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California could re-open by June 15

in business

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Tuesday that the entire state would be able to re-open without many of the COVID-19 restrictions by mid-June, as long as the vaccine supply is sufficient and the hospital rate remains low.

A statewide mask mandate would likely remain, but other restrictions detailed in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy would likely come to an end by June 15.

“We can confidently say by June 15 that we can start to open up as business as usual, subject to ongoing mask-wearing and ongoing vigilance,” Newsom said. “So, this is a big day."

The announcement came as the California Department of Public Health announced that a total of 4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to Californians in some of the state's hardest-hit communities, increasing immunity where the state's transmission rates and disease burden have been the highest during the pandemic.

"California is making great progress in administering COVID-19 vaccine doses," said Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of California's Health and Human Services Agency. "We must continue to do our best to vaccinate Californians as safely and quickly as possible. Our vaccine equity focus remains the right thing to do and ensures we are having the greatest impact in reducing transmission, protecting our health care delivery system and saving lives."

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Natomas Unified School District sets re-opening plan

in Education

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Natomas Unified School District is paving the way to re-opening in-person school instruction, its board of trustees announced Thursday.

The district plans to use a phased approach to returning to the classroom with students possibly resuming on-campus learning as soon as Nov. 16, the district said.

Six benchmarks would need to be met before students could come back to school.

"To be clear, this would NOT be a full re-opening, but a transitional re-opening that would have significantly less students in classes and on campus each day," NUSD Superintendent Chris Evans said in a press release.

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Stanislaus County restaurants, customers celebrate re-opening indoors in red tier

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MODESTO, Calif. — Businesses in Stanislaus County are celebrating after finally being moved into California's "red tier" of re-opening on Tuesday afternoon.

The red tier means restaurants, movie theaters, churches, and other businesses can re-open indoors at 25% capacity. Many of the business owners and even some regulars say they're breathing a major sigh of relief.

"I've been missing it really, really, really bad," Marshall Rivers said.
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Stanislaus County businesses await move into California’s red tier

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STANISLAUS COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — Business owners were disheartened Thursday to hear that Stanislaus County would remain in the purple tier, the most restrictive tier in the state’s reopening plan.

Rich Lowdermilk is the owner of Buckhorn Grill in Modesto, which opened just two years ago.

“When the food comes out right, people are usually, ‘Wow, this is, you know, some of the best tri-tip I’ve ever had,’” Lowdermilk told FOX40.

He’s just one of many restaurant owners in Stanislaus County who have been struggling to survive during the pandemic.

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Stanislaus National Forest reopens after two-week closure

in Environment

The Stanislaus National Forest, closed two weeks ago by federal authorities due to the threat of wildfires, is open again for day use from dawn to sundown with no fires allowed anywhere in the 1,400-square-mile area, which includes 42 percent of the land in Tuolumne County and 11 percent of Calaveras County.

An updated closure order was issued Sunday morning by federal forest administrators in Vallejo, Solano County, in the north Bay Area.

Fire restrictions remain in effect at all elevations in the Stanislaus National Forest.

The restrictions “prohibit using any ignition sources, including campfires, propane or gel-fuel stoves and smoking materials,” Forest Service communications staff said.
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Turlock private schools hoping to reopen in person

in Education

Despite Gov. Gavin Newsom’s announcement last week that shut down any plans to reopen campuses in Stanislaus County, two private schools in Turlock are hoping they’ll be exempt from the edict when it’s time for students to return to class next month.

Newsom on Friday forbade schools — both private and public — located in counties on the state’s coronavirus watchlist from holding in-person classes until it’s deemed safe to do so. Stanislaus County has been on the list as a COVID-19 hotspot since mid-June, with cases on the rise in the region and ICU beds in local hospitals full.

Prior to Newsom’s announcement, Turlock Christian Schools (TK-12) and Sacred Heart Catholic School (TK-8) had intended on moving forward with their individual plans to reopen with stringent health guidelines in place. Now, both private schools are exploring options and looking at data in order to still do so.

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‘We seem to be ground zero right now’ | Stanislaus County’s reopening might be hitting a snag

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STANISLAUS COUNTY, Calif. — Nearly 40% of Stanislaus County's current coronavirus cases were reported in the past two weeks, and, now they have some pressure from the state to consider backtracking on their reopening.

On Sunday, Governor Gavin Newsom ordered a handful of counties to close their bars. That included Stanislaus County's neighbor to the north, San Joaquin County. Stanislaus County itself is being asked to consider issuing a local health order to close their bars as the county deals with an increase in virus cases.

The recommendation from the governor doesn't come as a surprise to Stanislaus County Supervisor Vito Chiesa. He's noticed an increase in cases for younger people and believes that trend might be part of the governor's reasoning for bar closures.
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Stanislaus County bars, gyms ready for reopening. Here’s what to expect when you go

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This weekend you’ll be able to raise a glass or a barbell officially again as bars, gyms and close to a dozen other industries reopen across Stanislaus County from their nearly three-month coronavirus shutdowns.

While some drinking and fitness establishments in the region have already opened, thanks largely to local officials announcing they would look the other way instead of enforcing business closures, the county has now given all the green-light to welcome back patrons this Friday, June 12.

Other industries the county has also OKed include wineries, hotels for tourism, family entertainment centers, museums, card rooms, campgrounds and outdoor recreation. The state also said movie theaters may begin reopening Friday with local approval as well.

Continue Reading on The Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County website teaches business owners how to safely reopen during pandemic

in business

MODESTO, Calif. (KTXL) — When it comes to tacos, burritos and nachos, the chefs at Taqueria Mis Compadres on Sylvan Avenue in Modesto know how to cook it up.

But when it comes to state and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on reopening amid the COVID-19 crisis, manager Nayeli Vazquez told FOX40 she and her staff got a little help.

“It’s not only basic training but it reinforces everything that you should be doing in a restaurant already,” said Vazquez.

Dave White is the CEO of Opportunity Stanislaus and he told FOX40 that county leaders worked to ensure mom-and-pop shops had access to CDC and state guidelines on how to safely reopen.

Continue Reading on Fox 40

Turlock farmers market celebrates opening day

in Economy

As businesses throughout Turlock begin to reopen with precautions during the coronavirus pandemic, one of the community’s favorite places to gather and shop returned to Main Street on Saturday with the new season of the Turlock Certified Farmers Market.

The downtown market filled with locally grown produce and handcrafted goods typically opens during the first weekend of May, but stay-at-home orders throughout the state forced the TCFM Board to postpone the outdoor shopping event until June. It was TCFM Board President Brandon Follett’s hope that despite nearby markets starting back up at that time, a later opening date would put TCFM in step with other downtown businesses as they were slowly allowed to reopen.

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