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March 27, 2020

A thorough wash

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday that it is temporarily stopping jail tours, screening those being brought to the main jail and stopping contact visits at all facilities. The move is in response to the declaration of local health emergency by the Santa Cruz County Health Office. Sheriff Jim Hart said he is taking the precaution for the safety of people in jail, staff and visitors. Corrections medical staff has been monitoring the situation and there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the jail. 

Additionally, Starbucks announced Wednesday that they are pausing the use of personal cups and “for here” ware in their stores. I was turned down Wednesday at one of their stores at the Capitola Mall when I presented my coffee thermos. “We will continue to honor the 10-cent discount for anyone who brings in a personal cup or asks for ‘for here’ ware,” said Rossann Williams, president. 

An elderly resident of Placer County near Sacramento has reportedly died from the coronavirus, health authorities reported, as Santa Clara and Los Angeles counties report new cases. Coronavirus is now in 80 countries. More than 3,000 cases have been reported in Italy where 107 have died. Italy has closed schools for 8.4 million students through Mar. 15 while Japan, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon and Iraq are taking similar measures. Thus far there have been 94,000 cases reported worldwide with 3,200 deaths. Eleven people have died in the U.S., the Associated Press reported. The World Health Organization said that about 3.4 percent of those infected have died. Another cruise ship has been isolated off the California coast while millions have been asked to work from home in Seattle, according to the Today Show. 

My granddaughter in Texas has learned that people are hoarding things like hand sanitizers, face masks and the like. Our reporter Todd Guild said he spotted a woman in a CVS store the other day panicked over learning that disinfectant had been cleared from the shelves.

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren pulled out of the race Thursday following poor results in Super Tuesday’s votes.

Police were pulled into a bizarre high-speed chase last week where a thief reportedly stole a hearse with a body in it near Los Angeles. A man, according to the Guardian, initially swiped the black Lincoln Navigator Wednesday night from St. Anthony Greek Orthodox Church in East Pasadena, with a woman’s body inside a casket in the rear of the vehicle. Around 7:30 a.m. Thursday police got behind the hearse and a chase began on the heavily traveled Highway 110 in Pasadena. About 15 minutes later the hearse crashed into two vehicles near Vernon Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Police said the body and casket were found inside the Navigator undisturbed. The suspect was taken into custody and identified as 25-year-old James Juarez. He was charged with felony grand theft and is being held on $35,000 bail. 

Low clouds will move into the Central Coast today followed by a fog layer this evening. The National Weather Service said there is a chance of rain Saturday. While Sunday it will clear somewhat, more rain is possible Monday and Tuesday.

Reminder: We lose an hour early Sunday morning with the arrival of Daylight Savings Time. Set that clock forward an hour before you cave in for the night Saturday.

Also, spring begins on March 19.

Quote of the Day: “People without hope not only don’t write novels, but what is more to the point, they don’t read them.” ― Flannery O’Connor