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Covid-19 takes its toll

Virus rate decrease may be misleading

According to the Kern County Department of Public Health, Shafter showed a significant decrease in new coronavirus cases from last week, with a little over 40 new cases, compared to 200 the previous week. However, the decrease may be the result of a backlog of tests whose results have not been confirmed. There likely was a slight decrease, though, as a result of the closures of several buildings, including restaurants’ dine-in areas, city buildings, and other non-essential businesses.

In a move to assist restaurants and retail stores trying to stay afloat, Shafter has waived the fees for temporary use permits for those restaurants and retail businesses that are turning their outdoor areas and parking lots into dining and sales areas.

Shafter officials have emphasized the importance of wearing face coverings while doing business in town, including digital signs put out by the city.

Meanwhile, Zoom has made it possible for residents to stay in touch with the workings of the city.

With the county remaining on the state’s watch list, the Richland School District began the school year with distance learning, making sure every student has internet access. With the summer to prepare, the staff at the different schools were also better equipped to handle the challenges of daily distance learning, including tutoring sessions, and classes for the parents to make sure that they are able to assist in their children’s education.

The upcoming election may also be a challenge. With the nomination period closed, the list of candidates who have been validated was announced. The candidates are current City Council members Chad Givens, Manual Garcia and Gilbert Alvarado, with three new candidates joining the fray. They are Kris Lawrence, Rafael Zamudio and Pete Espinoza.


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