California rules now allow for 3 households to socialize

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California is easing its coronavirus restrictions to allow up to three households to socialize outdoors, an expansion of rules aimed at people tempted to have even larger gatherings around Halloween, Thanksgiving and end-of-year holidays, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday.

Three households can gather so long as they wear masks and follow other safety precautions designed to stem the spread of the virus, under the new guidelines from the California Department of Public Health. State health officials previously discouraged gatherings outside of a single household.

The goal is not to encourage larger gatherings, Newsom said, but to recognize the increasing pressure for get-togethers and provide ways for people to act appropriately. There’s no limit on the number of people within any three households, though state officials say smaller is better.

Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s Health and Human Services secretary, said the guidelines are meant to recognize

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Households across Stanislaus County struggle to have enough food during coronavirus

Read more about food insecurity in Stanislaus County ==> School districts, nonprofits and government officials find ways to feed those in need

Modesto resident Claudia Villagomez and her husband lost their jobs in the farm fields when the pandemic hit, and they haven’t been able to find work.

They were out of money to feed their family. A friend told her about the Salvation Army food bank.

On a blistering hot August day, she backed her small sedan into the refrigerated port at the agency’s food distribution center on Janopaul Lane in South Modesto, where the volunteers filled her trunk with apples, milk and non-perishables.

“It helps a lot,” said Villagomez. “We have four children and my parents.”

Her kids range in age from 2 to 13 and they usually rely on school lunch to fend off hunger, but the coronavirus pandemic has them home-bound. The family is struggling

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