March 23, 2020

23Mar

POLICY & POLITICS

 

North SJ Valley:

 

United Way, Stanislaus Community foundation announce new coronavirus lockdown assistance

Modesto Bee

The Stanislaus Community Foundation and United Way of Stanislaus County are taking additional steps to support the community’s most at-risk residents.

 

‘Ambiguity’ of Newsom’s stay-at-home order takes Stanislaus County officials by surprise

Modesto Bee

Top officials in Stanislaus County said they won’t likely step up enforcement to comply with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s order for California residents to stay home to slow the spread of coronavirus illness.

 

Stockton City Council meetings adapt to stay-at-home orders

Stockton Record

Stockton City Council meetings will continue to be held while state and local stay-at-home orders are in place for COVID-19, using online technology that allows for public comments.

 

Central SJ Valley:

 

Here’s how the first Saturday in Fresno under the shelter-in-place order went

Fresno Bee

The first Saturday in Fresno under the state shelter-in-place ordinance showed the city didn’t become a ghost town, but there weren’t any crowds, either.

 

City levies $10,000 fine for price gouging during coronavirus pandemic for pack of water

Fresno Bee

Fresno City Councilmember Miguel Arias announced the city of Fresno has issued its first $10,000 administrative fine to a liquor store for price gouging bottled water amid the coronavirus pandemic. A 24-pack of water sold for $16 at a liquor store.

See also:

 

City of Hanford announces additional responses to COVID-19

Hanford Sentinel

In the wake of the issuance of the Governor’s “Stay at Home” order, issued Thursday evening, and several other state and federal directives and executive orders that have been released over the past two weeks, the city of Hanford said it has already made the determination that all city services are essential services as defined by the references in the Governor’s order.

 

Fact-checking Devin Nunes on COVID-19

Visalia Times Delta

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) has received withering criticism this week for conservative talk show appearances on national TV and local radio in which he said the COVID-19 outbreak would diminish in weeks and questioned local and state government orders asking people to stay home.

 

Masumoto: Coronavirus tests the strength, determination of central San Joaquin Valley’s people

Fresno Bee

As the coronavirus spreads, we are told to distance ourselves from each other. Keep apart. Separate. Yet hidden in these necessary actions is an opportunity to redefine our Valley as a collection of communities and neighbors.

 

South SJ Valley:

 

Advocates Say Mcfarland’s Plan To Fill Vacant Seat At City Council Meeting During Covid-19 Pandemic Is An Attempt To Rush Geo Appeal Hearing

Kern Sol News

The McFarland City Council plans to appoint an individual to fill a vacancy on the council at its next City Council meeting, despite a statewide order made Thursday by the Governor of California for people to stay home.

 

Virus pandemic an unprecedented test for a young generation

Bakersfield Californian

As this crisis unfolds, her generation likely be tested like never before, especially those whose families are already on the edge, financially and health-wise.

 

State:

 

'Stay Home,' Californians Are Told By Governor As Coronavirus Spreads

VPR
The nation's most-populated state is telling its residents to stay home except for essential travel. California Gov. Gavin Newsom made the announcement Thursday night, saying that more than half of the state's 40 million residents could become infected by the coronavirus if efforts aren't taken to slow its spread

See also:

 

Update from the governor: California companies making ventilators, changes to eviction rules coming

Fresno Bee

California Gov. Gavin Newsom described the state’s scramble to acquire more masks and ventilators Saturday and urged people to use common sense in obeying his order for all Californians to stay at home to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

See also:

 

California saved billions for ‘rainy day.’ But two economic hurricanes are headed our way

Sacramento Bee

The coronavirus pandemic already has wiped out tens of thousands of jobs in California. And that’s just the first act. Even after the “stay at home” orders are eased and life starts getting back to normal, COVID-19 will likely inflict a second wave of economic misery on the state.

See​​ also:

 

Pandemic postcard from California: 'Wish you weren't here'

Bakersfield Californian

California has sold itself to the world with images of endless sunshine, the splendor of its natural beauty and iconic attractions. No sales pitch, though, is a match for the coronavirus pandemic.

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Coronavirus halts ballot measure signature gathering in its tracks

San Francisco Chronicle

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s statewide stay-at-home order will not only keep people off the streets, but also could keep some initiative measures off the November ballot.

 

Legislature passes $1.1 billion in emergency coronavirus funding — then leaves the Capitol

CalMatters

As the Bay Area sheltered in place and the death toll rose from COVID-19, California's Legislature funded an unprecedented ramp-up of ventilators, hospital beds and potential quarantine hotels.

See also:

 

Trump issues major disaster declaration for California as coronavirus pandemic intensifies

Fresno Bee

President Donald Trump issued a major disaster declaration for California on Sunday to help the state handle the economic and health consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.

See also:

 

Trump praises Newsom, Cuomo for stay-home orders

Las Vegas Review-Journal

President Trump applauded California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who ordered residents to “shelter in place,” and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who announced all nonessential workers must stay home, saying the two leaders were “taking very bold steps.”

 

Federal:

 

Census 2020

Fresno State Campus News

2020 Census invitations to respond will arrive in mailboxes by March 20 with detailed information on how to respond. If you are filling out the census for your home, you should count everyone who is or will be living there as of April 1, 2020. The campaign is encouraging all Californians to participate in the Census as soon as possible.

See​​ also:

 

Congressional rescue talks churn as crisis deepens

Fresno Bee

Top-level negotiations between Congress and the White House churned late into the night over a now nearly $2 trillion economic rescue package, as the coronavirus crisis deepened, the nation shut down and the first U.S. senator tested positive for the disease.

See also:

 

Trump Urges Car Companies To Make Ventilators Without Imposing Defense Production Act

Capital Public Radio

The president encouraged automakers to produce critical supplies that would help with shortages due to the coronavirus. But he has yet to enforce the Cold War relic, which he invoked last Wednesday.

See also:

 

Exclusive: U.S. axed CDC expert job in China months before virus outbreak

Reuters

Several months before the coronavirus pandemic began, the Trump administration eliminated a key American public health position in Beijing intended to help detect disease outbreaks in China, Reuters has learned.

 

Before Virus Outbreak, a Cascade of Warnings Went Unheeded

New York Times

The outbreak of the respiratory virus began in China and was quickly spread around the world by air travelers, who ran high fevers. In the United States, it was first detected in Chicago, and 47 days later, the World Health Organization declared a pandemic. By then it was too late: 110 million Americans were expected to become ill, leading to 7.7 million hospitalized and 586,000 dead.

 

Fact-Checking 5 Trump Administration Claims On The Coronavirus Pandemic

NPR

President Trump has made a lot of promises about actions that his administration is taking to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Not all of them have been exactly on the mark — and some have yet to pay off as advertised.

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‘I’m going to keep pushing.’ Anthony Fauci tries to make the White House listen to facts of the pandemic

Science

Anthony Fauci, who to many watching the now-regular White House press briefings on the pandemic has become the scientific voice of reason about how to respond to the new coronavirus, runs from place to place in normal times and works long hours.

See also:

 

Opinion: How Long Will the Coronavirus Lockdowns Go On?

Wall Street Journal

First, the bad news: America’s coronavirus epidemic is only beginning, and the suffering will become more searing over the next two weeks. Hospitals in New York City may soon be overwhelmed. New Orleans, Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle may not be far behind.

See​​ also:

 

U.S. Extends Individual Tax Filing Deadline from April 15 to July 15

Wall Street Journal

The U.S. extended the April 15 tax-filing deadline to July 15, an unprecedented delay that will give people more time to prepare and pay their taxes as workers lose jobs and businesses close during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Commentary: National security and the pandemic of 2020

AEI

The current pandemic is a reminder that the public at times needs government to step in where the private sector falls short. This isn’t an argument for the government to take over in every which way, but simply a statement of fact that governments set the conditions, and often have the most immediate tools at hand, to help secure the public’s welfare.

 

Commentary: Millennials and baby boomers are not at odds over coronavirus

AEI

All it took was a few Instagram pictures of young people socializing and a juvenile nickname for the novel coronavirus — “Boomer Remover” — to set off a round of generational finger-pointing. Politicians and public health officials accused young people of failing to heed public health warnings to maintain social distance and self-quarantine.

See also:

PEW
As coronavirus cases increase across the United States and federal and state governments scramble to address the crisis, 70% of Americans say the 
COVID-19 outbreak poses a major threat to the nation’s economy and 47% say it is a major threat to the overall health of the U.S. population.

See​​ also:

 

Pandemic ignites interest in remote voting; McConnell, Pelosi say no

Roll Call

Senators on both sides of the aisle said this week that the chamber is exploring the possibility of voting remotely on a third legislative package responding to the coronavirus pandemic, a move that would upend tradition and require tweaks to the Senate rules. But Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shot down the idea of remote voting Tuesday, just like Speaker Nancy Pelosi did in the House last week.

See​​ also:

 

Looking back on impeachment, a quarter of Americans say Trump did nothing wrong

PEW

When Americans look back on Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial – which ended just over a month ago – a quarter say the president did nothing wrong, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted Feb. 18-March 2.

 

Federal judges: From political players to lifetime appointments

Roll Call

Rhode Islander John “Jack” McConnell Jr. and Texan James “Jim” Ho are on opposite ends of the political spectrum. But their paths to lifetime appointments as federal judges are remarkably similar.

See also:

 

Coronavirus Trackers:

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) in California

Covid19.ca.gov

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus.

See also:

 

Elections 2020:

 

California’s final presidential primary results may be delayed due to coronavirus

Los Angeles Times

The final results from California’s presidential primary might not be known until late April, after Gov. Gavin Newsom gave local elections officials additional time to tally the votes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

While Trump commands coronavirus stage, Biden playing a bit part

San Francisco Chronicle

Joe Biden has both an opportunity and a big problem, and the reason for both is the same — the coronavirus-caused deep freeze that the Democratic presidential primary has entered.

See also:

 

States Begin Prep for Mail-In Voting in Presidential Election

PEW

States have begun reshaping election policies to expand access to mail-in voting.

 

Presidential race now leans toward the Democrats

Roll Call

More than 14 months ago, I wrote a column in this space suggesting that the 2020 presidential contest was a toss-up, but one that tilted toward the Democrats. I offered caveats about the economy and the Democratic nomination, acknowledging that there was “no way of knowing what events will draw America’s attention 18 or 20 months from now.” Now, the landscape has changed.

See also:

 

Bernie Sanders Focuses on Coronavirus as He Reassesses Campaign

Wall Street Journal

Bernie Sanders, facing a steadily narrowing path to the Democratic presidential nomination, has remained in the race following another disappointing week of primary results and largely pivoted his campaign operation to focus on the coronavirus pandemic.

See also:

 

Election 2020 - Tracking the Delegate Counts

Wall Street Journal

Number of delegates each candidate has received in the 2020 Democratic presidential races.

 

Other:

 

Before the pandemic, three-quarters of Americans said people would cooperate with each other in a crisis

PEW

Americans say there has been a decline in public trust in the federal government and in each other, and they believe this erosion of confidence makes it harder to solve some of the nation’s pressing problems, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in late 2018.

 

Truth Decay in the Coronavirus Moment: Q&A with Jennifer Kavanagh

RAND

There is so much information and misinformation out there about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19. Jennifer Kavanagh, who wrote the RAND book Truth Decay about the​​ diminishing role that facts play in making important public policy decisions, calls the current situation a worst-case scenario.

 

Opinion: As life changes dramatically amid coronavirus outbreak, your news never stops

Fresno Bee

Like many Americans around the country, your McClatchy team covering essential local news here and across the U.S. has seen our daily routines and rhythms derailed by the coronavirus outbreak. Daily life in our communities is slowing — in some cases to a virtual standstill — as we all do what we can to limit the dangerous spread of this pandemic.

See​​ also:

 

Walters: Why journalism matters

CalMatters

This is Sunshine Week, which pays homage to the principle that the public’s business should be public even though officials often try to keep us in the dark about their unsavory activities. By happenstance, last week provided Californians with four cogent examples of why independent journalism is a vital bulwark against shenanigans and coverups.

 

Opinion: Four ways to help prevent loneliness while you’re social distancing

Washington Post

What if we were told that the best way to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic was to smoke 15 cigarettes a day? What would you do? Loneliness, we know from the research, can be as bad for your health as smoking. It’s more predictive of mortality than obesity. And loneliness itself was a pandemic long before covid-19 got its name.

See also:

 

EDITORIAL: It’s critical to support local charities and local businesses.

San Francisco Chronicle

It’s never been more important to PayPal a check, donate blood or attend an online fundraiser. Those are among the pitches that the cut-off world of nonprofits and small businesses are hoping donors, volunteers and customers will consider.

 

MADDY INSTITUTE PUBLIC POLICY PROGRAMMING

 

Sunday, March 29, at 10 a.m. on ABC30 – Maddy Report: California Migration: The Story of Us - Guest: Judy Lin, CALmatters. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

 

Sunday, March 29, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) – Maddy Report - Valley Views Edition: California Migration & Immigration: Who Is Coming and Who is Going? - Guests: California Secretary of State Padilla; Sarah Bohn, PPIC; John Myers, LA Times; and Judy Lin with CALmatters. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

 

Sunday, March 29, at 7:30 a.m. on UniMas 61 (KTTF) – El Informe Maddy: El Censo y la Redistribución de Distritos Electorales  - Guests: Joe Hayes, Investigator del Instituto de Politicas Publicas de California, Secretario de Estado Alex Padilla y Margarita​​ Fernandez Jefe de Relaciones Publicas de la oficina de la Auditora de California. Host: Maddy Institute Program Coordinator, Maria Jeans.

 

AGRICULTURE/FOOD

 

Coronavirus Hits Already Frail U.S. Farm Economy

Wall Street Journal

The new coronavirus is dealing another blow to the struggling U.S. agricultural sector, driving down crop and livestock prices and threatening labor shortages for farms.

 

Coronavirus forces restaurants to get creative: How to get takeout, family meals, alcohol

Fresno Bee

When times get tough, restaurants get creative. Now forced to do only takeout, delivery and drive-thru, restaurants and other prepared food producers are changing the way they do business.

See also:

 

Supermarkets In The Valley Are Opening Early For At-Risk Groups

VPR

State and local officials advise older Americans to stay indoors and away from crowds amid coronavirus concerns, supermarkets are working to accommodate their needs. This week, Vallarta, an American supermarket chain that caters to Latino customers.

See​​ also:

 

Central Valley food banks asking for help during COVID-19 outbreak

abc30

As folks are left without a job, many are wondering how to feed their family. They're turning to the food bank for help, but the increase in demand is making it harder to keep shelves stocked.

See​​ also:

 

Plenty of fresh produce available, say Valley growers

abc30

Agriculture is the Valley's top industry. With so many families sheltering in place, local companies like Fresh Select in Dinuba have been busy moving fresh produce around the country.

See also:

 

Modesto’s Crosspoint asking for donations of PPE supplies, food at drop-off location

Modesto Bee

CrossPoint Community Church is calling for donations to help Stanislaus County health care teams cope with the coronavirus pandemic. Three times this week, starting Tuesday afternoon, the downtown Modesto church at 11th and Needham streets will have a drive-up, drop-off donation spot in its back parking lot.

See​​ also:

 

About half of U.S. adults are wary of health effects of genetically modified foods, but many also see advantages

PEW
Americans have mixed views about genetically modified foods (GMOs) and their implications for society. About half of U.S. adults (51%) think GMOs are worse for people’s health than foods with no genetically modified ingredients, while 41% say GM foods have a neutral effect on health. Just 7% say they are better for health than other foods.

 

Cannabis sales explode as Californians become homebound

Politico

As Americans stock up on toilet paper and food to adjust to new restrictions on everyday life amid the coronavirus pandemic, they've identified weed as another essential good — particularly in California.

 

  • CRIMINAL JUSTICE/FIRE/PUBLIC SAFETY

 

Crime:

 

City levies $10,000 fine for price gouging during coronavirus pandemic for pack of water

Fresno Bee

Fresno City Councilmember Miguel Arias announced the city of Fresno has issued its first $10,000 administrative fine to a liquor store for price gouging bottled water amid the coronavirus pandemic. A 24-pack of water sold for $16 at a liquor store.

See also:

 

Opinion: Coronavirus and Public Order

Wall Street Journal

Pressure groups of all stripes see an opportunity in the coronavirus crisis, and that includes criminal-justice activists. Even as society locks down, localities across the country are unlocking jail cells and softening law enforcement to slow the spread of the disease. The risk is that public order starts to unravel at a time it is most needed.

 

Public Safety:

 

Fresno County courts to shut down due to coronavirus concerns

Fresno Bee

Fresno County will shut down all its courts except for emergency functions in response to the coronavirus outbreak. According to an email from Presiding Judge Arlan Harrell, the closure will be in effect through April 3.

See also:

 

Expert: Fresno CA call to reject public records goes too far

Fresno Bee

While putting in place emergency measures to respond to coronavirus on Thursday, the Fresno City Council suspended its requirement to respond to public records requests.

 

Two more California prison workers have coronavirus; inmate families fear outbreak

Fresno Bee

As concerns mount about the possibility of the coronavirus spreading through California prisons, officials say two more employees have tested positive but no inmates have yet been found to have the virus that causes COVID-19.

See also:

 

Virus concerns spark run on ammo

Bakersfield Californian

Mike Solano wasn't like so many others who stood in line last week outside Rosedale Highway gun store Second Amendment. That is, he already had a gun at home and .40-caliber ammunition — just not enough for what he considers a comfortable level of protection.

 

Commentary: To prevent mass school shootings, California should rely on facts and science, not for-profit fear-mongers

CalMatters

Despite crime being at record setting lows, national polling reveals 93% of parents consider school safety a top priority. In the aftermath of isolated but widely reported horrific school shootings, education leaders report they’re inundated with sales pitches from security companies, each with the same basic message: You could be next.

 

Fire:

 

PG&E makes deal with Gov. Newsom on bankruptcy demands. ‘End of business as usual,’ he says

Sacramento Bee

PG&E Corp. and Gov. Gavin Newsom have made a deal on overhauling PG&E’s operations, removing one of the last remaining obstacles to the utility’s efforts to exit bankruptcy. Newsom’s office announced Friday that PG&E will commit billions of dollars in additional spending to prevent wildfires, meeting one of his critical demands.

See​​ also:

 

PG&E to plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter for California wildfire that killed 85

Sacramento Bee

PG&E Corp. said Monday it will plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter in connection with the 2018 Camp Fire, the deadliest wildfire in California history. The utility announced, in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, that it will admit to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter and a single count of unlawfully starting a fire.

 

ECONOMY/JOBS

 

Economy:

 

CalPERS loses $69 billion in biggest market losses since Great Recession

Fresno Bee

The pot of invested money used to pay for hundreds of thousands of California public employee pensions has shrunk by $69 billion as coronavirus has squeezed global markets. The California Public Employees’ Retirement System’s fund balance stood about $335 billion Thursday, down from a record high of $404 billion one month ago, according to CalPERS officials.

 

Some Fresno Businesses Turn To The Web To Keep Services Going, Despite Being 'Non-Essential'

VPR
As residents and business owners take on the city of Fresno’s “shelter in place” recommendation, which went into effect Thursday, many are turning to the web to keep their services going.

See​​ also:

 

Essential services remain open during statewide shutdown

Turlock Journal

Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered all California residents stay at home as the state tries to avoid a surge of COVID-19 cases. The order was issued by the California Department of Public Health and the State Public Health Director. It calls for everyone to remain at home, except for going out for essential services and for individuals working in those services.

See​​ also:

 

Valley Strong Credit Union switching to drive-up service only at some locations

Bakersfield Californian

In the wake of the new coronavirus, and the request of the state of California for essential services to remain open, Valley Strong Credit Union will continue to serve the public. However, some branches will see changes.

 

Why We Are Deliberately Allowing Our Economy To Go On A Downward Spiral

Capital Public Radio

Americans are collectively putting much of the economy on lockdown. The priorities are clear: to save lives. For now, that means America is an economic ghost town.

See​​ also:

 

Feinstein denies wrongdoing in stock sale before coronavirus outbreak

San Francisco Chronicle

California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein took to Twitter on Friday to deny she did anything improper when she sold between $1.5 million and $6 million in a biotechnology company’s stock before the market crashed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

 

No deal yet on stimulus as stock market teeters on the edge

Roll Call

Negotiations on an economic stimulus measure that had hit about $1.8 trillion by Sunday — and probably climbing — were set to continue Monday morning, top Senate and White House officials said late Sunday night.

See also:

 

Fed announces unlimited bond purchases in unprecedented move to help U.S. economy weather coronavirus meltdown

Washington Post

The Federal Reserve announced Monday an unlimited expansion of bond purchasing programs to backstop the U.S. economy, as millions of American households and businesses are getting crushed by the near total shutdown of daily life to fight the coronavirus.
See​​ also:

 

Existing-Home Sales Jumped in February, But Economists Expect Slowdown

Wall Street Journal

Sales of previously owned U.S. homes hit the highest monthly pace in 13 years in February, but economists and real-estate agents expect sales to plunge in the coming months as the coronavirus pandemic roils the economy.

 

 

Jobs:

 

Trump Administration Asks States to Keep Quiet About Jobless Figures

Wall Street Journal

The Trump administration asked states to abstain from releasing unemployment-claims figures prior to the publication of a national compilation of weekly U.S. jobless claims, according to a state labor department official.

See​​ also:

 

Labor law: Know your rights, from paid sick leave to working from home

Los Angeles Times

While some office workers may be able to self-quarantine entirely, many workers — typically low-wage blue-collar workers — will be asked to continue to show up to work as usual.

See​​ also:

 

Before the coronavirus, telework was an optional benefit, mostly for the affluent few

PEW

One of the key public health responses to the global coronavirus pandemic has been social distancing – avoiding large groups of people in close quarters in order to inhibit the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. Along with shutting down sports leagues, closing churches and stores and limiting restaurants to take-out service only, a major tactic for social distancing has been encouraging – or requiring – people to work from home.

See​​ also:

 

California construction workers prepare to mobilize for coronavirus surge response

Politico

The head of California’s powerful building and construction trades union says plans are in the works to deploy tens of thousands of construction workers to retool and refit hospitals, hotels and buildings the state needs as a surge response to the coronavirus pandemic.

See also:

 

‘I Have Bills I Have to Pay.’ Low-Wage Workers Face Brunt of Coronavirus Crisis

Wall Street Journal

As coronavirus shutdowns halt commerce across the U.S., low-wage workers, many of whom live paycheck to paycheck, are being quickly stung. The affected jobs, by their nature, often require broad personal contact, such as running a cash register or cleaning hotel rooms. That substantially raises the risk of infection.

See also:

 

EDUCATION

 

K-12:

 

FUSD superintendent starts Youtube channel for schoolkids

abc30

With the novel coronavirus prompting school closures district wide, Nelson is trading in the podium for a rocking chair, to reassure his more than 74,000 kids.

 

VUSD adjusts grab-n-go meal service, doubles number of sack lunches

Visalia Times Delta

Willow Glen Elementary School sat practically empty Thursday morning. Then, just before 11:30 a.m., a line of cars began to form, quickly wrapping its way around the parking lot. At the front of the queue, staff handed sack lunches, along with tomorrow's breakfast, through rolled-down passenger windows with gloved hands.

 

Tulare County Special Olympics track meet canceled

Visalia Times Delta

An annual Special Olympics event that attracts hundreds of athletes from across Tulare County has been canceled. The Tulare County Special Olympics track and field meet​​ scheduled for April 24 was called off amid COVID-19 concerns, according to area director Leigh Mosconi.

 

How to teach students, children at home during self-isolation

Sacramento Bee

Parents: How did the first week of teaching come along?

See also:

 

As schools close due to the coronavirus, some U.S. students face a digital ‘homework gap’

PEW

As K-12 officials in many states close schools and shift classes and assignments online due to the spread of the new coronavirus, they confront the reality that some students do not have reliable access to the internet at home – particularly those who are from lower-income households.

 

SB 89, SB 117, and CDE Guidance:  What Local Educational Agencies Need to Know About the State’s Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

AALRR

On March 17, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Legislature passed and the Governor signed Senate Bill No. 89 and Senate Bill No. 117, both of which take effect immediately, while the California Department of Education (CDE) issued guidance addressing distance education, school meals, and child care.

 

Price: Kern County schools chief: We’ll be better when this is over

Bakersfield Californian

Kern County is one of the nation’s poorest places; a third of its 190,000 K-12 students live below the poverty line. The directive that they transition to online learning, en masse and overnight, carries the kind of daunting urgency that hearkens back to the first moonshot.

 

Commentary: What do we have to lose by cancelling state K-12 assessments?

AEI

This week, my AEI colleague Rick Hess openly askedSecretary DeVos to scrap federal requirements for this school year’s assessments in light of the COVID-19 crisis. Since No Child Left Behind, federal law requires states to have all students take state-developed and administered tests in grades 3-8, and once in high school, making Rick’s call a significant break from established practice.

 

Higher Ed:

 

Visit Fresno State's Coronavirus Information webpage for updates

Fresno State Campus News

Fresno State continues to monitor the coronavirus respiratory disease (COVID-19), an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in several locations internationally, including in the United States.

 

Virus derails Stan State nursing dreams

Turlock Journal

The effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 has changed daily routines for a majority of Turlock’s residents, including those working toward their nursing degrees at Stanislaus State.

 

CSUB distributing laptops to students without access to computers

KGET
Cal State Bakersfield is providing some students with a laptop as the campus moves to online instruction because of coronavirus concerns. The university said Thursday it is distributing available Chromebooks who do not have access to a computer. Students will need to have a student ID or photo ID that matches the school’s records.

See also:

 

Coronavirus forces college students to vacate campus leaving low-income students in tough spot (note UC Merced).

Los Angeles Times

Colleges and universities across the country are grappling with the difficult question of whether to let students stay in campus housing or send them home.

 

CCCAA cancels remainder of spring sports but JC athletes can get eligibility back

Modesto Bee

While Thursday’s cancellation of the rest spring sports season in the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) due to concerns over the coronavirus could be the end for some Modesto Junior College athletes, others might be able to return.

 

Coronavirus May Keep California’s Nursing Students From Graduating

New York Times

For Sharon Goldfarb, a nurse educator in California, crisis care is second nature: She worked at a Harlem H.I.V. clinic during the AIDS epidemic, at ground zero after Sept. 11 and in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. When the coronavirus outbreak began to spread, she was ready to prepare her 85 nursing students for front-line care, if necessary.

See also:

 

Education Dept. Makes Changes To Standardized Tests, Student Loans Over Coronavirus

VPR
On Friday, the U.S. Department of Education announced new K-12 and higher education policies in response to disruptions caused by the coronavirus. In K-12, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos 
announced the department will waive standardized test requirements for states affected by the virus. States must apply for the exemption, and many have already begun to do so.

 

Walters: Dumbing down teacher license tests

CalMatters

The abrupt and apparently prolonged closure of California’s public schools due to coronavirus fears is — or should be — a reminder of their vital societal role. Six million kids will miss at least a few months of schooling. While many are receiving some education at home, from parents and/or via the internet, the lack of classroom instruction will be felt​​ most keenly by the 60% who come from poor families and/or are English-learners, thus widening the state’s already yawning “achievement gap.”

 

ENVIRONMENT/ENERGY

 

Environment:

 

California is a climate leader. But here’s why it needs to move even faster

Los Angeles Times

California is aiming to slash planet-warming emissions faster than ever over the next decade — and critics say state officials aren’t acting with nearly enough urgency.

 

Commentary: California should reset its ambition and unleash the next wave of clean energy to combat climate change

CalMatters

California can readily and cost-effectively reach its goal to achieve climate neutrality by 2045 and begin to reverse climate change, according to a recent report led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and authored by more than 20 researchers.

 

Energy:

 

How power companies are keeping your lights on during the pandemic

Los Angeles Times

The American power grid has been described as the world’s biggest machine — and the people who run that machine say they’re prepared to keep the lights on as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads.

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An Epic Glut Of Oil Is Coming; Where Will It All Go?

NPR

Some parts of the economy are grappling with pandemic-driven shortages. The oil industry has the opposite problem: so much extra oil that it's not clear where to put it all.

 

HEALTH/HUMAN SERVICES

 

Health:

 

See where, how coronavirus is spreading in California, central San Joaquin Valley

Fresno Bee

The number of cases of the fast-spreading coronavirus (COVID-19) continue to grow in the central San Joaquin Valley and across California.

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Study finds infants, children vulnerable to coronavirus

Fresno Bee

Up until now, data on how the novel coronavirus outbreak impacts children has been scarce, but a new study from China reveals that while COVID-19 is gentler on kids, it still poses a great risk to infants, younger children and kids with underlying health issues.

 

Here’s how to clean your home to help prevent coronavirus

Fresno Bee

The coronavirus pandemic has upset daily routines around the world — even when it comes to such everyday tasks as cleaning up. More than 350,000 cases of the COVID-19 virus have been confirmed worldwide with more than 15,300 deaths as of March 23, according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States has more than 35,000 confirmed cases with more than 400 deaths.

 

How do you become infected with the coronavirus?

Los Angeles Times

The new coronavirus has traveled unseen paths from Wuhan, China, to virtually all corners of the globe. Evidence of its movements abounds, from the proliferation of people wearing face masks to the sudden absence of toilet paper on store shelves.

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Do You Get Immunity After Recovering From A Case Of Coronavirus?

NPR

It's unclear whether people who recover from COVID-19 will be immune to reinfection from the coronavirus and, if so, how long that immunity will last. "We don't know very much," says Matt Frieman, a coronavirus researcher at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.

 

Covid-19 Divides U.S. Society by Race, Class and Age

Bloomberg

Slurs against Asian Americans. Jokes about baby boomers dying. And blue-collar workers’ plight is nothing like the “work from home” lifestyle.

 

Commentary: With coronavirus, we should practice ‘physical distancing’ not ‘social distancing’

CalMatters

Even in the midst of the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic, indeed especially because of it, now is not the time for “social distancing.” What we need to be practicing, just temporary, is “physical distancing.”

 

Human Services:

 

'Stay Home,' Californians Are Told By Governor As Coronavirus Spreads

VPR
The nation's most-populated state is telling its residents to stay home except for essential travel. California Gov. Gavin Newsom made the announcement Thursday night, saying that more than half of the state's 40 million residents could become infected by the coronavirus if efforts aren't taken to slow its spread.

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Coronavirus testing: Here’s who should get it and how to be recommended for it

Fresno Bee

Fresno County health officials acknowledge “frustrations” surrounding the availability of test kits for coronavirus and said they’re using their limited resources “judiciously.”

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Clinics feeling impact of coronavirus crisis

abc30

As COVID-19 continues to spread across the nation, medical professionals are feeling the impact. While some clinics change their hours of operation, others are seeing twice as many patients.

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UC Merced experts share insight on COVID-19 pandemic

Turlock Journal

This week the 209 Podcast visited University of California, Merced to speak with two of their professors, Dr. Juris Grasis and Dr. Jenny Howell, about the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Grasis is an expert in virology and the body’s immune response to viruses, while Dr. Howell is a health psychologist whose studies focus on health decision-making and behavior, with a particular focus on how people deal with uncertainty.

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‘Who lives and who dies’: Hospitals could face tough ethics choices

Stockton Record

It’s a scenario few health-care leaders want to contemplate much less discuss: What if the ranks of desperately ill patients overwhelm the nation’s ability to care for them?

 

Imports of medical supplies plummet as demand in US soars

Hanford Sentinel

The critical shortage of medical supplies across the U.S., including testing swabs, protective masks, surgical gowns and hand sanitizer, can be tied to a sudden drop in imports, mostly from China, The Associated Press has found.

See​​ also:

PG&E donating nearly 1 million masks to help hospital workers battle coronavirus San Francisco Chronicle

Newsom, Trump: More beds, masks, equipment ahead for coronavirus CalMatters

How overwhelmed is California’s health care system about to be? CalMatters

CDC suggests nurses use bandanas, scarves during face mask shortage Roll Call

The Hand-Sanitzer Divide: Coronavirus Behaviors Vary by Race, Party Wall Street Journal

 

Bakersfield Heart Hospital employees to donate blood on Monday

Bakersfield Californian

Employees at Bakersfield Heart Hospital will be donating blood Monday in response to blood donor shortages amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospital said in a release. The drive will​​ be held from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. in front of the hospital, located at 3001 Sillect Ave. The hospital and Houchin Blood Bank have implemented additional precautions to ensure the safety of donors and staff, according to the release.

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Dignity Health announces free, virtual urgent care now available to the public

Bakersfield Californian

Dignity Health announced that it is offering a free, virtual urgent care option starting Friday to anyone in the community who needs to see a doctor, including people experiencing mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19.

 

Here’s a list of Stanislaus County services to help those suffering form COVID-19 hardships

Modesto Bee

For those facing the loss of income or other support due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are programs and agencies that can help. Below is a list of resources. This list will be updated as needed. If you have information to add or update to this list please email local@modbee.com.

 

Coronavirus takes toll on mourners at funerals, changes industry practices

Orange County Register

In the midst of dread, the death of a family member is as painful as ever but even more complicated. Janet Noble-Mocias of Chino buried her mother Friday morning at Rose Hills in Whittier with a tiny gathering of family members, the size limited by social distancing edicts.

 

A View From The Front Lines Of California’s COVID-19 Battle

KHN
On Tuesday, Dr. Jeanne Noble devoted time between patient visits to hanging clear 2-gallon plastic bags at each of her colleagues’ workstations. Noble is a professor of emergency medicine and director of the UC-San Francisco medical center response to the novel coronavirus that has permeated California and reached into every U.S. state.

 

As coronavirus upends California, question remains: Who’ll watch the kids?

CalMatters

As schools, businesses, governments and most other venues go dark in the effort to restrict the pandemic, state officials are allowing child care centers to remain open, in an effort to support essential workers who can't leave their children otherwise.

 

What You Need to Know About Telehealth During the Coronavirus Crisis

Wall Street Journal

The Trump administration and public-health officials are urging consumers to use telehealth services to get remote treatment, fill prescriptions and get medical attention during the new coronavirus pandemic, and companies that offer virtual appointments are reporting a surge in demand.

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What trends are researchers seeing with the coronavirus?

PBS
An interactive map tracking the number of coronavirus cases globally in near real time has​​ 
become an important tool for researchers, health officials and the public at large. It was created by Johns Hopkins engineering professor Lauren Gardner and her graduate student Ensheng Dong. Hari Sreenivasan spoke to Gardner about how the interactive map works and what trends they are seeing

 

NYC Fashion Industry May Start Producing Medical Gear

NY1

The city and state are exploring how area garment manufacturers can quickly start producing surgical masks and gowns.

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Commentary: If the Supreme Court repeals the Affordable Care Act, California will feel substantial impact

CalMatters

When Venice Family Clinic opened its doors 50 years ago, two volunteer physicians provided free medical care after hours in a dental clinic. They served about a dozen patients that first day. Today, our 370 health care professionals and nearly 1,400 volunteers provide comprehensive care to nearly 28,000 men, women and children annually at 12 centers in Venice, Culver City, Mar Vista and Inglewood.

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IMMIGRATION

 

Pandemic measures cut illegal border crossings by half

Porterville Recorder

A Trump administration official said Sunday that illegal border crossings have dropped by half as the strictest U.S.-Mexico border policies yet went into place amid the coronavirus pandemic, but there was confusion about how it was all working.

 

Opinion: Immigration detention centers could be the next pandemic hot spot

Los Angeles Times

On any given day the federal government has more than 50,000 people in detention as they await deportation hearings. Conditions in some cases are deplorable, and the notion that they might be able to stay a safe distance away from each other and their jailers is laughable.

 

Asylum-seekers waiting in Mexico rarely find lawyers

Bakersfield Californian

One by one, asylum-seekers from El Salvador and Honduras who are waiting in Mexico for court hearings in the United States appeared before Judge Lee O'Connor to explain why, after months of effort, they couldn't find an attorney.

 

LAND USE/HOUSING

 

Land Use:

 

Yosemite National Park closed to public to prevent spread of coronavirus

Fresno Bee

To help curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), Yosemite National Park closed to visitors at 3 p.m. Friday,