May 14, 2020



North SJ Valley:

Stanislaus County will look the other way if businesses defy Newsom’s stay-home order

Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County will not spend resources to enforce the governor’s coronavirus stay-at-home order, effectively sending a message that many non-essential businesses can open at their own risk.

See also:

●     Coronavirus shelter-in-place order lifted in Stanislaus County. Are we good to go? Modesto Bee

●     Stanislaus will resume indoor worship at some point. Here are possible COVID-19 rulesModesto Bee

●     When restaurant dining rooms reopen in Stanislaus County, what will they look like?Modesto Bee

●     Savvy Stanislaus supervisors placate political base while sidestepping responsibilityModesto Bee

●     Stanislaus County Latest To Defy Stay-At-Home Order Capital Public Radio

Central SJ Valley:

Central Valley to ask CA to ease reopening restrictions

Fresno Bee

Central Valley counties, including Fresno, plan to request that California officials ease requirements so the region can move to the next phase of recovery and reopening from the coronavirus pandemic.

See also:

●     Fresno councilman unveils proposal to end shelter-in-place, open businesses amid COVID-19 Fresno Bee

Fresno council president continues to receive threats after previous confrontation

Fresno Bee

Arias was cited for misdemeanor battery Tuesday evening after an alt-right group showed up to his house blaming him for business closures from the coronavirus pandemic. Members of the group shot video of the incident, which showed Arias pushing at least one person on the stairs to his apartment.

See also:

●     Confrontation at councilmember’s home leads to citations for Arias Fresno Bee

●     Fresno City Councilmember cited after confrontation with anti-shelter group at his homeFresno Bee

●     Scuffle as virus protesters harangue city leader on doorstepBBC

●     Opinion: Fresno agitator got the attention he craves — and Garry Bredefeld helpedFresno Bee

●     EDITORIAL: Free speech or political stunt? Video ambush of Fresno council member violates decency Fresno Bee

Karbassi tested for Covid-19 to highlight United Health Centers effort

Business Journal

“Opening a testing center in District 2 is a great way to help people calm and reduce their anxiety,” Karbassi said. “It’s really easy, you just drive up and get tested. I think it’s part of my responsibility as a councilmember to serve all those that are really scared.”

Community in Distress: Clovis City Council Discusses How to Stretch CARES Act Funding

Clovis Roundup

Through the CARES Act, the city was given an additional $441,214 dollars and will use those funds to back two new programs to help support members of the community.

Devin Nunes Defamation Lawsuit Hits Snag as Judge Rules He Needs to Identify What’s Actually Defamatory


Trump-appointed U.S. District Judge C.J. Williams said he’ll throw out the lawsuit if the family doesn’t specify precisely how Lizza’s article in Esquire magazine inaccurately portrayed the congressman and his family.

South SJ Valley:

Peak unemployment could hit 29% in Bakersfield due to coronavirus


The latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the national unemployment rate hovering around 15 % in April- the highest it’s been since the Great Depression.

See also:

●     Californians who refuse work because of coronavirus may still get unemployment benefits San Francisco Chronicle

California begins process of creating oil buffer zones

Bakersfield Californian

California’s primary oil-regulating agency has kicked off an effort to standardize buffer zones between oil facilities and sensitive receptors such as schools and homes.

President Zelezny puts CSUB on national stage with CNN interview


California State University, Bakersfield President Lynnette Zelezny was invited to appear on CNN Wednesday to discuss the California State University system’s decision to move forward with remote instructional delivery in fall 2020, with limited exceptions. 

See also:

●     CSUB’s Lynnette Zelezny named CSU President of the Year Fresno Bee


‘It’s Going To Be Painful’: Steep Cuts Expected In California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Revised Budget

Capital Public Radio

California is staring down a $54 billion deficit — a dramatic reversal from five months ago, when Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed the first version of this year’s budget. 

See also:

●     California governor looks to plug $54 billion budget hole AP

●     News Analysis: California’s $54-billion deficit fueled by coronavirus will test a decade of preparationsLos Angeles Times

●     California Budget Crisis May Imperil Reforms, Says ControllerCapital & Main

●     What Are California’s State Budget Reserves and How Can They Be Used During the COVID-19 Crisis? California Budget & Policy Center

New State Guidelines For Restaurants, County Reopenings

Capital Public Radio

According to Gov. Gavin Newsom, all businesses will have to prove that they’re successful in reducing cases of the coronavirus, and will still have to abide by state guidelines for physical distancing and cleaning regimens.

See also:

●     Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19 pandemic orders are holding up in court Sacramento Bee

●     The two big reasons why California is struggling to control coronavirus Los Angeles Times

●     Coronavirus: Most Californians remain wary of restaurants, gyms San Jose Mercury

●     California allows 12 counties to reopen; 31 others lobby to join themLos Angeles Times

‘New-agey types’ and pro-Trump activists. Anti-vaccine crusade finds new allies amid coronavirus

Modesto Bee

They post images comparing Gov. Gavin Newsom to Hitler. They say wearing a mask is “submission.” They reject contact tracing for coronavirus as recommended by public health officials, calling it a government tool to “put a target on your back.” 

See also:

●     The Anti-vaxxers Are Winning the Battle on Facebook Newsweek

State gave $139 million ventilator contract to medical supply firm once raided by FBI

Fresno Bee

Seven years later, Ashli Healthcare Inc. holds a $139 million contract to supply ventilators and other equipment to the state — one of the biggest contracts the Newsom administration has signed without going through the usual competitive bidding process as it scrambled to gear up for the coronavirus pandemic.

See also:

●     Federal regulators contradict California Gov. Newsom, say BYD masks denied certificationFresno Bee

●     California’s $1-billion masks deal with Chinese automaker faces uncertainty. Here’s why Los Angeles Times

●     California $1B mask order faces new doubt after federal regulators call product ‘not acceptable’Politico

Walters: A new skirmish in ‘tort wars’


No session of the California Legislature would be complete without at least one skirmish in the decades-long conflict known to Capitol insiders as “tort wars” — and this year is no different even though the COVID-19 pandemic dominates political consciousness. 


House Democrats Unveil $3 Trillion Proposal For Coronavirus Relief


House Democrats are moving full steam ahead with legislation to provide a new wave of coronavirus relief at a price tag of more than $3 trillion, with plans to call the full House back on Friday to approve it.
See also:

●     House Democrats proposed a $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill. How much would California get?Fresno Bee

●     Will there be a second round of coronavirus stimulus checks? Probably not soon Los Angeles Times

●     Fed Chief Says More Relief Spending May Be ‘Costly, But Worth It’VPR

●     Fed’s Powell: More spending from Congress ‘costly but worth it’Politico

●     Congress Debates Push to End Surprise Medical BillingWall Street Journal

●     Opinion: On State Aid: Yes, ButNational Review

There Are Sensible Ways to Reopen a Country. Then There’s America’s Approach


This brutal spring, the U.S. faces two great crises. Over the past 14 weeks, 84,000 Americans have died of COVID-19.

See also:

●     Former FDA Commissioner: Here’s the Testing Strategy We Need to Safely Reopen AmericaTime

●     As Coronavirus Restrictions Lift, Millions in U.S. Are Leaving Home Again New York Times

●     Under Social Distancing, Rural Regions Push For More Broadband Pew Trusts

●     Ousted vaccine chief: ‘Our window of opportunity is closing’ Politico

●     Opinion: A class war over social distancing? New data suggests otherwise.Washington Post

●     Opinion: It Is Not Hypocrisy for Pro-Lifers to Accept a Risk of Death National Review

Trump nominee involved in shelving CDC virus guide

Seattle Times

A former chemical industry executive nominated to be the nation’s top consumer safety watchdog was involved in sidelining detailed guidelines to help communities reopen during the coronavirus pandemic, internal government emails show.

Trump takes aim at Fauci, as GOP views of the expert quickly sour

Washington Post

While Fauci retains the faith of a strong majority of Americans, opposition from Republicans has crept up steadily over the past month or so, as conservative media figures and now President Trump have increasingly called his advice into question.

See also:

●     Trump Pointedly Criticizes Fauci for His Testimony to CongressNew York Times

●     Opinion: Fauci Is Not the Villain Politico

FBI serves warrant on senator in investigation of stock sales linked to coronavirus

Los Angeles Times

Federal agents seized a cellphone belonging to a prominent Republican senator on Wednesday night as part of the Justice Department’s investigation into controversial stock trades he made as the coronavirus first struck the U.S., a law enforcement official said.

Fearing ‘chaos’ in November, Supreme Court justices are wary of tampering with electoral college

Los Angeles Times

The Supreme Court justices said Wednesday they saw a danger of “creating chaos” after November’s presidential vote if electors were freed to defy their state’s popular vote and cast ballots in the electoral college for the candidate of their choice.

Appeals court rules against Trump on Emoluments Clause

The Hill

A federal appeals court on Thursday ruled against President Trump in a lawsuit alleging that he’s violated the Constitution’s Emoluments Clauses

House Democrats unveil proposed rule changes to allow remote voting

The Hill

House Democrats on Wednesday unveiled a measure that would allow for a form of remote voting and virtual committee work as a way to ensure that lawmakers can proceed with legislative business while away from the Capitol during the coronavirus pandemic.

See also:

●     Podcast: Democrats barrel toward voting rules change Roll Call

Opinion: Obamagate was the worst crime ever committed and here is what it was

Washington Post

The rule of law is suffering from the people in charge of the government right now. Their pandemic response has not been all that could be hoped. It is a total disaster and an absolute fiasco, what is going on in the White House right now, or, as I guess we must refer to it, Obamagate.

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 CountNew 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:

Republican flips California congressional seat. What does that mean for November?

Sacramento Bee

Republicans are taking a victory lap after their candidate in a special election flipped a congressional seat previously held by Democratic Rep. Katie Hill, giving the GOP a sense of momentum after losing seven California seats two years ago.

See also:

●     Republicans stake congressional victory, claim seat Democrat Katie Hill vacated Los Angeles Times

●     Republican Mike Garcia wins California seat as Democrat concedes in special electionRoll Call

●     What Tuesday’s elections taught us, and what they didn’t Roll Call

●     Republican Mike Garcia Flips California House Seat Time

In Bid for Party Unity, Biden Moves Beyond Restoring the Pre-Trump Era

New York Times

Trying to win over progressives and aware that the coronavirus crisis is upending the political landscape, Joe Biden is increasingly using the language of systemic disruption.

See also:

●     Ocasio-Cortez is among top Democrats promoting Biden-Sanders unity Los Angeles Times 

●     Poll: Majority of Americans Want Biden to Lead Coronavirus Response, But Trump More Trusted With the EconomyNewsweek

●     Poll finds Trump ahead of Biden in 15 battleground states The Hill

●     Opinion: Biden’s Revival of Obama’s Middle East Policies Won’t Bring Peace National Review

Democrats wrote the playbook on digital organizing, so why is Trump dominating?

Los Angeles Times

Political campaign apps are hardly a new phenomenon, but when President Trump recently unveiled the one for his reelection bid, digital innovators on the left responded with alarm — and exasperation.

See also:

●     Trump Looks to Salvage Summer Campaign SeasonWall Street Journal

A record number of women have filed to run for House seats in 2020

CBS News

A record 490 women have filed to run for U.S. House seats in 2020, surpassing the previous record of 476 set in 2018, according to new data from the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University. 

Opinion: November initiative that would bring billions to California schools and communities is an easy decision


That’s why, now more than ever, we need the Schools & Communities First initiative – the most consequential policy measure for California’s cities, counties, school districts and small businesses. 


Steinberg to judge: The Bee needs to ‘be bolstered and rebuilt, not milked’

Sacramento Bee

I call on the mayors and other elected officials of all the McClatchy cities to join me in demanding that the public interest of each market is considered when the court decides who will run the company when it emerges from bankruptcy reorganization.

See also:

●     Opinion: Government, citizens have key roles in making sure a free press will have a future Fresno Bee

Census asks OMB for emergency OK to add telework questions to 2020 Annual Business Survey to measure COVID impacts

American Economic Association

On May 12, the Census Bureau submitted an emergency request to OMB for clearance to add three telework questions to the 2020 Annual Business Survey (ABS). The Census Bureau intends to use the 2020 ABS to ascertain pre-pandemic business telework practices. 

No, that’s not a U.S. Supreme Court ruling


A false Facebook post claims that under an 1866 Supreme Court ruling, these orders are already deemed unconstitutional and that many governors must forfeit their authority because they have infringed on the rights of U.S. citizens.

Coronavirus Demands a Privacy Law

Wall Street Journal

The Fourth Amendment protects Americans from government overreach, but the “reasonable expectation of privacy” test complicates the relationship between government action and commercial data collection.


Need good news for COVID-19 economy? Central Valley almond crop is record by far

Fresno Bee

The California almond harvest will hit 3 billion pounds for the first time ever, a federal agency projected Tuesday. The report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service shows that at least one pillar of the Modesto-area economy remains strong even as the coronavirus pandemic exacts its toll.

Coronavirus cases confirmed at Dinuba fruit-packing plant, Lemoore cheese-making factory

Fresno Bee

Two more central San Joaquin Valley food-processing facilities have reported positive cases of the coronavirus.

We’re Eating At Home And It’s Costing Us More


Overall, consumer prices were down 0.8% last month — the sharpest drop since the Great Recession in 2008. But food prices at the grocery store rose 2.6% — the biggest jump in nearly 50 years.

Farmers are coming around on climate change

Roll Call

Major farm and livestock groups held a press conference in February to project a united voice on an issue they’ve long avoided. The coalition leaders said they wanted to join the fight against climate change rather than remain cast as villains avoiding the responsibility.

Federal agency gives meatpackers room to hire H-2B workers

Roll Call

The Trump administration plans a temporary change to rules on H-2B guest workers to help beleaguered meatpacking plants keep those foreign employees in the United States as the companies deal with absenteeism and workers quarantined because of COVID-19 exposure.

See also:

●     The president can’t force meat factories to openBrookings

California booze regulators seek swift sanctions amid virus


California’s bar and restaurant regulators are seeking emergency powers to immediately crack down on businesses that refuse to follow state rules intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus, “Bad actors are gaming the system,” the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control said in its filing this week.



California’s Prisons Remain Severely Overcrowded During the COVID-19 Pandemic

California Budget & Policy Center

California has taken steps to slow the spread of COVID-19 in state prisons, including reducing the number of people being held. However, California’s prisons remain severely overcrowded. 

Frequent Alcohol Testing Lowers the Likelihood Offenders Will Be Rearrested or Have Probation Revoked


An innovative statewide alcohol-monitoring program that requires drunk drivers to be tested frequently for alcohol use significantly lowers the likelihood that offenders will be rearrested or have probation revoked, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

Public Safety:

Column: They’re trapped, and the killer virus knows where to find them in California

Los Angeles Times

There are two places in California where, as the pandemic rages, you do not want to be. Prisons and elder care facilities. An astounding 49% of all COVID-19 deaths in California were linked to elder care facilities as of last week.


Three grass fires break out in Fresno. Are they connected? Here’s what a fireman says

Fresno Bee

Three grass fires broke out Tuesday night in Fresno, including one with a homeless encampment nearby. No one was injured and no structures were damaged.

See also:

●     Fresno firefighters battle a grassfire in southwest FresnoFresno Bee

Newsom vows to add firefighters despite California budget woes, as ‘ferocious’ summer looms

Fresno Bee

With a “ferocious and challenging” wildfire season looming, California Gov. Gavin Newsom pledged to hire hundreds of new firefighters Wednesday — but acknowledged that his new budget will curtail some of his previous funding proposals to help the state respond to emergencies.



Firms that repay PPP loans they didn’t need won’t be prosecuted after all

Los Angeles Times

The Trump administration said firms that took loans of more than $2 million that they didn’t need from a small-business aid program would be allowed to repay the money without legal consequences.

See also:

●     SBA Provides Long-Awaited Guidance Regarding the Paycheck Protection Program Loan and Liquidity Requirement AALRR

Uber offers to buy Grubhub, plans to sell $900 million in bonds

Los Angeles Times

Uber Technologies Inc. has made an offer to acquire Grubhub Inc., a move that could combine two of the largest food-delivery apps in the U.S. as the novel coronavirus — and the stay-at-home orders meant to limit the virus’ spread — drives a surge in demand.


Nearly 3 Million Sought Jobless Benefits Last Week

Wall Street Journal

Three million workers or more have applied for unemployment benefits each week for the past two months, as disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic continued to ripple through the U.S. economy.

See also: 

●     3 million Americans filed jobless claims last week, pushing eight-week total to 36.5 millionWashington Post

●     Labor Department reports 36.5 million unemployment claims over 2 monthsPolitico

Scared to go back to work because of coronavirus? You could lose unemployment benefits

Fresno Bee

You got furloughed and are getting unemployment benefits. Now your employer says you should return to work, but you’re reluctant because you’re worried you’ll be exposed to the coronavirus. Refuse the job, and you could lose those benefits.

See also:

●     California state workers face 10 % pay cut, possible furloughs, union leader saysSacramento Bee

●     Incomes have crashed. How much has unemployment insurance helped? Brookings

Permanent Job Losses May Be the Pandemic’s Second Act

Capital & Main

A new study, citing historical precedent, claims 42 % of recent layoffs will result in permanently lost jobs.

Grocery stores and coffee chains gave workers hazard pay. Now they’re taking it back

Los Angeles

The rise in wages — the “hero bonuses” — is already subsiding, even with the number of new infections refusing to fall.



CA superintendent: School districts to make their own decisions about reopening

Visalia Times Delta

Plans for opening California schools this fall will be up to individual school districts,according to the state’s top education official. The state will share those guidelines and recommendations with local education leaders in the next few weeks, Thurmond said.

See also:

●     When will California schools reopen? State will ask districts to decideLos Angeles Times

●     Many Northern California counties can open schools ‘with modifications.’ It won’t happen soon Fresno Bee

●     Saturday classes? Schools mull ways to make up lost time Business Journal

Fresno Unified ‘must do more’ for students during pandemic, ACLU letter says

Fresno Bee

Nearly a dozen parent organizations have teamed up with the American Civil Liberties Union to urge Fresno Unified schools to “do more” to help students and families struggling with online education amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Fresno Unified paid more than $700,000 above bid price for healthy food, audit finds

Fresno Bee

Fresno Unified’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program paid at least $700,000 above the bid price for produce over three years before changes were made to the program, according to an audit.

California cut schools and raised taxes in its last recession. What will Newsom do now?

Fresno Bee

Heading into a new recession, California has one big thing going for it that it lacked the last time a sudden downturn sent the state’s economy reeling: A stockpile of money built up in reserves and various accounts that can be put to use in a crisis.

AP exam glitch means high schoolers may have to retake tests: ‘My daughter was hysterical’

San Francisco Chronicle

After the first two days of testing, frustrated teenagers and their parents took to social media to vent about a glitchy system that prevented some students from submitting their finished work — and lack of support from the College Board, the nonprofit organization that administers the exams. 

Data You Can Use: Will COVID-19 Affect High School Seniors’ Access to Financial Aid?


Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to be eligible for financial aid from the federal government. The National College Access Network reports that, since mid-March, FAFSA completion rates have not kept pace with last year’s rates.

Opinion: A Reply to the Enemies of Homeschooling

National Review

The real reason why “progressive” academics oppose homeschooling isn’t really the possibility of neglect and abuse, argue Ray and Valiente. Instead it’s that the academic elites don’t like the values of parents who homeschool their children. 

Higher Ed:

Fresno State launches program for local students who return home amid coronavirus

Fresno Bee

Students who were attending spring 2020 at a four-year college or university outside of the Fresno area may be eligible for admission into Fresno State through a streamlined process, the university announced Wednesday.

See also:

●     Fresno State launches ‘Welcome Home Initiative’ Business Journal

CSU chancellor explains decision to keep most fall classes online


The forecasting sees a much larger spike coming in the late fall of COVID-19, coupled with the influenza, which will be perhaps even a more difficult moment than the one we are going through right now. So we want to be in a position come fall to preserve as many options for as many students as possible.

See also:

●     Decision looms for sports after CSUs opt for virtual fall, university presidents say Fresno Bee

●     Community colleges could see influx of athletes as coronavirus disrupts sports recruitingCalMatters

President Zelezny puts CSUB on national stage with CNN interview


California State University, Bakersfield President Lynnette Zelezny was invited to appear on CNN Wednesday to discuss the California State University system’s decision to move forward with remote instructional delivery in fall 2020, with limited exceptions. 

See also:

●     CSUB’s Lynnette Zelezny named CSU President of the Year Fresno Bee

●     CSUB selects leadership for university provost, assistant director of Kegley Institute Bakersfield Californian

California community colleges sue U.S. for denying COVID-19 funds to undocumented students, others

Los Angeles Times

The nation’s largest community college system is suing the federal government for denying coronavirus relief funds to more than a half-million California students, including DACA recipients and many of those from low-income families.

UC Campuses Have Disclosed Virtually No Records Under Police Transparency Law

Voice of San Diego

The University of California system is aware of more than 200 incidents involving police use of force on its 10 campuses in recent years. Yet only two police use of force case files have been released publicly despite a landmark transparency law that went into effect last year.

Opinion: Online infrastructure investment vital for community college students


Providing laboratory experience is just one of the many challenges community colleges face as they transition to online alternatives. The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office provided a virtual lab platform supporting a range of science-related disciplines.

Opinion: Rethinking College Education in America


The COVID-19 pandemic, regardless of what you may think about its origins, its lethality, or the response, has delivered a body blow to business as usual in American higher education. The economic model that operated up until a few months ago is broken forever.



Coronavirus is stalling air quality, pollution rules, even in eco-minded California

Los Angeles Times

As experts warn that exposure to pollution can increase the risk of dying from COVID-19, an array of powerful industries is pressuring California regulators to delay or roll back air quality and climate regulations due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Did sea farm debacle sink California aquaculture?


Farming shellfish in deep ocean waters is a potentially lucrative industry in California. But environmental concerns, federal and state requirements and a recent failed project could be hard to overcome.


California begins process of creating oil buffer zones

Bakersfield Californian

California’s primary oil-regulating agency has kicked off an effort to standardize buffer zones between oil facilities and sensitive receptors such as schools and homes.

Climate change is looming. But America has lost 600,000 clean energy jobs

Los Angeles Times

The United States shed more than half a million clean energy jobs in March and April, a new report says, reversing years of growth in an industry that has helped reduce lung-damaging air pollution and the emissions responsible for climate change.

Opinion: Assembly bill is a Trojan Horse for costly hydroelectric project near Joshua Tree


California is setting the stage nationally on how to move successfully toward a clean energy future. We’re on track with aggressive renewable energy standards, reducing emissions, and investing in green technologies that are transforming our future. 



Three more COVID-19 deaths in Fresno County as total cases rise above 1,000

Fresno Bee

Three more coronavirus-related deaths were reported Wednesday in Fresno County, where the total number of confirmed cases rose above 1,000.

See also:

●     First infant contracts coronavirus in Merced County, as number of infected children rise Merced Sun-Star

●     First infant contracts coronavirus in Merced County, as number of infected children rise Fresno Bee

●     Tulare County COVID-19 update: 146 new recoveries, 2 new deaths, 27 new cases Visalia Times Delta

●     Tulare County reporting two coronavirus deaths per day as numbers continue to grow Fresno Bee

●     Pastor on ventilator at Fresno hospital survived. He wouldn’t wish COVID-19 on ‘worst enemy’ Fresno Bee

●     Stanislaus County reports another death.Modesto Bee

Is a mask necessary when exercising outdoors? Like everything else, it’s complicated

Fresno Bee

Experts are divided. Where and under what circumstances people need to wear a mask during outdoor exercise weighs heavily on your environment and health conditions. That means people should do more than keep their distance, they should double it, NPR reported.

See also:

●     Mask shaming erupts as latest public battle over coronavirus restrictions Orange County Register

●     Can the coronavirus live on clothes and shoes? And for how long? Los Angeles Times

More Americans turning to drugs and alcohol as coronavirus stress rises, survey shows

Fresno Bee

The increase in alcohol consumption was 67% in states hardest hit by the coronavirus, including New York and New Jersey. 

See also:

●     ‘Fear of the unknown’: Use of anti-anxiety meds on the rise during coronavirus pandemic Modesto Bee

●     Act Now To Get Ahead Of A Mental Health Crisis, Specialists Advise U.S.VPR

Abbott’s rapid coronavirus test misses nearly half of positive cases, study finds

The Hill

A rapid coronavirus diagnostic test manufactured by Abbott may miss nearly half of all positive infections, according to a pre-published study from New York University.

See also:

●     Abbott test hailed by President Trump has been dogged by accuracy questionsWashington Post

●     Despite Early Warnings, U.S. Took Months To Expand Swab Production For COVID-19 TestVPR

COVID-19 amplifies racial disparities in maternal health

Roll Call

Maternal mortality, or the death of a woman up to a year following the end of a pregnancy, has hit African Americans especially hard for decades, and experts worry the current COVID-19 pandemic will exacerbate racial disparities.

See also:

●     ‘We’re angry and we’re hurting.’ Why communities of color suffer more from COVID-19 PBS News

Human Services:

Local Hospitals Forced to Make Cuts as Beds Sit Empty

Clovis Roundup

Cancelation of elective surgeries, fear of going to the emergency room and anxiety over being separated from loved ones are just some of the reasons hospitals across Fresno County are seeing fewer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Newsom greenlights testing for coronavirus at California pharmacies

San Francisco Chronicle

Cancelation of elective surgeries, fear of going to the emergency room and anxiety over Pharmacies in California can now test for the coronavirus, bringing the state in line with most states across the country, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday.

California dental offices will reopen this week. Is it safe to go during coronavirus?

Fresno Bee

It’s clear that dentists have been able to do emergency care all along since the virus hit. As of last week, the state clarified that dentists can also do preventive care to forestall an emergency. Less clear is whether dentists can return to routine teeth cleaning.

United Way of Kern County gets $1.3 million gift to assist those impacted by COVID-19

Bakersfield Californian

United Way of Kern County has received a $1.3 million gift from an anonymous donor, part of a $6.6 million gift earmarked for United Way chapters in the Central Valley.

See also:

●     Kern Community Foundation awards grants to nine charities using $100,000 donation from Kern Health Systems Bakersfield Californian

County to assist skilled nursing facilities with state-mandated testing

Bakersfield Californian

Kern County announced Wednesday it will assist skilled nursing facilities with a new state requirement to test all residents and workers for COVID-19. 

See also:

●     Gov. Newsom: Coronavirus Testing Way Up, But State’s Nursing Homes Still Lagging Bakersfield Californian

How To Make Sense of All The COVID-19 Projections? A New Model Combines Them


The profusion of forecasts poses a challenge: The models use such a wide range of methodologies, formats and time frames that it’s hard to get even a ballpark sense of what the future has in store.

See also:

●     WHO officials warn coronavirus isn’t going anywhere soon The Hill

Study links Obamacare to fewer cancer deaths in some states

Los Angeles Times

Cancer deaths have dropped more in states that expanded Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act than in states that did not, new research reveals.


Under Trump border rules, U.S. has granted refuge to just two people since late March, records show

Washington Post

Citing the threat to public health from the coronavirus, the Trump administration has suspended most due-process rights for migrants, including children and asylum seekers, while “expelling” more than 20,000 unauthorized border-crossers to Mexico under a provision of U.S. code known as Title 42.

Opinion: Citizenship Is Useful For A Very Ugly Reason

Zócalo Public Square

By defining its rights and privileges as bound to a particular state, citizenship itself violates our cherished idea of equal human worth. Instead, citizenship is most effective at upholding caste systems both within and among nations.


Land Use:

Tennis courts reopen in Bakersfield city parks

Bakersfield Californian

The city began to reopen tennis and pickleball courts Wednesday, bringing back at least one more option for those seeking recreation during the pandemic.

Reservations to visit a theme park? Six Flags announces new system for reopening

Modesto Bee

The theme park company announced the new required guest reservation process Wednesday, saying it is meant to help “manage daily attendance levels” and “avoid overcrowding.”

Popular National Park site closed, event canceled

Business Journal

Because of social distancing measures and the inability to properly sanitize, Crystal Cave in Sequoia National Park will be closed this season and the annual Dark Sky Festival has been canceled.


Kern County’s homeless shelter ready for Thursday opening

Bakersfield Californian

After months of preparation, Kern County’s homeless shelter will begin accepting its first clients Thursday. While the facility, named the M Street Navigation Center, will eventually serve 150 individuals.

Commentary: Fresno mother of five fears being evicted during the COVID-19 pandemic

Fresno Bee

A Fresno tenant is facing eviction. What is the moral responsibility of the city of Fresno during this crisis? Here are essays of a mother trying to protect her children during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a pastor and community activist lifting the moral lessons society must heed.

Results from latest homeless count will have to wait because of pandemic

Modesto Bee

Officials will not discuss the results of the most recent homeless count at today’s Stanislaus Homeless Alliance meeting but instead will talk about how the result have been delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

California Rental Housing Association urges municipalities to devote federal grants to housing assistance

Bakersfield Californian

The California Rental Housing Association is urging cities and counties across the state to devote millions of dollars in federal grants to rental assistance.


‘It’s Going To Be Painful’: Steep Cuts Expected In California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Revised Budget

Capital Public Radio

California is staring down a $54 billion deficit — a dramatic reversal from five months ago, when Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed the first version of this year’s budget. 

See also:

●     California governor looks to plug $54 billion budget hole AP

●     News Analysis: California’s $54-billion deficit fueled by coronavirus will test a decade of preparationsLos Angeles Times

●     California Budget Crisis May Imperil Reforms, Says ControllerCapital & Main

●     What Are California’s State Budget Reserves and How Can They Be Used During the COVID-19 Crisis? California Budget & Policy Center

USDA appeals order blocking purge of SNAP benefits recipients

The Hill

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has appealed a court order barring a change to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, that could remove up to 700,000 recipients from its rolls.


Passengers should get full refunds for canceled flights — not credits, lawmakers say

Fresno Bee

A bill proposed by Democratic senators Wednesday would force airlines to issue billions of dollars in refunds to passengers who canceled flights due to the COVID-19 crisis.

See also:

●     Feds Warn Airlines Once Again To Offer Customers RefundsVPR

Uber to require drivers and riders to wear face masks, open windows for ventilation

Stockton Record

Delivery people and drivers will be asked to confirm through a new checklist, which requires drivers to verify they are wearing a mask by asking them to take a selfie. Once verified, riders receive a notification through the app.


Coronavirus forces California farmworkers to scramble for safe drinking water

Food & Environment Reporting Network

The crisis has revealed the inadequacy of state programs designed to get safe and affordable drinking water to these communities, leaving organizers scrambling to make sure residents have enough clean water for their families.