March 17, 2020




North SJ Valley:


McClintock Blasts Coronavirus Recovery Act as Dow Plunges

Sierra News

Congressman Tom McClintock (R-California, 4th District) has issued a statement sharply critical of H.R. 6201 — the so-called “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” passed by the House in the early hours Saturday morning (March 14).

See also:

     EDITORIAL: McClintock’s callous vote on coronavirus bill shows he’s been in Washington too long Sacramento Bee


Merced, Atwater and local governments looking at ways to protect workers from coronavirus

Sacramento Bee

The Merced City Council voted unanimously Monday night to formally declare an emergency in response to the growing threat of coronavirus.


Modesto, other cities restrict City Hall access due to coronavirus. Not all is closed

Modesto Bee

Modesto and Turlock officials announced Monday they will restrict public access to their city halls due to the coronavirus.

See also:

     EDITORIAL: No excuse for radio silence from Stanislaus officials over coronavirus’ most frenetic weekend Modesto Bee


Central SJ Valley:


Fresno sets plan to help residents cope with COVID-19. How city will protect essential services

Fresno Bee

Fresno Mayor Lee Brand declared a state of emergency on Monday in response to the coronavirus and announced a number of measures the city is taking to serve residents during the pandemic.

See also:

     ’COVID-19 is here.’ Fresno County declares state of emergency in response to coronavirusFresno Bee

     City of Fresno declares state of emergency to fight the coronavirus abc30

     Fresno Mayor Lee Brand Declares State of Emergency VPR

     EDITORIAL: State of emergency declared in Fresno is right move. So is not yet locking down city Fresno Bee


Clovis City Council declares a local emergency in response to COVID-19

Fresno Bee

The Clovis City Council voted unanimously Monday night to proclaim a local emergency in response to COVID-19.


Hanford City Council to discuss High Speed Rail, COVID-19

Hanford Sentinel

The Hanford City Council is scheduled to meet Tuesday to discuss several items of general business, including a Memorandum of Understanding with the California High Speed Rail​​ Authority and the County of Kings as it relates to construction of raised platform track and station south of the Union Pacific Railroad.


Opinion: Rep. Devin Nunes wants you to go to bars and pubs. What’s up with that?

Los Angeles Times

Okay, so maybe Rep. Devin Nunes doesn’t want you dead. But he sure seems willing to put your health in jeopardy out of fealty, I assume, to President Trump, who has been hellbent on minimizing one of the greatest health crises this country has ever faced.


South SJ Valley:


Kern County orders only essential staff to report for duty, declares state of emergency

Bakersfield Californian

Kern County buildings will be closed to the public starting Tuesday and non-essential county workers will be asked to stay home, Kern County Administrative Officer Ryan Alsop said Monday during a meeting of the Board of Supervisors where he declared a state of emergency in Kern.

See also:

     Impacts of coronavirus continue to mount; still no cases in Kern County Bakersfield Californian


McFarland City Council Appoints New Mayor Following Detention Center Controversy


The McFarland City Council appointed a new mayor Thursday to replace former Mayor Manuel Cantu. Cantu quit in February after the city declined a proposal that would allow The GEO Group, Inc. to turn two state prisons into immigration detention centers. GEO has since appealed that decision.




Coronavirus updates: 11 deaths in California; Gov. Gavin Newsom expands closure order

Sacramento Bee

The state’s public health department on Tuesday updated its numbers to show a total of 472 confirmed COVID-19 cases including 11 deaths.

See also:

     California passes $1.1 billion coronavirus emergency response package Sacramento Bee

     Legislature passes $1.1 billion in coronavirus funding – then leaves the Capitol CalMatters

     California Approves $1 Billion For Emergency Coronavirus Aid, Lawmakers On Recess Until April 13 Capital Public Radio

     California lawmakers approve $1 billion in funding and legislative hiatus due to coronavirusLos Angeles Times

     California lawmakers approve $1 billion in funding and legislative hiatus due to coronavirusLos Angeles Times

     Newsom: “We can change the future” CalMatters


Gov. Gavin Newsom escalates coronavirus effort, asks all California restaurants and theaters to close

Los Angeles Times

Citing the need to “align” the efforts of local and state officials to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Monday that all California restaurants should close their doors to dine-in customers and that gyms, health clubs and movie theaters should also shutter their operations.

See also:

     No gatherings, restaurant meals in California now, Gavin Newsom directs Fresno Bee

     Coronavirus: Some still refuse to heed directive to avoid big crowds Los Angeles Times

     Bay area orders ‘shelter in place’; only essential businesses open in 6 counties San Francisco Chronicle


What you need to know about California’s ‘lockdown’ of seniors and the chronically ill


California Gov. Gavin Newsom called for seniors and people with chronic conditions to isolate themselves during the coronavirus pandemic, raising questions about the state’s capacity to ensure delivery of food, medicine and services to some of its most vulnerable residents. 

See also:

     California asks seniors to isolate. How that would work Fresno Bee

     US tells older people to stay home, all ages to avoid crowds abc30


California Legislature suspends session in response to coronavirus outbreak

Fresno Bee

The California Legislature voted to suspend its 2020 session for nearly a month in response to the coronavirus outbreak that has infected hundreds of Californians and killed at least six people. 

See also:

     California Legislature suspends until April 13 amid outbreak Bakersfield Californian

     Following Frustration From Staffers, California Lawmakers Allow Remote Work To Mitigate Coronavirus Spread Capital Public Radio


Two California state offices close after workers take coronavirus tests

Sacramento Bee

Caltrans planned to close an office in Oakland on Monday after an employee there tested positive for COVID-19, according to a Sunday night email. Separately, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System closed its Sacramento headquarters for cleaning Monday after an employee there showed symptoms and went home.


Even before coronavirus, infectious disease was on rise in California — but spending got cut

San Francisco Chronicle

California’s fight against the coronavirus comes amid long-term budget cuts that public health officials fear will slow efforts to combat the pandemic.


Coronavirus Impact Highlights Need for Expanded Broadband in California

California Economic Summit

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is causing a worldwide health care crisis. It is not only making people sick, it is literally disrupting the lives of just about everyone.

See also:

     Can’t pay your power bill? Don’t worry, you’re safe for now as California utilities suspend shutoffs CalMatters

     Cox, Spectrum and other Internet providers boost speeds, drop fees for students and workers stuck at home San Diego Union-Tribune


Opinion: A new era — politics and the coronavirus

Capitol Weekly

In offices in and around the state Capitol, politicians, consultants, lobbyists, and the whole array of other political types have one thing on their minds: How do we conduct campaigns and politics in the face of the growing coronavirus pandemic? 




Coronavirus crisis could last well into the summer — July or August, Trump says

Fresno Bee

Americans should avoid gathering in groups of 10 or more, stop discretionary travel and stay out of restaurants and bars for at least the next 15 days, President Donald Trump said Monday, citing new guidelines issued by federal health officials.

See also:

     White House Expected To Provide Updates On Coronavirus Response Capital Public Radio

     White House Takes New Line After Dire Report on Death Toll New York Times

     U.S. sees largest one-day increase in coronavirus death toll since the outbreak began; San Francisco area asked to shelter at home Washington Post

     As much of America takes drastic action, some Republicans remain skeptical of the severity of the coronavirus pandemic Washington Post

     Timeline: Trump's coronavirus statements Washington Post

     EDITORIAL: Trump finally shows some leadership in the coronavirus fight. Let’s hope it lasts Los Angeles Times


White House expresses support for making immediate cash payments to Americans as part of coronavirus stimulus package

Washington Post

The Trump administration expressed support on Tuesday for sending direct cash payments to Americans as part of a massive economic stimulus package of around $850 billion, which the White House hopes could stanch the economic free fall caused by the coronavirus.


White House seeks $850B economic stimulus amid virus crisis

Fresno Bee

The White House is proposing a roughly $850 billion economic rescue package Tuesday amid the coronavirus outbreak, a sweeping stimulus for businesses and taxpayers unseen since the Great Recession of 2008.

See also:

     Trump administration reportedly to propose $850-billion economic stimulus package Los Angeles Times

     Trump Administration Seeking $850 Billion Stimulus Package Wall Street Journal

     Trump administration seeks roughly $850 billion in emergency stimulus to confront coronavirus economic fallout Washington Post

     White House seeking $850 billion coronavirus aid package Roll Call

     Opinion: Is the coronavirus relief deal sufficient to solve the crisis? The Hill

     EDITORIAL: The U.S. economy is sliding into a coronavirus hole. Congress needs to do more to pull it out Los Angeles Times


Trump to Governors on Ventilators: ‘Try Getting It Yourselves’

New York Times

On a conference call with the nation’s governors, President Trump said they should try to get ventilators on their own ahead of an expected crush of coronavirus cases.

See also:

     Shortage of life-saving ventilators in coronavirus crisis has White House scrambling Fresno Bee


Congress Weighs New, Massive Wave Of Emergency Funding To Address Coronavirus

Capital Public Radio

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is proposing a new $750 billion aid package to help families and the healthcare industry combat coronavirus impacts.

See also:

     Revised coronavirus aid bill headed to Senate, finally Roll Call

     Opinion: Congress Desperately Needs a Contingency Plan The Atlantic


VA readies $16.6 billion request for virus-related influx

Roll Call

The Department of Veterans Affairs plans to ask Congress for an additional $16.6 billion as the department prepares for a potential wave of veterans afflicted with COVID-19.


Tracking Every Coronavirus Case in the U.S.: Full Map

New York Times

The number of known coronavirus cases in the United States continues to surge. As of Tuesday morning, at least 4,482 people in 49 states, plus Washington, D.C., and three U.S. territories, have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a New York Times database, and at least 86 patients with the virus have died.


Before Trump’s inauguration, a warning: ‘The worst influenza pandemic since 1918’


In a tabletop exercise days before an untested new president took power, officials briefed the incoming administration on a scenario remarkably like the one he faces now.

See also:

     Opinion: No, the White House didn’t ‘dissolve’ its pandemic response office. I was there.Washington Post


Supreme Court postpones arguments because of virus outbreak

Fresno Bee

The Supreme Court announced Monday that it is postponing arguments for late March and early April because of the coronavirus, including fights over subpoenas for President Donald Trump’s financial records.


7 in 10 Americans worry novel coronavirus will spread in their communities, poll says

PBS NewsHour

More Americans are worried that novel coronavirus is spreading in their communities, as schools shut down and states order closures in an effort to stifle the pandemic.


Opinion: The politics of trust — and mistrust 

Washington Post

Trump’s “truths” are all politically expedient, undermining confidence. As my colleague Catherine Rampell has correctly argued, once you acquire a reputation for distortion and falsehood, it follows you everywhere.

See also:

     Poll: Americans Don't Trust What They're Hearing From Trump On Coronavirus Capital Public Radio


Elections 2020:


Harris tops the VP list. Here are some other possibilities

San Francisco Chronicle

Now that both Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders have committed to choosing a woman to be their running mate, let the Democratic veepstakes begin.

See also:

     Opinion: Biden’s promise of a female vice president was a good thing. So why does it feel so lame? Washington Post


Opinion: Can Biden beat Trump? Michigan’s swing districts offer good clues

Los Angeles Times

It may be early to be making predictions about what will happen in the presidential election eight months from now. But there’s good news for Joe Biden if you dig into the district-by-district results from Michigan’s Democratic primary last week.

See also:

     Takeaways from the Biden-Sanders debate Washington Post

     Opinion: Young Voters Outgrow Bernie Sanders Wall Street Journal

     Opinion: Biden, Sanders and Pandemics Wall Street Journal




5 Ways to Help Your Community Combat Coronavirus (While Still Social Distancing)

New York Times

In collaboration with Wirecutter, a product recommendation site owned by the New York Times, here are some ways that you can help your community make it through the chaos — and the virus too, if it does hit closer to home.

See also:

     Self-isolation hits California during coronavirus spread. Here’s expert advice on how to planSacramento Bee


From conspiracy to crisis: Fox News’s most popular hosts have changed their tune on coronavirus coverage

Washington Post

After downplaying the potential effects of the virus for weeks, the cable channel’s prime-time lineup, including Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, has suddenly started treating the threat more seriously.


Coronavirus Could Get U.S. to Vote by Mail

Pew Trusts

While elections are decentralized, administered by 10,000 jurisdictions nationwide, Congress can legally regulate federal elections, several election experts agree. Wyden’s bill would mean superseding state laws on absentee voting.


Opinion: Is It Time to Postpone the 2020 Census?

Urban Institute

There is no recent precedent for a pandemic as far reaching and fast spreading as the COVID-19 virus. The timing of this crisis could not be worse for the once-in-a-decade census.


Opinion: Activating Democracy: Are Public Meetings Broken?


Many of the biggest decisions shaping our communities, from new housing developments to how school districts spend money, are made during public meetings. 


Opinion: With COVID-19, What Time is It?

Public CEO

So, what time is it? It is the time for local government to shine and to demonstrate value. During a pandemic, local governments have the opportunity and the obligation to demonstrate value.


Opinion: Why America will remain the world’s sole superpower


AEI Jeane Kirkpatrick scholar Michael Beckley discusses why he switched from being a declinist to believing that America will remain the world’s superpower well into the 21st century and defy the laws of history.




Fresno-area bars close, restaurants turn to takeout as they grapple with coronavirus fallout

Fresno Bee

With people increasingly staying home and Gov. Gavin Newsom directing bars to close, Fresno-area pubs and restaurants are feeling the sting of measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). 

See also:

     Local restaurant owners worry as business contracts Bakersfield Californian

     EDITORIAL: Don’t test your luck with coronavirus. Skip the bars on St. Patrick’s Day in California Sacramento Bee


Opinion: Citing coronavirus, judge blocks Trump plan to take food stamps from 700,000 people

Los Angeles Times

Showing that at least some members of the federal government are doing their jobs, a federal judge late last week blocked a Trump administration rule change that would have thrown an estimated 700,000 low-income Americans off the food stamp rolls. 


VD Hanson: Remember All Who Keep Us Alive

National Review

I tried an experiment yesterday. I went to four large supermarkets in Fresno County, the nation’s largest and most diverse food-producing county, and looked at both checkouts and shelf space.






Ex-Panoche Water District officials charged with misspending thousands in public funds

Fresno Bee

Panoche Water District officials spent more than $100,000 in public money to buy themselves slot machines, car repairs, and kitchen appliances, funded landscaping on at their own homes, and covered interest-free loans, according to the California Department of Justice.


Cybercriminals Seek Profit in Coronavirus

Pew Trusts

Cybersecurity researchers have identified a growing number of phishing scams in which fraudsters are using coronavirus to entice victims. With phishing, recipients unwittingly click on emailed or texted links designed to trick them into giving their personal information.


Public Safety:


Will trial courts suspend operations to protect against coronavirus?

Fresno Bee

A Fresno defense attorney is calling on the Fresno County Superior Court to follow the lead of other counties in California and scale down or close operations to limit the potential spread of the highly contagious COVID-19 virus. 

See also:

     Courts delay trials, close doors to halt coronavirus spread. Less jury duty, slower trialsFresno Bee

     Fresno County courthouse taking extra safety measures amid COVID-19 outbreak abc30

     Superior Court continues cases, cuts services Visalia Times Delta

     Justice on Hold: Coronavirus Prompts Court Delays, Closings AP News


What if police officers get sick? Stanislaus agencies prepare for coronavirus impacts

Fresno Bee

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Stanislaus County law enforcement agencies are asking people to use online and telephone reporting systems for non-emergency crimes and are developing plans on how to protect the community if officers start getting sick.




Court approves PG&E’s $23B bankruptcy financing package

Business Journal

Pacific Gas & Electric on Monday won court approval to raise $23 billion to help pay its bills over destructive California wildfires after Gov. Gavin Newsom dropped his opposition to a financing package designed to help the nation’s largest utility get out of bankruptcy.






Recession due to coronavirus could hit California harder than rest of U.S.

Fresno Bee

The U.S. economy has entered its first recession in 11 years, and it’s likely to be slightly more severe in California than the rest of the nation, a new forecast from the UCLA Anderson School of Management said Monday.

See also:

     Will coronavirus trigger a global recession? The worst is ‘still to come,’ experts warn Fresno Bee

     Fed launches special fund to keep corporate credit flowing; U.S. stocks see-saw in volatile session Washington Post

     Coronavirus: UCLA economists say U.S. economy will enter recession, lose up to 2 million jobs Desert Sun

     U.S. Economy Slides Into the Monetary Black Hole Wall Street Journal

     Opinion: WTH is coronavirus doing to the economy? Discussing the coming corona-recession and US economic dependence on China AEI

     Opinion: A Recession is a Public Health Necessity. Here’s How to Make it Short and Sharp.The Bulwark

     Coronavirus makes it impossible to ignore the economic insecurity built into our labor market Brookings

     EDITORIAL: Financing an Economic Shutdown Wall Street Journal


U.S. Stock Markets Tick Up After Steepest Drop Since 1987

Capital Public Radio

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged Tuesday, a day after its stunning record plunge, as the White House and Federal Reserve unveiled massive stimulus measures to help the economy deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

See also:

     U.S. stocks start higher, then sag, the day after biggest loss since 1987 Los Angeles Times

     Global markets volatile after historic dive on Wall Street Los Angeles Times

     Dow plunges nearly 3,000 points as Fed intervention does little to subdue Wall Street’s distress Washington Post

     Why Are Markets So Volatile? It’s Not Just the Coronavirus. Wall Street Journal

     Traders Question Value of Stock-Market Circuit Breakers Wall Street Journal


Some local businesses carry on while others go dark


Less than 24 hours after Governor Gavin Newsom announced new guidelines for bars and restaurants, many Kern County businesses have decided whether to stay open or temporarily shut their doors.

See also:

     The mood in some Bakersfield businesses gloomy, others optimistic Bakersfield Californian

     Local restaurants, employees face an uncertain future Business Journal

     Coronavirus Social-Distancing Forces Painful Choices on Small Businesses Wall Street Journal


Opinion: The fundamentals of our toilet paper pipeline remain strong

Los Angeles Times

But despite the photos of empty shelves popping up on social media, is there in fact any risk to the nation’s toilet paper pipeline? The short answer: no.

See also:

     Bidet sales soar as toilet paper sells out amid coronavirus fears Los Angeles Times

     Fox: Panic Buying and Rationing Fox & Hounds




Fresno’s low-income workers risk paychecks in the face of coronavirus

Fresno Bee

State and federal officials are advising people work from home if possible. Telecommuting is easy for many tech workers, engineers and financial professionals, but lacking that luxury, low-wage employees working high-contact jobs are worried about being laid off or running out of sick days.

See also:

     Low-wage Californians worry they will be laid off Visalia Times Delta

     Opinion: Coronavirus Will Permanently Change How We Work Wall Street Journal

     Opinion: California shoppers, please stop over-buying. There’s enough to go around San Jose Mercury


Coronavirus spurs Save Mart to hire nearly 1,000 employees in California, Nevada

Fresno Bee

The Save Mart Cos. with grocery stores in Sacramento, Modesto, Merced and Fresno is looking to hire nearly 1,000 employees throughout California and northern Nevada due to increasing demands spurred by the coronavirus crisis.

See also:

     Out of work because of coronavirus? These businesses are hiring San Francisco Chronicle


Gavin Newsom’s coronavirus directives have largely left out state workers. ‘It’s frustrating.’

Sacramento Bee

The Bay Area is on lockdown. The president wants people to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people. Yet thousands of California state workers are still leaving their homes to go to work in well-populated office buildings, awaiting further guidance from Gov. Gavin Newsom.


Amazon’s warehouse workers sound alarms about coronavirus spread

Washington Post

As Amazon sales surge from shoppers stocking up on consumer staples, the e-commerce giant’s warehouse workers are raising alarms that the company is not doing enough to protect them from the novel coronavirus.

See also:

     Amazon To Hire 100,000 Workers To Meet 'Surge In Demand' VPR






As Fresno schools suspend classes, students face a different struggle beyond coronavirus

Fresno Bee

As the state urges isolation and colleges and school districts throughout the country suspend classes in an attempt to stop the coronavirus from spreading, students and teachers worry it could hinder learning, instruction and even graduation.

See also:

     ‘Everybody has to eat.’ Fresno schools aim to keep students, families fed during crisis Fresno Bee

     Fresno Unified Will Continue To Serve Meals Despite Closures VPR

     As Fresno schools suspend classes, students face a different struggle beyond coronavirusFresno Bee


Attendance down at Merced County schools, as upcoming closures loom due to coronavirus

Sacramento Bee

Local schools in Merced County began preparations Monday to shut down classes for at least a month amid the growing threat of coronavirus.


What Stanislaus educators are doing to prepare as prolonged school closures near

Modesto Bee

As schools across Stanislaus County prepare for a coronavirus-driven closure later this week that for some districts is set to last through the first three weeks of April, educators are learning right alongside children.


Stockton schools, students pay heed to district recommendations

Stockton Record

At 8:15 a.m. on a normal school day, the parking lot would have been full; classes would have been in session. But the starkness on Lincoln’s campus, the near-empty parking lot and deserted quad, though an eerie reflection of the COVID-19, or new coronavirus pandemic, proved the district’s messaging resonated the first day the state recommended schools temporarily close.


TCOE follows Visalia, Exeter, will close schools

Visalia Times Delta

Tulare County Office of Education is closing its campuses Tuesday, Superintendent Tim Hire confirmed Monday afternoon. 

See also:

     VUSD, TCSD to offer ‘grab-n-go’ meals during closure Visalia Times Delta


Free meals available to Hanford kids during school closures

Hanford Sentinel

In this time of uncertainty, Hanford school officials are making sure kids have a meal to eat while schools are closed.


Kern County public schools make contingency plans with temporary closures on the horizon 

Bakersfield Californian

Kern County educational leaders joined forces Monday morning, announcing plans to provide schoolwork, meals and childcare services to students as public schools prepare for temporary closures this week.


Bakersfield City School District parents can pick up long-distance learning packets beginning March 23


The Bakersfield City School District says parents can pick up long-distance learning packets for their children over a two-day period beginning March 23. The district announced its schools will be closed beginning Wednesday, March 18 over concerns of the coronavirus.

See also:

     Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County to extend hours, programs as schools close KGET


Schools close and new measures instituted to slow COVID-19

Turlock Journal

Schools across Stanislaus and Merced counties will be closing in the coming days; bars have been directed to shut their doors and restaurants to cut occupancy by half; and people over 65 have been advised to stay home as the country reacts to COVID-19.


Higher Ed:


Fresno City College closes campus after student is exposed to COVID-19


In-person classes had already been suspended, but as a precaution, the campus will now be closed for a week.


Fresno State adjusting to new learning style amid COVID-19 outbreak


Just as administrators work to transition to online classes, Fresno State students are now dealing with an empty campus. Last week, the university joined the ranks of institutions that elected to suspend in-person teaching amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

See also:

·       Opinion: Coronavirus Forces Colleges Online. Will Learning Ever Be the Same? RAND


When Colleges Shut Down, Some Students Have Nowhere To Go

Capital Public Radio

More colleges and universities are canceling classes due to COVID-19. Most are keeping dorms and dining halls open, but a growing number have asked students to pack up and leave campus indefinitely.


Former Fresno State athletics director Jim Bartko dies during surgery at age 54

Fresno Bee

Jim Bartko, the former Fresno State athletics director and a survivor of childhood sexual abuse by a Catholic priest, died Monday while undergoing surgery after collapsing during a morning workout. He was 54.


Delta College appoints To-Cowell, first Asian-American woman, to its board

Stockton Record

 San Joaquin Delta College made history with the appointment of Van Ha To-Cowell to serve on the governing board.


UC Grad Student Strike Spreads Farther

Inside Higher Ed

Graduate students at two more University of California campuses joined the ongoing strike for a cost of living adjustment, bringing the number of campuses involved to five, out of 10 total systemwide.




California training partnership could solidify a workforce ready for construction

California Economic Summit

California needs 3,000 ready-mix truck drivers now, according to estimates. And in the next few years, the number of retiring drivers will far outnumber those entering the field. This creates a huge workforce gap amid a strong construction economy.






The Unexpected Impact of A Pandemic On The Environment

IFL Science

While the beneficial effects for our environment by no means reduce the anguish and suffering caused by such an outbreak, economic slowdown and reduced travel as a result of government-enforced quarantines has put a dramatic cap on outgoing pollution and the effects are being seen all over the world.




As coronavirus hits economies, global oil use heads for record drop

Los Angeles Times

Global oil consumption is in free-fall, heading for the biggest annual contraction in history, as more countries introduce unprecedented measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic.






Third coronavirus case in Tulare County; patient in critical condition

Fresno Bee

A third coronavirus case has been reported in Tulare County. The patient is in critical condition and in isolation at Kaweah Delta Hospital in Visalia.

See also:

     Health officials confirm third COVID-19 case in Tulare Co. abc30

     Third COVID-19 patient in ‘critical condition’

     Third case of COVID-19 in Stanislaus County; Emergency Services at highest activation

     Third case of COVID-19 in Stanislaus County; Emergency Services at highest activationModesto Bee


Non-resident tests positive for coronavirus in Kern County

Bakersfield Californian

The Kern County Public Health Services Department announced Tuesday morning that a non-resident has tested positive for coronavirus while visiting Kern County.


Number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. climbs to nearly 4,500


The official reaction to the coronavirus emergency varied dramatically from place to place in the U.S., despite new, more urgent warnings from the Trump administration, which called on Americans not to gather in groups of more than 10 and advised older people to stay home.

See also:

     Coronavirus Symptoms: Defining Mild, Moderate And Severe KQED


Why outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially, and how to “flatten the curve”

Washington Post

This so-called exponential curve has experts worried. If the number of cases were to continue to double every three days, there would be about a hundred million cases in the United States by May.

See also:

     Coronavirus Is Hiding in Plain Sight New York Times

     Infected people without symptoms are driving epidemic’s fast spread, says new study San Jose Mercury

     The science of coronavirus — how fast it mutates, how deadly it is and the early work on a vaccine San Francisco Chronicle

     Coronavirus can live on plastic, steel surfaces for days, study finds San Jose Mercury


Coronavirus vaccine test underway as U.S. volunteer gets first shot

Los Angeles Times

U.S. researchers gave the first shot to the first person in a test of an experimental coronavirus vaccine Monday — leading off a worldwide hunt for protection even as the pandemic surges.


Human Services:


Fresno-area hospitals set up emergency tents, limit patient visiting amid coronavirus

Fresno Bee

Hospitals in the central San Joaquin Valley are rolling out emergency tents and limiting patient visits as the response to the novel coronavirus widens across the country.

See also:

     Bracing for coronavirus, hospitals call for more funding Roll Call


Modesto hospitals prepare for coronavirus outbreak. Data from other countries is scary

Modesto Bee

In Stanislaus County, everyone from hospital administrators to county residents continue to brace for the novel coronavirus and cope with the emerging health crisis.


California adds online triage for coronavirus to help with test shortages


Gov. Gavin Newsom says California still doesn't have enough capacity to test for coronavirus. Private industry and public laboratories are stepping up, but will help arrive quickly enough?

See also:

     California has tested fewer than 9,000 for coronavirus. Officials hope to ramp up soon Los Angeles Times


How U.S. coronavirus testing stalled: Flawed tests, red tape and resistance to using the millions of tests produced by the WHO

Washington Post

U.S. efforts to distribute tests ground nearly to a halt, and the country’s inability to produce them left public health officials with limited means to determine where and how fast the virus was spreading.

See also:

     While CDC coronavirus tests stalled for six weeks, a German lab made 1.4 million testsWashington Post


New visitation restrictions implemented at area nursing homes, hospitals

Bakersfield Californian

Some Bakersfield nursing homes and hospitals have adopted new policies limiting or completely restricting visitors at their facilities in an attempt to curb the coronavirus pandemic.


Officials say testing is being expanded, but doctors are skeptical

Los Angeles Times

Federal and state officials on Monday said they had finally turned a corner on the coronavirus pandemic and promised a massive expansion of testing, but hopes remained dim in hospitals and clinics as patients still awaited results and overworked doctors sharply questioned the government’s latest pledge.


Several supermarkets to devote shopping time to seniors


Beginning Tuesday, Dollar General will encourage its stores to dedicate the first hour of the shopping day solely to the needs of senior customers.


National Emergency Declaration Speeds Low-Income Health Care

Pew Trusts

The national emergency declaration President Donald Trump delivered today increases states’ authority to help low-income residents get testing and treatment for the new coronavirus.


Hospitals restricting masks, prompting outcry from their own work forces

San Diego Union-Tribune

Potential shortages of personal protective equipment have led to significant changes for front-line health care workers in San Diego County and across the nation as their employers seek to make what stock they do have available last as long as possible.


Listen: the Affordable Care Act at 10 years


March marks the 10-year anniversary of President Barack Obama signing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law. Christen Linke Young joins the Brookings Cafeteria podcast to discuss the accomplishments of the ACA and where progress still needs to be made. 




Asylum seekers attend border court amid outbreak

Hanford Sentinel

U.S. immigration courts sharply scaled back operations Monday but have stopped well short of a total shutdown demanded by employees, including judges and government attorneys.


With masks at the ready, ICE agents make arrests on first day of California lockdown

Los Angeles Times

With safety measures taken across the state, immigrant advocates have criticized ICE for its continued enforcement operations. More than 45 organizations signed a letter this week calling on the Department of Homeland Security to suspend such actions.




Newsom issues order allowing eviction halt during coronavirus pandemic


Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an order Monday night allowing governments around California to halt evictions as the coronavirus outbreak threatens to deprive renters of income.

See also:

     Gavin Newsom moves to protect renters, utility customers as coronavirus spreads Modesto Bee


An unexpected side effect of the coronavirus? A new urgency about helping homeless people

Los Angeles Times

As public health officials scramble to manage the spread of the novel coronavirus, strategies are starting to be implemented across California and the rest of the country to protect the homeless population.


Coronavirus has open houses closing and home buyers reconsidering

OC Register

Ramifications of a global pandemic are starting to ripple through the Southern California housing market as virtual home tours replace in-person showings and homeowners cancel open houses to avoid coming face-to-face with potentially infected home shoppers.


Could vacancy fines ease California’s housing crisis? Vancouver tries it, with mixed results


It's unclear how many people might be helped if California cities penalized companies that leave housing vacant. Vancouver levied a wide-ranging vacancy tax in its tight market, but more than half the empty homes were exempt.


Lenders Are Deluged With Refinance Requests as Coronavirus Sends Rates Lower

Wall Street Journal

Homeowners are rushing to refinance their mortgages thanks to big falls in interest rates prompted by fears of the spreading coronavirus. Some lenders are having trouble keeping up with the red-hot demand.




Walters: Even more confusion over tax vote


Throughout California, local government and school officials have been stunned by voters’ reluctance this month to approve new taxes and bonds.


Opinion: The child tax credit: Onward and upward?


The child tax credit has grown markedly since its inception, rising from $400 per child in 1998 to $2,000 per child in 2018. Congress has also expanded the refundable portion of the credit.




Drivers afraid of contracting coronavirus at DMV offices to get 60-day grace period

Sacramento Bee

With some drivers expressing fear of crowded DMV field offices, the California Department of Motor Vehicles on Monday night asked law state enforcement to give motorists a 60-day grace period for expired licenses.


Flight cuts could extend until summer. Airlines call for $58 billion in aid

Los Angeles Times

Responding to new government travel restrictions and plunging demand, U.S. carriers plan to slash flight capacity by up to 75% on international routes and as much as 30% on domestic flights, with cuts projected to last until summer.

See also:

     Airlines seek $58 billion in aid for business lost to pandemic Roll Call




Rain, snow forecast for Kern County mountain ranges into Tuesday

Bakersfield Californian

The National Weather Service is predicting possible snow in the Kern County mountain ranges, both on the Grapevine and in the Southern Sierra Nevadas, late Monday night and into Tuesday.




Amid calls for widespread closures, some entertainment options in Fresno area remain

Fresno Bee

Fallout from the coronavirus continues to be felt throughout the Fresno area and the state following Gov. Gavin Newsom’s call for limitations on social gatherings.


Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County remain open, extend programs as schools temporarily close

Bakersfield Californian

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County will continue operating at three separate facility-based program sites and extend hours from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. to create day camp settings while schools are closed.


What to do when so much shuts down? Some head outdoors amid coronavirus outbreak

Sacramento Bee

As coronavirus continues to spread, some people are finding comfort in exploring public lands.  Most of America’s national parks are open, and could even be some of the safest places to take a trip. 


Yosemite hotel and restaurant closures expected in response to coronavirus

Fresno Bee

Yosemite National Park hotels and restaurants are expected to close by noon Tuesday to lessen the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading to park visitors and employees of the popular California park.

See also:

     Yosemite restaurants, lodgings to close temporarily as coronavirus precaution Los Angeles Times

     Yosemite, other parklands shut down visitor centers San Francisco Chronicle


With coronavirus keeping people away, St. Patrick’s Day hotspots prepare for uncertain day

Sacramento Bee

No Sacramento-area bars outspokenly defied Newsom’s request in the 24 hours since he made it. Many bars, however, serve food as well and most have chosen to identify as a restaurant in this case - that is, continue serving meals and drinks while cutting seating in half.