May 12, 2020



North SJ Valley:

Merced resuming public operations, City Hall planning to open by May 18


The City of Merced is resuming operations with the public Monday. Employees who have been working remotely have returned to their offices. The goal is to open up City Hall to the public by May 18.

When, how should Stanislaus County economy reopen? Coronavirus issues discussed Tuesday

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County leaders will hold a major discussion Tuesday on reopening the local economy and whether the county can comply with the state’s criteria for a safe reopening.

Mental Health Survey: Modesto-area residents describe how they’re handling pandemic

Modesto Bee

Ninety-one readers responded to The Modesto Bee’s survey on mental health. Questions include: How has the Coronavirus impacted your life? What are you doing to cope?

‘We need to open now’: Hundreds protest in Stockton, Lodi to reopen California

Stockton Record

Hundreds of protesters organized at rallies Saturday afternoon in Stockton and Lodi with a clear message: It’s time to open up California and get back to work.

Central SJ Valley:

Fresno stores started Phase 1 of city’s reopening plan. Here’s how it went

Fresno Bee

It was the first day the city started to ease restrictions on a handful of “authorized” retailers, plans it announced last week, as it continues to deal with coronavirus.

See also:

●     Hundreds of authorized businesses open in Fresno abc30

●     Fresnans can browse car lots again; 60 new cases in county Fresno Bee

●     Here’s what Fresno County must do to reach California benchmarks for COVID-19 reopeningFresno Bee

●     EDITORIAL: During the coronavirus era in Fresno, what’s more important: Breakfast food or a person’s life? Fresno Bee

Hanford yearns to reopen

Hanford Sentinel

Following Gov. Gavin Newsom’s press conference Thursday, the Hanford City Council met for a special meeting Friday afternoon to discuss developments in the state’s plan for reopening.

South SJ Valley:

Gov. Newsom says he recognizes challenges of big counties, will work with Kern

Bakersfield Californian

Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday he’s willing to work with Kern County and other large counties that face unique circumstances after local leaders raised issues with some of his administration’s reopening requirements.

See also:

●     California counties push to reopen ahead of state guidelines Bakersfield Californian


California coronavirus deaths hit stubborn plateau; experts fearful about future

Los Angeles Times

Although some hope the worst of California’s coronavirus crisis has passed, there are signs the pandemic in the Golden State has merely stabilized, and the worst may be yet to come.

See also:

●     As coronavirus deaths mount, California still very much in danger zone Los Angeles Times

●     Here are the California counties with zero deaths from COVID-19 in past two weeks Fresno Bee

California official: Bad mask deals lost no taxpayer money

Bakersfield Californian

California’s top emergency official defended the state Monday over failed, high-priced deals for personal protective equipment, saying taxpayers haven’t lost money and that the state was doing its best amid a worldwide mad dash for gear during the coronavirus pandemic.

See also:

●     California lawmakers question state’s vetting of failed coronavirus contracts Los Angeles Times

●     Lawmakers told half-billion dollar Blue Flame mask deal thwarted by suspicious bankersCalMatters

Avoid weekend trips and summer vacations for now, California health officials say

Los Angeles Times

As Americans start planning summer vacations, health officials in California urged the public to not take leisure trips, including weekend trips, in the middle of the coronavirus crisis.

MLB wants to play in California ballparks by July; Gov. Gavin Newsom won’t commit

Los Angeles Times

Major League Baseball has discussed proposed health protocols with California officials, but Gov. Gavin Newsom declined to promise that the state’s five big league teams would be permitted to play in their home ballparks.

Churches, gunshops and irate brides: All the shutdown lawsuits against Newsom, explained


Though the state is taking flak from an array of aggrieved Californians, there is a common denominator for most of these lawsuits: Her name is Harmeet Dhillon. Of the more than a dozen shutdown lawsuits against Newsom thus far, the San Francisco attorney and Republican Party bigwig is representing plaintiffs in nine of them.


Western governors join Gavin Newsom in $1 trillion appeal to Congress for coronavirus aid

Fresno Bee

Four western governors joined California Gov. Gavin Newsom in asking Congress for $1 trillion in aid for states and local governments reeling from the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

See also:

●     Western States Ask Congress For $1 Trillion In Coronavirus Relief Capital Public Radio

●     Newsom joins 4 governors in seeking $1 trillion in federal relief for all states Los Angeles Times

Democrats release new $3 trillion coronavirus relief package


House Democrats released a mammoth $3 trillion relief package to blunt the economic fallout of the coronavirus outbreak that has shuttered much of the U.S. for two months. The House plans to vote as soon as Friday to approve the package, which includes $1 trillion for state and local governments. President Donald Trump and Senate GOP leaders have rejected Democrats’ calls for more aid just weeks after passing the last tranche of relief.

Pence distancing from Trump, West Wing for ‘immediate future’ after aide has COVID-19

Fresno Bee

Vice President Mike Pence is distancing himself from the president and the West Wing for the “immediate future,” after one of his top aides tested positive last week for the coronavirus, two senior administration officials told McClatchy.

See also:

●     Trump Says More Testing Makes U.S. ‘Look Bad,’ But Its Availability Remains A Concern VPR

●     Trump Talks Testing After White House Staffers Test Positive For Coronavirus Capital Public Radio

●     Trump backs expanded testing as West Wing battles infections Los Angeles Times

●     Trump’s contradictory message amid coronavirus in White House Los Angeles Times

Coronavirus death toll tops 80,000 in US as states begin reopening

Fresno Bee

The U.S. now has at least 80,000 confirmed deaths due to coronavirus, with more than 1.3 million confirmed cases, according to the latest data on May 11. There are more than 4 million confirmed cases worldwide, and nearly 285,000 people have died from COVID-19.

See also:

●     Object lesson on a fickle virus frames hearing on reopening Fresno Bee

●     Trump, Testing, Asymptomatic Spread Could Be Flashpoints In Key Senate Hearing Capital Public Radio

●     U.S. COVID-19 death toll hits 80,000 as states continue reopening and Trump lashes out Los Angeles Times

●     Opinion: How to Reopen the Economy by Exploiting the Coronavirus’s Weak Spot New York Times

●     Many governors get bipartisan raves for pandemic response, but some in GOP face blowback for reopening bids, Post-Ipsos poll finds Washington Post

Fauci Plans to Use Hearing to Warn of ‘Needless Suffering and Death’

New York Times

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, is scheduled to testify on Tuesday before the Senate Health Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

See also:

●     Anthony S. Fauci expected to testify before Senate about dangers of U.S. reopening too soon. Watch our live coverage and analysis. Washington Post

●     Fauci Warns of ‘Needless Suffering and Death’ if U.S. Reopens Too Quickly Wall Street Journal

●     Fauci warns reopening country too fast could be ‘really serious’ for states Politico

●     Fauci warns Senate that reopening U.S. too quickly could lead to avoidable ‘suffering and death’Washington Post

Dr. Fauci Dismisses Wuhan Lab as Source of Coronavirus, Contradicting Trump and Pompeo


He added that he doesn’t believe the alternate theory that someone discovered coronavirus in the wild, brought it to a lab and then it accidentally unleashed it on the public.

See also:

●     How misinformation, filtered through Fox News and conservative media, became Trump administration policy Washington Post

More checks? Tax cuts? Trump, Congress split on next stimulus

Visalia Times Delta

President Donald Trump and congressional leaders have pitched a number of proposals they argue are essential to a new economic stimulus plan to combat the effects of the coronavirus. The result: A grab-bag of ideas without a deal.

See also:

●     McConnell brushes off Pelosi as she finalizes relief package Politico

●     Road ahead: Coronavirus causing scheduling havoc, but Senate presses ahead with other business Roll Call

Supreme Court To Hear Cases Involving Trump’s Taxes, Financial Records

Capital Public Radio

How the court decides these cases could dramatically change the balance of power among the three branches of government, shifting America’s system of checks and balances.

See also:

●     Trump’s effort to block tax subpoenas meets the Supreme Court he shaped Politico

Senate Republicans break with Trump over ‘Obamagate’


President Donald Trump’s aggressive campaign to encourage sweeping investigations of his predecessor Barack Obama met a unanimous response from Senate Republicans: No thanks.

See also: 

●     In the Republican Party establishment, Trump finds tepid support Brookings

EDITORIAL: Michael Flynn, William Barr and the rise of the shallow state

San Francisco Chronicle

President Trump and his supporters popularized the notion of an American “deep state” defined as a federal bureaucracy with less than total allegiance to the whims of a particular chief executive — as if that were a bad thing.

Coronavirus Trackers:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) in California

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

See also:

●     California Department of Public Health

●     Coronavirus (COVID-19) CDC

●     Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic – WHO

●     John Hopkins University & Medicine John Hopkins University

●     Tracking coronavirus in California Los Angeles Times

●     Coronavirus Tracker San Francisco Chronicle

●      Coronavirus in the U.S.: Latest Map and Case Count New York Times

●     How many coronavirus cases have been reported in each U.S. state? Politico

●     Coronavirus Daily NPR

●     Coronavirus tracked: the latest figures as the pandemic spreads Financial Times

●     Coronavirus in California by the numbers CalMatters

Elections 2020:

November trial run: California House fight centers on Trump

Fresno Bee

A swing U.S. House district north of Los Angeles is up for grabs Tuesday in a special election that has become an early test for President Donald Trump as he seeks a second term.

See also:

●     California Special Election Provides Early Snapshot Of Socially Distanced Campaigning Capital Public Radio

●     California congressional election a sign of what’s to come? Not so fast San Francisco Chronicle

●     No, even a GOP win in California does not put the House in play Roll Call

Trump casts doubt on mail voting. His campaign promotes it.

Fresno Bee

While President Donald Trump claims mail-in voting is ripe for fraud and “cheaters,” his reelection campaign and state allies are scrambling to launch operations meant to help their voters cast ballots in the mail. 

See also:

●     Trump is getting trounced among a crucial constituency: The haters Politico

●     Will 2020 be the year the RNC’s ‘autopsy’ was right? Roll Call

COVID-19 nixed door-knocking. So one group is asking voters to record anti-Trump videos

Fresno Bee

A Democratic super PAC that had once taken a hands-on approach to identifying rural voters angry with President Donald Trump is changing up its approach in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Effects of Automatic Voter Registration in the United States

California Civic Engagement Project

Automatic voter registration (AVR) laws take advantage of transactions at government agencies where applicant information can be captured and repurposed to register citizens to vote. 

Biden Is Planning an FDR-Size Presidency


Joe Biden thinks he’ll survive Tara Reade’s accusation. But he knows he can’t be an average-Joe Democrat anymore.

Opinion: Voters’ choice: Narcissist who delivered on promises or gaffe-prone Biden in a basement

Modesto Bee

After nearly two years of ambitious people announcing they want to be president, campaigning and then giving up, Americans are usually ready by this point in an election cycle for a change of pace.

See also:

●     Opinion: Putin Is Well on His Way to Stealing the Next Election The Atlantic

Democrats Developing Contingency Plans For Remote Convention

Capital Public Radio

event, as the DNC moves toward changing official proceedings to allow for delegates to participate remotely.

See also:

●     Democrats prepare for a virtual presidential nominating convention Los Angeles Times

●     Democrats Will Take Their First Step Toward a Virtual Convention New York Times

●     Democrats move to allow remote voting or a virtual summer convention Washington Post


Majority disapprove of coronavirus protests, new poll finds

Stockton Record

A majority of Americans disapprove of protests against restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus, according to a new poll that also finds the still-expansive support for such limits has dipped in recent weeks.

In the age of American ‘megaregions,’ we must rethink governance across jurisdictions


The coronavirus pandemic is revealing a harsh truth: Our failure to coordinate governance across local and state lines is costing lives, doing untold economic damage, and enacting disproportionate harm on marginalized individuals, households, and communities.


Still working, farmers take hit during crisis

Bakersfield Californian

Permission to keep working as an essential activity during California’s stay-at-home order has obviously made a big difference for the state’s farmers. But that doesn’t mean local growers are raking in money during the COVID-19 crisis.

Employees vent as outbreak grows at Central Valley Meat Co


The Central Valley Meat Company in Hanford remains open for business, even as the number of coronavirus cases at the facility continues to grow. About 750 people work at the Hanford site.

Blue Diamond completes expansions in Turlock and Salida. Let the almond milk flow

Modesto Bee

Blue Diamond Growers has finished an expansion of its Turlock plant, adding production of almond milk. And it is about done with a big new warehouse in Salida.

When Coronavirus Hits Food Deserts

Wall Street Journal

The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines urban food deserts as areas where people live more than 1 mile from a supermarket. However, many community leaders, activists and urban residents consider food deserts to be any place where fresh food is sparsely available.

California wants to feed students’ families. The USDA says no. Some states are doing it anyway.

Washington Post

California’s Education Department had asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to allow the parents or legal guardians of children eligible for free school meals to pick up meals for themselves.



Authorities warn about fake letter saying you must be tested for COVID-19 to receive benefits


A disturbing fake letter is circulating on social media, claiming to be from the state of California Department of Social Services. The letter claims if a person is on state-assisted benefits, like Cal Fresh and Medical, the entire household must be tested for COVID-19.

See also:

●     Merced County scam alert: COVID-19 test not mandatory to receive benefits, say officials Merced Sun-Star

Opinion: The Wayward Hunt for Stimulus Fraud

Wall Street Journal

The Justice Department is set to punish good-faith loan-application errors but overlook a wave of scams.

Street racing enforcement sweep leads to citations, impounds

Bakersfield Californian

The Bakersfield Police Department made 18 traffic stops and issued 10 citations during a Saturday night street racing enforcement sweep, according to a BPD news release.

Anti-Semitic incidents in U.S. hit record high in 2019, report says

Los Angeles Times

American Jews were targets of more anti-Semitic incidents in 2019 than any other year over the past four decades, a surge marked by deadly attacks on a California synagogue, a Jewish grocery store in New Jersey and a rabbi’s New York home, the Anti-Defamation League reported Tuesday.

Public Safety:

Fresno police release body cam video of Waffle Shop altercation

Fresno Bee

The Fresno Police Department released body camera footage on Monday of a tense interaction from the previous day that ended with a man handcuffed and placed in a patrol car outside The Waffle Shop.

See also:

●     Fresno Police investigating incident involving officer at the Waffle Shop abc30

●     Hard-hit restaurants await word on California reopening Fresno Bee

Like a Petri dish for the virus: Tens of thousands of California inmates are at risk


While sheriffs across the state debate early release to avoid a jail epidemic, inmates say conditions are unsanitary. “It’s inhumane, and it’s a recipe for absolute disaster,” said one federal defense attorney.


US plans reimagine fighting wildfires amid crews’ virus risk

Hanford Sentinel

In new plans that offer a national reimagining of how to fight wildfires amid the risk of the coronavirus spreading through crews, it’s not clear how officials will get the testing and equipment needed to keep firefighters safe in what’s expected to be a difficult fire season.



Tesla CEO Musk restarts California factory amid lockdown

Fresno Bee

Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed Monday that the company has restarted its California factory, a move that defied local government orders involving measures to contain the coronavirus.

See also:

●     Tesla Defies Bay Area Health Order By Reopening Fremont Plant Capital Public Radio

●     Elon Musk Reopens California Tesla Plant, Defying Local Health Officials (Again) Capital Public Radio

●     Elon Musk’s surprise reopening of Tesla pits business against government Los Angeles Times

●     Musk: Tesla restarting Fremont factory despite county orders, virus threat San Francisco Chronicle

●     EDITORIAL: Tesla’s Elon Musk says he’ll leave California due to coronavirus shutdown. Who cares? Modesto Bee

●     EDITORIAL: Don’t cave in to Elon Musk’s coronavirus tantrum Los Angeles Times

Minority-Owned Small Businesses Were Supposed To Get Priority. They May Not Have

Capital Public Radio

The CARES Act required the Small Business Administration to tell banks to prioritize underserved communities for coronavirus relief loans. That didn’t happen, a new inspector general’s report found.

See also: 

●     Opinion: When California rebuilds its economy, Latinos must be included this time CalMatters

California’s tourism-dependent towns cautiously prepare new marketing for reopening

Los Angeles Times

Though many in the industry eagerly await the moment they can declare themselves open for business, the uncertainty of when tourism will re-commence, and if there will, in fact, be a surge in visitors, has kept marketing efforts in limbo.

Economic devastation could kill more people than COVID-19, UN predicts

Los Angeles Times

The United Nations predicts that a global recession will reverse a three-decade trend in rising living standards and thrust half a billion people into extreme poverty.

See also:

●     Turning back the Poverty Clock: How will COVID-19 impact the world’s poorest people? Brookings

Did coronavirus spread through a nail salon? Newsom said so, and now owners fear for their business

Los Angeles Times

“This whole thing started in the state of California, the first community spread, in a nail salon,” Newsom said in his daily media briefing on COVID-19, after being asked why personal services, such as nail salons, should stay closed even as the state starts to slowly open businesses.

See also:

●     California nail-salon owners worry Newsom’s coronavirus remark could spur anti-Asian backlashMercury News

Holding Up Half the Sky: Mothers as Workers, Primary Caregivers, & Breadwinners During COVID-19

Institute for Women’s Policy Research

Since the start of the pandemic, the number of jobless or unemployment claims have reached 30 million. Women, because of their over-representation in the service sector, have been disproportionately impacted, shouldering nearly 60 percent of job loss.

See also:

●     Teens, women, Hispanics and the less educated are among the hardest hit by the economic shutdown Washington Post

●     Opinion: When California rebuilds its economy, Latinos must be included this time CalMatters

Market Volatility Recedes to Lowest Level Since February

Wall Street Journal

Market volatility has abated after a painful stretch of turbulence, flashing a green light for some funds to buy U.S. stocks.


One-fourth of California workers could lose jobs, governor says

San Jose Mercury

An unemployment rate that has “skyrocketed” could leave one-fourth of California’s workforce without jobs — akin to the rates during the Great Depression — Gov. Gavin Newsom warned Monday in a forbidding assessment about how the coronavirus has wrecked the state’s once booming economy. 

Some California workers can make more in jobless benefits than lost wages. So why work?

Sacramento Bee

California workers can earn as much as $1,050 per week through the end of July in unemployment benefits — a benefit causing concern that people in some areas will stay home rather than look for work because they can have a higher income if they stay jobless.

See also:

●      Part-Time Workers Can Get $600 CARES Payout, DOL Says Law360

●      Opinion: Since Work Is Rare, It’s Time to Share Wall Street Journal

Workplace worries mount as US tracks new COVID-19 cases

Fresno Bee

Even as President Donald Trump urges getting people back to work and reopening the economy, thousands of new coronavirus infections are being reported daily, many of them job-related.

See also:

●     Opinion: Newsom shakes up disability politics CalMatters

Cal/OSHA Updates COVID-19 Infection Prevention Guidelines for Certain Essential Businesses


Employers must provide training so that their employees understand the symptoms and spread of COVID-19 along with methods of preventing further transmission through frequent handwashing, hand sanitizers, cleaning and disinfecting, physical distancing, and the use of non-PPE cloth face coverings.

See also:

●     Governor Newsom Issues Executive Order Creating Workers’ Compensation Presumption for Employees Who Contract COVID-19 Related Illnesses in the Workplace on or After March 19, 2020AALRR

Supreme Court appears divided in Catholic schools case

Hanford Sentinel

The Supreme Court on Monday seemed divided over how broadly religious institutions including schools, hospitals and social service centers should be shielded from job discrimination lawsuits by employees.



Trump wants schools to reopen. Experts say COVID-19 safety measures to cost billions

Fresno Bee

If schools are to reopen safely as soon as August, which President Donald Trump has proposed, education experts say billions of dollars in federal funding will be needed in the next coronavirus relief bill.

Fresno Unified moves forward with plans for virtual graduations


Fresno Unified is moving forward with plans to hold virtual graduation ceremonies for every high school districtwide. Perhaps not ideal, but the district feels it’s the next best thing considering the circumstances.

Testing students for coronavirus in the fall is a big unanswered question

Los Angeles Times

Two other major concerns include coming up with a plan — and funding — for supplying masks for students and staff, perhaps multiple masks a day for children, and sanitizing schools.

See also:

●     Without Testing, Challenges for School Districts Add Up Public Policy Institute of California

Coronavirus school shutdowns could worsen achievement gap

Roll Call

Experts say school systems will need to be flexible whenever schools restart and should be willing to allow some children to repeat a grade.

Opinion: New state child care website comes up short


The state’s new child care portal to help essential workers find child care during the pandemic lacks key information, including many providers’ names, available slots, violations and cost. But a more elaborate site is to launch in July.

Higher Ed:

UC Merced to hold virtual commencement ceremony on Saturday


UC Merced is gearing up for a Virtual Commencement this weekend. More than 1,500 candidates have registered to participate.

Funding allocated for CSUB students not eligible for CARES Act

Bakersfield Californian

Associated Students, Incorporated at California State University, Bakersfield, has donated $25,000 to students who were not eligible to receive support from the federal government through the CARES Act.

See also:

●     Student leadership at CSUB donated $25,000 to students who were not eligible for CARES Act23ABC

UC President Napolitano recommends dropping the SAT, ACT tests

San Francisco Chronicle

University of California President Janet Napolitano is recommending that the 10-campus system drop the SAT and ACT testing requirement and replace those standardized tests with a newly created admissions test in a move that could swiftly reshape the contentious college admissions process nationwide.

See also:

●     SAT should be suspended for UC admissions, Napolitano says Los Angeles Times



Mild temperatures for Modesto this week, with rain expected sooner and later

Modesto Bee

There’s probably no need to pull out the umbrellas, but the cooler week ahead in Modesto also brings a chance of rain Monday night and Tuesday morning, then again on the weekend, the National Weather Service says.

How Will the Pandemic Affect Our Response to the Climate Crisis?


Thanks to shelter-in-place orders, we car-lovin’ Californians are driving 75% less, according to one recent estimate from UC Davis. That’s good for the environment in the short term, but it’s not a sustainable way to lower emissions in the long term.


Their Ship Came in as Oil Prices Crashed

Wall Street Journal

Crude oil’s historic bust has led to a string of losses and bankruptcies for those pumping oil and a windfall for those storing it by prompting a rare case of super-contango. But with the phenomenon’s most profitable days drawing to a close, there is little reason for anyone in the business to celebrate.



Fresno County’s total COVID-19 cases approaching 1,000. Sixty new cases reported Monday

Fresno Bee

Fresno County health officials on Monday reported an increase of 60 cases of coronavirus infections since Saturday, bringing the total number to 945. No new deaths were announced as the the number of COVID-19-related deaths remains at nine.

See also:

●     COVID-19 Updates: Fresno County Cases Increase to 945, Clovis 50 Clovis Roundup

●     Merced County cases rise to 173 since start of pandemic. More businesses look to reopen Fresno Bee

●     Madera County Reports 2 New Cases Monday; Countywide Total Now 69 Sierra News

●     COVID-19: Two more dead, 1,140 cases Visalia Times Delta

Fresno veterans home has coronavirus cases. Also more Tulare County nursing home deaths

Fresno Bee

There are coronavirus cases at the Veterans Home of California, Fresno – making it at least the fifth skilled nursing facility in Fresno County with reported COVID-19.

See also:

●     Three more coronavirus deaths at Turlock nursing home bring its total to 14 Modesto Bee

●     Turlock center deaths reach 14; board weighs safety, jobs Modesto Bee

●     California nurses speak out about an industry in crisis abc30

●     Tulare County confirms 50th coronavirus death. Total case count reaches nearly 1,200 Fresno Bee

●     Keeping The COVID Plague At Bay: How California Is Protecting Older Veterans California Healthline

‘Immunization rates are plummeting’ due to fear of coronavirus at doctors’ offices

Fresno Bee

A new health threat from coronavirus: outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases because kids are skipping checkups and immunizations.

Mosquitos Don’t Carry COVID-19, But They’re Still A Threat In California

Capital Public Radio

As mosquito season approaches in California, counties are urging people to be on the lookout for stagnant water on their properties.

Distribution of Key Drug Was Flawed, Says White House Official

Wall Street Journal

The White House coronavirus response coordinator, in an email to senior colleagues, said the way the administration initially distributed supplies of the promising new drug remdesivir shouldn’t happen again.

Europe fears coronavirus second wave


Europeans fed up with lockdowns and dreaming of a beach vacation hold the key to how big the next wave of coronavirus infections will be.

EDITORIAL: Know who you came in contact with in the last 24 hours? That’s a key to beating COVID-19

Modesto Bee

If you are unfamiliar with the phrase “contact tracing,” you will soon get to know it well. But it will feel intrusive and like an infringement on one’s privacy. Yet it must be allowed to work if California is to win the war against the coronavirus.

Human Services:

Elective surgeries, dental procedures set to resume in California 


California hospitals are starting to resume elective surgeries, which were put on hold in an effort to build capacity for a surge in COVID cases. Kaweah Delta Medical Center halted hundreds of those surgeries but will start to bring some back next week.

See also:

●     Double The Masks And Eyewear: California Dentists Open Again For Cleanings Capital Public Radio

Kern County opening six new free coronavirus testing sites this week

Bakersfield Californian

Kern County plans to open six free novel coronavirus testing sites by the end of this week to complement the three that are already operational.

Clinica Sierra Vista awarded $2.2 million to expand COVID-19 testing, PPE’s and services

Bakersfield Californian

Clinica Sierra Vista has been awarded $2.2 million to expand COVID-19 testing and secure personal protective gear for employees, according to a news release from the health care provider.

After Getting The Coronavirus, This Visalia Medical Resident Hopes Her Plasma Helps Others Recover


A couple weeks ago, we told you about how the Central California Blood Center is collecting plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients. Since then, a number of people have stepped forward to donate, including Benfie Liu. 

Organ transplants plummeted as the coronavirus spread, study says

Los Angeles Times

Organ transplants plummeted as the coronavirus swept through communities, with surgeons wary of endangering living donors and unable to retrieve possibly usable organs from the dead. 


Judge denies request to release medically vulnerable federal inmates from San Diego detention center

Los Angeles Times

The decision contrasts with the same judge’s ruling in recent weeks to let out detainees in immigration custody at the same facility due to the COVID-19 outbreak there.


Land Use:

Fresno County parks and campgrounds reopened, with safeguards in place

Fresno Bee

All County of Fresno parks and campgrounds were reopened on Monday with safeguards in place to protect the health and safety of the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.

See also:

●     All Fresno County parks, campgrounds are back open abc30

●     Fresno County to Reopen All Parks and Campgrounds Clovis Roundup

Visalia re-closes park playgrounds, arbors

Visalia Times Delta

Days after opening without clearance, Visalia has re-closed all park playgrounds and picnic areas in line with recommendations from the Tulare County Public Health Officer, city officials announced Monday afternoon.


Gimme Shelter podcast: What’s behind those California rent strikes over coronavirus?

Los Angeles Times

Some tenants have gone on what they’re calling a “rent strike,” refusing to pay it and adding a political statement to their economic hardship. 


As millions wait for coronavirus checks, IRS reveals which states got the most money

Fresno Bee

About 130 million Americans have received their coronavirus pandemic stimulus payments of $1,200, but some states saw a lot more cash flow than others, new data released by the Internal Revenue Service show.

See also:

●     IRS sets deadline for stimulus checks by direct deposit abc30

California launched a $1.2 billion Capitol renovation before the bust. Will it continue?

Sacramento Bee

Now, with the state facing a deficit estimated to run north of $50 billion, a group of historic preservationists mostly worried about the potential destruction of trees in Capitol Park is asking the state to halt the project. Its members argue the red ink brought by the economic standstill is an opportunity to rethink an expensive project.

State workers got furloughs before with a $40 billion budget hole. Now it’s $54 billion

Sacramento Bee

On Thursday, the Department of Finance projected a $54 billion deficit, raising questions about where the state will look to reduce spending this time around. 

Congress Weighs Coronavirus Aid for Local Newspapers, Broadcasters

Wall Street Journal

Congress is looking to help struggling local newspapers, TV and radio stations qualify for federal coronavirus aid, according to people familiar with the matter.

Public Pension-Fund Losses Set Record in First Quarter

Washington Post

Public pension plans lost a median 13.2% in the three months ended March 31, according to Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service data released Tuesday, slightly more than in the fourth quarter of 2008.


Tour bus industry sitting idle during COVID-19 shutdown


America’s tour bus industry, once a thriving alternative for travelers, tourists, and athletes, has come to a screeching halt due to COVID-19.

UCSF doctor expresses alarm about his packed United flight to SFO

San Francisco Chronicle

A UCSF cardiologist who spent several weeks treating COVID-19 patients in New York City said he was shocked to fly home Saturday on a packed United Airlines flight.

Southwest CEO’s boast about airplanes’ low COVID risk overlooks key concerns


So, how might someone contract COVID-19 on a plane? As with any setting that holds many people at the same time, there is a risk of virus transmission through the air as well as from high-touch surfaces.

See also:

●     United updates social distancing policies after viral photo of crowded flight Washington Post


Judge temporarily blocks Trump’s California water plan

Fresno Bee

A federal court on Tuesday temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s efforts to pump more water to the agricultural Central Valley, which critics said would threaten endangered species and salmon runs.

Massive Northern California reservoir project scaled back to reduce costs

Mercury News

Sites Reservoir in Colusa County would send water statewide, but $5.1 billion was too expensive.

Virtual Event: A Review of San Joaquin Valley Groundwater Sustainability Plans

Public Policy Institute of California

In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, work to manage groundwater for the long term continues as required by California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. 

EDITORIAL: Southern California doesn’t have decades to figure out water recycling. We need it now

Los Angeles Times

Now is a pretty good time to start thinking about the Met, a public water wholesaler that serves 19 million people — one of every two Californians.


HMTC awarded California Arts Council Cultural Pathways grant

Hanford Sentinel

Monday the California Arts Council announced a grant award of $11,250 to the Hanford Multicultural Theater Company as part of its Cultural Pathways program.

Despite pandemic, Give Big Kern generates record numbers in 2020

Bakersfield Californian

In the face of a pandemic, this year’s Give Big Kern event broke its fundraising records across the board.