Almost Daily Briefing, May 19, 2020
The Almost Daily Briefing
Published news articles from local, regional, and national media on topics of interest to the #LoveLafayette Community
Decision delayed on 315-apartment East Bay housing project -Lafayette Planning Commission to decide June 15; concerns raised about fire hazards, traffic with Terraces plan. (East Bay Times)
This update was provided to the City of Lafayette by Townsend Public Affairs. Read the latest coronavirus information and find resources for Lafayette residents and businesses on the City’s Covid-19 Webpage: http://bit.ly/LafayetteCoronavirusInfo.
- Phase 2 Local Variance: Governor Newsom indicated that 24 counties have provided the self-attestations required to move further into Phase 2 of economic re-opening. These self-attestations are available on line at covid19.ca.gov
- Effective immediately, some counties may move even further into Phase 2 stay at home order modifications due to excellent progress in key indicators:
- 1.3 million tests conducted to date in California. Tracing efforts are also increasing and becoming more efficient
- State now has 56.1 million PPE masks in their possession
- Large, continual drops in hospital and ICU numbers. Additionally, the rate of positives with regards to number of people tested is the important metric that is decreasing; not overall number of positives
- Further Phase 2 Local Variance: Governor Newsom and Secretary of CA Health and Human Services Agency, Dr. Mark Ghaly announced the state will be allowing counties to advance further into Phase 2, if they can demonstrate they are meeting standards for additional modifications.
- County Case Metrics: In order to advance further into Phase 2, the State will require counties to demonstrate compliance with the following metrics:
- Stable hospitalizations of COVID individuals on a 7-day average of daily percentage change of less than 5% or no more than 20 COVID hospitalizations on any single day in the past 14 days.
- Less than 25 new cases per 100,000 residents in the past 14 days or less than 8% testing positive in the past 7 days
- County Preparedness: In order to advance in Stage 2, counties will need to continue to demonstrate preparedness in the following areas:
- Testing: Minimum daily testing volume to test 1.5 per 1,000 residents
- Contact Tracing: Sufficient contract so that public health staff can work with a patient to help determine everyone with whom they have had close contact during the timeframe when they may have been infectious. There should be at least 15 staff per 100,000 county population available for contact tracing and counties with small populations must have at least one staff person trained and available.
- Hospital Surge: County or regional hospital capacity to accommodate a minimum surge of 35% due to COVID-19 (in addition to providing usual care for non-COVID-19 patients).
- County Response: Counties must providing plans outlining the availability of temporary housing to shelter at least 15% of the county’s homeless. Additionally, counties must have plans in place to protect essential workers, availability of PPE and supplies to protect essential workers, county metrics that would serve as triggers to slow the pace through Stage 2, and details on what sectors and spaces would be opened and on what timeline.
- Future Guidance: Governor Newsom indicated that in the next few weeks, assuming there are no major spikes, the State will likely modify its Stay-at-Home order to allow for further advancement in Phase 2.
- Governor Newsom indicated that this statewide expansion could include in-store retail, dining at restaurants, hail salons and barber shops, places of worship opening to broader congregations, and sporting events without fans.
- The Governor indicated that guidance will be provided to key industries in the coming days on best practices and requirements as additional sectors are able to reopen.
- Congress: After the House passed the HEROES Act last week, next steps on the “Phase 4” package remain uncertain.
- White House: Vice Mike President Pence announced five new individuals to the White House Coronavirus Task Force. The new members are: Sonny Perdue (Secretary of Agriculture), Gene Scalia (Secretary of Labor), Dr. Francis Collins (Director of the National Institutes of Health), Dr. Peter Marks (FDDA Director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research), and Thomas Engels (Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration).
- CDBG Funding: Last week, HUD Secretary Ben Carson announced the allocation of a third wave in CARES Act coronavirus relief funding.
- Eviction Moratorium: The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced an extension of its foreclosure and eviction moratorium through June 30, 2020, for homeowners with FHA-insured Single Family mortgages, while also supporting new FHA-insured mortgage originations through an extension of temporary policy flexibilities for lenders and appraisers.
- Unemployment: The U.S. Department of Labor provided the attached updated guidance, including FAQs, regarding the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program authorized by the CARES Act.
- National Parks: House Natural Resources Chairman Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) requested documents from the Department of Interior on how decisions to reopen national parks are being made. The Chairman specifically requested information on how the agency will provide protective gear for parks employees, its criteria for determining when a particular site is safe to reopen, timelines for reopening currently closed parks, and explaining how it will consult with local officials.
- 0.4% increase in Hospitalizations over last 24 hours
- 0.7% increase in ICU over last 24 hours
- 7.5% decrease in hospitalizations over a 14 day period
- 8.7% decrease in number of ICU patients over a 14 day period
- Close to 60,000 tests being conducted per day
Bay Area goes two straight days without a pandemic death for the first time since start of March -The Bay Area has reported zero deaths from COVID-19 for two consecutive days - the first time that has happened since March. Health officials in the nine Bay Area counties recorded no new deaths due to the coronavirus on Sunday or Monday, as the area’s death toll remained at 390. Prior to Sunday, the last day without a reported virus-related death in the Bay Area was March 21. The last consecutive days without one were March 10-12, days before the shelter-in-place was ordered in the region and state. (SF Chronicle)
Bay Area coronavirus hospitalizations hit key milestone, down more than half from peak -The number of confirmed COVID-19 patients in hospitals across the nine Bay Area counties has dropped by more than half since its peak more than a month ago. (SF Chronicle)
Coronavirus unemployment: Eight weeks, more than 100,000 layoffs in Bay Area - Since government-imposed lockdowns of businesses that began two months ago in mid-March, Bay Area employers reported to the state's Employment Development Department plans for layoffs of one kind or another totaling about 114,000. (East Bay Times)
Lamorinda Communities Grapple With Budget Cuts - While many businesses confront financial ruin and unemployment soars, jobs in Contra Costa County's public sector have remained remarkably secure. But that could soon change. (Patch)
El Cerrito Considers Budget Cuts, Nixing Salary Raises -The El Cerrito City Council will vote on canceling salary raises for union employees as the city tries desperately to avoid insolvency. (Patch)
BART Sounds Alarm on Finances -BART officials are painting a grim picture of agency finances as ridership has collapsed because of COVID-19. BART ridership has dropped 95% because of the pandemic, according to agency officials. (Bay Link)
UC Pres. Napolitano announces pay freeze for some staff, takes 10% cut in salary -UC President Janet Napolitano issued a freeze on salaries for certain staff employees and on salary scales for non-student academic appointees Monday in an email to staff and faculty. She added the freeze was made in response to COVID-19-related economic shortfalls, including an estimated $1.2 billion loss between mid-March and April and a proposed $372 million dollar reduction in state funding. The email also states that Napolitano and the 10 current chancellors in the UC system will be taking a voluntary pay cut of 10%. (Daily Californian)
Tri-Valley Leaders Pay Tribute To San Ramon Regional Staff -U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell, Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan and others took a moment to thank San Ramon Regional Medical Center workers. (Patch)
With Two 2020 Graduates, Finding New Ways to Graduate Together – “I’ve been so impressed by the effort that the school and our community have made to support the seniors,” Ms. Kresnak said. “Acalanes has this saying now of ‘Community Can’t Be Canceled,’ and it’s really been so supportive.” (The New York Times)
Gov. Gavin Newsom eases reopening requirements for California counties -California is relaxing its criteria for counties that want to reopen their economies, after local leaders complained that the original requirements were too difficult to meet. (SF Chronicle)
California wildfire victims approve $13.5B payout by 'overwhelming' margin, PG&E says - PG&E Corp. said Monday it believes thousands of Northern California wildfire victims have approved the utility’s $13.5 billion payout plan, clearing the way for PG&E to emerge from bankruptcy. Based on preliminary results, the company said the plan has won “overwhelming acceptance” from the approximately 70,000 victims who were eligible to vote. The $13.5 billion is designed to compensate victims for their uninsured losses from a series of major wildfires blamed on PG&E’s faulty equipment. That includes the 2017 wine country fires and the November 2018 Camp Fire, which killed 85 people and destroyed more than 10,000 homes in Paradise. (Sacramento Bee)
Lafayette Planning & Building Department’s Virtual Planning Counter (1:00-3:00 p.m., Monday-Friday)
HOUSING, TRANSPORTATION AND CITY PLANNING
Plans for possible East Bay soccer stadium project are scuttled - According to the city, the Walnut Creek-based Hall Equities Group is declining to move forward with the project, which would’ve developed a parcel of land in the downtown Concord area. (East Bay Times)
Veritas, big SF apartment manager, defends taking $3.6 million PPP loan -One of San Francisco's biggest landlords is defending its decision to take a $3.6 million Paycheck Protection Program loan, despite criticism that the money is supposed to help small businesses rather than a real estate company that controls more than $3 billion in assets. (SF Chronicle)
Can Airbnb Survive the Coronavirus? -The short-term rental market is reeling from a coronavirus-driven tourism collapse. Can the industry’s dominant player stage a comeback after lockdowns lift? (CityLab)
A Make-or-Break Moment for Cities -It's hard to remember that terms such as mixed-use development and adaptive reuse and transit-oriented development and infill construction. (The Atlantic)
Urban Planning in a Post-Pandemic World -The coronavirus crisis is highlighting the contributions of cities as well as their vulnerabilities and the planning issues that need to be priorities in the future. (Planetizen)
Audit Report Discloses Sharp Increase In Personal Trading Violations At CalPERS -The California Public Employees Retirement System (aka CalPERS) is the largest defined-benefit public pension in the United States. (The National Law Review)
THAT OTHER LAFAYETTE
Lafayette Square residents sue City over controversial $44m "Two Saints" development -Wisznia has won the backing of Mayor LaToya Cantrell and affordable housing advocates.
A British man made a device to enable him to hug his grandma. It’s called the “cuddle curtain.”
The Almost Daily Briefing (ADB) is an aggregation of links to news articles from local and regional newspapers, magazines, websites, and other news sources. Its purpose is to alert readers to current issues and affairs that may impact Lafayette. The ADB does not promote, favor, disfavor, support, reject, or endorse any position, candidate, campaign, or proposition, and nothing about the ADB, including the selection, presentation, arrangement, or content of the links presented should be construed as an advocacy position. Please note: At times, the ADB features articles from sites that limit access for nonsubscribers. If you have questions about the ADB, please contact the City of Lafayette's Communications Analyst, Jeff Heyman, at email@example.com. You can subscribe to the ADB and learn more about Lafayette’s publications and social media sites here.