The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

    NEWS IN BRIEF: What happened over winter break

    DEC 13-19 (Finals Week):

    LOCAL- Sonoma County voter turn-out in November among the highest in the state

    An analysis of voter turnout in the November election shows Sonoma County as having the highest voter turnout in the state. 90.45 percent of registered voters in the county turned up to cast their ballot. Marin County came in second place with 90.25 percent of registered voters participating in the election. According to Deva Marie Proto, Sonoma County Clerk-Recorder-Assessor-Registrar of Voters, voter turnout was “driven by the presidential election,” as well as important local measures. “We were really happy with how the election went, despite mailing out more ballots, despite having new technology, and a new voting model, everything went really smoothly. Voters got their ballots in early, and the election in Sonoma County was a real success,” she continued.

    LOCAL- Debates over when to reopen Sonoma County schools 

    Concerns over rising COVID cases statewide, as well as the mental health and failing grades of students across the nation, left Sonoma County Education officials in a tough position. The Sonoma County Office of Education left the reopening of schools up to individual districts within the county, but districts argue definitive guidance is needed for reopening because “it has created a divide between parents and teachers.” Santa Rosa City Schools released a revised COVID-19 reopening plan, which doesn’t project in-person instruction until March 2021 at the earliest.

    DEC 20-26:

    NATIONAL- U.S. strikes deal with Pfizer to increase vaccine supply

    The Trump Administration negotiated a deal with Pfizer to receive an extra 100 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by July 2021. The increase will double the original number of doses. While it will not expand early access that is currently reserved for health-care workers and the elderly, it will prevent a shortage of doses in the summer and “hopefully end this devastating pandemic more quickly,” by vaccinating more people, according to Albert Bourla, Pfizer’s chief executive. 

    DEC 27- JAN 2:

    LOCAL- COVID-19 vaccines available to seniors and caregivers in Sonoma County

    Senior living and care facilities were granted early access to the vaccine. CVS pharmacists traveled to senior care facilities in the county to vaccinate residents, nursing staff, and administrators. The vaccinations will hopefully allow seniors to “return to some semblance of normalcy” in the new year, as stated in an article written by Phil Barber.

    JAN 3-9:

    NATIONAL- Extremists storm U.S. Capitol building

    A domestic terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol building in D.C. left five people dead. Right wing extremists, conspiracy theorists, and Trump supporters stormed the building in an effort to prevent the Congressional certification of electoral votes for President Biden from going forward. The vote was carried out nonetheless, although six Senators and over 100 House representatives still voted against certification.

    JAN 10-16:

    STATE- Daily COVID-19 cases begin to flatten in California, but it may be too soon to determine a trend

    There has been a tentative trend of flattening COVID cases in California since Jan. 10, which marked one of the highest average number of cases in one day with over  45,000 cases reported statewide. Since then, daily cases have stayed below that figure, suggesting a slow and uncertain downward trend. California hospitals however are still overwhelmed and officials continue to stress the importance of mask wearing and social distancing as a new variant, first detected in the UK, made its way to Southern California in late December.

    SPORTS- 2021 hockey season begins- Sharks win their first game

    The National Hockey League began the 2021 season on Jan. 13, and the San Jose Sharks announced a tentative schedule for their season. COVID restrictions in Santa Clara County currently do not allow for contact sports, so the Sharks relocated to Arizona for the foreseeable future. They kicked their season off on Jan. 14, beating the Arizona Coyotes 4-3. The team ended their 2019-2020 season in the last standing position in their division and conference, and 29th in the league.

    JAN 17-23

    NATIONAL- Inauguration Day- Kamala Harris becomes first woman and person of color Vice President and Joe Biden becomes the 46th President of the United States.

    Joseph R. Biden and Kamala Devi Harris were sworn into the offices of the President and Vice President, respectively, ringing in a new administration. Highlights included a rendition of the National Anthem by Lady Gaga and an original poem by Amanda Gorman, the youngest Inaugural poet thus far. The pandemic significantly changed the traditional structure of the event, as crowds were significantly reduced and masks were required by all in attendance. President Biden swiftly signed a total of 17 executive orders soon after the festivities ended.

    JAN 24-30 (First week back to school):

    STATE- Governor Newsom reverses COVID response and ends stay-at-home order

    Governor Newsom ended the state-wide stay-home order, citing “projections showing intensive care unit capacity improving in coming weeks”. Blindsided by the decision, some fellow California lawmakers and officials criticized the move as “premature”, with daily cases still over 20,000 per day and with some county’s ICU capacities still at zero percent. Some legislators worry the decision could lead to a new surge in cases and significantly set back any progress previously made to minimize overall COVID-19 cases in California and squash the curve.

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