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ARCHIVE - Coronavirus Updates - March 23-29

NOTE: This page is an ARCHIVE of KAZU's online coverage, of March 23-29, 2020.




As of Sunday afternoon, there are 44 confirmed COVID-19 cases among Santa Cruz County residents and one death. 


The Santa Cruz County Public Health Division announced the county's first death from the coronavirus Sunday morning. The resident who died was a man in his early 70s with an underlying health condition. He was admitted to a local hospital on March 19 with a fever and shortness of breath symptoms, and then tested positive for COVID-19. The man died on March 28. According to the Public Health Division, the man worked in both Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, but had not recently traveled. Public Health believes the infection was acquired through community spread. 

Santa Cruz County now has 41 confirmed cases, with the vast majority between the ages of 18 and 65 years old. For local information on COVID-19, click here, call 211 or text “COVID19” to 211211. Residents may also call (831) 454-4242 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., seven days a week.



As of 11am, March 29, there are 36 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Monterey County residents. The county has now released an age and location chart of the cases. Click here for that information



California State Parks announced Sunday it is temporarily closing vehicle access at all 280 state parks to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). On Saturday, many parks continued to experience high visitation. 

COVID-19 in California by the Numbers

Note: The following numbers reflect information received by local health jurisdictions as of 2 p.m. PDT March 27. More current numbers may be available from local health jurisdictions.

4,643 – Positive cases
101 – Deaths (including one non-California resident)

  • 923 – Community-acquired cases
  • 3,720 – Cases acquired through person-to-person transmission, travel (including cruise ship passengers), repatriation, or under investigation.
    • This includes 73 health care workers.

Ages of all confirmed positive cases:

  • Age 0-17: 54 cases
  • Age 18-49: 2,368 cases
  • Age 50-64: 1,184 cases
  • Age 65+: 1,016 cases
  • Unknown: 21 case




COVID-19 in California by the Numbers

Note: The following numbers reflect information received by local health jurisdictions as of 2 p.m. PDT March 26. More current numbers may be available from local health jurisdictions.

3,801 – Positive cases
78 – Deaths (including one non-California resident)

  • 1,083 – Community-acquired cases
  • 2,718 – Cases acquired through person-to-person transmission, travel (including cruise ship passengers), repatriation, or under investigation.
    • This includes 48 health care workers.

Ages of all confirmed positive cases:

  • Age 0-17: 45 cases
  • Age 18-49: 1,906 cases
  • Age 50-64: 967 cases
  • Age 65+: 847 cases
  • Unknown: 36 cases

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond announced Friday that the California Department of Education (CDE) received a preliminary waiver of statewide school testing from the federal government. CDE and the California State Board of Education (SBE) formally requested this wavier in a letter yesterday. A formal approval is expected in the coming weeks. 

“During the current COVID-19 public health crisis we are all facing right now, we don’t want our districts worrying about testing requirements or students worrying about testing,” said Thurmond.



Monterey County officials say residents can call 211 for information on the coronavirus. Officials say use of the hotline has increased about 200 percent since the coronavirus outbreak. Information in about 60 languages is available through 211.  



The city of Santa Cruz along with California State Parks will be closing parking lots along West Cliff Drive beginning tomorrow, March 28, to reduce the density of visitors and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.


Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz County is now producing 3-D printed masks and field shields for local medical providers. The Cabrillo College Makerspace is deemed essential during the coronavirus crisis and staying open to produce this Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Payson McNett, a Cabrillo College art studio instructor, initiated the idea. His face shield design comes from Joseph Prusa, a 3-D printer designer and manufacturer. The designs for these masks are on the Billings Clinic foundation website.


Given the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders, the City of Santa Cruz has launched a Virtual Recreation resource web page for all ages. It includes five categories: Fun for Seniors, Fun Outside, Fun at Home, Arts and Culture and Local Resources. For more information, click here.


The U.S. Small Business Administration heeded Congressman Jimmy Panetta’s call for Spanish-language resources online.



California State Parks today announced it is temporarily closing vehicle access to 59 additional state parks and beaches to avoid dangerous visitation surges and help prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). A list of closures can be found online here.  


Statewide Cases, Note: The following numbers reflect information received by local health jurisdictions as of 2 p.m. PDT March 25. More current numbers may be available from local health jurisdictions.

3,006 – Positive cases

65 – Deaths (including one non-California resident)

  • 886 – Community-acquired cases
  • 2,120 – Cases acquired through person-to-person transmission, travel (including cruise ship passengers), repatriation, or under investigation. This includes 42 health care wokers. 

Ages of all confirmed positive cases:

·         Age 0-17: 37 cases

·         Age 18-49: 1,505 cases

·         Age 50-64: 764 cases

·         Age 65+: 678 cases

·         Unknown: 22 cases



Monterey County schools have a new target date for re-opening. On Thursday, the Monterey County Office of Education announced that most schools don't anticipate returning any earlier than Monday, May 4. If state and local shelter-in-place orders are lifted sooner that May 4, communities will be notified of schools returning to session at least one week prior. 


Natividad, a hospital and trauma center located in Salinas, now has a bilingual hotline to answer questions from the Monterey County community about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The number for the Natividad Coronavirus Hotline is (831) 772-7365. Natividad nurses are available to speak with you in English or Spanish from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm, seven days a week. Patients who have COVID-19 symptoms, including fever, cough and shortness of breath, are encouraged to call ahead to the hotline. 


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MST service in Monterey County has been reduced or, in some cases, suspended.


In Monterey, City Council approved an eviction moratorium Wednesday night to protect renters during the coronavirus pandemic. The city’s housing office plans to create a video on this to help inform the public.

The City of Monterey is working with the Red Cross to coordinate blood drives. The city is considering the Monterey Sports Center as a potential location. The Red Cross has reported a blood shortage.


As of Thursday morning, there's been no change in the number of COVID-19 cases in Monterey County since Wednesday. The county still reports 24 cases. One death was reported on March 21. 


Monterey County officials say many businesses are still not sure whether they should open or close given the statewide and local shelter-in-place orders. The County now has a list of essential business types posted on the Monterey County Health Department’s COVID-19 webpage.



The Pajaro Valley Unified School District has decided to extend their schools closure to May 5. 


The City of Santa Cruz has enacted changes and practices related to sanitation protocol. There will be increased trash pickups to help limit contamination during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Residents may place an extra bag of trash on top of or next to their garbage bins for pick up at no extra cost through April 10. Personal hygiene products like face masks, tissues and paper towels should never be placed in blue recycling bins.

Recycling questions are easily answered through the ‘What Goes Where’ guide available on mobile phone and on the City website here. City of Santa Cruz wastewater staff are also finding products like make-up removal pad and cleaning wipes, which cause big problems for sewer backups. THese items belong in the trash.


There's been a jump in the number of COVID-19 cases in Santa Cruz County. As of Thursday, the number of people who have tested positive reached 32. The county says no deaths have been reported at this time. 


Santa Cruz County  has established a safe, online system for donating personal protective equipment, or PPE for short. 

Those wishing to donate (organizations, businesses or individuals) with surplus PPE supplies can visit this website to fill out a short online form

Here’s what the county is looking for:

• Eye protection, such as goggles and face shields 

• Antibacterial and disinfecting wipes, typically alcohol or bleach based (unopened). NO baby wipes. 

• N-95 and surgical masks (in unopened containers/boxes) 

• Medical gowns: Disposable gowns, as well as cloth surgical and hospital gowns in good condition 

Any donations will be prioritized and distributed according to medical need within Santa Cruz County.

 SANTA CLARA COUNTY3:45pm As of 5pm March 25, the number of cases in Santa Clara County has reached more than 540, with 19 deaths. More than 150 have been hospitalized.  




COVID-19 in California 

Note: The following numbers reflect information received by local health jurisdictions as of 2 p.m. PDT March 24. More current numbers may be available from local health jurisdictions.

2,535 – Positive cases

53 – Deaths (including one non-California resident)

  • 707 – Community-acquired cases
  • 1,828 – Cases acquired through person-to-person transmission, travel (including cruise ship passengers), repatriation, or under investigation. This includes 35 health care workers.



California American Water says scammers have been targeting utility providers’ customers with incorrect information about COVID-19 and drinking water. They say the safeguards they already take to protect water quality are effective to protect against viruses, including COVID-19.


Congressman Jimmy Panetta is hosting a telephone town hall Wednesday evening, March 25, at 6 pm on the local and federal response to COVID-19. Panetta will be joined by local health professionals.

English line: (888) 400-1932

Spanish line: (888) 400-9342



As of Tuesday, March 24, there have been 24 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Monterey County residents. This includes:

  • 9 Travel-related 
  • 6 Person-to-person transmission (contacts to known cases either in a home, business or health care setting)
  • 4 Community transmission
  • 5 Under investigation

Monterey County officials say COVID-19 is not confined to one section of the county. They say the public should assume people in their neighborhood are infected.

At this time, the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula says the only donation items they can accept are unopened boxes of hospital grade N-95 masks, surgical masks, and gowns. The hospital says you can also help by donating food to local food banks, sending flowers or an e-card to a patient, social distancing and staying home.


Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System (SVMHS) says its hospital has an ample stockpile of N95 masks for frontline health care workers to meet the needs of an extended pandemic. But because supplies of protective equipment are so scarce nationwide, they are accepting donations from the public. SVMHS says recent donations from the local business community of N95 masks, boxes of Nitrile gloves, and even some Tyvex suits, will help meet the future demands of treating COVID-19 patients.

They are directing people with unused masks that meet N95 criteria, to call 831-755-0772. SVMHS staff will coordinate with the caller and answer questions about donations being accepted.


The Monterey Peninsula Unified School District will again partner with the Food Bank of Monterey County, the Boys & Girls Club of Monterey County and the cities of Marina & Seaside to bring food to families in need. On Friday, March 27, food distribution will take place at Los Arboles Middle School and Seaside High School beginning at 9am and running until all food is distributed. The event is open to all and drive-up is encouraged.


The annual Artichoke Festival has been postponed from May 30-31 to August 8-9. It will take place at the Monterey County Fairgrounds & Event Center in Monterey. The festival celebrates the harvest of California’s state vegetable and raises money for local nonprofits. 

The City of Monterey also encourages residents to reach out to the following agencies for additional services or information: 

  • United Way 2-1-1 helps refer services for food, clothing, housing, mental health services, job training, veteran’s assistance and more, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in 170 languages.
  • Alliance on Aging connects older adults with services, including Medicare questions, food and home delivered meals, transportation coordination, caregivers, counseling and more, Monday-Friday between 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. by calling (831) 655-1334.
  • Monterey County Social Services can connect older adults with a “Worker of the Day” who will help provide services by calling 1-800-510-2020.



Dignity Health Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz County says it has the supplies and equipment needed to effectively manage the care of any suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients and are continuously assessing the volume of supplies at their hospital. They are though accepting donations of:

  • Masks (N95, surgical masks)
  • Gowns/protective wear (surgical/hospital type)
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Hand sanitizer

Donation bins are located near the main hospital entrance at 1555 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz, CA. Donation hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you have any questions, please call the Dominican Hospital Foundation at 831 462 7712


Second Harvest Food Bank will host a drive through community food distribution on Friday, March 27, at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds in Watsonville.  The distribution will be between the hours of 9am – 1pm.

Residents of Santa Cruz County can come and receive a bag of pantry items and a bag of produce. 



Law Enforcement agencies across Santa Cruz County are receiving calls from concerned residents reporting violations of social distancing and shelter-in-place orders. While voluntary compliance will first be sought, the Santa Cruz Law Enforcement Chief’s Association wants to remind people that violation of the county or state order is a misdemeanor.


Santa Cruz City Council approved an emergency ordinance on March 24 that protects residential and commercial tenants from evictions due to economic losses related to the coronavirus pandemic. 




While 2020 Census field operations have been suspended until April 1 due to COVID-19, the public is strongly encouraged to respond to the Census online. People can also respond by phone or mail. Getting an accurate count of the population is important because the results help determine federal funding for local communities and determine how seats in U.S. House of Representatives are divided across the 50 states. 



The Santa Clara Convention Center, in the heart of Silicon Valley, is being set up as a Federal Medical Station (FMS). The county said the station is currently under construction and will include beds, supplies, and medicines for up to 250 individuals and will serve less-acute COVID-19 cases.


The total number of people who have died for COVID-19 in Santa Clara County has reached 16. As of Tuesday, March 24, 375 people have tested positive for the virus. 125 people have been hospitalized.


Seven Bay area jurisdictions, including Santa Clara County, have ordered laboratories testing for COVID-19 to report more comprehensive testing data to state and local authorities. Laboratories must now report results of tests for all residents of each jurisdiction to the ordering health care provider. Currently, labs are reporting only positive results.


Santa Clara County Public Health have released a statement saying they strongly support expanding the availability of testing for COVID-19. In the statement they say the current lack of widespread testing capacity nationwide and locally has significantly hampered their ability to monitor the epidemic, to focus mitigation measures, and to inform individual peop le of their infection status. You can read the full statement here.



As of Tuesday, March 24, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Santa Cruz County has reached 24. No deaths have been reported. 


The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors have unanimously passed a moratorium on residential and commercial evictions. The eviction moratorium will remain in place through May 31, 2020.  Commercial and residential tenants are still obligated to pay rent, and the eviction moratorium does not absolve tenants of any financial obligation under ongoing leases or other tenancy agreements.


The San Lorenzo Valley Water District is assuring customers that the District’s tap water remains safe to drink during the COVID-19 pandemic. 



The Monterey Regional Waste Management District (MRWMD) is asking the public to be extra careful when throwing trash away, especially if someone in the household has tested positive or is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. They are asking the public to bag trash before placing it in the cart to prevent the spread of the virus. This is for the safety and health of the trash haulers, truckers and landfill and transfer station workers who may come into contact with the trash.

They are also encouraging the public to recycle. Saying with a surge in home deliveries, it’s important to recycle cardboard boxes so new boxes can be created.


The city of Monterey will Wednesday, March 25, look to adopt an urgent ordinance to temporarily prohibit residential and commercial evictions related to COVID-19.


As of Tuesday, March 23, the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Monterey County has risen to 20. On Saturday, March 21, the Monterey County Health Department announced the county’s first death due to complications from the virus. 271 people have been tested.

The county has a new information hotline. The number is 831-755-4521. This is staffed Monday - Friday 8 am to 5 pm.


The SPCA for Monterey County has set up a Pet Food Bank to support pet owners in need in the community. Their wish list on Amazon includes food that is in stock and ready to ship, but add that they’ll accept any brand, any size, and food for any type of pet.


The Monterey County Health Officer says all public and private golf courses must close immediately due to Monterey County’s Shelter in Place Order. Essential staff may continue to report to work. 


As of Tuesday morning, Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System (SVMHS) has sent 101 potential cases to the Monterey County Health Department for testing. SVMHS received 10 positive results, two of which required hospitalization.

This is an update of four positive results since Saturday. 




Note: The following numbers reflect information received by local health jurisdictions as of 2 p.m. PDT March 23. More current numbers may be available from local health jurisdictions.

2,102 – Positive cases (This includes 31 health care workers).

40 – Deaths (including one non-California resident) *Increase occurred over a period of two days.

  • 531 – Community-acquired cases
  • 1,571 – Cases acquired through person-to-person transmission, travel (including cruise ship passengers), repatriation, or under investigation.

California State Parks are taking additional safety measures to reduce crowds and help prevent the spread of COVID-19 . It comes after many state parks and beaches received record visitation over the weekend. They are closing vehicular traffic at some park units. For those wishing to take a break in the outdoors, public health officials are advising the public to walk, run, hike and bike in local neighborhoods and walk to parks.  A list of closures can be found online.




The Santa Clara County Public Health Department announced Monday March 23, three new deaths from COVID-19, bringing the total number of people who have died from the virus to 13. They have confirmed 321 positive cases of COVID-19 in the county. Over 100 people have been hospitalized.



The Monterey County Government Center (168 W Alisal, Salinas) is adjusting its hours to protect the public and government employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

From Monday, March 23, the center will be open to the public from 9am - 1pm and limited access (doors locked) will take place from 1pm - 5pm. 


The city of Monterey’s Police department has shared a video appealing to the public to follow the current shelter-in-place rules.  They are addressing the enforcement of the shelter-in-place order with an educational emphasis. They say all the businesses they have contacted have voluntarily complied. But add, that if there is non-compliance, the police department will criminally cite and forward that information to the District Attorney's Office. 


As of Monday, March 23, Monterey County has 14 confirmed cases of COVID-19. On Saturday, March 21, the Monterey County Health Department announced the county’s first death due to complications from the virus. 271 people have been tested.


Beginning Monday, March 23, Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula will no longer allow visitors to inpatients and or during outpatient services, except in very limited circumstances. The new policy is intended to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19 to patients and staff. 

Exceptions will be made in these very limited cases:

  • One birth partner for patients in labor
  • One parent or guardian for NICU and pediatric patients
  • One parent if patient is a minor seen in the Emergency Department or in an outpatient appointment
  • End-of-life patient visits will be at the discretion of the nursing supervisor



To help protect the health and welfare of local health care workers, the County of Santa Cruz is releasing nearly all of its recently acquired stockpile of 27,000 N95 masks to local critical health care facilities. Five percent of the stockpile will be reserved for unanticipated future critical needs.


Santa Cruz County is asking travellers and residents to avoid beach gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic. The county says while outdoor exercise is encouraged, large gatherings are a violation of local and state orders meant to protect the health and safety of all Californians. They add that with more State Parks than any other county, and 32 miles of beaches, Santa Cruz County offers plenty of outdoor opportunities to maintain health and well-being in compliance with social distancing guidelines.



In a press conference Monday afternoon California Governor Gavin Newson said the state currently has 75,000 hospital beds available but 50,000 more are needed. The governor said to reach that number they are asking hospitals to increase their surge plans by 40%. They are also identifying assets such as fairgrounds or convention centers that can be converted. 

The state is expanding its efforts to procure more PPE or personal protective equipment. They anticipate approximately one billion gloves will be needed over the next three months. 

Newsom pleaded with the young and healthy to think about the elderly. This is after beaches and parks were packed this past weekend with many Californians not taking social distancing seriously.




Note: The following numbers reflect information received by local health jurisdictions as of 2 p.m. PDT March 22. More current numbers may be available from local health jurisdictions.

1,733 – Positive cases

27 – Deaths (including one non-California resident)

Ages of all confirmed positive cases:

·                     Age 0-17: 25 cases

·                     Age 18-49: 837 cases

·                     Age 50-64: 442 cases

·                     Age 65+: 415 cases

·                     Unknown: 14 cases


The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration’s (CDTFA) Field Offices and Motor Carrier Office across the state have temporarily closed their public counters to ensure the health and safety of CDTFA’s customers and team members. Customer Service Center, Phone and Video Appointments, and Online Resources Available