Today I met with two church members to visit. We meet where I take Penny for her runs. I did a quick stop at the store to pick up a few items I needed and just now as I was writing this, I remembered I left those items in the truck. Tonight, I have a church leadership meeting.
Today county health reported one new case of COVID-19, bring the total cases to 279. Health officials report 4 people hospitalized, with 3 in ICU, 18 people are recovering at home, and 256 people have recovered. There has been one death in the county from the virus.
The top four locations in the county for number of cases are Paso Robles with 120 cases, Atascadero with 39 cases, Arroyo Grande with 23 cases, and Nipomo with 22 cases.
Protesters gathered outside San Luis Obispo’s City Hall for another demonstration Wednesday. It is the city’s third protest since Sunday. The protest got underway at 2 p.m.
Demonstrators held up signs reading “Black Lives Matter” and “Murderers Belong in Jail,” in reference to the four Minneapolis police officers charged in connection with the death of George Floyd.
Organizers told the crowd, “We don’t want to bring any harm, any violence, to the city.”
Protesters then began to march through city streets with police helping to block traffic and freeway on- and off- ramps.
City Hall was surrounded with caution tape ahead of the protest. It was already closed to the public because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re their partner in this today,” said Police Chief Deanna Cantrell. “[The caution tape] was just so that no cops had to be out here. They don’t have to see any of us. The only cops you’re going to see today is trying to block cars from hitting them. We’re all on the same page.”
Protesters said they will continue to support rallies like this one until real change happens.
“As far as how long the protests go, it’s entirely up to how they feel that what they need to get across has gotten across,” said protester Alan Hernandez.“I’ll keep showing up as long as they feel that they need the support and backup of white allies.”
City officials told KSBY News that they support peaceful protests and there were no immediate plans for a curfew; however, the city may choose to enact a curfew, “should there be actual or threatened widespread property damage or threats to public health and safety.”
San Luis Obispo County government offices located downtown closed down at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, apparently in anticipation of the protest. That includes the new government center, courthouse annex, old courthouse, Child Support Services, Parks Department, and the library.
All of the downtown county facilities are expected to reopen on Thursday at their regular times.
On Monday, San Luis Obispo police used tear gas to disperse a crowd of protesters after a nearly six-hour-long protest. The protest began at Mission Plaza at 2 p.m. that day and protesters spent the next several hours marching through city streets. At one point, they ended up on Highway 101, blocking traffic in both directions.
Police Chief Deanna Cantrell said that in an effort to prevent protesters from entering the freeway a second time, police set up a blockade at the intersection of Santa Rosa and Walnut streets. Protesters were warned to disperse, and shortly after 8 p.m., officers began to push the crowd back, using tear gas and pepper balls to break up the demonstrators.
Chief Cantrell said the department had also received several reports warning of looting and that the peaceful protest could turn violent, which factored into the decision to disperse the protesters.
Democratic Governors said they support large-scale protests, a reversal from mandating social distancing and lockdowns since March.
“I stand behind the protesters and their message,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.
He noted earlier in the day, though, that protests “could exacerbate COVID-19 spread.”
“We spent all this time closed down, locked down, masks, social distanced. And then you turn on the TV, and you see these mass gatherings that could potentially be infecting hundreds and hundreds of people, after everything we have done,” he said in his press briefing.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also encouraged peaceful demonstrations Monday. She lifted Michigan’s stay-at-home order Monday, 11 days ahead of schedule, and told Michiganders to “stay smart, stay safe, and let’s all do our part.”
She also announced Monday that restaurants will be able to reopen at limited capacity next week. Gatherings of fewer than 100 people are now permitted, meaning massive protests are still illegal under the state’s gradual reopening plan.
Whitmer added that she has “a high level of concern” about the possibility of the virus being spread at protests.
“A lot of the early in the day events, where it really was a peaceful protest, people were wearing masks. As nighttime came … we saw fewer masks, and that is concerning,” she said.
Protests broke out in Washington, D.C., over the weekend as well. Mayor Muriel Bowser implemented a citywide curfew Monday starting at 7 p.m., just two days after announcing that restaurants can start reopening for outdoor service at limited capacity.
Bowser said on Meet the Press Sunday that people who participate in protests should also get tested for the coronavirus, as social distancing is difficult in large crowds.
“Where I saw some people social distancing, others were right on top of each other,” Bowser said. “We don’t want to compound this deadly virus and the impact that it’s had in our community.”
Public health officials are increasingly worried that the protests, occurring in roughly 75 cities, will cause a resurgence of coronavirus cases.
“All things considered, there’s little doubt that these protests will translate into increased risk of transmission for COVID-19,” Maimuna Majumder, an epidemiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, told the Atlantic.
Gilead Sciences, the California-based biotech company behind possible coronavirus treatment remdesivir, said Monday that the drug improved symptoms when given to moderately ill, hospitalized patients with COVID-19 for five days. The drug, administered intravenously, has been granted emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration but has not been clinically proven to be an effective treatment for the coronavirus disease. The company said the full results of a recent study would be published in a medical journal soon, ABC News reported.
Experts at the World Health Organization said Monday that there was no proof to support an assertion from high-profile doctor Alberto Zangrillo, head of intensive care at Italy’s San Raffaele Hospital in Lombardy, that the new coronavirus “clinically no longer exists” because it has lost potency. WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove said that there is no evidence to that effect, the New York Times reported. “In terms of transmissibility [of the virus], that has not changed, in terms of severity [of COVID-19], that has not changed,” she said.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced it will be toughening penalties for nursing homes in response to a large number of deaths of both nursing home residents and employees during the pandemic. Fines will increase for nursing homes that consistently perform poorly in infection control. An estimated 26,000 nursing home residents and 450 workers have died from COVID-19.
The Metropolitan Opera canceled its fall season in response to the pandemic. It last performed on March 11, and many of its performers have not been paid since then. The Met said it hopes to reopen on New Year’s Eve.
The stock market had a strong start for June, ending higher later Monday despite a weekend of tense protests that could lead to the second wave of COVID-19 and economic downturn. By the end of the day, the Nasdaq was just 2.7% below its all-time high on February 19.
With summer starting and warmer weather the number of people at the beach is increasing.
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