California counties reinstate COVID mask warrants as Delta rises


FILE – In this file photo from February 10, 2021, a mask is seen on a bear sculpture outside Governor Gavin Newsom’s Capitol office in Sacramento, California. On Tuesday, July 6, 2021, the mask’s mandate was reinstated for all lawmakers and staff regardless of their vaccination status after nine new cases of COVID-19 were reported last week. The sculpture was purchased by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and was quickly dubbed “Bacteria Bear,” after it became a favorite backdrop for photographs and selfies by schoolchildren and other visitors to the Capitol.


Welcome Thursday! Here’s what you need to know:

FIRST UP: Counties recommend masks again. Where is Newsom?

the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus is increasingly prevalent in California. As a precaution, some counties recommend that residents take back masks indoors, regardless of their vaccination status.

It’s been exactly a month since June 15, the grand opening day for the state that removed the color-coded reopening and was supposed to mark the start of the “California Comeback.” Govt. Gavin Newsom marked the occasion at Universal Studios by pulling in $ 15 million in prizes for vaccinated Californians.

But amid the increasing rates of the highly transmissible Delta variant, Yolo County authorities on Wednesday recommended its residents wear masks indoors, even if they have the vaccine. Los Angeles County made a similar decision in late June. The Yolo County and LA guidelines are recommendations, not warrants.

“I err on the side of caution to slow the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant,” said Dr. Aimee Sisson said in a prepared statement. “Vaccines remain the absolute best form of protection against COVID-19, and I implore all who are eligible to get a full vaccine as soon as possible. “

The Centers for Disease Control report that the Delta variant accounts for over 60% of cases in Region 9, which includes Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada. But it remains to be seen whether state officials will tighten the rules on masks. The Capitol recently reinstated its mask mandate after an outbreak was reported among employees, although Sacramento County itself has not updated its guidelines.

The current guidelines of the California Department of Public Health says masks are not required for those vaccinated except under certain circumstances, including public transport, health facilities and homeless shelters.

The governor’s office asked about the masking guidelines to state public health officials, who did not say whether they plan to update the guidelines in light of concerns about the variant.

The resumption of statewide masking could be politically tricky for Newsom, who has capitalized on the reopening of the state and presented the “California Comeback” as a key message in his campaign to fight the recall.

During the reopening celebration on June 15, Newsom was asked if he saw a scenario in which the restrictions should be reimposed.

“The bottom line is that we are not ideological, we are open to evidence. We are not lowering our guard when it comes to vigilance… we have taken transfers very, very seriously, ”he said. “We will look at hospitalization rates, we will look at preparation, as a primary consideration in making subsequent decisions. “


Via Wes Venteicher …

Have you ever wondered how exactly all of that billions of federal coronavirus relief dollars are reaching states?

the State Treasurer explained the process in a recent newsletter praising its employees for managing $ 27 billion attribution of American rescue plan, which Congress approved in March.

the US Treasury sent the money through three wire transfers in June to custodian banks that the treasurer’s office works with, and the state investment division invested everything over seven days, with a $ 8 billion one-day record, according to the bulletin.

The bureau invested the money quickly to earn interest on the investments, according to the bulletin, putting most of the money in federally guaranteed treasury bills. Some of the money was also used to purchase federal agency securities, certificates of deposit and commercial paper issued by corporate borrowers.

“It’s a Herculean effort”, assistant treasurer Tim schaefer said in the newsletter. “And, that makes it clear why the California Treasurer’s Office is home to some of the most professional staff in government treasury functions in the United States.”


Nathalie Palugyai is expected to be the next secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Wednesday, following Julie suIt’s confirmation to the US Department of Labor earlier this week. As Secretary of Labor, Palugyai will face the challenge of tackling California’s burdened EDD system, which has been plagued by fraud and a backlog of calls throughout the pandemic.

Palugyai, a daughter of immigrants and herself an immigrant, is the first Latina to be appointed to the post, according to the governor’s office. His appointment must be confirmed by the State Senate.

“Raised by immigrant parents, Natalie brings a unique perspective to help millions of Californians recover from the pandemic and will fight for the essential workers who have kept California running throughout the pandemic,” Newsom said in a press release.

Palugyai, 40, currently lives in Maryland, where she has served as the Senior Advisor for Strategic Initiatives at Johns Hopkins University since 2018. She has also worked in the US Department of Labor, General Services Administration and FEMA.

State Senator Maria elena durazo congratulated Palugyai on his appointment.

“As chair of the Latino Legislative Caucus, I look forward to working with her to resolve issues of wage theft, expand workplace health and safety provisions, and create access to new jobs. well paid thanks to High Road Partnerships, ”Durazo said in a statement.

Newsom also announced Stewart knox of West Sacramento as LWDA Undersecretary. His position does not require confirmation from the Senate.


“It’s thanks to them that I’m here today. It is thanks to them that I have the f ****** strength to speak out against my family who silenced me for years.

Britney spears, in a Los Angeles court on Wednesday, speaking about the #FreeBritney movement. Fans celebrated a victory for the pop star, who was obtained the right to hire his own lawyer in her battle to overturn the tutelage under which she lived for 13 years.

The best of the bee:

  • Another chapter in the EDD saga: Federal agents say they dismantled a Maryland-based unemployment insurance fraud ring that targeted California and many other states with more than $ 2.6 million in claims. via Sam Stanton
  • The rules for early exit are as follows: In an order issued Tuesday night, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Shama Mesiwala dismissed a preliminary injunction request that would have forced the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to reverse its new rules, designed to expedite the release of over 76,000 inmates. . via Sam Stanton
  • Ask for help: By May, CalOSHA had lost more than a quarter of its staff of inspectors, with the number of vacancies increasing almost every month since the start of the pandemic, according to records obtained by The Sacramento Bee. She now has a mandate to hire dozens more. by Jeong Park

Lara Korte covers California politics for The Sacramento Bee. Prior to joining The Bee, she reported on higher education in Texas for Austin American-Statesman. She graduated from the University of Kansas.

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