Connect with us

BayCityNews

Newsom Rescinds COVID State of Emergency, Signaling Shift Away From Emergency Response

Gov. Gavin Newsom formally rescinded California’s COVID-19 state of emergency Tuesday, shifting the state’s strategy around the virus from response to preventing and assuaging future surges. Newsom issued his initial statewide COVID emergency proclamation on March 4, 2020, which made it easier for local governments and the state to coordinate their pandemic response at a time when just a handful of cases had been confirmed statewide.

Published

on

Gavin Newsom puts his mask back on after getting tested for COVID-19 at Native American Health Center in Oakland, Calif., on Dec. 22, 2021. (Harika Maddala/ Bay City News)
Gavin Newsom puts his mask back on after getting tested for COVID-19 at Native American Health Center in Oakland, Calif., on Dec. 22, 2021. (Harika Maddala/ Bay City News)

By Eli Walsh
Bay City News Foundation

Gov. Gavin Newsom formally rescinded California’s COVID-19 state of emergency Tuesday, shifting the state’s strategy around the virus from response to preventing and assuaging future surges.

Newsom issued his initial statewide COVID emergency proclamation on March 4, 2020, which made it easier for local governments and the state to coordinate their pandemic response at a time when just a handful of cases had been confirmed statewide.

Since then, the state has confirmed 11.1 million COVID cases and more than 100,000 deaths. Nearly 73 percent of state residents have also completed their initial COVID vaccination series.

State officials have cited their SMARTER plan – standing for shots, masks, awareness, readiness, testing, education and pharmaceutical treatments, abbreviated as Rx – as the state’s strategy to mitigate the virus going forward.

“The state’s SMARTER Plan will maintain California’s operational preparedness to address the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to guide the state’s work to support communities across the state,” Newsom said Tuesday in a statement.

Newsom announced in October that the state of emergency would sunset at the end of February in an effort to give local health agencies time to respond to an anticipated spike in cases during and after the winter holidays.

While COVID cases, deaths and hospitalizations all rose statewide in late December and early January, each metric remained well below the winter surges from the prior two years that caused record-high case rates and hospitalizations.

Even with its SMARTER plan in place going forward, the state has not always met its stated goal of preventing COVID case and death disparities among different ethnic groups.

As of Feb. 23, Latino residents account for 44.5 percent of all confirmed cases statewide and 42 percent of the state’s COVID deaths, but make up just 38.9 percent of the state’s population, according to date from the California Department of Public Health.

The disparities are also found in vaccination rates, as 72.6 percent of white residents have completed their initial vaccination series, but Black and Latino residents both have vaccination rates hovering around 60 percent.

CDPH officials noted Tuesday that state residents will still be able to access COVID testing, vaccination and medication without an out-of-pocket cost through at least Nov. 11, 2023, six months after the federal COVID public health emergency ends.

After Nov. 11, residents with health insurance who seek in-network testing, vaccination and treatment services will also be able to do so without out-of-pocket costs, according to the CDPH.

 

Copyright © 2023 Bay City News, Inc.  All rights reserved.  Republication, rebroadcast or redistribution without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited. Bay City News is a 24/7 news service covering the greater Bay Area.

###

EliWalsh/BCNFoundation1821p02/28/23

 

CONTACT: CDPH media relations CDPHPressOPA@cdph.ca.gov

 

EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: An image related to this story can be obtained from the following Bay City News Service web link: https://www.baycitynews.com/images/BCN-20211222-NEWSOM-04.JPG

 

/www/bcn/general/02/newsclip.23.02.28.18.23.01.1.txt

Bay Area

Arrests Made at People’s Park as Preparations For Construction on Site Begin Again

Seven people were arrested early Thursday morning at Berkeley’s People’s Park as fencing was put up in preparation for a controversial construction project to build housing for students and formerly unhoused people on the public park.

Published

on

Opponents fought the University of California, Berkeley's plan to build on the site when construction began in August 2022, but they were dealt a setback when Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill last year that was unanimously backed by the state Legislature to exempt the university from a requirement to consider alternative sites for the project.
Opponents fought the University of California, Berkeley's plan to build on the site when construction began in August 2022, but they were dealt a setback when Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill last year that was unanimously backed by the state Legislature to exempt the university from a requirement to consider alternative sites for the project.

By Bay City News

Seven people were arrested early Thursday morning at Berkeley’s People’s Park as fencing was put up in preparation for a controversial construction project to build housing for students and formerly unhoused people on the public park.

Fencing and double-stacked shipping containers will continue to be installed over the next three to four days and surrounding streets will be closed off for about six days, according to a university spokesperson.

Opponents fought the University of California, Berkeley’s plan to build on the site when construction began in August 2022, but they were dealt a setback when Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill last year that was unanimously backed by the state Legislature to exempt the university from a requirement to consider alternative sites for the project.

The arrests Thursday morning were for trespassing, with two also arrested for failure to disperse, according to the university. They were cited and released after being booked into jail.

An appeal on the university’s construction project is still being heard by the state Supreme Court, but the university said it has the legal right to close off the construction zone while the case is litigated.

“Given that the existing legal issues will inevitably be resolved, we decided to take this necessary step now in order to minimize disruption for the public and our students when we are eventually cleared to resume construction,” UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ said in a statement.

“Unfortunately, our planning and actions must take into account that some of the project’s opponents have previously resorted to violence and vandalism, despite strong support for the project on the part of students, community members, advocates for unhoused people, the elected leadership of the City of Berkeley, as well as the Legislature and governor of the state of California,” Christ said.

The plan calls for building housing for 1,100 students and a separate building with 100 apartments for low-income, formerly unhoused people, but activists have fought against the displacement of unhoused people currently living in the park and development on a green space.

The plan would preserve 60% of the 2.8-acre park’s green space and the park would remain open to the public. People living in the park have been offered transitional housing.

Video posted to social media showed trees being cut down and carried by heavy machinery overnight Wednesday into Thursday morning.

Copyright © 2024 Bay City News, Inc.  All rights reserved.  Republication, rebroadcast or redistribution without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited. Bay City News is a 24/7 news service covering the greater Bay Area.

Continue Reading

Bay Area

Appeals Court Denies Request to Revisit Berkeley’s Natural Gas Ban

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has ruled against Berkeley’s pioneering natural gas ban. In a majority decision filed Tuesday, the court said Berkeley’s ordinance banning gas pipelines in new construction runs afoul of the federal Energy Policy and Conservation Act.

Published

on

The act "expressly preempts state and local regulations concerning the energy use of many natural gas appliances, including those used in household and restaurant kitchens," Judge Patrick Bumatay wrote in the majority opinion.
The act "expressly preempts state and local regulations concerning the energy use of many natural gas appliances, including those used in household and restaurant kitchens," Judge Patrick Bumatay wrote in the majority opinion.

By Kiley Russell
Bay City News
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has ruled against Berkeley’s pioneering natural gas ban.
In a majority decision filed Tuesday, the court said Berkeley’s ordinance banning gas pipelines in new construction runs afoul of the federal Energy Policy and Conservation Act.

The act “expressly preempts state and local regulations concerning the energy use of many natural gas appliances, including those used in household and restaurant kitchens,” Judge Patrick Bumatay wrote in the majority opinion.
“Instead of directly banning those appliances in new buildings, Berkeley took a more circuitous route to the same result,” Bumatay wrote. “It enacted a building code that prohibits natural gas piping in those buildings from the point of delivery at a gas meter, rendering the gas appliances useless.”

The Berkeley City Council unanimously approved the first-of-its-kind ordinance in July 2019.
It was designed to combat climate change by reducing natural gas emissions throughout the city by encouraging the use of more ecologically friendly electrical hookups.

“Climate change is an existential threat to our city, our homes, and our future,” Councilmember Kate Harrison, who authored the ordinance, said at the time. “It is time to take aggressive action to reduce our emissions across all sectors.”
The California Restaurant Association sued the city in November 2019, and in 2021 a lower court ruled against the restaurant organization.
In that ruling, the court found that the local ordinance didn’t conflict with federal regulations because it indirectly applied to appliances covered by federal law and that the federal rules should be interpreted so as not to “sweep into areas that are historically the province of state and local regulation.”

Last year, a panel of the 9th Circuit disagreed and ruled that federal law preempted the city’s new ordinance and on Tuesday, the full panel of judges denied a request to rehear the case.

Judge Michelle Friedland, writing the dissenting opinion for the 9th Circuit, said the majority opinion “misinterprets the statute’s key terms” and “needlessly blocks Berkeley’s effort to combat climate change, along with the equivalent laws passed by other local governments. Our system of federalism requires much more respect for state and local autonomy.”

Copyright © 2024 Bay City News, Inc. All rights reserved. Republication, rebroadcast or redistribution without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited. Bay City News is a 24/7 news service covering the greater Bay Area.

Continue Reading

Activism

Newsom Signs 56 Housing Bills to Boost Affordability, Help Tenants

Housing developments will now be more streamlined with less red tape, density laws can be overruled in the interest of housing, and institutions like colleges or religious organizations can now use portions of their property to build housing. Newsom also signed a bill that will please anyone who has tried to rent in California on a limited income: Landlords can now only collect one months’ rent as a security deposit instead of two.

Published

on

State Sen. Scott Wiener wants a streamlined approval process for all mixed-income housing projects in California, he said at a San Francisco press conference on Feb. 13, 2023. (Olivia Wynkoop / Bay City News)
State Sen. Scott Wiener wants a streamlined approval process for all mixed-income housing projects in California, he said at a San Francisco press conference on Feb. 13, 2023. (Olivia Wynkoop / Bay City News)

By Katy St. Clair | Bay City News

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday signed multiple housing bills aimed at tackling the state’s lack of affordable housing and making it easier for tenants to rent a home in the first place.

Newsom signed a whopping 56 bills into law which he said, “incentivize and reduce barriers to housing and support the development of more affordable homes.”

Housing developments will now be more streamlined with less red tape, density laws can be overruled in the interest of housing, and institutions like colleges or religious organizations can now use portions of their property to build housing. Newsom also signed a bill that will please anyone who has tried to rent in California on a limited income: Landlords can now only collect one months’ rent as a security deposit instead of two.

State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) is especially pleased with the signings, as several of the bills were his, including creating a tax increment financing structure to replace 5,800 affordable homes in San Francisco that have been lost to redevelopment.

“California desperately needs to ramp up housing production and the Governor’s action today helps put us on a path to that goal,” said Wiener in a statement Wednesday.

Of Wiener’s bills, Newsom signed Senate Bill 423, which accelerates the development of affordable housing by strengthening the provisions of SB 35, which will sunset at the end of 2025. SB 35, another bill from Wiener back in 2016, allows projects to go through a simplified and expedited housing approval process in areas that are not on track to meet their housing production goals.

SB 423 continues the momentum of 35, but also includes “strong new labor standards,” such as higher wages and health benefits for workers on housing developments.

Wiener also put forth the San Francisco Replacement Housing Act, or Senate Bill 593, which aims to mend the mistakes of the past by adding affordable housing to neighborhoods that were demolished for growth, displacing their lower-income residents. According to Wiener, examples of these neighborhoods are Japantown, SoMA, and the Western Addition. SB 593 will create 5,800 affordable homes in the city, Wiener said.

Assembly Bill 12 was signed by the governor as well. Assemblymember Matt Haney (D-San Francisco) backed the bill, which expands tenant protections by limiting security deposits to one month’s rent in instead of up to three times the rent.

“Massive security deposits can create insurmountable barriers to housing affordability and accessibility for millions of Californians,” said Haney on social media Wednesday. “Despite skyrocketing rents, laws on ensuring affordable security deposits haven’t changed substantially since the 1970s. The result is that landlords lose out on good tenants and tenants stay in homes that are too crowded, unsafe or far from work.”

Other bills signed by Newsom establish penalties for CEQA abuse, allowing affordable accessory dwelling unit (ADU) condos, and expanding density bonuses, which give developers the ability to increase density above the maximum allowed in a municipality’s General Plan.

“It’s simple math,” said Newsom in a statement released by his office. “California needs to build more housing and ensure the housing we have is affordable.”

For a full list of all the housing-related bills signed by Gov. Newsom, go to http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov.

Continue Reading

Subscribe to receive news and updates from the Oakland Post

* indicates required

CHECK OUT THE LATEST ISSUE OF THE OAKLAND POST

ADVERTISEMENT

WORK FROM HOME

Home-based business with potential monthly income of $10K+ per month. A proven training system and website provided to maximize business effectiveness. Perfect job to earn side and primary income. Contact Lynne for more details: Lynne4npusa@gmail.com 800-334-0540

Facebook

Attorney General Bonta and his team are working to review the decision and consider all options that will protect SB 9 as a state law. Bonta said the law has helped provide affordable housing for residents in California.
City Government1 month ago

Court Throws Out Law That Allowed Californians to Build Duplexes, Triplexes and RDUs on Their Properties

Rev. Amos C. Brown, president of the San Francisco NAACP and pastor of Third Baptist Church. Photo courtesy Third Baptist Church.
Activism1 month ago

S.F. Black Leaders Rally to Protest, Discuss ‘Epidemic’ of Racial Slurs Against Black Students in SF Public School System

Vibe Bistro Logo
Community1 month ago

Opening Soon: Vibe Bistro Is Richmond’s New Hub for Coffee, Cuisine, Community and Culture

Oak Days shelter, once a Days Hotel, resides in the Hegenberger corridor of Oakland. It is used as a temporary home to 60 residents who have experienced chronic homelessness or are medically vulnerable. Photo by Magaly Muñoz.
Alameda County1 month ago

An Oakland Homeless Shelter Is Showing How a Housing and Healthcare First Approach Can Work: Part 1

Activism1 month ago

Oakland Post: Week of May 8 – 14, 2024

Gov. Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Rob Bonta.
Community1 month ago

Gov. Newsom, Attorney General Bonta Back Bill to Allow California to Host Arizona Abortion Care

Courtesy City of Vallejo.
City Government1 month ago

Vallejo Continues to Accept Applications for Boards, Committees and Commissions

Shutterstock
California Black Media1 month ago

Cinco De Mayo: Five Interesting Facts You Should Know About the Popular Mexican American Holiday

Outdoor community events are integral to San Francisco’s vibrant culture and sense of community. iStock image.
Bay Area1 month ago

Mayor Breed Proposes Waiving City Fees for Night Markets, Block Parties, Farmers’ Markets, Other Outdoor Community Events

California Supreme Court (iStock Photo)
Business4 weeks ago

Cal. Supreme Court Could Strip Gov and Legislature of Power to Raise Taxes

Rajah Kirby Caruth, an American professional stock car racing driver. (File Photo)
Community1 month ago

Rajah Caruth: Young Trailblazer of NASCAR

ELITE Sit in 1 & 2: ELITE Public School staff and students staged a sit-in at Vallejo City Hall on Wednesday afternoon to protest the City Council’s decision to vote against their Major Use Permit to expand into downtown. Photo by Magaly Muñoz.
Community1 month ago

ELITE Charter School Conducts Sit-In Protest at Vallejo City Hall After City Council Vote

San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed (File Photo)
Bay Area1 month ago

Mayor London Breed: State Awards San Francisco Over $37M for Affordable Housing

Peggy Moore and Hope Wood, photo from their hopeactionchnage.com website
California Black Media4 weeks ago

Activist and Organizer Peggy Moore and Wife Die in Fatal Car Crash

Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom (File Photo)
Community1 month ago

Gov. Newsom Issues Proclamation Declaring Day of Remembrance for the Armenian Genocide

Trending

Copyright ©2021 Post News Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.