Make sure it covers your nose and mouth and is secure under your chin, that it fits snugly against the sides of your face, that you can breathe easily and if there’s a constant need to adjust your mask, it doesn’t fit.

The largest utility companies in the state are putting out their guidance for how they intend to use billions they’ve promised to spend to reduce the risk of wildfires. It comes after last summer’s record breaking fires, the worst in modern history and because a series of fires have been blamed on their equipment. The companies, Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric and other smaller utilities have filed paperwork with the state for yearly plans on how they’ll mitigate the risk. The documents have been sent to the California’s Public Utilities Commission for approval. PG&E’s plan is for this and next year and outlines the areas most prone for fires and where they’ll focus their mitigation efforts.

A man in Ukiah’s been arrested after calls from the Motel 6 on S. State St. where a man was disturbing customers and wouldn’t leave. Police reported to the motel and found the man using a broom with a broken handle to sweep dirt away. They identified him as Artemio Ortega-Reyes and say he seemed high on drugs, was uncooperative, argumentative and wouldn’t let go of the broom. They got it away from him and say he took a fighting stance and resisted them. The one officer called for backup and when they all tried subduing the guy, the 1st officer broke his hand and another officer was also injured. They came to find he was probably on meth, as they found some in his pocket along with a pipe. He was finally arrested after being treated himself for minor injuries. He’s charged with resisting or obstructing officers, possession of drugs and possessing drug paraphernalia.

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