Tag Archives: gavin newsom

NEW LAW TO ASSIST INMATE FIREFIGHTERS

Over the course of 2020, California has seen over 9,500 fires and over 4 million acres of land burned. In 2020, catastrophic wildfires stretched the State of California and firefighting crews to the near breaking point. In response, Assembly Bill 2147 was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom in September. With the law set to take effect in the new year, reporter Cassidy Taylor has the details…

For decades, thousands of inmate firefighters have battled wildfires across the state, working alongside professional firefighters in the same hazardous conditions. Assembly Bill 2147 will make it easier for inmate firefighters to earn an emergency medical technician certification after their release by expunging their felony record. The certification is often the first step in becoming a professional firefighter in most cities and counties. With their record eliminated, they could be considered for EMT programs and jobs the same as any other applicant. Former inmates convicted of violent offenses, including murder, kidnapping and arson, would automatically be ineligible from having their records expunged. California has approximately 3,700 incarcerated people working in the inmate firefighting program, with about 2,600 qualified to work fire lines.

FEELING THE HEAT, CALIFORNIA REOPENS PLAYGROUNDS

California changed its rules Wednesday to allow outdoor playgrounds to stay open in regions under strict stay-at-home orders, apparently swayed by broad criticism that closing them would harm children who have few options to safely romp outside. On its website, the state said playgrounds could stay open to “facilitate physically distanced personal health and wellness through outdoor exercise.”

Playground advocates have said children need fresh air and exercise for their emotional and physical health, and many do not have access to private backyards. Fraught parents also need a place to take their cooped-up kids, advocates said.

Many of the state’s 40 million residents are subject to the latest round of stay-home orders. Gov. Gavin Newsom has come under heavy criticism for the closure of children’s playgrounds when the administration has repeatedly said being outdoors is safer than indoor operations and there is little evidence of virus spread on play structures. Don’t call for playdates though, the state says don’t gather with other families, only members of the same household should gather together to minimize the risk of spreading the virus.

NEW STAY AT HOME ORDER TRIGGERED BY HOSPITAL AVAILABILITY

Governor Newsom’s new stay-at-home order for California is based on the percentage of intensive care beds that are available in a region. According to the order, a region must have at least 15 percent of its ICU beds available for the region’s businesses to stay open. San Bernardino County is in the southern California region, and as of Sunday evening, the region’s ICU availability was at 10.3 percent. This means that all private gatherings of any size are prohibited. Barbershops and hair and nail salons must close, restaurants are limited to take-out and delivery only, and the number of patrons inside retail stores and shopping centers is limited to 20% of its capacity.

Todd Burke, a spokesman for Tenant Healthcare, which runs Hi-Desert Medical Center, said the hospital in Joshua Tree has four ICU beds, which were all in use Friday. Of those four ICU beds, Burke said only one bed was in use by a COVID-19 patient. He stressed the hospital has the capability to increase its number of ICU beds, if necessary, and provide the same ICU-level of care in the surge beds if needed.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER

The stay-at-home order will be in place for three weeks and will bar gatherings of people from different households. Under the order, the following businesses/recreational facilities will be forced to close:

indoor and outdoor playgrounds;
indoor recreational facilities;
hair salons and barbershops;
personal care services;
museums, zoos, and aquariums;
movie theaters;
wineries;
bars, breweries and distilleries;
family entertainment centers;
cardrooms and satellite wagering;
limited services;
live audience sports; and
amusement parks.

Schools with waivers will be allowed to remain open, along with “critical infrastructure” and retail stores, which will be limited to 20% of capacity. Restaurants will be restricted to takeout and delivery service only.

Hotels would be allowed to open “for critical infrastructure support only,” while churches would be restricted to outdoor only services.

Entertainment production—including professional sports—would be allowed to continue without live audiences. Some of those restrictions are already in effect in select counties.

STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS COULD START SUNDAY

Stay-at-home orders that would affect the Morongo Basin could start Sunday. Governor Newsom’s stay-at-home order for California is based on the percentage of intensive care beds that are in use. According to the order, a region must have at least 15 percent of its ICU beds available in order for the region’s businesses to stay open. San Bernardino County is in the southern California region, and as of Friday evening, the region’s ICU availability was at 13 percent. This means that if the percentage doesn’t improve Saturday, barbershops and hair salons must close Sunday, restaurants will be limited to take-out and delivery only, and capacity inside retail stores and shopping centers will be maxed at 20 percent. Todd Burke, a spokesman for Tenant Healthcare, which runs Hi-Desert Medical Center, says the hospital in Joshua Tree has four ICU beds. Burke said they were all occupied as of Friday, although only one bed was in use by a COVID patient. He stressed the hospital has the capability to increase its number of ICU beds, if necessary, and provide the same ICU-level of care in other beds if needed. 

SPIKE IN COVID-19 CASES BRINGS A NEW STAY-AT-HOME ORDER

Due to the rapid growth in COVID-9 cases and a substantial increase in hospitalizations and ICU admissions, Governor Newsom announced a new stay-at-home order that will affect San Bernardino and other southern California counties. The order is expected to take effect Saturday and remain in place for three weeks. In issuing the stay-at-home order, Newsom said the concern is that the state’s hospitals will become overwhelmed. The threshold for closures is if a region’s hospitals’ intensive care units are at 85 percent of capacity or more. Regions that are shut down will be required to close indoor and outdoor playgrounds; personal care services, such as hair and nail salons; museums, zoos, and family entertainment centers; bars and wineries; and hotels, motels, and overnight campgrounds. Restaurants will return to take-out services only, and retail stores will be limited to 20 percent of their capacity. Non-essential travel will be banned. Schools that have received a waiver may still remain open, as well as doctors’ and dentists’ offices.

State of California graphic