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Coronavirus update: 10,000 active Valley cases; Restaurants + PPP loans; Fresno schools deadline

Fresno Bee logoFresno Bee 7/11/2020 By Joshua Tehee, The Fresno Bee

The central San Joaquin Valley now has more than 10,000 active cases of coronavirus and is adding more than 500 new cases each day, according to health officials in the six-county region.

Fresno County reported 346 new cases and three related deaths on Thursday. The county continues to lead the region in the number of total cases (7,627), active cases (5,854) and confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients in the hospital (206). That is more than double the number in any other county in the region.

Tulare County added 169 new cases and four related deaths in an update on Friday. It now has 1,837 active cases. The county continues to lead the region in number of deaths (152).

There have been 18,841 confirmed cases of the coronavirus across the six counties since March 6, when the first cases were reported. More than 8,000 people have recovered.

Nearly 300 people have died of illness related to the coronavirus.

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Tower District block sale is happening. Why you might not want to go

Fresno’s giant annual Harvard Avenue block sale, probably the largest in the city, will be allowed to take place Saturday, although city and county leaders expressed concerns related to the COVID-19 virus.

Fresno City council member Esmeralda Soria on Thursday issued an “important notice” making it clear that she “in no way” endorsed the block sale, after posters boasting of her support appeared. Soria noted Fresno County Health Department officials ruled the block sale “not recommended.” But she said city code enforcement officials will treat the event as an “authorized activity.”

Soria said two code enforcement officers will be at the event to enforce COVID-19 health concerns, including social distancing and masks. Residents setting up items for sale also said the safety requirements would be in place Saturday, and “mask up” signs were in place.

The city issued a release on Friday with recommended protocols and restrictions for yard/garage sales including having no combined yard sales or mixing of personal property from multiple households and having no more than 10 people on any residential property at the same time.

Fresno schools set enrollment deadline

Fresno school leaders are giving parents until the end of July to decide whether to send their children back to campuses this fall or enroll them exclusively in online learning courses.

Fresno Unified School District will not offer a so-called “hybrid” model that would allow students to switch between campuses classes and virtual lessons. At a news conference Thursday, Fresno Unified Superintendent Bob Nelson said if parents don’t enroll their children for online learning by July 31, they will automatically be enrolled in on-campus classes.

But Fresno teachers union — and several parents — said district leaders have not yet provided families with enough information to make an informed decision.

Local restaurants, including Pismo’s, received millions in relief loans

David Fansler, the Fresno restaurateur who defined state regulations to keep his business open, received as much as $5 million in federal coronavirus pandemic relief dollars.

More than 1,000 local restaurant owners received so-called Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, loans. Fansler received loans for all three of his restaurants — Pismo’s Coastal Grill, Westwoods BBQ & Spice Co. and Yosemite Ranch.

Pismo’s and Westwoods were loaned between $1 million and $2 million each, records show, and Yosemite Ranch got between $350,000 and $1 million.

A Merced-based corporation that owns more than 20 McDonald’s locations received one of the largest loans in the central San Joaquin Valley. The loan was worth up to $10 million, according to records.

A similar sized loan when to Visalia-based RLMK Inc., which also own McDonald’s restaurants.


©2020 The Fresno Bee (Fresno, Calif.)

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