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Air district wants Bay Area employers to extend telework options

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Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic

FAIRFIELD — The Covid-19 pandemic has reduced air pollution in the Bay Area, largely due to fewer vehicles on the roadways.

Now the Bay Area Air Quality Management District is asking employers to help keep the air cleaner by allowing their employees to continue to work remotely.

“The clean air we have experienced since the Bay Area was ordered to shelter in place on March 16 is due, in part, to the accompanying dramatic reduction in vehicle traffic on our roads. Transportation is the (number-one) source of air pollution in the region and taking cars off the road significantly improves the quality of our air. Allowing employees to work from home can be a big part of the solution to keeping our skies blue,” a statement issued by the air district said.

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Solano RCD hosting clean boating webinar

in Events/Solano County 223 views

For those seeking recreational activities to do in the summer of COVID, boating is one pastime that is permitted as long as the occupants follow social distancing measures.

Summer is the prime season for boating, which is why the Solano Resource Conservation District (RCD) will be hosting its first Clean Boating Happy Hour to provide tips on boating while protecting local waterways at the same time.

The one-hour virtual event will be presented by Vivian Matuk, environmental boating program manager with California State Parks and California Coastal Commission. She will go over tips and resources to help keep local waterways safe from boat pollution.

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Coronavirus: Solano health officer says spike largely due to family gatherings

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Coronavirus cases continue to rise in Solano, which Dr. Bela Matyas — the county’s public health officer — attributes primarily to family get-togethers where people are not practicing social distancing.

On Friday, the number of coronavirus cases since the outbreak began surpassed 2,000. As of Tuesday, 2,313 cases had been reported, marking a continuing spike in cases over the last month.

Fairfield has since surpassed Vallejo as the city with the most cases — 798 to 768 respectively — with Vacaville following at 371 overall cases, Suisun City at 173, Dixon at 127, Benicia at 45 and Rio Vista at 23.

The unincorporated areas of Solano County remain the only collective region to have fewer than 10 cases, a figure that is too small for the county to report.

Additionally, the county has 301 active cases and has had 31 deaths. The deaths have largely been in the 65-and-older group with 84 percent of the data, while 10 percent of the deaths have been in the 50-64 demographic, and 6 percent in the 18-49 demographic.

Matyas advised that, based on case investigations, the spike was largely due to people getting together with friends and family and not social distancing.

“It’s family and social gatherings,” he said Tuesday. “They have been continuing unabated (and) probably have been for a couple months now.”

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Some Solano school districts lay out plans to reopen, others are pending

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As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to surge across the state and nation, some Solano school districts have laid out plans to reopen, which may change with updates of pandemic data and county public health directives.

The key question for school district leaders and teachers is balancing the need to bring students back into classrooms while also enforcing strict safety protocols to prevent the spread of the deadly virus, which has infected more than 2,000 and killed nearly 30 Solano County residents.

At the same time, parents, teachers and trustees have mixed reactions to plans from districts — such as Vacaville Unified — that want to begin classroom instruction in mid-August using the so-called “hybrid model.” This calls for two different groups of students to receive in-person instruction on rotating days, Mondays and Wednesdays and Tuesdays and Thursdays, for example, with one or more days devoted to distance learning.

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Farmers Fed Up With People Trespassing For Sunflower Selfies

in News/Solano County 280 views

DIXON (CBS13) — Sunflower blooms can make the perfect picture and Solano County has become a destination for some photographers trying to capture the right shot.

Solano County farmer Spencer Bei farms 1,000 acres of sunflowers and around this time every year, his fields are busy with photographers and selfie seekers. He says cars are causing problems and each year it gets worse.

“The next thing you know they are in the canal or the ditch and the tow truck comes out,” Bei said.

Bei worries about liability issues when sunflower selfie seekers and photographers go onto his land for full-blown photoshoots and picnics. He is more worried this year with the COVID-19 crisis because nobody is wearing masks or social distancing. Not to mention, they leave behind trash and take what is not theirs.

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Gov. Newsom: COVID-19 Monitoring List Grows To 23 Counties Including Contra Costa, Solano, Marin, Monterey

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SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) — Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday outlined some of California’s efforts at COVID-19 enforcement over the holiday weekend as new coronavirus cases continued to skyrocket with 23 counties being monitored by health officials.

Despite the fact that Californians by and large heeded warnings to stay away from beaches and other public spaces during the holiday weekend, numbers indicated that coronavirus infections and hospitalizations were still climbing at an alarming rate.

Gov. Newsom opened his Monday update by noting that 23 counties across the state were now on the monitor watch list. New additions to the list included Colusa, Madera, Marin, Merced, Monterey and San Diego counties.

The governor noted that Contra Costa County had managed to drop off the monitor list during the weekend, but has since been re-added. Solano County remains on the list, while Santa Clara County has dropped off.

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Protect pets from frightening Fourth of July experience

in News/Solano County 222 views

FAIRFIELD — The Fourth of July, as nearly all Solano County residents have again become aware of in recent days, is not a one-day celebration when it comes to fireworks.

The pops and bangs and whistles have been delighting children and children-at-heart for more than a week.

That can be an annoyance to many neighbors, frightening for those concerned about fires and terrifying for animals who are sensitive to loud noises, flashing lights and even strong smells.

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Volunteer efforts helping to carry county through Covid-19

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Image via Daily Republic/Robinson Kuntz

FAIRFIELD — Rhonda Smith and her team of volunteers spent Monday morning handing out as many as 10,000 face masks to nonprofit organizations and their teams of volunteers.

The giveaway was mentioned as part of a presentation made last week to the Solano County Board of Supervisors about how volunteer efforts have helped the county during the Covid-19 crisis.

“Our goal here in Solano County was to reach out to anybody who felt they were isolated and alone,” Supervisor Erin Hannigan said. She said the goal was to make sure they had access to food, medication and other needs.

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Child care providers launch union organizing effort

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Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic

FAIRFIELD — Allison Davis wants to empower home-based child care providers.

“Child care keeps America working . . . and child care is critical to any economic recovery,” Davis said.

She said the time is ripe for the movement to create Child Care Providers United.

“The union is a huge step to get child care recognized as an essential business,” Davis said. “I think it just builds up child care and will bring in more people into child care with better wages and benefits.”

Nearly 80% of Solano County children in working families do not have access to the child care they need, according to, a program of the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health.

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Solano jobless rate in May: a little better than April, much worse than 2019

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FAIRFIELD — Solano County is slowly waking up from a hard Covid-19 sleep as unemployment fell from 15.2% in April to 14.2% in May, the Employment Development Department reported Friday.

The number of local jobs climbed to 125,400, a gain of 1,800 over April’s figure, the Labor Market Division of the EDD reported.

However, compared to May 2019, there are 20,200 fewer local jobs, the EDD reported.

One of the more promising figures was that construction added 1,000 jobs since April, now 12,400, though it is down 400 jobs compared to May 2019.

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