October 2020 District Report
I hope this month finds you and your family safe. The coronavirus continues to pose a significant public health risk and peak wildfire season is upon us.
October marks the end of our legislative session. I’m proud to say Gov. Gavin Newsom signed all seven of my bills that were sent to him by lawmakers and issued no vetoes.
I’ll be in the district through much of the fall, and I look forward to seeing you at upcoming virtual events. On Nov. 10, I'll host a virtual town hall on what California and the nation can expect over the next four years in the areas of policy, law, the economy and public health.
As always, I'm available to assist you with our state agencies. You can contact me by visiting my website or by calling my offices.
In this Issue:
- MyShake & California’s Earthquake Early Warning System
- Avoid the “Twindemic” – Get Your Flu Shot Now
- Wildfire Safety & Emergency Preparedness
- Breast Cancer Awareness Month
- Halloween and COVID-19
- In the News
Senator, 3rd District
The MyShake app sends an alert to your phone moments before an earthquake hits, giving you valuable seconds to protect yourself and your family. Get more information here.
It was launched last year as part of state’s new earthquake early warning system. The system uses ground motion sensors from across the state to detect earthquakes before humans can feel them and sends notifications in real time.
It is the second way warnings are delivered. Anyone within the preset shaking intensity threshold zones will automatically receive Wireless Emergency Alerts on their WEA-enabled phone. However, the fastest and most reliable way to receive alerts is by downloading the MyShake app from the app store or Google Play.
WEA alerts will be issued for more significant earthquakes (magnitude 5 or greater) and MyShake is designed to alert the public to a wider range intensity (magnitude 4.5 or greater).
OES encourages all Californians to download MyShake so that they can have redundancy and receive alerts from both sources.
The amount of notice you receive will depend how far you are from the origin of the earthquake. For example during the Loma Prieta Earthquake those attending the World Series Game at Candlestick Park would have received 20 seconds of advance notice and residents of the Marina District would have received approximately 22 seconds of advance notice.
Cal OES has established a website for the public to learn more and download the EEW app: http://www.earthquake.ca.gov
What’s worse than a bad influenza season? A bad flu season on top of a pandemic.
The possibility of such a “twindemic” this fall is a threat to the public’s health like never before. The collision of these two diseases could strain our medical system by exposing our healthcare workforce and other essential workers to yet another serious respiratory illness, overwhelming both our testing capability and health system capacity.
It is also likely that people infected with both the flu and COVID-19, at the same time, could suffer more severe illness or death than those with the coronavirus or influenza alone. The people at greatest risk from both infections, the elderly and the medically vulnerable, are also those who are most likely to suffer the most severe outcomes.
Fortunately, there’s a good way to protect yourself from co-infection with flu and COVID-19. While a COVID-19 vaccine won’t be available for most of us until next spring at the earliest, multiple, effective flu vaccines are licensed every year by the Food and Drug Administration. Flu vaccines are available now in our communities. People six months old and older, should get vaccinated for flu as soon as possible.Find a flu shot location near you.
Ensuring you have defensible space, an emergency plan and emergency kit are critical in preparing for wildfire. I urge residents to visit the Cal Fire website, www.readyforwildfire.org, to learn how you can prepare.
Additionally, most fires start in the home and that is why it is important for every home to have a smoke detector. Indeed, according to the California Building Code, all residences must have one. They should be installed on every level of your home, outside each sleeping area and inside each bedroom.
Additionally, you can:
Sign up for Nixle alerts by texting your zip code to 888777 or sign up online. This app allows government agencies to send messages to local residents via phone, email and web. Information is delivered almost instantly.
Download the Ready for Wildifre app, from Cal Fire, which includes safety checklists, customized wildfire texts or push notifications, fire maps, and more.
Many of us have loved ones who have been impacted by breast cancer, which affects one in 15 women in California. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness and Prevention Month, which is an opportunity to promote early detection and treatment of the disease.
Visit my website to learn about free exams and services available through California’s Every Woman Counts program and the state’s Pink Plate Awareness Program. For help locating a free or low-cost screening mammogram in your area, contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345.
Halloween and Dia de los Muertos are fast approaching and the California Department of Public Health has issued guidance for safer celebrations due to COVID-19.
To keep our communities safe and healthy, CDPH recommends finding a safer alternative way to celebrate this year and strongly discourages trick-or-treating. It is important to plan early and identify safer options.
Regardless of how families choose to celebrate this year, CDPH urges everyone to keep the following in mind:
Face Coverings: Face coverings must be worn in accordance with the CDPH Guidance on the Use of Face Coverings, unless an exemption is applicable. Please note plastic, rubber, vinyl and other Halloween costume masks are not an acceptable substitute for cloth face-coverings for the prevention of COVID-19 spread.
Practice Social Distancing: Avoid confined spaces, especially indoors. Stay least 6 feet away (3 or more adult steps) from all other people who are not part of your own household, especially while talking, eating, drinking, and singing.
Good Hygiene: Wash or sanitize your hands often. Clean frequently touched items regularly.
Minimize Mixing: Plan activities to limit mixing between different households. Currently gatherings of more than three households are prohibited in California. Californians are permitted to gather with a maximum of two other households. This means that on Halloween, if you are spending time with others, you must stick with a maximum of three households (including your own), and not mingle with others.
Stay Home if You are Sick or You are in a High Risk Group: If you are sick, or you have been in contact with someone who is sick with COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19 stay home, and away from others. People at higher risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19 (such as older adults, people with chronic medical conditions) are strongly urged to stay home.
Please see the full guidance from CDPH for more information.
While California has made meaningful progress in a number of areas over the last year, there is still much work to be done. Here is some of the latest news coverage that may be of interest to you. As always, please contact my office if you have any questions about state policy or want to express your position or ideas for legislation.
- Newsom signs insurance bill requiring quicker payments for wildfire losses
- Governor signs two Dodd bills related to fire emergencies
- New state law will finally allow UC Davis students to sell wine
- Bill provides increased consumer protection for Californians
- Governor tours Napa fire damage
- Newsom visits Glass fire damage, vows to increase funding
- Governor signs Dodd bill to protect newspapers, journalism
- Police reform bill signed by the governor
- State AG will investigate all police shootings of unarmed civilians