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See Which Benicia Area Hospitals Near Capacity Amid Coronavirus Surge

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BENICIA, CA — Data released this week by the federal government shows how close Solano County hospitals are to reaching capacity amid the unprecedented demands of the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services each week publishes capacity data for tens of thousands of hospitals nationwide, including the number of beds occupied by COVID-19 patients. The new data, released Sunday, includes those figures for the week beginning January 1, 2021.

Health experts have said that the share of each hospital’s beds devoted to coronavirus is key to understanding the strain on its resources. A share greater than 10 percent is said to be a cause of concern. When that share exceeds 20 percent, a hospital is said to be under extreme stress, and as the share approaches 50 percent the stress is said to be immense.

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Firefighters, EMTs aid exhausted staff at hospital

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PETALUMA, CA (KPIX) — Two weeks ago, the staff at Petaluma Valley Hospital started getting vaccinated. This week, they’ve gotten more good news: Three firefighter-paramedics and six EMTs on loan from Solano County.

“Normally, I’d be wearing turnouts or my wildfire gear, or my Class A uniform,” says Will Coelho of the Rio Vista Fire Department. “But we’ve all switched over to scrubs to kind of wear a different hat, if you will.”

Coelho is doing some commuting, and revisiting the 100 hours of clinical work he did years ago as part of his paramedic training.

“Starting IVs, taking vitals, doing blood draws, patient transfers,” Coelho said. “Helping these nurses out in any way that we can.”

“You know, the staff are exhausted,” said Wendi Thomas, the hospital’s Director of Nursing. “The leadership is exhausted. We were really trying to get creative so we have been asking the county for help.”

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Coronavirus Vaccine Sits Unused As CoCo Residents Die Of COVID-19

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CONCORD, CA —The final coronavirus tallies for December are still coming in as test results are pending for the last three days of the month, but it’s safe to declare that the numbers are grim. A total of 67 people died throughout Contra Costa County, while 16,845 people had newly confirmed cases of coronavirus infections, according to statistics updated by Contra Costa County on Tuesday.

A breakdown of stats for Concord in December is not available, but the total for the pandemic since March 2020 is 70 deaths and 5,217 infections. The county total since the start of the pandemic is 43,223 cases and 348 deaths.

As bad as things are here, the death toll is so out-of-control in Southern California that mortuaries cannot keep pace, forcing some to rent extra refrigeration units to store bodies.

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‘Do it Yourself’ theme of newest Fairfield-Suisun Visual Arts show

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It’s a new year and a new opportunity to take in some art at the Solano Town Center Gallery.

For its first exhibition of 2021, Fairfield-Suisun City Visual Arts Association (FSVAA) has some simple advice: Do it yourself.

The new show “Do it Yourself” is a collection of member artists’ imaginative takes on the DIY concept. The show, which opens Friday, explores the idea of creating something from nothing and providing an interactive experience.

The featured artist for the exhibit will be Dennis Ariza, who will be promoting the release of his new book “Bodie, A Ghost Town,” a photographic collection of Ariza’s visit to Bodie State Park in Bridgeport. Located east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Mono County, Bodie received a population boom in 1876 during the Gold Rush and had a population of nearly 10,000 by the end of the decade. In the late 19th century, Bodie had several daily newspapers, a Wells Fargo bank, post office, volunteer fire organizations, many saloons, a Chinatown district, union hall and mortuary, and was even considered the first town in California to have electricity.

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Orange County’s Year Interrupted By Coronavirus: 2020 Revisited

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ORANGE COUNTY, CA — It’s impossible for this editor to reach New Year’s Eve without looking back to see where we’ve been before we look ahead to what’s next. The past 365 days of 2020 were unlike any other: rife with health and safety concerns, discouraging news, and uncertainty in the future.

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, we saw lives forever changed, hands out to help others, drive-by birthday and graduation parades, and a new way to support area businesses and restaurants to keep Orange County’s free enterprise system alive.

Student-athletes are yearning for the field while they’re sidelined in the pandemic. On her 16th birthday, Shayna Glass shows her toughness.

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‘It was crying.’ Officer seen punching K-9 in face under investigation, CA cops say

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Working at his Northern California flooring warehouse Monday afternoon, Roberto Palomino heard a strange sound outside.

He went to investigate and spotted a police officer pinning down a dog in a nearby Vacaville Fire Department parking lot.

“That’s when I saw the officer constantly beating the dog, over and over,” Palomino said, KTVU reported. “I saw at least 10 punches to the dog.”

“It was crying like it was in pain, crying like someone ran over it or something,” Palomino told The Reporter.

“It was bad,” he said, KGO reported.

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California’s COVID Enforcement Strategy: Education Over Citations

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Nearly six months since Gov. Gavin Newsom promised to target businesses that are flagrantly violating public health orders to control the spread of COVID-19, California regulators have issued just 424 citations and suspended two business licenses as of Monday, according to data from 10 state regulatory and law enforcement agencies.

Instead of strictly penalizing businesses for violations, the Democratic governor and businessman with a portfolio of wineries, bars and restaurants under the brand name PlumpJack, has relied on educating owners about infectious disease mandates. State agencies have contacted establishments primarily by email, sending them 1.3 million messages since July 1 to urge them to comply with state and local public health rules.

Enforcement at bars and restaurants where alcohol is served, identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as among the highest-risk environments for COVID transmission, has been limited, data shows. The state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, which can issue criminal misdemeanor citations, fine businesses and revoke liquor licenses, has issued just 45 citations against bars and 119 against restaurants since July. No fines have been issued or licenses revoked for the 94,000 businesses it regulates.

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