Butte, Del Norte counties’ COVID-19 cases each rise to 40; pass Shasta County’s count
Tuesday, 2:40 p.m., May 26
The number of COVID-19 cases in Butte and Del Norte counties each rose to 40 as of mid-afternoon Tuesday.
On Monday, Butte County Public Health reported 35 known COVID-19 cases, while Del Norte’s cases nearly doubled from a total of 23 over the weekend to 40.
Both those counties now have more virus cases than Shasta County, which had 36 known cases Tuesday.
Butte County health officials have said two of 180 people who attended a Mother’s Day church service in Oroville have tested positive for COVID-19, The Associated Press reported Monday.
Tehama County on Tuesday announced a new virus case, bringing Tehama’s total to four. The individual who tested positive for COVID-19 is a man in his 50s.
Fourth straight day of no new cases in Shasta County
Tuesday, May 26, 5:45 p.m.
Meanwhile, Tuesday marked the fourth straight day with no new coronavirus cases in Shasta County, health officials said.
Despite no new cases, four people remained in isolation and 16 were in quarantine in Shasta County.
There have been 36 cases of coronavirus in the county and four people have died, officials said.
There have been 4,638 tests administered in Shasta County and there were no new patients in the hospital, officials said.
The latest Shasta County coronavirus patients include a woman in her 30s and a woman in her 40s, both of whom were in isolation at home, officials said.
Hair salons, barbershops given OK to reopen with restrictions
Tuesday, 1 p.m., May 26
A day after declaring that churches across the state can reopen, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday that hair salons and barbershops can start seeing customers in many California counties.
But “serious modifications” must be in place, Newsom said on Twitter.
Per The Associated Press, among the guidelines for hair salons and barbershops are that customers and workers have to wear masks during hair cuts and other close-contact services.
Shasta is one of the 47 counties in the state that have been granted variances to stay-home orders that allow them to accelerate the reopening process.
The new rules for hair salons don’t extend to all beauty services, according to AP. Nail salons still aren’t cleared to open, and hair salons shouldn’t perform services such as eyebrow waxing or facials that require a worker to touch a customer’s face.
The state’s guidelines call for customers to be screened for virus symptoms and for employees and patrons to use face coverings during hair cuts and other services, AP reported. The state suggests workers use goggles or face shields as further precaution.
In addition, the AP says hair salons and barbershops will also need to get rid of magazines and offerings such as water and coffee for customers. Reception areas must have hand sanitizer and enough space for social distancing. Work stations and stools are to be disinfected between each customer.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival will not resume 2020 season
1:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 26
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival has canceled its 2020 season.
Like other entertainment venues, the theater group’s season was postponed when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Officials originally announced a plan to reopen Sept. 8.
But after a May 7 press conference by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, the festival announced it was canceling the remainder of the 2020 season.
Brown said that large gatherings in the state would not return until at the least the end of September, and even that timeline is tenuous.
“The health and safety of our entire Ashland community, including artists, staff, volunteers, patrons, and festival partners, is our highest priority,” Nataki Garrett, OSF artistic director, said on the group’s website. “It is with great sadness that we are forced to cancel OSF’s 2020 fall season. My primary goal is to protect the future of this celebrated 85-year-old organization and to bring great theatre back to our stages in 2021.”
Census restarts field work in Northern California
Tuesday, May 26, 10 a.m.
The Census Bureau is resuming its Northern California field operations that include Shasta, Siskiyou and Tehama counties.
The bureau’s field work was suspended March 18 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Census workers will resume dropping off questionnaire packets for the 2020 Census at the front doors of households that don’t have regular mailing addresses. Those households are in rural areas that use post office boxes, Census spokeswoman Marna Davis said in an email.
Davis said the field workers have undergone training to follow physical-distancing rules. They’ll also be wearing personal protective equipment provided by the government.
“This operation is contactless and follows the most current federal health and safety guidelines,” Davis said.
The Census wants households to respond promptly using an ID number in the packet. People can respond online, by phone or by using the paper form in the packet, she said.
The questionnaire packets will be distributed to 6,734 households in Shasta County, 4,910 in Siskiyou and 1,725 in Tehama. The workers also will be going to households in 20 other Northern California counties.
Lassen Volcanic National Park to reopen Friday
Tuesday, May 26, 7:45 a.m.
Lassen Volcanic National Park will once again welcome visitors on Friday.
“Lassen Volcanic National Park will increase access with the opening of the 30-mile park highway, Butte Lake Road, Warner Valley Road, and all hiking trails (except Bumpass Hell),” the park’s website says.
The park’s campgrounds, including Manzanita Lake, are not part of this first phase of reopening.
Lassen had hoped to reopen Memorial Day weekend, but Superintendent Jim Richardson said the park had not yet received approval for its reopening plan.
The national park has been closed due to the coronavirus since March 27.
State health officials give churches the OK to reopen
California on Monday announced that churches across the state can reopen with some restrictions.
Churches that reopen must limit attendance to 25% of the building’s maximum capacity, or up to 100 attendees, the California Department of Public Health said.
“Together, our actions have helped bend the curve and reduce infections in our state,” State Public Health Officer Dr. Sonia Angell said in a news release. “As more of us may be leaving our homes, keeping physical distance, wearing face coverings in public, and washing your hands frequently are more important than ever to help protect yourself and those around you.”
Still, the new guidelines for worship encourages religious institutions to continue online services and activities to protect those who are at risk and older adults.
Per the state Department of Health, for religious services and funerals to reopen they must:
- Establish and implement a COVID-19 prevention plan for every location, train staff on the plan, and regularly evaluate workplaces for compliance.
- Train employees and volunteers on COVID-19, including how to prevent it from spreading and which underlying health conditions may make individuals more susceptible to contracting the virus.
- Implement cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
- Set physical distancing guidelines.
- Church staff members and guests also should be recommended to wear cloth face coverings. Too, the church should screen staff for temperature and symptoms at the beginning of their shifts.
In three weeks, state health officials will assess the impact of the religious services guidelines.
“This 21-day interval accounts for seven days for churches to prepare and reopen and an additional 14-day incubation period of COVID-19,” the news release said.
Meanwhile, the existing guidelines for retailers that allowed for counties that got approval to reopen stores in their area now applies across the state.
Shasta County was among several counties that received early approval, and its main shopping destination, the Mt. Shasta Mall, opened May 18.
The news that churches can reopen comes as confirmed coronavirus cases in Shasta County stood at 36 as of Monday morning.
Local health officials released new numbers Monday evening after the press deadline.
COVID-19 in Siskiyou County
7 p.m., Tuesday, May 26
On Tuesday, Siskiyou County Public Health announced the reopening of places of worship, in-store retail, hair salons and nail salons — all with modifications to allow for social distancing and hygiene.
Under county guidelines, places of worship can hold religious services and funerals that limit attendance to 25% of a building’s capacity, or up to 100 people, whichever is lower.
See a copy of the reopening plan at https://bit.ly/2zoLxtp.
As of Tuesday, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Siskiyou County remained at six, unchanged for more than a week.
All six patients were reported to have recovered, according to Siskiyou County Public Health.
Health officials conducted almost 1,553 COVID-19 tests as of 9 a.m. Tuesday. That’s enough for 3.6% of residents. Results for 17 of those tests are still pending.
Mercy Medical Center in Mount Shasta continues to offer COVID-19 screenings for essential workers, available by appointment. Testing is free to patients, and is on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at Dignity Health Mercy Medical Center, 902 Pine St. in Mount Shasta. Call 926-7132.
Other Northern California counties
7 p.m., Tuesday, May 26
On Tuesday, five counties in far Northern California reported new cases. Butte confirmed five more people tested positive for the virus. Del Norte also saw a rise in the number of cases. Glenn, Tehama, Del Norte and Mendocino counties each had one new case.
Here’s where COVID-19 case totals stand, as of Tuesday evening:
- Butte County, 40 cases
- Shasta County, 36 cases
- Glenn County, 13 cases
- Siskiyou County, 6 cases
- Colusa County, 5 cases
- Lassen County, 4 cases
- Plumas County, 4 cases
- Tehama County, 4 cases
- Trinity County, 1 case
- Modoc County, no cases
- Humboldt, 94
- Del Norte, 40
- Mendocino, 22
What COVID-19 looks like in California
Statewide, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increased to 96,733 on Monday, the California Department of Health reported Tuesday.
The total number of deaths statewide is 3,814, an increase of 19 from Sunday.
The number of positive COVID-19 hospital patients stood at 3,065 as of Monday.
The majority of hospitalized patients – 1,477 of more than 4,000 – are in Los Angeles County, followed by 317 in San Diego County and 300 in Orange County.
Here’s how California’s coronavirus cases break down by age as of Monday:
- Age 0-17: 4,872
- Age 18-49: 49,643
- Age 50-64: 23,185
- Age 65 : 18,898
- Unknown/missing: 135
Health-care workers made up 9,360 of California’s confirmed cases, according to state health officials. Of that number, 50 have died. The number of deaths dropped by one based on verification data, health officials said.
U.S. and global case numbers
As of 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. was about 1.7 million according to Johns Hopkins University.
That number includes more than 98,900 people who have died as a result of the virus, and about 385,000 who recovered from it.
Worldwide, the number of confirmed cases stood at 5.6 million.
Of that total, more than 350,000 people have died and about 2.3 million people have recovered.
Reporter Jessica Skropanic contributed to this report.
David Benda covers business, development and anything else that comes up for the USA TODAY Network in Redding. He also writes the weekly “Buzz on the Street” column. He’s part of a team of dedicated reporters that investigate wrongdoing, cover breaking news and tell other stories about your community. Reach him on Twitter @DavidBenda_RS or by phone at 1-530-225-8219. To support and sustain this work, please subscribe today.
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