In other news, PG&E pleads guilty to involuntary manslaughter for a 2018 fire that killed dozens of people. And even though a border wall isn’t a CDC-approved way to stop the spread of coronavirus, the Trump administration argues it’s a reason to fast-track construction.
It’s Arlene Martínez with news for Monday.
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Now on to some of the day’s top headlines:
Pacific Gas & Electric pleaded guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter related to the 2018 Camp Fire in Paradise. Poorly maintained equipment sparked the deadly fire, investigators later determined.
As cases of coronavirus soar in California and beyond, President Trump on Monday talked about businesses resuming activity with new protocols.
Chemo could save your life. Coronavirus could end it. For patients with cancer or who require dialysis, a terrifying choice.
As part of a $42 million emergency funding spending package, the state will lease two hospitals to prepare for a surge in patients with coronavirus. Combined, the two could hold nearly 500 people.
The outdoors are having a moment. Unfortunately, it’s causing mass crowds to congregate as social distancing is urged. San Diego’s mayor closed all parks, trails and beaches on Monday as have agencies up and down the state. Joshua Tree only allowed foot and bike traffic, which caused a different set of problems.
Do homemade masks block the spread of coronavirus? Experts weigh in.
Golden State coronavirus tracker: 2,138 cases, 39 deaths.
Cannabis sales flying high
Could you be better positioned than a California drive-thru cannabis business in a time of coronavirus? For one, the state considers you essential. And two, you’re set on the whole drive-and-go to severely curtail social interactions.
That’s the situation a Desert Hot Springs drive-thru dispensary finds itself in now.
“We were really trying to cater to them, and make things easier and more convenient for them,” said Steve D’Angelo, co-founder of Harborside and a prominent cannabis industry advocate. “Now it turns out it’s almost the perfect virus containment mechanism.”
Joining him at the party are the 94% of cannabis retailers that have reported recent spikes in sales.
What’s even allowed to be open? The state released guidance on that following last week’s shelter-in-place mandate. It includes 16 business sectors and F to the YI, a billiards hall, is not on the list.
Funerals, price gouging, the Olympics and life post-coronavirus
Rabbis not sitting shiva, graveside services suspended, family only remembrances: The new normal for death and funerals.
Ventura County alone has seen 150 complaints of price gouging, on things like food, water and toiletries.
California’s homegrown sport, skateboarding, was set to make its Olympic debut in Tokyo. It’ll have to wait after organizers announced the games will be postponed.
A Congress that meets only virtually, partial homeschooling, universal health care, rethinking the kinds of community we create within our screens … the possibilities in a post-coronavirus world are boundless. Thirty-four macro thinkers weigh in.
Coronavirus hits state prison population
Officials confirmed the first case of coronavirus involving an inmate housed at California State Prison, Los Angeles County. A worker at the Lancaster prison has also tested positive.
Four other prison employees, one at California State Prison Sacramento, another at the next-door Folsom State Prison and two more at the California Institution for Men in Chino have also tested positive, officials said.
The first reported case of coronavirus in the federal system was also confirmed over the weekend (in New York). That prompted President Trump to consider releasing some “totally nonviolent prisoners” to reduce the risk of a larger outbreak of the coronavirus in the nation’s largest prison system.
Fears of catching coronavirus through their food prompted inmates at the Monterey County Jail to stop eating meals last week.
Along with other inmates, Rene Brooks, an inmate at the jail, organized a meal strike in a housing unit on the women’s side of the jail last week. Brooks said she and other inmates feel underinformed about the coronavirus and worry they are at risk of contracting it.
177 miles of border fence fast tracked to… keep the coronavirus out?
The Department of Homeland Security has approved 177 miles of border fence construction, in the process waiving several dozen laws meant to protect the environment, encourage public scrutiny and preserve Native American cultural sites.
Environmentalists say that the new sections of 30-foot-high steel fencing will close all remaining wildlife corridors that the few jaguars still active in the United States use to wander their habitat. If this happens, these animals will not be able to connect with larger populations in northern Mexico, and the U.S. will likely host no more wild jaguars.
The waivers, signed by Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, pertain to sections of the border in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
In government filings, Wolf said the decisions were in response to President Trump’s executive order to further tighten the border with Mexico. “In order to achieve that end, the president directed, among other things, that I take immediate steps to prevent all unlawful entries into the United States,” Wolf said.
The move was panned by environmental groups as destructive and unnecessary, covering terrain that is already difficult for migrants to traverse.
Said Randy Serraglio, Southwest conservation advocate with the Center for Biological Diversity: “It’s tragic to sacrifice the beautiful natural heritage of the borderlands and sacred Native American sites for a campaign promise.”
The U.S.-Mexico borderclosed to all non-essential travel on Saturday.
In California is a roundup of news from across USA TODAY Network newsrooms. Also contributing: Voice of San Diego, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Politico, Sacramento Bee.