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Morning Lookout: Delta variant causes California cases to rise, online learning in fall

Good Morning! It’s Thursday, July 8 and it’ll be another day of intermittent clouds and a high of 76. A warming trend starting today is going to bring the heat to the larger area, especially in the interior, with mild impact to Santa Cruz County. A graphic from the National Weather Service predicts the high temperature in Santa Cruz today to rise to 80.

It’s bad news for UC Santa Cruz student and gymnast Isabelle Connor and her fellow Olympians this morning after a state of emergency was declared in Tokyo, just weeks before opening ceremonies. This means no spectators will be allowed at any of the venues, a move that could impact athletes’ performances. In fact, the Delta variant is now resulting in problems here at home too.

Here are your headlines:

Coronavirus cases in California rise for first time in months as Delta variant spreads

Phitsamay Lee, left, is vaccinating Lesina Afu, 12, right.

After months of steady declines, coronavirus infections are once again on the rise in California as the state struggles with slowing daily vaccination rates and the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant. While it’s too soon to say whether the upticks are a trend or a blip, health experts and state officials expressed confidence that California’s reopening and the return of something resembling normality were not in jeopardy. Read more here.

IN SANTA CRUZ COUNTY: The county announced last week that the first Delta variant case was identified in Santa Cruz County in a man in his 50s who tested positive for COVID in early June. Officials believe there are likely many more undetected cases in the county. Read more about that here.

WHAT ABOUT THE KIDS? With kids under 12 still ineligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, how worried should parents be about the Delta variant? “Despite all the talk about the light at the end of the tunnel, the virus is not gone by any means, and we have to be able to respond,” one epidemiologist says. Read more here.

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Santa Cruz Shakespeare (SCS), an inspired, professional theater company in Santa Cruz County with deep local roots that...

California parents want to keep online learning as a fall option, poll finds

Jesus Medina, right, joins three other students attending Araceli Castillo-Parrales' AVID class.

DO YOU AGREE? Although California parents strongly favor full campus reopenings in the fall, they want school districts to offer online learning options, according to a statewide survey that indicates uncertainties ahead for in-person attendance. More than two-thirds of parents agree that eligible California students should be required to get a COVID-19 vaccine once it has been approved by the FDA, according to the survey. Read more here.

Newsom hypes his budget proposals as he seeks to hold off recall

Gov. Gavin Newsom at a press conference

‘HIS METHOD OF GOVERNING IS JOINED INTIMATELY WITH ELECTIONEERING’: For weeks, an anti-recall campaign ad has given Gov. Gavin Newsom credit for delivering free prekindergarten “for every California child regardless of income.” The ad is just one example of how the governor and his campaign have capitalized on the voter-friendly measures in California’s flush $262.6-billion budget. Read more here.

COLUMN: Feinstein’s recall history offers a lesson for those aiming at Newsom — you better not miss: As California faces the recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom, take a look back at when an effort to oust Dianne Feinstein as San Francisco mayor backfired. It made her a star. Read the full column here.

Around the county...

Catalytic converter theft turns into shooting in Seabright (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

Community members are banding together to rebuild a historic school destroyed by fire in Ben Lomond (KION-TV)

Watsonville City Council moves Ohlone Parkway housing project forward (The Pajaronian)

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Have a great day!

Tulsi Kamath
Managing Editor