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Mendocino County has received its first allotment of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The Public Health Officer Dr. Andy Coren reported the news to the Board of Supervisors yesterday, they’ve not set any clinics for the new single dose vaccine yet, but said they’re considering inoculating the homeless or those who are hard to reach, or home-bound.  He also reported the case rate is flattening and the average rate is under 4/100,000 residents and the test positivity rate is 2.7, about a half what it was two weeks ago. He says he’s concerned though that as numbers improve, community members will relax too soon and we could have another surge and end back up in restrictive shutdown tiers. The state released new tiers yesterday, and unfortunately Mendocino stays in the Purple.

Reports of shots fired in Covelo brings out deputies. Mendo Fever reports hearing on the scanner that tribal police and Sheriff’s deputies went to the 76000 Block of Henderson Lane for the report of someone running around shooting a firearm. A dispatcher said whoever called it in was the mom of the suspected shooter and said her son shot the door of the home where she was.  No word if any arrests were made.

A new chief has signed on at the Lakeport Fire Protection District. He hails from Salt Lake City where Jeffrey James Thomas was a Battalion Chief. The local fire district’s board of directors announced Thomas’ appointment as the new Lakeport Fire chief, effective March 29th. It comes after Rick Bergem announced he’d retire after over 40 years with the agency. This is also a historic move as Thomas will be the department’s first Black fire chief in its 127 year history.  He was also apparently the first Black Battalion Chief in Salt Lake and the first Black firefighter and first black fire officer in the entire state of Utah. He was born and raised in Calif. but left when he got a scholarship to play football at the University of Utah.

Like Mendocino and Sonoma counties, Lake will stay in the most restrictive of the reopening tiers, purple. Even though cases and testing positivity rates are down, the county’s Public Health Office announced the county stays in the purple, so no reopening of indoor dining, gyms, or indoor entertainment. The Board of Supervisors got the news yesterday and in their weekly update heard from an epidemiologist who says case rates statewide are down at about 2.2 percent positivity for the latest 14-day average. But there are still more than 4,200 people in the hospital and over 1,100 in an ICU. In Lake County the latest data showed 9 cases/100,000 people and testing positivity went up from 5 percent last week to 6.3 percent this week. The county needs to be at 7 cases per 100,000 to get to the red tier. Dr. Gary Pace, the public health officer says he expects the county to get to red in the next few weeks.

Lake County’s Public Health Office reports still having issues with the state’s vaccination scheduling app, MyTurn. The app was being used for a minute, but it apparently didn’t let out of county residents get appointments or go to vaccination clinics. They would get to the clinic and local staff would ask them to leave. The Public Health Officer says it’s mandatory for them to go back to using the app in the next week, but the issues remain. He told the Board of Supervisors they’re also in a wait and see on how the state will roll out its promise of 40 percent of the vaccine supply for the highest risk communities in over 400 zip codes which includes six in Lake County. The Tribal Health Officer for the county also called into the meeting yesterday and says they’ve administered nearly 500 vaccines to tribal members and over 1,000 to nontribal members, all with the Moderna vaccine.

The Board of Forestry has come out saying they anticipate another terrible fire season. The board which oversees Cal Fire and comes up with policy, held a meeting on the 2021 fire season, fire safe regulations, timber harvest sales and carbon sequestration. The deputy director of resource management reported to the board on the upcoming fire season, they were planning for the worst, but hoping for the best.  She says the state is dry, about 99% abnormally dry, 85% in some form of drought and the Sierra Nevada was at 61% of normal for this time of year. It also remains to be seen if the state will have more fire resources than last season when the pandemic impacted the camp program, where right now, 6 conservation camps are in quarantine.

The superintendent of Fort Bragg schools out with a statement about how well they’re doing in the face of the pandemic. The Fort Bragg Unified School District Board of Trustees expressed how impressed they were too with how well teachers and staff have done over the last year, making it the best possible experience for students with teachers, going the extra mile, finding new ways to deliver worthwhile education for kids with new techniques and technology, like Google Meet and Google Classroom. They say they’re going to start to regularly acknowledge the hard work and dedication by district staff.

Sonoma County stays in the purple, widespread tier. Even though the county has had a lot less cases, it’s still too high to move ahead to the red tier. The Public Health Officer, Dr. Sundari Mase says the county is on the cusp of red which will allow restaurants to have limited, indoor dining, which they haven’t seen since last summer. The Press Democrat reports some in the local business community estimate between 75 and 100 businesses are no longer. Over 30,000 people lost their jobs due to the pandemic. In Sonoma County over 300 local residents have died and over 28,500 people have been infected.

Word of wasted vaccine doses across the state, but mostly a trickle. The Press Democrat reports across the state doses had to be destroyed for various reasons. Some taken out too soon and left out too long then spoiled because they need to stay ultra-cold. The World Health Organization reported between 5% to 50% of vaccines are wasted depending on the type of vaccine and rollout. So far in Calif. though less than 0.1% of doses are deemed unusable. So far, the state has administered more than 10.5 million doses, so that adds up to about 10,500 doses wasted. But experts say that’s pretty good. The San Francisco Chronicle checked nine Bay Area counties about waste and found the numbers from county clinics were pretty well in line with the state.

The state dept. of Public Health is reporting some folks who got their Pfizer vaccine at the Oakland Coliseum may have gotten too small a dose. The dept. reports as many as 6,300 people may be affected, but those who were underdosed should be okay after receiving their second shot. The first dose is supposed to be 0.3 ml, and the recipients of the Oakland doses may have just received 0.22 ml, but with their second dose it’s apparently within the range that’s been outlined by the CDC. The state says it was human error and they’re alerting whoever got the doses between Sunday, Feb. 28th after 4:30 p.m. and Monday, March 1st between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. that they could have gotten slightly less than the optimal dose. KTVU TV also reports anonymous sources saying thousands of vaccine recipients were underdosed in the state, but the state said it’s not true.  

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders who came out a big winner in Mendocino County in the 2016 presidential primary is calling out the right wing for trying to take down Gov. Gavin Newsom with a recall effort. The supporters and organizers of the campaign touting having nearly enough petition signatures to trigger the recall and Senator Sanders saying, it’s due to the “crime of telling people to wear masks and for listening to scientists during COVID.” He tweeted that “extremist Republicans have done enough to undermine democracy already” and “we must all unite to oppose the recall in California.” He’s one of the higher profile politicians to support Newsom after frustrations with the Gov. last year started the recall ball rolling.

A man from Ukiah’s been arrested for being a felon on probation who had pepper spray. Mendocino deputies arrested Luis Manuel Ayala Ortiz Monday after a routine traffic stop for expired registration. The deputy asked for his id and registration and found he was on probation and could be searched. That’s when the deputy found he had a canister of Pepper Spray, for which he’s prohibited to possess so he was arrested and booked into jail on $15,000.00 bail.

A couple who announced they were taking over Main Street Bicycles in Lakeport were vandalized soon after their announcement on social media. Matt Sesser and Hannah Lee posted the bike shop was under new ownership and their hours. The next day, they say, they were vandalized. Someone smashed in the front window of the business and ripped off an expensive bicycle.  The Record Bee reports the last owner was arrested for child pornography and the two took over after that. The newspaper reports one of the new owners found a rock at the scene with a note on it, but they didn’t say what the note said. The bike was apparently worth about $1,600.

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