Inland Empire Weekly

Public Health officer recommends face coverings during essential outings

San Bernardino County health officials are recommending people use face coverings when leaving home to conduct essential business such as grocery shopping, going to a medical appointment or visiting a pharmacy to help flatten the curve of Covid-19.  The County made the recommendation after reviewing guidance released on April 1 from the state Department of Public Health. Face coverings may include coverings that secure to the ears or back of the head and encompass the mouth and nose. Homemade cloth ear loop covers, bandannas and handkerchiefs, and neck gaiters may be used to reduce the spread of Covid-19 particularly among asymptomatic people. Staying home, practicing social distancing and frequent handwashing are far more effective ways to combat the spread of Covid-19, and face coverings are not a substitute for continuing those practices, said Acting County Public Health Officer Dr. Erin Gustafson. “Surgical masks and N95 masks should not be used because they must be preserved for healthcare workers and emergency responders,” Gustafson said. “If you do use a face covering, make sure to practice frequent hand washing before and after touching and adjusting the covering.” Wash cloth…

Governor announces aid for small businesses, workers displaced by COVID-19

Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled a series of new resources to aid small businesses and help California workers who have lost work due to COVID-19. Beginning tomorrow, California small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis can apply for a loan from the federal government for up to $10 million. Importantly, the program is first-come, first-serve and the Governor encourages all eligible California small businesses to contact their lender to learn more. Today, the Governor also announced that the state is allocating $50 million to the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank for loan guarantees to small businesses to help eliminate barriers to capital for individuals who do not qualify for federal funds, including low wealth and undocumented immigrant communities. The state is also allowing small businesses to defer payment of sales and use taxes of up to $50,000, for up to 12 months. Additionally, the Governor joined Bitwise Industries and the Kapor Center to launch OnwardCa.org, a new platform connecting displaced California workers with more than 70,000 job opportunities in critical industries. Earlier this week, Governor Newsom signed an executive order to help small businesses, granting a 90-day extension for small businesses to pay sales taxes. Governor Newsom also today announced $17.8 million in new state initiatives…

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond states students will not be returning to campuses this school year

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond released a statement Tuesday regarding the 2019-20 school year. “Due to the current safety concerns and needs for ongoing social distancing, it currently appears that our students will not be able to return to school campuses before the end of the school year. In order to allow schools to plan accordingly, and to ensure that learning still occurs until the end of the school year, we are suggesting that schools plan and prepare to have their curriculum carried out through a distance learning model. This is in no way to suggest that school is over for the year, but rather we should put all efforts into strengthening our delivery of education through distance learning. “With that said, we are doing everything we can to support our schools and their distance learning opportunities for our students. We have been providing webinars, with one coming up this week to specifically focus on serving our students with disabilities in a distance learning model. We have guidance coming out this week to address the concerns of our seniors, and even our juniors,…

Governor Newsom launches campaign to protect health and well-being of older Californians during COVID-19 pandemic

Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the “Stay Home. Save Lives. Check In.” campaign urging Californians to help combat social isolation and food insecurity among Californians who are over the age of 65 – a community that is uniquely vulnerable to COVID-19. During California’s stay at home order, older Californians may need friends and neighbors to help them obtain basic necessities like groceries and prescriptions. “The most important way for older Californians to stay safe is to stay at home,” said Governor Newsom. “No older Californian should be forced to go outside to get groceries or their medication. It’s on all of us across the state to check in on the older adults in our lives – our friends, family and neighbors – to help them during this outbreak. Each and every one of us must reach out in a safe way to make sure our older neighbors have someone to talk to and have enough food to eat during these difficult times.” The campaign urges all Californians to check in on their older neighbors with a call, text or physically-distanced door knock to make sure…

Aboard Flight AA 2270 amidst COVID-19 stay-at-home orders

American Airlines flight 2270 – Tampa, FL to Dallas, TX is the flight I just boarded, before heading to my destination, Ontario International Airport in the next connecting flight. I understand the airlines are taking precautions and deep cleaning the seats, but I also just finished wiping down the space around me; which is not new. My family and I have been wiping down the seats since we began flying, but one thing we did notice is that our wipes are no longer dirty after wiping the space down…which is alarming. Did they not clean airplanes before, after each flight? However, I just spent 3 days in Tampa Bay…yes, during the Covid-19 craze that has rocked the entire globe. A day or two before the trip, I highly considered cancelling, in order to do my part and protect the elderly, those whom may be underinsured or uninsured; but ultimately decided to board the flight on March 14 in San Diego. With numerous precautions in place, such as continuously washing hands, avoiding touching eyes, mouth and nose, utilizing hand wipes and hand sanitizer…the stress was still…

Sample collection for COVID-19 testing to be held in Victorville Apr. 2

County Public Health will conduct a drive-thru sample collection event for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the High Desert on Thursday, April 2 at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds, 14800 7th St., Victorville from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. for appointments, and 1 – 2 p.m. (or until supplies last) for walk-ins (no appointment needed) This event is open to San Bernardino County residents only. Residents can request an appointment at sbcovid19.com at 2 p.m. today, March 31. Residents who cannot access the form online can call the COVID-19 hotline at (909) 387-3911 and staff will assist in completing the request form. This event is free of charge and does not require health insurance. All persons will be pre-screened upon completing the appointment request form to ensure that all persons meet testing criteria. “With a nationwide shortage of testing supplies for COVID-19, we want to make sure that our most vulnerable populations receive testing priority,” stated Acting County Health Officer Dr. Erin Gustafson. “As more community testing is available, the better we are able to mitigate the virus. Everyone can help us fight the threat by…

Aboard AA 2270 amidst COVID-19 stay-at-home orders

American Airlines flight 2270 – Tampa, FL to Dallas, TX is the flight I just boarded, before heading to my destination, Ontario International Airport in the next connecting flight. I understand the airlines are taking precautions and deep cleaning the seats, but I also just finished wiping down the space around me; which is not new. My family and I have been wiping down the seats since we began flying, but one thing we did notice is that our wipes are no longer dirty after wiping the space down…which is alarming. Did they not clean airplanes before, after each flight? However, I just spent 3 days in Tampa Bay…yes, during the Covid-19 craze that has rocked the entire globe. A day or two before the trip, I highly considered cancelling, in order to do my part and protect the elderly, those whom may be underinsured or uninsured; but ultimately decided to board the flight on March 14 in San Diego. With numerous precautions in place, such as continuously washing hands, avoiding touching eyes, mouth and nose, utilizing hand wipes and hand sanitizer…the stress was still…

Amid school closures, KVCR teams up with Riverside, San Bernardino county schools

As schools suspend classes to slow the spread of COVID-19, the local PBS and NPR member station, Empire KVCR, launched a partnership with the Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE) and the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools (SBCSS) to support at-home learning. Empire KVCR is now offering students, families and teachers programming aligned to California’s state curriculum on TV Channel 24 and kvcr.org/education.   “Our children will be our future scientists, doctors, nurses, and first responders, and they’re at home right now, eager to learn and grow,” says San Bernardino Community College District Interim Chancellor Jose Torres. “Even though schools may be closed, we must continue working together – families and educators – to nurture the life potential of our students.”  San Bernardino Community College District owns the broadcast license for Empire KVCR. As part of the collaboration, the station is tailoring its weekday television schedule for students in Pre-K through high school. The Riverside County Office of Education and San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools are developing additional at-home learning content for high school students.  “More than one million preschool to college-aged students in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties have seen…

County COVID-19 dashboard now includes confirmed cases by city

The County COVID-19 dashboard now includes confirmed cases of COVID-19 by city. The dashboard can be viewed on wp.sbcounty.gov/dph/coronavirus. “The number of cases by city provides a picture of community spread within our county,” stated County Acting Health Officer Dr. Erin Gustafson. “However, residents of cities not listed or with low case numbers should assume and behave as if there are cases within their communities and comply with the statewide stay-at-home order. Residents of cities that are listed should not panic and feel the need to go somewhere else. I cannot stress strongly enough the importance of staying at home and practicing good hygiene to reduce further community spread.” The city data added today is intended to represent the places of residence for each confirmed case within the county, regardless of where they were tested or where they might be hospitalized. Cities and communities not listed have zero confirmed cases.Those who view the data should also keep in mind that residence data is based on information contained on lab slips that accompany test results. In some cases, that information might pertain the hospital where a…

Governor Newsom establishes statewide moratorium on evictions

Governor Gavin Newsom today issued an executive order banning the enforcement of eviction orders for renters affected by COVID-19 through May 31, 2020. The order prohibits landlords from evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent and prohibits enforcement of evictions by law enforcement or courts. It also requires tenants to declare in writing, no more than seven days after the rent comes due, that the tenant cannot pay all or part of their rent due to COVID-19. The tenant would be required to retain documentation but not required to submit it to the landlord in advance. And the tenant would remain obligated to repay full rent in a timely manner and could still face eviction after the enforcement moratorium is lifted. The order takes effect immediately, and provides immediate relief to tenants for whom rent is due on April 1st. Today’s action builds on Governor Newsom’s previous executive order authorizing local governments to halt evictions for renters impacted by the pandemic. The post Governor Newsom establishes statewide moratorium on evictions appeared first on Inland Empire Community News.

Newson announces 90-day mortgage payment relief during COVID-19 crisis

Governor Gavin Newsom announced that financial institutions will provide major financial relief for millions of Californians suffering financially as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. “Millions of California families will be able to take a sigh of relief,” said Governor Newsom. “These new financial protections will provide relief to California families and serve as a model for the rest of the nation. I thank each of the financial institutions that will provide this relief to millions of Californians who have been hurt financially from COVID-19.” Governor Newsom secured support from Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo and nearly 200 state-chartered banks, credit unions, and servicers to protect homeowners and consumers. Under the Governor’s proposal, Californians who are struggling with the COVID-19 crisis may be eligible for the following relief upon contacting their financial institution: 90-Day Grace Period for Mortgage Payments Financial institutions will offer, consistent with applicable guidelines, mortgage payment forbearances of up to 90 days to borrowers economically impacted by COVID-19. In addition, those institutions will: Provide borrowers a streamlined process to request a forbearance for COVID-19-related reasons, supported with available documentation;…

The teenager’s guide to getting through isolation

The times we are living in are crazy. The global pandemic, COVID-19, seems to be the only thing anyone is talking about. The fast spread of this deadly virus has led many countries to go on lockdown, and many others are isolating themselves from the outside world. This includes teenagers. As a teenager, not being able to hang out with friends is pretty rough, but there are a few things you can do to get through this crazy period of time. One thing teens can do is go on a walk. Many health organizations have said going outside and walking is fine, and won’t put you at risk. If you have a pet, walk your pet!  If not, take a jog around your block. This allows you to stay healthy and breath some fresh air. Another activity is playing board games.  Yes, it sounds crazy, but board games can be a very fun family activity. Games like Scrabble, Life and Scattergories can provide some hour long entertainment, all while preventing any spread of germs.   Now, this next one may be unpopular, but change out of your Pajamas once in a…

31 cases of COVID-19 recorded within county

San Bernardino County today reported a total of 31 cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), an increase of 14 since Sunday afternoon. The County has no deaths attributable to the disease. Additional cases are expected to emerge as more test results are reported to the County. California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the State Public Health Officer on March 19 issued a statewide stay-at-home order with exceptions for essential tasks and services. See details here: https://covid19.ca.gov/stay-home-except-for-essential-needs/.“These orders are not intended to cause panic, but rather reduce the spread of infection and minimize the number of people who get sick at any one time to keep our healthcare system functioning,” said Acting County Health Officer Dr. Erin Gustafson. “We have evidence of community spread of COVID-19 in our County and urge everyone to take this very seriously. I strongly urge everyone to do their part by practicing social distancing and staying at home.” The Acting County Health Officer and the Board of Supervisors have declared a local health emergency to help ensure county government and the public are prepared and allow flexibility in response. Various county departments and…

San Bernardino County school districts extend school closures through May 1

In a unified effort to protect the health of students, staff and school communities, San Bernardino County Superintendent Ted Alejandre and school district superintendents countywide, in collaboration with the County Department of Public Health, made the collective decision to extend public school closures at least through May 1. “Because of the increasing spread of the novel coronavirus in our region and across the state, we are taking a proactive and aggressive approach to maintain the health, safety and well-being of our schools and communities,” County Superintendent Alejandre said. “These are very difficult circumstances for our education leaders, since developments with this virus are happening so quickly,” he added. “I fully support our district superintendents’ collective decision to do what is best for our students, employees and families across our county.” Most districts in the county decided on March 13 to close schools as a preventative measure to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Since the closures, confirmed cases of COVID-19 in San Bernardino County continue to rise. On March 17, the Board of Supervisors issued a countywide order to help stop the spread of…

Governor Newsom issues Executive Order to suspend standardized testing for students in response to COVID-19 outbreak

To reduce the strain on students, families and educators during the COVID-19 outbreak, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order on Wednesday, Mar. 18 to waive, pending federal approval, this year’s statewide testing for California’s more than 6 million students in K-12 schools. “This time is stressful enough for students, families and educators without the additional burden of annual testing,” said Governor Newsom. “This is an unprecedented time, and our main focus is on supporting the mental and socioemotional health of students, while continuing to provide educational opportunities such as distance learning.” “I appreciate the Governor’s leadership here and recognizing that under the current circumstances, the last thing our students need is to be confronted with a test,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond. “Our districts need some relief and this decision is in the best interest of our students and our state.” “As schools are struggling to maintain instruction, feed students, and provide child care, they need to focus first and foremost on these pressing responsibilities,” said California State Board of Education President Linda Darling-Hammond. “The safety and well-being of children and staff has to…

Two new cases of novel coronavirus recorded within county

San Bernardino County today reported its fourth and fifth case of novel coronavirus. The county reported its first case on Sunday. Additional cases have been expected to emerge as private lab testing begins ramping up. In an effort to protect the public from further spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, the County’s Acting Health Officer on Tuesday ordered the cancellation of gatherings of any number of people within the county starting tomorrow through at least April 6, with key exceptions for work, public transportation, airport travel, grocery stores, charitable food distribution, certified farmers’ markets, and shopping at stores or malls. The order also requires, starting today, the closing of all movie theatres, gyms, health clubs, bars, adult entertainment establishments, and other businesses that serve alcohol but do not serve food. Food and beverage establishments must follow guidance issued by the California Department of Public Health on Monday (http://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/OPA/Pages/NR20-024.aspx). The order does not apply to congregate living situations, including dormitories and homeless encampments. All San Bernardino County public schools have voluntarily closed as part of the effort to stop the spread of the virus, according…

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