Latest California Healthline Stories
Evacuees Face Arduous Task Of Returning Home: Favorable weather helped firefighters battling three epic Northern California wildfires, but tens of thousands of people still under evacuation orders were left wondering: When can we go home? Some North Bay evacuees were allowed to return home Tuesday, but firefighters had no clear answer for nearly 80,000 residents forced last week to leave their homes in the Santa Cruz Mountains. “Please be patient with us, we’re doing the best we can with the resources we have,” said Ian Larkin, chief of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s CZU unit in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties. “We’re in this for the long haul.” Read more from John Woolfolk, Ethan Baron and Annie Sciacca of the Bay Area News Group.
More Counties Off Watchlist As Governor Reports COVID Progress: Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday said California is seeing a modest downward trend in confirmed coronavirus cases: "Progress is being made." Daily cases fell below 5,000 to 4,946 after averaging 7,622 over the last two weeks, The Mercury News reports. Hospitalizations have also eased. As five counties come off the monitoring list, state officials are expected to announce guidelines for reopening some businesses by the end of the week. The Los Angeles Times and Deadline have more information.
Dual Crises Stress California's Health Workers: Exhausted doctors and health care personnel treat respiratory hospitalizations and displaced people caused by the state's three raging wildfires -- and they're doing so during already-strained conditions from the pandemic. News outlets offer up a variety of stories that describe the difficult working conditions, and their impact on care:
Evacuees Struggle To Make Safe Choices: Thousands of evacuees fleeing more than 300 fires rampaging through the Bay Area and across Northern California are being forced to make quick decisions about where to go and what to do after the coronavirus pandemic forced dramatic changes in emergency procedures. Many are reluctant to crowd inside shelters and evacuation centers with strangers for fear of spreading COVID-19. Read more from Peter Fimrite and Trish Thadani of the San Francisco Chronicle and Kellen Browning of The New York Times.
Thousands Flee Wildfires As Smoke And Ash Choke The Air: Evacuations widened in the San Francisco Bay Area overnight as wildfires ringing the region scorched hundreds of square miles of land, edged toward San Jose and produced perhaps the world’s worst air quality. In all, more than 349,000 acres have burned in Northern and Central California. The largest cluster of fires overnight was in wine country, the LNU Lightning Complex fire, which triggered the evacuation of nonessential personnel from Travis Air Force Base in Solano County and patients from Adventist Health St. Helena hospital in Napa County. According to the website PurpleAir, the Bay Area was home to the world’s worst air quality overnight Thursday. Read more from Rong-Gong Lin II, Leila Miller, Luke Money and Joseph Serna of the Los Angeles Times and Michael Cabanatuan, Matthias Gafni, Jill Tucker and Dustin Gardiner of the San Francisco Chronicle.
COVID Cases ‘Stabilizing’ In California, Ghaly Says: The coronavirus pandemic in California is stabilizing and showing other signs of improvement, the state’s top health official said Tuesday. Statewide, cases and hospitalizations are trending downward overall, said Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. “The state picture is stabilizing and coming down some,” he said. Read more from Catherine Ho and Erin Allday of the San Francisco Chronicle.
‘Extraordinarily Good News’: Santa Cruz County Off Watch List: Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that Santa Cruz County is off the COVID watch list. It’s the first step toward reopening certain sectors of the economy and potentially sending kids back to school. Newsom said he also expects to pull San Diego County off the list Tuesday. Read more from Marisa Kendall of The Mercury News and Taryn Luna and Colleen Shalby of the Los Angeles Times.
With Power Grid Maxed Out, Californians Suffer In Heat: Californians used so much electricity to stay cool Friday night that the agency that oversees much of the state’s power grid declared an emergency and, for the first time in 19 years, shut off power to hundreds of thousands of customers for several hours. "Consumers should be prepared for likely rolling outages during the late afternoons and early evenings through Wednesday,” the California Independent System Operator said. There’s little relief in sight—high temperatures above 100 degrees are expected in Los Angeles every day through Friday. Read more from Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs of The New York Times and Laura Newberry of the Los Angeles Times.
Heat Wave Brings Wave Of Worries, Too: Temperatures are likely to hit triple digits in the Bay Area this weekend, a major worry for health officers who foresee crowds of sunbathing, beer-drinking beachgoers spreading more sickness around the region. UCSF epidemiologist Dr. George Rutherford offered a cautionary tale: In Israel, a May heat wave inspired school officials to let kids remove their mask — contributing to the massive resurgence in cases. “People will want to take off their masks when it’s hot,” Rutherford said. “Don’t do it.” Read more from Peter Fimrite, Rachel Swan and Brett Simpson of the San Francisco Chronicle.
LA’s Rush To Reopen Came With A Price: Los Angeles County’s pandemic response in the early weeks was considered a national model—but then it all went wrong. Los Angeles Times reporters reviewed months of public statements and documents from L.A. officials to understand the factors that set the stage for a resurgence of the coronavirus in June that ultimately killed more than 1,600 people. Read more from Sandhya Kambhampati, Soumya Karlamangla, Jaclyn Cosgrove, Priya Krishnakumar and Maloy Moore of the Los Angeles Times.