Photo Credit: JWut89LA, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Fontana Mayor Acquanetta Warren has been striking a serious but optimistic tone recently. She is not hiding the fact that Covid-19 has been hard on her city. However, she is not getting down. She is extremely optimistic that things will improve soon, assuming the city gets a little help from Washington.
Mayor Warren is very open and honest about the financial difficulties facing the city right now. Millions were cut from the cities budget just last year due to the pandemic. However, with the help of the federal government, she thinks that things can and will turn around soon.
Warren was part of the 400 American mayors on both sides of the aisle that sent a letter to leaders in congress advocating for President Biden's $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill.
President Biden’s bill contains $350 billion for state and local governments. The Republican’s counter-proposal contains no money for state and local governments. According to Warren than money is essential for the city of Fontana.
Vaccinations nationwide are off to a frustratingly slow start. Unfortunately, despite having the most cases in the country, California's vaccine distribution is slower than most states. Many Fontana residents are eager to receive their vaccination. However, there is not a lot the mayor can do. Warren reminds residents that San Bernadino County is in charge of vaccine distribution, not Fontana. She assures everyone that Fontana is ready and willing to administer vaccines quickly once the county makes them available.
Note: All covid numbers listed below are accurate as of February 8th, 2021.
California: 3,404,056 total cases with 44,148 deaths.
San Bernadino County: 278,802 total cases with 2,141 deaths.
Fontana: 36,971 total cases with 203 deaths
California has more cases than any other state in the country. Fontana has not avoided that trend. With 36,971 cases, Fontana has been hit hard by the pandemic. Thankfully the numbers are starting to fall. However, the numbers are not nearly as low as they were six months ago.
We are not out of the woods yet. Wearing masks, social distancing, and frequent handwashing is every bit as important as ever. It is important to keep the current trend of falling infection rates going. Vaccinations will help drop that number at some point, but we are not there yet. We all need to do our part to stop the spread a little longer.
In other Fontana related news, DUI checkpoints are still a thing. They are also still effective. Anyone living in Fontana probably gets stopped at a DUI checkpoint a couple of times per year. They are annoying and feel like a waste of time. However, they are also often effective, so they are probably worth it overall.
On February 6th, the checkpoint was set up on Sierra and Randall. Two people were arrested. One person was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. Another was arrested for possession of an illegal firearm, according to the Fontana Police department.
There will be additional DUI checkpoints throughout the year, so be smart. Don’t drink and drive. Also, make sure to keep your license and registration up to date and in your car. 28 drivers were cited for not having valid driver's licenses during the most recent DUI checkpoint.
It is also worth noting that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration foots the bill for checkpoints like this. The money does not come out of Fontana’s already stretched thin budget.
Covid numbers are improving so there is a reason for optimism. However, we are not in the clear yet so stay smart. Also, remember to drive safely. If you have been drinking call a cab, Uber, Lyft, or whatever. Just don’t drink and drive.