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Nearly 100 pet dogs and cats have contracted COVID-19. Here’s how to protect your pets


(KTVX) — Hundreds of thousands of Americans have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last year, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says they are not alone. According to a new report, nearly 100 pet dogs and cats are said to have contracted the virus, mostly after close contact with an infected person.

“Treat pets as you would other human family members — do not let pets interact with people outside the household,” the CDC advises.

The CDC says infected pets might get sick or they might not have any symptoms, adding that of those that have gotten sick, most were only mildly ill and then fully recovered.

The risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low, based on the limited information available, the CDC says.

The CDC recommends pet owners limit their pet’s interaction with people outside their household to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading to their animals. The CDC offers these additional tips to keep you and your pets safe:

  • Pets or other animals should not be allowed to roam freely, and cats should be kept indoors.
  • Avoid public places where a large number of people gather.
  • Do not put a mask on pets. Masks could harm your pet.

The CDC added that there is no evidence that the virus can spread to people from their pet’s skin, fur or hair. According to the CDC, you should not wipe or bathe your pet with chemical disinfectants, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or other products like hand sanitizer, counter-cleaning wipes, or other industrial or surface cleaners.

If you have questions about appropriate products for bathing or cleaning your pet, the CDC says to contact your veterinarian.

The CDC added that if you are sick with COVID-19, either suspected or confirmed by a test, you should restrict contact with your pets and other animals, just as you would with people.

  • When possible, have another member of your household care for your pets while you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with your pet including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, sharing food and sleeping in the same bed.
  • If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wear a mask and wash your hands before and after you interact with them.

If you are sick with COVID-19, and your pet becomes sick, the CDC advises that you do not take your pet to the veterinary clinic yourself. Instead, contact your veterinarian and let them know you have been sick with COVID-19. Some clinics may offer telemedicine consultations or other plans for seeing sick pets.

At this time, the CDC says there has been no evidence that animals are playing a significant role in the spread of COVID-19, but because all animals can carry germs that can make you and other people sick, the CDC says it is always a good idea to practice healthy habits around pets and other animals.

  • Wash your hands after handling animals, their food, waste or supplies.
  • Practice good pet hygiene and clean up after pets properly.
  • Talk to your veterinarian if you have questions about your pet’s health.
  • Be aware that children 5 years of age and younger, people with weakened immune systems, and older adults are more likely to get sick from germs some animals can carry.

According to the World Organisation for Animal Health, the infection of animals with SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — has implications for animal and human health, animal welfare, wildlife conservation and biomedical research.

The latest findings show that poultry and cattle are not susceptible to COVID-19 infection.

Utah is one of a number of states that have seen their mink populations affected by COVID-19.

In mid-December, a wild mink living in the area of an infected Utah farm tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Officials say this is the first free-ranging, native wild animal confirmed with SARS-CoV-2, to the best of their knowledge.

Utah’s state veterinarian Dr. Dean Taylor said in November that data does not suggest mink are a threat to people. Thousands of mink on Utah farms have already died because of the virus.

Bakersfield College holding first COVID-19 vaccination clinics this week


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Bakersfield College is holding multiple COVID-19 vaccination clinics this week. 

The college’s first vaccination clinic is set for Tuesday from 10 a.m. to noon at Levinson Hall, 1801 Panorama Dr. The clinic is for all eligible individuals, which includes people 65 years of age and older as well as educators and ag workers.

Residents will need to bring a photo ID, insurance card and a VipMD registration packet. To register, click here.

Another clinic will be held on Thursday from 2-4 p.m. in Levinson Hall. The college said it will be distributing the new one-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine during this clinic. Register for an appointment here.

With the support of Dignity Health, Bakersfield College will hold a drive-thru Moderna vaccination clinic in the stadium parking lot on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The college has created a map to help show residents how the drive-thru clinic will work. Click here to register.

Lastly, a clinic will be held at the Delano campus, located at 1450 Timmons Ave., on March 15 from 3-6 p.m. You can register for an appointment here.

Kern County Public Health reports 65 new COVID-19 cases


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The Kern County Public Health Services Department reported 65 new COVID-19 cases today.

Those numbers bring the county’s totals to 104,307 cases and 942 deaths. The department is reporting that 37,013 people have recovered from the virus and 59,818 are presumed recovered. An additional 6,445 people are isolating at home and the state is reporting that 121 are in a hospital.

The department said 336,734 tests have come back negative and 493 are pending.

There have been 62,955 cases among those 18 to 49 years old, according to public health officials. People between 50 and 64 account for 19,023 cases and there are 12,550 cases in children. There have been 9,713 cases in those 65 and older.

A COVID-19 vaccine schedule has also been added to the department’s website so you can see when you are eligible. You can also find an interactive map of providers that are offering the vaccine.

If you are eligible, you can find the site nearest to you and call that provider to make an appointment.

Residents may contact KCPH’s Call Center at 661-321-3000 anytime Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to have their questions answered about COVID-19.

COVID-19 claims 15 people in life of one Milwaukee woman


MILWAUKEE (AP) — A Milwaukee woman has lost at least 15 people in her world to the coronavirus in the year since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. Kimberly Montgomery grieves for family members, friends and friends who were like family. All but one of those who died was Black, like Montgomery, who works in city government. The losses included a retired police officer who was an usher and deacon at her church, a friend’s brother who was a restaurant cook and a close friend who was a nurse caring for COVID patients in Atlanta. The 59-year-old says the shock factor doesn’t wear off, but it tempers.

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Illinois sees 1,182 COVID-19 cases, 5 deaths reported Monday


(WEEK) — State public health officials on Monday are reporting 1,182 new COVID-19 cases and five deaths related to the virus, bringing Illinois’ total number of cases to 1,199,517 and the death toll to 20,767.

It’s the lowest amount of COVID-19-related deaths reported in a single day since Sept. 14, 2020, according to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

As of Monday morning, 1,178 individuals in Illinois were reportedly hospitalized with COVID-19, with 266 of those in the ICU and 118 on ventilators.

The rolling positivity rate is being reported at 2.8% and Region 2, which includes the Peoria and Bloomington-Normal areas, is seeing its rate at 2.7%.

25 News Coronavirus Vaccine Information Page

The IDPH is also reporting 3,387,778 vaccines have been administered in the state, with 347,915 of those at long-term care facilities.

The latest deaths reported by the IDPH are:

– Christian County: 1 female 70s
– Cook County: 1 male 60s, 1 male 70s, 1 female 90s
– Monroe County: 1 male 90

Total Cases Change All Time

Graphic provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health

Coronavirus resources

  • Click here for the latest CDC novel coronavirus resources and links.
  • Track the COVID-19 globally using this map tracker here.
  • You can view the latest Illinois COVID-19 numbers here.
  • For mobile testing site locations, click here.
  • You can catch up on the latest 25 News coronavirus coverage here.
  • Sign up here for the latest local, state and national news, and weather updates.

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Trump policy that weakened wild bird protections is revoked


BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Biden administration has reversed a policy imposed under President Donald Trump that drastically weakened the government’s power to enforce a century-old law protecting most U.S. bird species. Trump ended criminal prosecutions against companies responsible for bird deaths that could have been prevented. The move halted enforcement practices that resulted most notably in a $100 million settlement after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill killed about 100,000 birds. Interior spokesman Tyler Cherry says the Trump policy allowed industry to kill birds with impunity. Industry groups have said they’ll work with the administration of President Joe Biden as it plans new standards to protect birds.

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North County Transit begins providing rides to Del Mar vaccination site


SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Beginning Monday, the North County Transit District, in coordination with Scripps Health, will provide free, direct shuttle service between the Solana Beach Station and the Scripps Del Mar Fairgrounds vaccination super station.

The shuttle expands on last month’s partnership between NCTD and Metropolitan Transit System to provide free rides for people going to and from their COVID-19 vaccination appointments. Free rides will continue for all county residents traveling to other county vaccination stations, hospitals, and other community immunization locations.

“NCTD is committed, using every tool within our means, to remove as many barriers as possible to getting the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Tony Kranz, NCTD board chair and Encinitas deputy mayor. “We brainstorm daily with our partners on how to support and move our community forward.

“This additional shuttle is another step toward helping our community get past the pandemic and look forward to a brighter future on the horizon.”

The shuttle will depart from the Solana Beach Station on the north Cedros Avenue side every half hour between 7:30 a.m. and noon and take passengers directly to the super station entrance located on Jimmy Durante Boulevard. Riders will be dropped off to access the super station walk-through services. There will be no other stops along the route.

The Solana Beach Station serves the Coaster, Amtrak Pacific Surfliner and Breeze Routes 101 and 308.

In order to board the shuttle, riders will be required to show that day’s confirmation of their vaccine appointment, in the form of a printout or on their smart phone. Riders will board on a first-come, first served basis. Reservations are not available.

NCTD, in accordance with the federal directive, requires passengers to wear a mask, and will not allow riders to board if they are sick. All riders are encouraged to arrive to the Solana Beach Station with enough time to board and travel on the shuttle to the super station to arrive on time for their appointment.

The shuttle will operate seven days a week, aligning with the current super station service hours — 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Shuttle service may be extended in the future if the super station hours expand.

Copyright 2021 City News Service, Inc.

Stimulus check calculator: Do you qualify for $1,400?


WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — An exhausted Senate narrowly approved a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill Saturday as President Joe Biden and his Democratic allies notched a victory they called crucial for hoisting the country out of the pandemic and economic doldrums.

After laboring all night on a mountain of amendments — nearly all from Republicans and rejected — bleary-eyed senators approved the sprawling package on a 50-49 party-line vote. That sets up final congressional approval by the House this week so lawmakers can whisk it to Biden for his signature.

The huge measure — its cost is nearly one-tenth the size of the entire U.S. economy — is Biden’s biggest early priority. It stands as his formula for addressing the deadly virus and a limping economy, twin crises that have afflicted the country for a year.

But who will get them and how much money will they ultimately receive?

The American Rescue Plan calculator created by Jasmine Mah, a web developer for Omni Calculator, will figure out what your Economic Impact Payment will look like based on your tax filing status, number of dependents, adjusted gross income and whether or not you filed taxes in 2019 or 2020.

U.S. residents with a social security number can qualify for a stimulus check, however, certain people who didn’t file taxes recently may still receive a payment.

Mah updates the tool as new developments arise in Washington, D.C., but says some users experiencing an exceptional situation to which the calculator is not applicable can find guidance in the tool’s FAQs or in the bill itself under 2021 Recovery Rebates to Individuals.

Saturday’s vote was also a crucial political moment for Biden and Democrats, who need nothing short of party unanimity in a 50-50 Senate they run with Vice President Kamala Harris’ tiebreaking vote. They hold a slim 10-vote House edge.

Not one Republican backed the bill in the Senate or when it initially passed the House, underscoring the barbed partisan environment that’s characterized the early days of Biden’s presidency.

A small but pivotal band of moderate Democrats leveraged changes in the legislation that incensed progressives, hardly helping Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., guide the measure through the House. But the rejection of their first signature bill was not an option for Democrats, who face two years of running Congress with virtually no room for error.

In a significant sign, the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, representing around 100 House liberals, called the Senate’s weakening of some provisions “bad policy and bad politics” but “relatively minor concessions.” Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., said the bill retained its “core bold, progressive elements.”

“They feel like we do, we have to get this done,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said of the House. He added, “It’s not going to be everything everyone wants. No bill is.”

In a written statement, Pelosi invited Republicans “to join us in recognition of the devastating reality of this vicious virus and economic crisis and of the need for decisive action.”

The bill provides direct payments of up to $1,400 for most Americans and extended emergency unemployment benefits. There are vast piles of spending for COVID-19 vaccines and testing, states and cities, schools and ailing industries, along with tax breaks to help lower-earning people, families with children and consumers buying health insurance.

Republicans call the measure a wasteful spending spree for Democrats’ liberal allies that ignores recent indications that the pandemic and economy was turning the corner.

“The Senate has never spent $2 trillion in a more haphazard way,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. He said Democrats’ “top priority wasn’t pandemic relief. It was their Washington wish list.”

The Senate commenced a dreaded “vote-a-rama” — a continuous series of votes on amendments — shortly before midnight Friday, and by its end around noon dispensed with about three dozen. The Senate had been in session since 9 a.m. EST Friday.

Overnight, the chamber looked like an experiment in sleep deprivation. Several lawmakers appeared to rest their eyes or doze at their desks, often burying their faces in their hands. At one point, Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, at 48 one of the younger senators, trotted into the chamber and did a prolonged stretch.

Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, missed the votes to attend his father-in-law’s funeral.

The measure follows five earlier ones totaling about $4 trillion enacted since last spring and comes amid signs of a potential turnaround.

Vaccine supplies are growing, deaths and caseloads have eased but remain frighteningly high, and hiring was surprisingly strong last month, though the economy remains 10 million jobs smaller than pre-pandemic levels.

The Senate package was delayed repeatedly as Democrats made eleventh-hour changes aimed at balancing demands by their competing moderate and progressive factions.

Work on the bill ground to a halt Friday after an agreement among Democrats on extending emergency jobless benefits seemed to collapse. Nearly 12 hours later, top Democrats and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, perhaps the chamber’s most conservative Democrat, said they had a deal, and the Senate approved it on a party-line 50-49 vote.

Under their compromise, $300 weekly emergency unemployment checks — on top of regular state benefits — would be renewed, with a final payment Sept. 6. There would also be tax breaks on some of that aid, helping people the pandemic abruptly tossed out of jobs and risked tax penalties on the benefits.

The House relief bill, largely similar to the Senate’s, provided $400 weekly benefits through August. The current $300 per week payments expire March 14, and Democrats want the bill on Biden’s desk by then to avert a lapse.

Manchin and Republicans have asserted that higher jobless benefits discourage people from returning to work, a rationale most Democrats and many economists reject.

The agreement on jobless benefits wasn’t the only move that showed moderates’ sway.

The Senate voted Friday to eject a House-approved boost in the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025, a major defeat for progressives. Eight Democrats opposed the increase, suggesting that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and other liberals pledging to continue the effort will face a difficult fight.

Party leaders also agreed to restrict eligibility for the $1,400 stimulus checks for most Americans. That amount would be gradually reduced until, under the Senate bill, it reaches zero for people earning $80,000 and couples making $160,000. Those ceilings were higher in the House version.

Many of the rejected GOP amendments were either attempts to force Democrats to cast politically awkward votes or for Republicans to demonstrate their zeal for issues that appeal to their voters.

These included defeated efforts to bar funds from going to schools that don’t reopen their doors or let transgender students born male participate in female sports. One amendment would have blocked aid to so-called sanctuary cities, where local authorities don’t help federal officials round up immigrants in the U.S. illegally.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Petco, Padres agree to stadium naming rights extension through 2027


SAN DIEGO (CNS) – San Diego-based Petco Health and Wellness Co. Inc. announced Monday it has reached an agreement with the San Diego Padres to extend the naming rights for the Padres’ downtown ballpark through the 2027 Major League Baseball season.

The stadium on Park Boulevard near the San Diego Convention Center has held the same name since it opened in 2004. The new agreement extends the original agreement two years.

Under the new agreement, Petco will continue to be featured prominently throughout the ballpark and signage will feature its new logo.

“As a locally based company, we are proud to have the Petco name on the number one ballpark in America and home of the San Diego Padres,” said Padres CEO Erik Greupner.

Petco also plans to partner with star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. and star third baseman Manny Machado to create social and digital content centered around health and wellness for pets.

“The Padres and Petco are both teams with positive momentum, competing at the highest level and with great players putting up great numbers,” said Petco Chairman and CEO Ron Coughlin. “We are excited to continue working closely with the Padres and in partnership with world-class athletes and pet parents like Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. to improve the lives of pets, pet parents and our more than 26,000 partners.”

The Padres expect to have fans at Petco Park for their home opener April 1 against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Greupner said Friday. The team will soon notify its season-ticket holders with details of their return to Petco Park.

Copyright 2021 City News Service, Inc.

At least 1 injured in wrong-way crash


SAN DIEGO — At least one person was injured early Monday in a wrong-way crash on state Route 94.

The crash was reported shortly after 3:20 a.m. on eastbound SR-94 near Federal Boulevard, according to the California Highway Patrol

One person was seen being loaded into an ambulance.

Authorities shut down the right two lanes on eastbound SR-94 for an investigation. All lanes were reopened shortly before 6 a.m.