Local Turlock Podcast April 30, 2021: Mosquitos, Vaccines & National Day of Prayer

in News

Hey everyone! Welcome to another episode of Local Turlock Podcast for the week of April 30th, giving you some of Turlock’s latest scoops, news & stories, with 2 business highlights for the week. For our first story, Emanuel Cancer Center hosting virtual Monkey Business groups to provide emotional support and a safe place for children with a loved one diagnosed with cancer. Up next, as drought conditions persist throughout California, local legislators call for statewide drought emergency. Moving on to our next story, residents are urged to eliminate places where mosquito breed. Follow some of the tips to prevent the spread of mosquitoes. Next on our list, Stanislaus County will be phasing out mass COVID vaccine clinics – let’s learn why! Ceres Police Department and city officials are preparing to open the City Hall for public business beginning on Monday, May 3. Mark your calendar and join as Ceres church hosts National Day of Prayer event on May 6. Give some love and show our support to our local businesses especially during this pandemic as I give the spotlight two 2 businesses this week. Also sharing the latest updates about COVID 19 in Stanislaus County. All that and more today in this week's Local Turlock podcast.

Emanuel Cancer Center hosting virtual Monkey Business groups

Cancer can be scary, especially for children. Emanuel Cancer Center is here to provide emotional support and a safe place for children with a loved one diagnosed with cancer. Emanuel Cancer Center offers Monkey Business for children and teens, ages 5-17. Through meaningful and therapeutic activities, expressive art, games and stories, Monkey Business provides support and coping skills for children and their families. Monkey Business – led by trained volunteers and staff – is free and open to any child in the community, regardless of where the patient received treatment. Due to COVID-19, groups are currently being held virtually via zoom. Upcoming Monkey Business Dates: April 29, May 13 and May 27. All groups take place from 3-4 p.m. For more information or to register, call (209) 664-5044. Pre-registration is required.

Local legislators call for statewide drought emergency

 As dry conditions persist locally and throughout California for a second straight year, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday declared a drought emergency — but only in two of the state’s counties. Though Newsom has yet to declare a drought statewide, the emergency declaration for Sonoma and Mendocino counties also orders state agencies to work with local districts across California to address drought conditions through conservation, funding for water supply improvements and assistance monitoring drinking water wells.  According to the governor’s office, these steps will bolster drought resilience and prepare for impacts on communities, businesses and ecosystems should dry conditions extend to a third year.  State Senator Andreas Borgeas, who represents Turlock and is the Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman, said Newsom’s regional drought declaration for the two Northern California counties overlooks the Central Valley.  Borgeas and other lawmakers had previously sent the governor two requests asking for a statewide declaration of emergency, with the second noting U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack’s similar letter to Newsom which alerted him of 50 California counties, including Stanislaus, that had been designated by the Biden Administration as primary natural disaster areas due to drought.  Congressman Jim Costa has also gone on the record urging Newsom to declare a water emergency, while Congressman Josh Harder stated the Central Valley needs a voice in the fight and advocated for federally-supported infrastructure investments. The U.S. Drought Monitor currently shows that 100% of the state is experiencing at least abnormally dry conditions, compared to just over 58% one year ago. Nearly 97% of the state is currently in at least what is defined as a moderate drought and 85% are classified as experiencing at least severe drought conditions. Just under 50% of California is experiencing extreme to exceptional drought conditions. For information on current water conditions at the state's largest reservoirs and weather stations, visit https://cdec.water.ca.gov/snow_rain.html

Residents urged to eliminate places where mosquito breed

 As the temperatures increase, so do the number of mosquitoes which are responsible for spreading diseases such as West Nile Virus and Saint Louis encephalitis virus. The Turlock Mosquito Abatement District – which includes Ceres – reminds residents to take steps to prevent mosquitoes and mosquito‐borne diseases. During 2020, mosquitoes were responsible for causing 231 human cases and 20 horse cases of West Nile Virus in California. In Stanislaus County, there were 36 human WNV cases along with three horse cases during 2020. There was also one human case of St. Louis encephalitis virus. The district urges residents to “Dump and Drain” standing water around their properties. Residents are urged to look around their property and dump and drain any items with standing water that may allow mosquitoes to breed. In cases of larger amounts of standing water such as neglected swimming pools, ponds, water troughs, or ornamental ponds, the district encourages residents to place mosquitofish in them. Residents may contact the Turlock or Eastside Mosquito Abatement Offices to arrange for mosquitofish pickup or delivery.

Follow these tips to prevent the spread of mosquitoes and mosquito‐borne viruses:

• Apply insect repellent containing EPA‐registered active ingredients, including DEET, picaradin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535, according to label instructions. Repellents keep mosquitoes from biting;

• Avoid spending time outdoors when mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk;

• Install screens on windows and doors and keep them in good repair; 

• Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property, including in flowerpots, old tires, buckets, pet dishes and trash cans;

• Repair leaking faucets and broken sprinklers;

• Clean rain gutters clogged with leaves

• Report neglected swimming pools to the Turlock Mosquito Abatement District at turlockmosquito.org or call (209) 634‐1234.

Stanislaus County will be phasing out mass COVID vaccine clinics. Here’s when and why

Health officials believe about half the adult population age 50 to 64 in Stanislaus County is at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccine providers need to stick needles in more arms to raise the level of vaccination against the coronavirus illness, which has killed 1,035 county residents.As the turnout declines at stationary vaccine clinics, the county plans to phase out the large clinics in Modesto, Turlock and other cities and take a more targeted approach with vaccination efforts. The county will start closing down the clinics in mid-May and use mobile clinics and targeted events to continue vaccinating people who may be hesitant or can’t get out to stationary clinics. The county hopes to get more people fully inoculated before the state reopens the economy June 15 and removes restrictions from businesses and public activities.

City Hall to open Monday for first time since COVID

City officials are preparing to reopen City Hall and the Ceres Police Department for public business beginning on Monday, May 3 – the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions were enacted by the state in March 2020. City Manager Tom Westbrook said that in-person attendance at the Ceres Community Center will still be limited by the state because of assembly use requirements. The city has been installing partitions in preparation for an eventual reopening. He suggested reopening to allow the public to come in and make utility payments and attend to other business like building permits. Westbrook believes that many people will continue to pay their utility bills online or over the phone which is what many have been doing the past 13 months.

Since the state-imposed restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, persons have had the ability to make appointments to conduct business in City Hall but the doors have been locked to prevent people from freely walking in. The Ceres Police Department lobby will also open up starting Monday for folks needing to do business, such as deal with detectives, obtain copies of traffic accident reports or pay lien releases on towed vehicles. The Community Center will still fall under health guidelines limiting physical attendance to 25 percent capacity. Some recreation classes have resumed, said Westbrook, however, the city will still be limiting the numbers of people who rent rooms at the center. The Ceres Rotary Club is back to using the center for meetings. Big Valley Grace Church has also been holding worship services in the large assembly room at the center.

Ceres church hosts National Day of Prayer event

Thursday, May 6 is the National Day of Prayer and the Ceres Seventh-day Adventist Church will host a courtyard gathering beginning at 10 a.m. at their campus, 1633 N Central Avenue, Ceres. This year’s National Day of Prayer is themed, “Lord, Pour Out Your Love, Live, and Liberty.” Pastor Mark Howard, the associate pastor of the Sunnyvale SDA Church will be the guest speaker. Music will be coordinated by Pam Carter. The community is invited but the church requests those wanting to attend should RSVP by calling the Church at 538-1024. The service will also be viewable online by going to the Ceres Seventh-day Adventist Church YouTube channel. Prayer requests may be sent via email or text to: ceresprayer@yahoo.com

Business Highlights:

Addy’s Bowtique (Handmade children’s bows)

Location: 1645 Countryside Drive starting May 1

Contact information: 209-648-9138 @addys.bowtique on Instagram

From small two-inch bows to large nine-inch bows, Turlock resident Lindsay Wheeler makes it all. She can put bows on headbands for infants or on alligator clips for toddlers, and has even completed custom orders for dog collars featuring bows. They’re available in a variety of prints and sizes, with Wheeler creating themed bows for holidays and events months ahead of time, which she then posts on Instagram to advertise to her customers. 

Sole Saver Boot & Shoe Repair (Shoe and leather repair)

Location: Richland Shopping Center, 2531 E. Whitmore Ave., Ceres, Suite T

Hours: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays; closed Sundays and Mondays.

Contact information: (209) 531-1649.

Sole Saver was honored in February 2016 by the Ceres Chamber of Commerce with the “Downtown Business of the Year” award. Skilled at repairing purses, baseball gloves, belts and handbags, and even gets house slippers for repairs. 

Coronavirus update, April 29: Stanislaus County’s positivity rate continues to climb

Stanislaus County’s COVID-19 infection rate continued its rise this week, according to data released by the state. For the third time in the last five days, the county saw an above-6% positivity rate, and its 14-day rate rose above 3% for the first time in several days. A total of 1,042 residents have died from the virus since April 2020, the Health Services Agency said. The 54 new positive tests brought the total to 54,623. Stanislaus also has 567,429 negative test results and 53,092 people who are presumed recovered. The county got word Tuesday that it would remain in the red tier of the state’s pandemic response plan for a fifth straight week. It is the third most restrictive of the four tiers for business and other activities. As of Wednesday, 259,580 doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been allocated to Stanislaus County, unchanged since April 16. This includes 115,369 doses to health care providers and 144,211 to public health. It’s important to note that if you’ve had part or full vaccination, wearing a mask and keeping with all the safety precautions like social distancing is still recommended by the Centers for Disease for Control and Prevention. Also, those who have had COVID-19 still need to be vaccinated. Geographically: Modesto has 20,523 positive cases, Turlock has 7,389 and Ceres has 5,532

Thank you for tuning in to this week’s episode. Don’t forget to visit our website, localturlock.com, to stay up-to-date on our local news. You can always email me at turlock@localturlock.com and visit our Facebook at Facebook.com/localturlock and leave us some comments! Stay tuned for next week’s exciting episode! Have a great weekend and always stay safe!