5/11/20

Today was a slow day. I got up late and Penny slept in too. I took her for a run and picked up my mail. Amazon messed up the order, I ordered two flash holders and paid for two but got one. Amazon makes it almost impossible to contact them to correct the error.

The county reported six new cases of COVID-19 today, which brings the county’s total number of cases to 226. Of those cases, four people are in the hospital, including two patients in the ICU. Another 49 people are recovering at home and 172 people have recovered. Th county has had one death attributed to COVID-19. Of the 226 confirmed cases, 86 are in Paso Robles, 34 are in Atascadero, 19 in Arroyo Grande, 17 each in San Luis Obispo and Nipomo, nine in Pismo Beach, eight in San Miguel, seven in Templeton, and six in Morro Bay. Eleven inmates at the California Men’s Colony have also tested positive for the coronavirus. Another 12 patients are in communities with fewer than five cases and the health department is not disclosing those locations. County health officials say 2,180 coronavirus tests have been conducted at the public health lab. Another 2,812 tests have been conducted at private labs.

Two free coronavirus testing clinics are now open in San Luis Obispo County one in Grover Beach and Paso Robles. Appointments are required. To make an appointment, visit call 1-888-634-1123.

by T. KEITH GURNEE

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s power has seemingly gone to his head. His responses to two primary issues—the COVID-19 pandemic and California’s housing struggles — reveals he’s gone too far and it just may undo his administration. Newsom’s willingness to impose top-down, one-size-fits-all mandates upon all of California’s local governments and residents is telling. Let’s just focus on the coronavirus.

First, give Newsom some credit. Newsom’s early actions to confront the coronavirus were far better than New York Gov. Andrew Coumo’s. Newsom acted quickly; Cuomo reacted late. Cuomo’s decision forcing infected patients into rest homes condemned thousands of elderly New Yorkers to death. The much lower rates of infection and deaths in California have verified that Newsom initially performed far better than Cuomo.

However, since Newsom’s coronavirus lockdown order issued on March 4, his performance has been marked by increasingly autocratic heavy-handed dictates and secretive decisions that are weighing down all Californians. The consequences of Newsom’s latest actions are starting to look worse than the disease. Consider Newsom’s actions:

1. According to the Los Angeles Times, Newsom’s administration unilaterally entered into a number of secretive no-bid contracts with questionable contractors. As a result:

  • Newsom awarded over 80 non-competitive no-bid contracts totaling $3.7 billion right after his March 4, 2020 lockdown order.
  • Newsom’s administration executed a no-bid contract with the Chinese firm BYD for nearly $1 billion to deliver 200 million N-95 masks by May 2. Yet only 10 million masks, or only 5% of the masks ordered, were delivered by that date. BYD is on the hook to reimburse California for less than 25% of taxpayer funds wasted on that contract.
  • It also approved a $800 million no-bid contract with Alabama-based Bear Mountain Development Co. LLC for 400 million surgical masks and 200 million face shields. While they were supposed to deliver 60 million face shields and 120 million masks by May 2, less than 500,000 face shields (1/4%) and 6.7 million surgical masks (1.7%) ordered were received by that deadline.
  • These actions not only cost California taxpayers millions of dollars but also cost valuable time in responding to the needs to fight the coronavirus.
  • Instead of a foreign contractor like BYD, why couldn’t California have gone to American firms like 3M or Honeywell who are major producers of such equipment? BYD’s costs per mask was $3.30, but Honeywell delivered masks to Los Angeles for just $0.79 per mask.
  • Despite the best efforts of the LA Times to obtain details on Newsom’s no-bid contracts, the administration has refused to comply. Given what’s been discovered, perhaps one can understand Newsom’s attempted cover-up.

2. With the economic hit taken by job losses and small businesses, Californian’s are increasingly anxious about lifting restrictions and returning to work. The resultant economic stagnation has wiped out California’s budget surplus and placed the state and its cities and counties in dire straits. Yet Newsom persists on imposing his dictates on cities and counties, refusing to allow them to open regardless of their infection rates.

3. On April 30, Newsom ordered Orange County to close all beaches, incurring the wrath of the county, beachgoers, and surfers from Huntington Beach– California’s iconic “Surf City USA.”

4. Of California’s 58 counties, the LA Times found that there are 24 sparsely-populated counties in Northern California that meet all of Newsom’s standards for reopening. Yet Newsom refuses to let them.

5. On May 7, Modoc, Yuba, and Sutter counties announced they were ready to open subject to advisories to citizens. Two days later, Newsom threatened to punish those counties by withholding disaster relief funding and weaponizing the ABC to revoke liquor licenses. Modoc County, with zero reported infections, opened while urging those infected or over 65 years to continue staying in-place. Yuba and Sutter counties opened but limited the number of people inside businesses, requiring social distancing, wearing masks, and using hand sanitizers. Yet Newsom remains determined to punish them.

Here in San Luis Obispo County, we have had 226 cases of coronavirus with only one death that occurred well over a month ago. Shouldn’t we be opening sooner rather than later?

California needs to get back to work, our businesses need to reopen, and we need to renew economic activity necessary to generate revenues, not only for business owners and workers, but for the essential services provided by state and local government. Instead of Newsom’s imposing his dictums on every corner of California, he should open areas like ours and others that are performing well against the virus now.

Unfortunately, Newsom’s original response to the coronavirus seems to have morphed into an emboldened power trip. Gov. Newsom, it is time to park your ego at the door and get California moving again.

Here is what the county is currently expecting when the county allows churches to reopen. This is to be in Phase Three of their reopening plan and no date has been set for when this will happen. These requirements do not include any that the sate may put in place.

This section is for everyone who operates in the public sector.

All Employers: Section 1 includes draft recommended guidelines and best practices that all employers should follow. The best practices are written to describe the current understanding of actions that can be taken to limit or mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. It is recognized that not all the best practices can be implemented in all workplaces. In addition to these measures, additional best practices and guidelines have been identified for specific industry sectors and specific business types, as listed on the table of contents. Those specific industries should reference both Section 1 and the section(s) applicable to its business.

A. Training. Train employees on all measures and protocols applicable to their function or role prior to returning to work at place of business.

B. Signage: Template signage to be used can be found on the County’s website at: http://www.ReadySLO.org.  Provide signage at each entrance of the facility to inform employees and customers of common COVID-19 symptoms and that they must not enter the facility if they are sick with or suspect they may be experiencing COVID 19 symptoms. Provide signage regarding the social / physical distancing protocol at the facility; persons to maintain a minimum six-foot distance from non-household members as much as practicable and not engage in any unnecessary physical contact. Provide signage regarding proper hand washing technique at all hand-wash sinks. Provide signage encouraging regular hand washing in breakrooms and other locations where employee information is provided.

C. Measures to Protect Employee Health Direct all employees to stay home if sick.   Instruct employees to notify a supervisor if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough, gastrointestinal symptoms. Direct sick employees with symptoms associated with COVID-19 to be evaluated for testing by their doctor or urgent care.  Direct all employees to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. Direct all employees to maintain at least six feet distance from customers and from each other, as much as practicable. Provide face coverings to employees and encourage employees to use face covering when physical distancing is not feasible. Encourage customers to utilize face coverings when entering the facility. Separate workstations by at least six feet. Do not share office supplies, tools, etc. Provide separate seating in common areas such as break rooms and conference rooms. Utilize and encourage virtual meetings where possible.xii.Encourage telecommuting where possible. Discourage congregation of employees during breaks and lunches, unless physical distancing can be maintained. Instruct cleaning staff to wear applicable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as disposable gloves and eye protection for all tasks in the cleaning process, including handling trash. Direct staff to wash their hands immediately after removing disposable gloves. Disinfect high contact surfaces in break rooms, restrooms, and other common areas (i.e. door handles, lobbies, etc.) frequently. Those areas receiving more traffic should be disinfected more often. As a best practice, all businesses should disinfect on the following schedule and maintain a log capturing actions, at a minimum: 1.Public Restrooms: Twice daily 2.Employee Breakrooms: Daily 3.Employee Restrooms: Daily 4.Other employee shared areas: Daily 5.High contact surfaces (door handles, light switches, etc.): At least daily and more frequently if needed Sanitize incoming packages, products or materials as part of the receiving process. Direct employees to regularly clean their workstations daily, or at the start and end of their shift for shared workstations and areas. Make sanitizer / disinfectant and related cleaning supplies available to all employees at specified locations. Ensure employees frequently wash hands using soap, water and single-use paper towels. In situations where hand washing facilities are not available, provide hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol Provide hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol to all employees and customers at common points of ingress/egress and in common areas such as conference rooms, breakrooms, or other locations used by multiple employees. Provide hand sanitizer to employees at their workstation when their role requires regular interaction with customers. Post copies of measures and protocols being taken related to COVID-19 in a conspicuous place and provide to all employees.

D. Measures to Prevent Crowds from Gathering / Encourage Physical Distancing: Limit the number of customers in the facility at any one time to the maximum number which allows for customers (or groups of household members) and employees to easily maintain at least six-foot distance from one another, at all practicable times. At retail counters or in other locations where queueing is possible, placing tape or other markings at least six feet apart in customer areas inside the facility and on sidewalks at public entrances with signs directing customers to use the markings to maintain distance. If groups of household members often wait together, increase distances between markings so that separation of household groups of at least six feet is maintained. Where long lines can form, assign an employee to monitor lines in order to ensure that the maximum number of customers in the facility is not exceeded. Limit use of lobbies / waiting rooms. Develop a system(s) that allows customers to wait in cars or other locations.

Offer service by appointment-only. Offer and encourage on-line product ordering with curbside pickup or delivery. Create one-way shopping aisles in higher traffic areas. Separate order areas from pickup and delivery areas to prevent customers from gathering. Implement protections for cashiers, pharmacy workers, and other workers who normally have regular, close interaction with the public with engineering controls such as Plexiglas screens or other physical barriers, or spatial distance of at least six feet. Develop restroom occupancy plans that will help ensure 6 foot physical distancing can be accomplished, limit restrooms to single user if necessary.

E. Measures to Prevent Unnecessary Hand Contact / Increase Sanitation / Disinfection: Provide contactless payment systems or, if not feasible, sanitize payment systems frequently, depending on volume of use. Provide hand sanitizers at check-out stands/stations. Provide disinfecting wipes containing an EPA-registered disinfectant or other disinfection measure(s) for employee or customer use where appropriate. Eliminate or restrict use of self-service sampling unless provided from a single use container (personal care products, foods, etc.).v.Assign employee(s) to disinfect high-contact surfaces frequently (point of sale terminals, counters, common tables, restroom surfaces, doorknobs, phones, keyboards, light switches, etc.).

F. Additional Measures to Protect Health: Discourage customers from bringing their own bags, mugs, or other reusable items from home. Clean visibly dirty surfaces with soap and water prior to disinfecting. Use EPA-approved disinfectant against COVID-19 and read the label to make sure it meets your needs and application. A list of approved disinfectants can be found at: https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2iv.Only allow service animals into your facilities.

G. Other Considerations for Employers: Review and follow guidelines by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to develop, implement, maintain, and revise your cleaning and disinfecting plan as new information becomes available. Read instructions and wear gloves and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as specified by the manufacturer for the cleaning and disinfecting products you are using. Consider what items can be moved or removed completely to reduce frequent handling or contact from multiple people. Soft and porous materials, such as area rugs and seating, may be removed or stored to reduce the challenges with cleaning and disinfecting them. You can find additional reopening guidance for cleaning and disinfecting in the CDC’s Reopening Decision Tool. Implement flexible sick leave and supportive policies and practices. Consider how your facilities will operate if absenteeism spikes from increases in sick employees, those who stay home to care for sick family members, and those who must stay home to watch their children. Prepare to perform cleaning and disinfection if persons suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 have been in your facilities. Note: Throughout these Standards and Guidelines, face coverings shall refer to material that fully covers a person’s nose and mouth.

SECTION 10. FAITH-BASED AND COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS

In addition to the measures listed in Section 1 All Businesses, additional measures have been identified for specific industry sectors and specific business types. Employers within this Industry should implement the following additional measures:

A. No additional measures. See Section 1.

B. Signage: No additional measures. See Section 1.

C. Measures to Protect Employee Health: No additional measures. See Section1

D. Measures to Prevent Crowds from Gathering / Encourage Physical Distancing: Evaluate whether you can offer on-line or video gatherings. Ensure, through empty rows and seats, 6 feet of separation between family groups. Implement one-way foot traffic directional patterns to limit attendee interactions. Designate a foot traffic control monitor to ensure social distancing requirements are maintained. Control ingress/egress to eliminate crowding or bunching of attendees. Implement phased entrance and release, as opposed to everyone moving at once. Use ushers to provide seating assignments  Add additional services to minimize number of attendees

E. Measures to Prevent Unnecessary Hand Contact/ Increase Sanitization / Disinfection: No additional measures. See Section 1.

F. Additional Measures to Protect Health: Offer special services for immune-compromised and other vulnerable populations. Funeral ceremonies are allowed to continue but should follow all physical distancing and other protocols to limit the spread of COVID-19. Provide disposable tissues to all attendees and provide trash receptacles. Provide portable hand sanitizing stations, preferably touchless. Eucharist/Communion: Use no-interaction approaches such as placing a wafer/host in a small plastic cup or small paper candy/muffin type cup/tin and passing to the recipient via a tray on a pole or basket with a pole. Collection of Donations/Money Use no-interaction approaches such as having parishioners place gifts/tithes/donations in a basket with a pole through a vehicle and/or drop in a basket upon leaving the service. For example, have a basket/box on a table that worshippers can leave money in as they leave the service. Any person that is responsible for retrieving the donations should immediately wash their hands after handling.

To give an idea of some of the restrictions the state may put in place here are the requirements that the Democratic Governor of Kentucky have put into place:

Places of worship will be expected to meet the same Healthy at Work Minimum Requirements as businesses. In addition, places of worship will be expected to meet the requirements below in order to reopen and remain open.”

  1. Churches conducting drive-in services must ensure their congregants remain in their vehicles and not socialize through their vehicle windows.
  2. Churches conducting in-person services must limit attendance to no more than 33% of the building occupancy capacity.
  3. Maintain social distance between household units of at least six feet in all directions.
  4. Clergy, staff employees, volunteers and congregants must wear coverings (e.g., cloth mask or bandana) over their mouths and noses while attending services, to the greatest extent possible.
  5. No youth services, Sunday school or childcare services allowed until June 15.
  6. Avoid congregational or choir singing during services and instead have alternatives to congregational singing, including by playing pre-recorded or live instrumental music (e.g. pianos and guitars – no wind instruments) during services.
  7. Take congregants’ temperatures and ask about signs of illness before admitting them into the place of worship. If they do take temperatures, they should consider using a non-contact thermometer or thermal imager.
  8. Display markers and signage in the sanctuary/meeting space to guide social distancing.
  9. Ensure restrooms are only used by one person at a time/
  10. Must, to the greatest extent practicable, provide hand sanitizer, handwashing facilities, tissues, and waste baskets in convenient locations.
  11. Not provide communal food or beverages to clergy, staff employees, volunteers, or congregants.
  12. Restrict access to common areas, to the greatest extent practicable, such as foyers, lobbies, vending areas, community and multi-purpose rooms, and event spaces.
  13. Refrain from the practice of handshaking, handholding, or hugging.
  14. Ensure appropriate signage is posted throughout their facilities to inform clergy, staff-employees, and congregants about good hygiene and new practices.

How can we trust the mainstream media when they do things like this?

The State Department accused CBS News of intentionally deceived its viewers about Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Morgan Ortagus, the State Department spokeswoman, said 60 Minutes “failed to accurately portray the clear intent” of Pompeo’s remarks about the origin of the coronavirus.

CBS News “intentionally misled its viewers with a report Sunday evening that failed to accurately portray the clear intent of Secretary Pompeo’s remarks to Martha Raddatz on ABC News regarding the origin of the virus in Wuhan, China. They failed, too, to air his comments to the press from last Wednesday that provided even more clarity on the issue,” Ortagus tweeted late Sunday night. “This reporting — intending to deceive — seeks to obfuscate the Secretary’s core point: the Chinese Communist Party continues to refuse calls for transparency, thereby compounding its cover-up, and further risking American lives,” she continued.

The days of Walter Cronkite and Edward R. Murrow are long gone!

Flowers out where I run Penny.

A close up of a flower

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A close up of a flower

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©Copywrite MPFitch


Published by mpfitch

I am a retired disabled veteran and am actively involved with a Baptist Church on the Central Coast of CA. I am a photographer who likes to shoot portraits and scenic photographs.

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