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Justin Fray
Justin Fray
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Sonoma County News

Faster COVID Testing

COVID 19 tests will be processed more quickly, getting results back to those who get tested sooner. Sonoma County's Public Health lab is receiving new equipment that will triple the number of tests processed daily. Late last night County Health officials reported 144 new virus infections, the highest single day total during the pandemic, to boost the county’s total COVID-19 cases over the 4,000 mark, to 4,063. And active cases are now 2,023. (photo courtesy PBS)


Kaiser Vaccine Testing

Kaiser Permanente has joined a Phase 3 clinical trial to test a coronavirus vaccine candidate currently in production by Pfizer and BioNTech, and will seek to enroll 1,400 adults aged 18-85 in California and Oregon to join in the study. The aim of the trial is to enlist 30,000 patients in 120 sites around the world to participate. Kaiser will use sites in Santa Clara and Sacramento to test vaccine candidates. (photo courtesy NIBSC)


PG&E Power Shutoffs Plan

PG&E is promising regulators that it has learned from its mishandling of deliberate blackouts and won't disrupt as many people's lives during the pandemic this year. PG&E's chief regulator is trying to avoid a repeat of last autumn's blackouts that inconvenienced and infuriated more than 2 million Northern Californians. A PG&E executive predicted this year's expected blackouts will affect far fewer customers and won't last nearly as long. (photo courtesy PG&E)


Governor Newsom Progress Report

Governor Newsom says California is turning the corner in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic. He cited a significantly lower number of confirmed new cases as California begins to clear backlogged cases caused by a technical error, and that he is encouraged by the downward trend in hospitalizations. California reported 180 additional deaths from the virus yesterday, bringing the state's coronavirus deaths to more than 10,600. In Sonoma County there are 34 more active cases added since yesterday (photo courtesy LA Times)


Law Enforcement Measure Legality

Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Essick requested a lawyer to look over the law enforcment oversight measure on the November ballot. Sonoma County Supervisors rejected the Sheriff's request to pay an outside council for advice on the measure he says has some legal defects, and that the measure might inhibit the duties of the Sheriff's Office. (photo courtesy Pensacola News Journal)


Covid Aid Package

Americans counting on emergency coronavirus aid from Washington may have to wait until Fall. Negotiations over a new coronavirus aid package have all but ended. The White House and Congress are far apart on the size, scope and approach on relief for households, schools and a national strategy to contain the virus. (photo courtesy Voice of America)


Anti-COVID-19 Nasal Spray

Researchers at the UCSF say they have formulated a nasal spray that can help ward off the coronavirus. They call the aerosol spray AeroNabs, and say it's not a cure, but it is an antiviral aimed at preventing COVID-19. They are working with business partners to get it manufactured and clinically tested. (photo courtesy San Francisco Chronicle)


PG&E Settlement Unsettled

Today, Sonoma County Supervisors will discuss how to use the $149.3 milion PG&E settlement money from the 2017 wildfires. The 2pm meeting today is projected to be a tug-o-war between the Supervisors, each defending their areas of the County devastated by the fires, and the newer issue of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. (photo courtesy Petaluma Argus-Courier)


Deadly Case Numbers

As the confirmed number of coronavirus cases in the world has reached 20 million, Sonoma County has also reached a new tragic number. 3 more fatalities from COVID 19 has brought Sonoma County's death toll to 50. Again, each of the 3 new reported deaths were over 65 years old, with underlying health conditions. Over the weekend 239 new infections were added to the list, and 80 more were added since yesterday, bringing the total to 1,714 active cases locally. (photo courtesy Medscape)


State Watch List Changes

California counties can start moving on and off the State Watch list again now that a data glitch with the CalREDIE reporting system has been fixed. Yesterday, California Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said individual counties will update their case counts sometime in the next couple of days. A county must be off the watch list for 14 days before it can reopen in-person education. (photo courtesy Public Policy Institute)


Graton Rancheria Executive Director

Beginning next month, the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria will have a new leader, who has plenty of experience in leadership roles. Santa Rosa Assistant City manager, David Guhin has resigned from the city to become the Executive Director for the Graton Tribe, though he is not a member of the Tribe. Guhin said his new job will focus on oversight and potentially expansion of a range of tribal programs ranging from rental assistance to wetland protection. (photo courtesy News Break)


Senior Facility Numbers Improving

Skilled Nursing Facilities are beginning to see a reduction in coronavirus infections after months of steady rises in numbers that brought in State officials to work on the situation. The Public Health Strike Team, made up of infection control experts, reported improvements are being made. Currently there are 256 less active cases in Sonoma County, but still 1,634. And nearly 2000 have recovered from the virus since March. There has been 47 local deaths from COVID 19. (photo courtesy WGME)


School Waivers On Hold

The waivers to let some Elementary School students attend schools in person have been put on hold, due to local Health Officials' concerns of coronavirus case rates. Last week, Governor Newsom announced that schools may apply for waivers to open their classrooms for children from transitional kindergarten through sixth grade. Dr. Sundari Mase, the Sonoma County Health Officer, said until she gets an accurate read on case rates, she will not be processing applications. (photo courtesy Leapfrog)


Sonoma County Hot Line

The new hot line set up to report violators of the facial coverings orders has generated hundreds of calls. 189 were reported on the first day, alone. County Communications Manager Paul Gullixson said most were about businesses, including restaurants, but also parks and other outside spaces. Fines range from $100 for individuals, to as high as $10,000 for commercial infractions. (photo courtesy Reuters)


College Student Promises

U.S. colleges are asking returning students to promise to help contain the coronavirus. That means no keg parties, no long road trips and no outside guests on campus. Administrators warn that failure to wear masks, practice socially distancing and avoid mass gatherings could bring serious consequences, including getting booted from school. (photo coutesy Fastweb)


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