Karen Lehman
Karen Lehman
12:00pm - 6:00pm

Sonoma County News

Churches Reopening

California's churches, mosques and synagogues have gotten the nod to reopen their doors sooner than expected under new state guidelines. Yesterday, the public health department released a framework for counties deciding whether to allow churches to restart in-person services. The guidelines require a written plan for meeting county orders, strict cleaning rules, masks to be worn, temperatures taken, and number reduced to 25% of worshippers per service. (photo courtesy tabloidPH)


Sonoma County Worker Health App

Starting June 1st, as Sonoma County workers return to work in office buildings, they will have to screen themselves using a new phone app, then their bosses will verify the findings. The app created by IBM is called SoCoCovid 19 Check and will give health officials information they need to make decisions in order for the county to reopen. (photo courtesy 9to5Google)


Psych Hospital

Sonoma County is closer to having a psychiatric health facility. Sonoma County Supervisors approved a master agreement to create a PHF at the former Valley of the Moon Children's Center off Highway 12 in Sonoma Valley. Currently, when a patient needs psychiatric care, they are transported to facilities out of the county. The new plan would allow patients to be treated closer to home. (photo courtesy Sonoma Index-Tribune)


More County Openings Today

Friday afternoon, 5/22/20, Sonoma County Health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase amended the Shelter In Place order, following the state's Phase 2 plan. Restaurants may now open for outdoor dining only, including at wineries, breweries, and bars that serve food. Also allowed now are summer day-camp programs and drive-in ceremonies, (including graduations and religious activities), and operation of drive-in movies. And, libraries can now offer curbside pickup. (photo courtesy TripAdvisor)


SRJC Graduation Ceremonies

Graduation ceremonies for Santa Rosa Junior College will take place on line tonight and tomorrow. Tonight at 5pm, SRJC will livestream a recognition of completed certificate programs, and then tomomrrow morning at 9am, SRJC will live stream a graduation video. Both of these will be available at live.santarosa.edu. (photo courtesy Google sites)


Memorial Tributes

The pandemic has changed the way we will be able to celebrate Memorial Day. There will be no public gatherings or fly-overs, speeches or salutes, to honor those who gave their lives in service, to their country. Instead, there will be an opportunity to become silent, and reflect on the sacrafices. Local veterans are asking the community, on Memorial Day, at 11 am, to pause, reflect on, or pray for all Americans who did not come home from war. (photo courtesy Patch)


Memorial Day Weekend Travel

With Memorial Day weekend coming up, normally we would expect to see travel predictions. But, for the first time in 20 years, AAA says they will not be releasing their annual report prior to the traditional start to the summer vacation season, because of the significantly reduced number of drivers under shelter in place orders. Airports are reporting up to 95% less passengers this year. (photo courtesy Boston Globe)


Memorial Day Weekend Beaches

Memorial Day Weekend is upon us, but unlike any in our lifespans with the closure of beaches remaining in place. Parking lots will be closed, and the beaches off limits for picnics and sunbathing. Sonoma County Health Officer Dr. Mase said it was too soon to make a move yet, as her department evaluates the results of opening local park access last week. Locals can walk or bike to the coast during the mornings and evenings, but access is closed between 11am - 5pm. (photo courtesy Active At The Beach)


Sonoma County COVID 19 Testing

Sonoma County has recently completed a huge number of tests for the coronavirus, and with that, an increase of COVID 19 cases added to the list. County health officials are working with more people who are trained to be contract tracers, those who follow up with everyone the infected person had been in contact with over the past few weeks. (photo courtesy PBS)


SMART Freight Hauling

SMART, is now poised to take over North Bay freight hauling. Yesterday, the SMART board approved a multi million dollar, state sponsored plan for SMART to be sole owener of the rail line from larkspur to north of Cloverdale. The deal makes SMART one of the small number of U.S. passenger systems that also own, or operate, freight service. (photo courtesy Patch)


College Reopening

Growing numbers of U.S. colleges are pledging to reopen this fall, but they're planning dramatic changes to campus life to keep the coronavirus at bay. Big lectures will be a thing of the past. Dorms will house a fraction of their usual capacity. Students will face mandatory virus testing. Those planning to reopen include Purdue University and Texas A&M University and the University of Notre Dame. The California State University system, in contrast, has said its 23 campuses will stay online this fall. (photo courtesy Fastweb)


Church Discrimination

The head of the federal Justice Department's Civil Rights Division has told Governor Newsom that his plan to reopen California discriminates against churches. Restaurants and other secular businesses are being allowed to reopen under social distancing guidelines but not churches, which are limited to online and similar services. Newsom says churches and other religious institutions are part of stage 3 reopenings, which could take weeks to initiate. (photo courtesy Yelp)


Santa Rosa Minimum Wage

Santa Rosa will be increasing the minimum wage in July as scheduled before the coronavirus. Yesterday , the city council unanimously decided to allow local low wage workers to be paid at least $15 per hour. Some local restaurant owners wanted a delay of the procesws because of the economic impact of the coronavirus on their businesses. (photo courtesy Manpower Chains)


Pier 1 Closing

Pier 1 is going under. The company that specializes in selling wicker chairs and scented candles says it's going out of business and will permanently close all 540 of its stores, including the one on Santa Rosa Ave. Pier 1 filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this year _ but was unable to find a buyer. Pier 1 says it will begin going-out-of-business sales once it reopens stores shut down for now due to the coronavirus pandemic. (photo courtesy Pier 1)


Airport Passenger Numbers

As we head into what would be the travel season, the numbers of passengers taking flights in and out of Sonoma County is staggeringly low. The Charles M Schulz Sonoma County Airport reports a decline of 93% last month, compared to last year at this time. In 2019, the airport set a record number of more than 488,000 passengers, an aaaaaverage of more that 1300 per day. Now, its less than 50 passengers per day. (photo courtesy Sonoma County Airport)


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