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California Faces Worrying Thanksgiving as Coronavirus Surges

in People

Firefighters in Silicon Valley were sent out to enforce statewide business restrictions as the state faced a Thanksgiving shadowed by an out-of-control coronavirus surge and health officials begged people to avoid large family gatherings that could become “superspreader” events.

“You have a 15-person gathering at a dinner table, then 1 in 10 of those tables could have ... a person that is unknowingly infecting others,” said Dr. Christina Ghaly, health services director in Los Angeles County, which has seen about a third of all COVID-19 cases in California and 40% of the deaths.

Ghaly said 1 in 145 people in the county is now infectious to others and the rate of spread could double every two weeks.

Continue Reading on NBC Bay Area

Mount Shasta inspires and teaches generations of climbers

in People

Raging wind shook our tent so fiercely that it felt like a high-elevation earthquake. Four of us camped in two tents at Helen Lake, about halfway up Mount Shasta. But the screaming gale broke the poles of one tent, forcing all four of us to cram into the other. Sleep was impossible. 

In its early hours, my first climb on Mount Shasta bore a striking resemblance to my family’s previous effort 25 years earlier. On that occasion, my dad and uncle tried to take my older brother and cousin (ages 10 and 12) up the same route, Avalanche Gulch. But a fierce storm struck them in the night too. Dad’s tent broke in the wind and he and my brother had to huddle in my uncle’s shelter. Then the gusts swept the broken tent away, never to be seen again. The four suffered through a wet, sleepless and terrifying night.

“I had my first serious conversation with God,” recalled my cousin Peter. Their party made a strategic descent the next morning.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

City will address issues involving warming center

in People

The Turlock Gospel Mission will have a familiar face as it takes the lead role for the City of Manteca’s Warming Center.

Rudy Valencia, who grew up in Manteca, will be among the full-time personnel at the temporary overnight shelter at 555 Industrial Park Drive scheduled to open on the first week of December and stay open through March 31.

“I grew up here and wished I had the answers to make everything good,” he said, referring to the concerns of nearby business and property owners airing their concerns at Wednesday’s Zoom meeting hosted by the City of Manteca.

The Manteca City Council recently gave the green light on the return of the Warming Center, which was enacted as emergency to help the homeless about a year ago.

Continue Reading on Manteca Bullentin

Paleontologists uncover three new species of extinct walruses in Orange County, California

in People

Millions of years ago, in the warm Pacific Ocean off the coast of Southern California, walrus species without tusks lived abundantly.

But in a new study, Cal State Fullerton paleontologists have identified three new walrus species discovered in Orange County and one of the new species has "semi-tusks" -- or longer teeth.

The other two new species don't have tusks and all predate the evolution of the long iconic ivory tusks of the modern-day walrus, which lives in the frigid Arctic.

The researchers describe a total of 12 specimens of fossil walruses from Orange, Los Angeles and Santa Cruz counties, all estimated to be 5 to 10 million years old. The fossils represent five species, with two of the three new species represented by specimens of males, females and juveniles.

Continue Reading on Science Daily

Stanislaus rise in hospitalizations, cases mirrors nation

in People

Latest facts on COVID-19 testing in Modesto area

Mirroring numbers across the nation, Stanislaus County continued its spike of hospitalizations and positive coronavirus test results, according to data it released Saturday night.

The number of patients with confirmed COVID-19 cases in the county’s five hospitals grew to 88 on Saturday, a 44% increase since Wednesday’s total of 61.

Meanwhile, according to the most recent state data from Friday, the county’s seven-day infection rate grew to 9.25%, up from 8.11% the day before, and the 14-day rate stood at 7.34%, up from 6.91%. The state’s 14-day average is 4.2%.

In the most recent date released by the county, Saturday’s positive test results numbered an astounding 152, the largest single-day total since late August.

Continue Reading on MSN


in People

(CNN) — California just became the second state to surpass 1 million Covid-19 infections since the start of the pandemic — closely following Texas, which hit the grim milestone earlier this week.

More than 5,000 new cases and 18 new deaths have been reported so far on Thursday, for a total of 1,000,631 confirmed cases and 18,126 deaths statewide, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

And health officials report that, like most other states in the country, California’s Covid-19 numbers are all trending in the wrong direction.

At a November 9 news conference, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the state recorded more than 7,200 new cases in a day and had a 7-day average of about 5,889 infections.

Continue Reading on NBC Palm Springs

County appealing purple tier COVID status

in People

The California Public Health Department has plans to move Stanislaus County back up to the more restrictive purple tier because the area has failed to meet the state metrics for controlling COVID-19, but health and county officials are appealing.

The county plans on appealing the designation, partially because local leaders believe the data will show that most of the transmission is happening in homes and gatherings, rather than at gyms, hair salons and restaurants.

“It is our intent to create an opportunity for dialogue to encourage using our local data and circumstances to drive appropriate mitigation restrictions” said Mary Ann Lilly, Stanislaus County Health Services Agency managing director. “We want to protect our community, preserve healthcare capacity, while supporting economic sectors and activities, that with proper precautions, can operate safely.”

The appeal of the tier status gives area businesses and churches at least another week to remain open. Stanislaus County will be assigned to the tier determined by the CDPH no later than Nov. 17. Schools that have already re-opened will be allowed to stay open for in-person learning, regardless of whether or not the county is moved into the purple tier.

Continue Reading on Ceres

‘I still have nightmares’: Patients say they deal with PTSD months after recovering from COVID-19

in People

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Months after they’ve recovered from the COVID-19, some patients still cope with lingering physical symptoms and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Jessenia Lizarraga of Turlock had been pregnant and in the ICU for weeks with COVID-19. It’s been seven months since she was discharged.

“I did have to be intubated, put on artificial respirator, so that kind of messed with my vocal chords,” Lizarraga said.

Angelo Torres of Stockton had also been sickened by the virus.

Continue Reading on Fox 40

Turlock veteran overcomes mental hurdles with help of County program

in People

Four years ago, Turlock resident Kenneth Shipman no longer wanted to live. Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in the U.S. military, years of mental distress had led to substance abuse issues and court cases, which in turn alienated him from his family, his friends, his job and life as he knew it. 

Shipman led sheriff’s deputies on a chase in April 2016 which ended with his vehicle crashing into a high-voltage Turlock Irrigation District facility; he was driving under the influence and had hoped that the crash would kill him. When it didn’t, he fled the scene wishing that the officers would shoot him.

Shipman wasn’t shot, but was arrested. A day he had originally thought would be the end of his life turned into something miraculous when he went to court for the incident, where he was given a lifeline. Instead of serving five years in prison, he had the chance to complete the Stanislaus County Veterans Treatment Court program — an inter-agency collaborative, non-adversarial therapeutic justice program for veterans in the criminal justice system who suffer from PTSD or other psychological symptoms as a result of having served.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

City seeks input on Columbia Pool renovation

in People

As community members, philanthropic leaders and even elected officials called into a virtual town hall meeting hosted by the Columbia Park Master Plan Ad Hoc Committee on Monday night, they made one thing clear: the plan to renovate the park and its aquatic features needs to take into consideration the opinions of those who matter most, the residents of Turlock’s westside.

After the City Council appropriated $40,000 in funding for a facility evaluation study in November 2019, Aquatic Design Group conducted an assessment of the pool and spray ground at Columbia Park. There was a total of 18 violations discovered during the assessment, all of which pose a liability to the health and safety of the public and many that would not allow the pool to open legally, even if it could during the coronavirus pandemic.

This led City staff to create a Columbia Park Master Plan, which was presented to the City Council and the Parks, Arts and Recreation Commission during a joint meeting in July. The plan features three rehabilitation options for the pool that would take care of its existing problems. Since the swimming pool was built in 1957, it has undergone minor renovations and facility updates. The pool has only been replastered once, in 1999.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

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