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After new guidelines were released by the CDC, Calif. is following suit, recommending masking up again indoors. This comes as the more contagious Delta variant spreads across the state in the unvaccinated, and in some who have had the shots. The CDC said fully vaccinated people should wear a mask indoors where transmission is high or substantial. That’s a reversal from May when the agency said those who were fully vaccinated needn’t wear a mask inside. The state’s health agency is reporting over 90% of state residents live in areas with high or substantial community spread. And that the Delta strain has caused a sharp increase in hospitalizations and the case rate statewide.

It’s officially official, the Sonoma County Fair is back. They opened the fair yesterday after a closure last year due to the pandemic. This year, they’re calling it, “Summer Fun Fest” and they’ve added a bunch of new attractions. You can enjoy the fair through the weekend then again Aug. 4th – 8th next weekend, at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa. There are now pig races, camel rides, and a quinceañera expo. And back this year is the Mexican Rodeo, livestock judging and auction for young exhibitors, Monster Truck races, and the Destruction Derby.

Still no sign of a missing climber on Mt. Jefferson in Oregon. Steven Van Pelt used to live in Mendocino County while growing up. He had been climbing the volcano and apparently fell several hundred feet. There has been a days long search for him, but now his family says, while every effort has been made, they’ve not seen Steven and the area where they think he is, is not accessible. His family put out a statement saying, “There is no more appropriate tombstone for Steve than Mt. Jefferson.” They posted that on social media, adding Van Pelt and his climbing partner had a great day together before his accident. And as they came down the mountain his partner saw him slip and fall hundreds of feet.

Another Mendocino County resident has died from COVID. It’s been a while since we’ve reported a death, this is the 51st person we’ve lost to the pandemic. The Mendocino County Public Health Dept. reports the death in a 73 year old man from Willits. The agency is asking residents to be careful during this latest surge across the state with the more infectious Delta variant and to consider it before placing yourself in situations that could expose you to the virus. They also remind to please follow all CDC guidelines on masking while indoors, vaccinated or not. They also remind once again that getting vaccinated, wearing a mask and socially distancing are the best options for combating the Covid-19 Virus.

The Mendocino County Public Health Office is advising there has been a case of coronavirus at a local restaurant. They say anyone who visited Patrona Restaurant and Lounge between July 23 – July 24, last Friday and Saturday, may have been exposed to COVID-19. They’re advised to immediately get tested if your unvaccinated, or seek testing if you have symptoms while vaccinated. The Public Health dept. reports being ready for the possibility of outbreaks because of increased close contact during the summer months. The owner of the business put out a statement saying they take the health and safety of the community very seriously and when it was clear to them a team member tested positive, they immediately followed public health guidelines on sanitization and testing. So all of their employees have been testing and it’s safe to come to Patrona’s.

After the CDC released guidance for the vaccinated to wear masks in places of heavy transmission of the virus, the same goes in Mendocino County. The Mendocino County Health Officer, Dr. Andy Coren is advising the same, so the City of Fort Bragg is proactively putting MANDATORY facial covering guidance back in place starting today, regardless of vaccination status. The city is making space for exceptions to the facial covering mandate, for those who cannot wear a mask for medical or health reasons and those under two years old. The city says the new rules come as the number of virus cases increase in the county, and due to the more contagious Delta variant. The city is not however telling businesses people must wear masks, but just want to encourage them to do so.

It’s no longer a consideration to bring water to Fort Bragg on the Skunk Train Tracks from Willits. Mendocino Voice news reports the city manager in Willits says they want to access about a million gallons of water a week, but after several meetings with those involved in the proposal, they decided against it. Now they’re reportedly considering trucking water in from Ukiah. The news site reports the City of Willits is expected to enact Stage 1 water conservation measures, but it’s voluntary. The Skunk Train idea fell apart due to cost, whereas in a truck it would be less expensive, which is generally the way it’s been done.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors has agreed on an urgency ordinance as it relates to the drought. During their meeting on Tuesday, the board chair presented the urgency ordinance, so that anyone applying for a land use permit, will also have to show they’ve done hydrology reports. Most of the projects considered as of late have been related to cannabis and millions of gallons of water. Like the latest High Valley Ranch project in Clearlake Oaks.  Board Chair Bruno Sabatier’s report says the idea comes, “during these hard and difficult times where economic development and the urgent need to conserve water seem to be clashing.”

A mural in Ukiah keeps getting vandalized. The painting on the block of West Church Street had been vandalized three times in a week. So the artist Lauren Sinnott says on one part of the panel, a small figure was defaced and she’ll fix it.  The Daily Journal reports the artist reported the vandalism to the police department, and she repaired that section. She’s been painting the mural over three summers. The same figure was defaced again and she fixed it again and called police, then a third time. She says it’s been at a cost of about $1,000. The suspect has been described as a woman with personal issues with the picture of the person defaced due to romantic entanglements.

In Lake County if you want to get the vaccination or be tested for COVID19, they’ll get you a ride. The announcement comes after the Supervisors meeting this week where the acting public health officer said the county had the highest rate of cases in the state, at 50/100,000, and it could be higher due to a 7 day lag in reporting. They remind to follow guidelines from the CDC and call your doctor if you need to be tested or want a vaccine. The offer to drive to testing and vaccination sites for all residents Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 8:30am-11:30am.  Vaccination appointments are also available to residents 12 years and older on Mondays and Thursdays, 8:30am-11:30am, and a reminder, that parent or guardian consent is required for minors.

The Mendocino City Community Services District got to talking about the ground water management ordinance and possible penalties for those who don’t comply. The monthly meeting of the board also covered options for drought mitigations. The Daily Journal reports the Ground Water Extraction Permit Ordinance that passed last year confirmed the district’s authority over property owners to make sure they get their ground water extraction permits and install meters to watch how much water they use, then report back. The newspaper reports about 20 properties in the district didn’t have their permits and as many as 73 are not in compliance. The district has not been mandating it, but they’re also now looking at how to enforce penalties of as much as $100/day. As far as drought relief they discussed water sales which were cut off in Fort Bragg but continue in Elk, Westport and Irish Beach. They also reiterated the District is in a Stage 4 drought.

Since it’s going to be pretty hot over the next days, the Mendocino County Public Health Department is reminding to take precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses, like heat cramps, heat stroke, and heat exhaustion. The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for tomorrow from 10AM-8PM with temperatures forecast from 100 to 110 degrees for Mendocino County. The agency reminds us all to drink plenty of fluids, stay out of the sun if possible, and frequently check on people at risk for extreme heat, like the elderly, children under 4, people with existing medical conditions, and those without access to air conditioning. And please don’t leave kids or pets in cars unattended.

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