More than a dozen counties in the Bay Area and surrounding area have been placed on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s watch list as the number of new COVID-19 cases continues to rise, KRON4 reports.
The CDC’s placement of the 13 counties located in Northern and Central California on watch list is based on a “high” transmission rate within a community as well as new hospital admissions and the number or remaining beds in ICUs.
While Sonoma and Santa Clara are the only Bay Area counties placed on the watch list, Alameda County has reinstated an indoor mask mandate for indoor public spaces in response to the spike in new cases.
The placement of these counties in the CDC’s “high” category is the first time that a California county has been on the list since March.
The following counties have been moved to the COVID watch list:
- Del Norte
- El Dorado
- San Benito
- Santa Clara
A review of the Lehigh Southwest Cement property by Santa Clara County identified 2,100 violations at the plant located in an unincorporated area of the city, East Bay Times reports.
The review, launched at the request of Supervisor Joe Simitian, revealed the violations occurred between Jan. 1, 2012 and Dec. 31, 2021, and included violations at the local, state and federal level.
One of the more notable violations recorded at the plant was the spread of sediment pollution along Permanente Creek and the removal of 35 protected trees in order to expand an emergency access road.
Lehigh in 2015 agreed to pay a split settlement to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Regional Water Quality Control Board totalling $2,550,000 as a civil penalty.
“They’ve paid the fines as they go, but it doesn’t seem to generate a change in behavior,” said Simitian. “The whole regulatory process collapses if it’s not effective in generating compliance.”
Berkeley’s historic People’s Park was added to the U.S. National Park Services Register of Historic Places in late May with the unanimous support of California State Historical Resource Commission, East Bay Times reports.
However, the recent historical designation placed on the park is not deterring U.C. Berkeley from pushing forward with their $312 million plan to build housing for roughly 1,100 students and 125 unhoused area residents.
UC Berkeley’s plans to build housing at the park isn’t restricted by the site’s placement on the National Register of historic sites. UC Berkeley acquired the land in 1967 with the intention of building housing, which was immediately met with opposition from the community.
UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor Marc Fisher last April voiced his opinion on the development of the park last April noting that while he agrees with the historical designation, he doesn’t believe preserving the site as is to be the appropriate move, noting that a few trees are the only “physical remnants – dating to the posited period of significance” in the late 1960s.
The university plans on building a six and twelve-story dorm building later this year after social workers help relocate residents currently living at the site to a hotel on University Avenue.