ARCHIVE - Coronavirus Updates - April 22-26
NOTE: This page is an ARCHIVE of KAZU's online coverage, of April 22-26, 2020.
SUNDAY, APRIL 26
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY
As of April 25, Santa Cruz County is reporting a total of 120 known cases of COVID-19. That’s an increase of 5 cases since April 24. Fatalities remain at two people, 18 people have required hospitalization and 72 have recovered from the virus. 3,308 negative tests have been recorded.
The Monterey Public Library has virtual programs people can watch anytime at their website.
Pajaro Valley Unified School District has released its meal schedule for this upcoming week. Students, and those between the ages of 1 -18, can get their breakfast and lunch at any one of the district’s school sites.
As of April 25, there have been 183 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Monterey County residents.That’s an increase of 19 cases since April 22. Fatalities remain at 4, 30 have required hospitalization and 39 have recovered. Local labs have conducted 3,029 tests in the county.
The California Department of Public Health says as of April 25, there are 42,164 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state. 1,710 people have died. That’s an increase of 148 deaths since April 23. Local health departments have reported 4,593 confirmed positive cases in health care workers. More than 526,083 tests have been conducted in California (some of these results are still pending).
FRIDAY, APRIL 24
With temperatures warming up, California State Parks is reminding Californians to “Stay Home, Save Lives.” Vehicle access at all 280 state parks and beaches is temporarily closed. Some state parks and beaches are temporarily closed to the public. The agency will continue to monitor visitation and social distancing.
The California Department of Public Health says as of April 23, there are 39,254 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state. 1,562 people have died. That’s an increase of 93 deaths since April 22. Local health departments have reported 4,322 confirmed positive cases in health care workers. More than 494,173 tests have been conducted in California (some of these results are still pending).
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY
The City of Santa Cruz is extending all parking permits through May free of charge in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes extending all valid monthly garage permits through May 31. If you have pre-paid that, the city will credit you a month of parking. Residential parking permits are also extended through May. Information regarding all parking permit programs is available here.
As of April 24, Santa Cruz County is reporting a total of 115 known cases of COVID-19. That’s an increase of 1 case since April 23. Fatalities remain at two people, 18 people have required hospitalization and 67 have recovered from the virus. 3,090 negative tests have been recorded.
Santa Cruz County park managers are reminding residents to exercise in their neighborhoods and postpone road trips to remote parks and beaches. Only essential travel is permitted, and park managers say there is no essential reason to cross county lines for recreation. As the weather warms up, more people are heading outdoors. However, many parks and beaches in the county have been experiencing visitation surges that make it impossible to stay six feet apart. Congregating in groups is not allowed and enforcement action includes fines of up to $1,000.
On Friday, the Monterey County Health Officer said the county's shelter-in-place order will likely be extended past May 3rd.
The Monterey County Health Officer issued an order clarifying the use of short-term rentals while the shelter-in-place order exists. These lodging facilities can remain open for limited purposes, such as housing the homeless to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Or, lodging for people who can’t return home because someone they live with has COVID-19. A copy of the order can be found here.
Monterey’s recreation department has started a new program called Virtual Recreation Center. It includes online games, books, crossword puzzles and other games.
This weekend, the Monterey City parking division will be monitoring street and garage parking to see if shelter-in-place orders are being followed. Occupancy rates of hotels and motels are also being watched to determine if people are staying home. On Monday, the City will determine whether any actions need to be taken.
The City of Monterey is preparing its budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, which begins July 1. City Manager Hans Uslar has asked all city departments to find significant budget cuts for next year. This comes on top of a proposal to lay off about 20 percent of city staff. If approved, the layoffs would take effect July 1. It’s expected the city will have to use some of its reserves to get through the next fiscal year.
Monterey County Public Works staff are holding off on small projects like painting until the shelter-in-place order is revised. However, they continue to work on projects that are deemed essential, including the new juvenile hall project, the jail housing project and work on an emergency shelter in Salinas.
Monterey County has updated its microloan program to best respond to the needs of small businesses during the coronavirus. Small businesses can apply for loans up to $25,000. Currently, about $570,000 is available for roughly 23 businesses. Cal Coastal is administering the funds for the county. Click here for an application.
According to Monterey County Health Officer Dr. Edward Moreno, 41 people in the agriculture industry have tested positive for COVID-19. Moreno said one reason why farmworkers are at higher risk is the affordable housing crisis. Many farmworkers share homes to make ends meet.
As of April 22, there have been 164 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Monterey County residents.That’s an increase of 10 cases since April 21. Fatalities remain at 4, 28 have required hospitalization and 32 have recovered. Local labs have conducted 2,708 tests in the county.
If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is sharing a series of guided meditation called MeditOcean. Videos of sea creatures fill up your screen as someone guides you through relaxation steps.
Sabu Shake Sr. Memorial Foundation is raising money to provide meals for Monterey Peninsula hospital workers and first responders during the coronavirus. The foundation has partnered with the Monterey County Business Council and Montage Health Foundation to raise the funds. The initiative will also help support local restaurants. Email email@example.com to participate.
The Monterey County Business Council and Cal Coastal Small Business Development Center, in partnership with the MOnterey COunty and City of Salinas, are hosting a webinar this Friday about new small business grants. The webinar is part of a series about new grant opportunities and will take place between 10am and 11am. Click here to register.
Community Human Services received a $30,000 grant from the COVID-19 Relief Fund of the Community Foundation for Monterey County. This funding will help support CHS’s short-term and long-term recovery efforts from COVID-19, including basic aid and coronavirus education for homeless youth.
THURSDAY, APRIL 23
The California Department of Public Health says as of April 22, there are 37,369 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state. 1,469 people have died. That’s an increase of 115 deaths since April 21. Local health departments have reported 4,153 confirmed positive cases in health care workers. More than 482,097 tests have been conducted in California (some of these results are still pending).
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY
Santa Cruz County has started looking into ways to ease shelter-in-place restrictions and resume some normal activity. Following the state’s lead, some scheduled surgeries may be allowed. That could include dentistry. A new Community Recovery unit has been created to study and recommend ways to return to normal activity. Currently, estimates are that it will take between 18 months and 2 years.
Santa Cruz County officials say New Leaf Community Markets in Aptos has become the first known cluster of the coronavirus in Santa Cruz County with 15 reported cases. The names of those who are infected are not being reported because of privacy concerns. All employees have been notified of the situation. The grocery store will close for a few days to disinfect and then re-open. Grocery stores are considered essential businesses.
The city of Santa Cruz has launched the 10,000 Masks Project in light of the county’s new order that everyone must wear masks from now on. City of Santa Cruz staff worked with Harts Fabric, a local business, to secure 200 volunteers and 7,000 yards of fabric to sew masks. The city expects to reach its goal of 10,000 masks by the end of April. They are being distributed to workers who are providing essential services and the homeless.
Santa Cruz County officials have completed readiness assessments of local skilled nursing facilities. Public health staff have been working closely with these facilities to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The county says there are currently no known cases among skilled nursing facility residents within Santa Cruz County. Back on March 20, the county health officer issued a no-visitation order at residential health care facilities. In early April, the public health department created a team of communicable disease unit staff to work on assessments of the seven skilled nursing facilities.
The Santa Cruz County Health Officer is now requiring people to wear face coverings when out in public to further slow the transmission of the coronavirus. The order goes into effect at 11:59pm on Friday, April 24 and will remain in effect until further notice. It applies to the unincorporated areas of Santa Cruz County as well as the cities of Capitola, Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley and Watsonville. A face covering could be made of cloth, fabric or permeable material without holes. Examples include a scarf, bandana, neck gaiter, or handmade ones from a t-shirt, sweatshirt or towel. They should cover the nose and mouth and surrounding areas of the lower face.
As of April 23, Santa Cruz County is reporting a total of 114 known cases of COVID-19. That’s an increase of 3 cases since April 22. Fatalities remain at two people. 18 people have so far required hospitalization and 62 have recovered from the virus. 2,953 negative tests have been recorded.
The cancellation of the 70th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, scheduled for August, has moved the financial models for the City of Monterey to a worse case scenario, according to Monterey Assistance City Manager Nat Rojanasathira. August is one of the biggest months for tourism and cancelling the historic car event will have a major impact. The RM Sotheby’s Auction association with the event has also been cancelled.
As of April 21, there have been 154 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Monterey County residents.That’s an increase of 4 cases since April 20. 2,572 tests have been conducted in the county and fatalities remain at 4.
Natividad Medical Center is urging people to not delay emergency care during the coronavirus. They want community members to continue to call 911 or seek care in the event of an emergency. Natividad reminds everyone that the hospital is a safe environment for patients. The hospital also has protocols in place to ensure the health and safety for new parents and babies.
A Carmel High School group has been delivering food boxes to employee housing at Ventana Big Sur and Post Ranch Inn as well as community members in Big Sur and Cachagua. Anyone else in need can pick up a food box at the Carmel Middle School gym on Thursdays between 10 and 11am. For more information about the group, click here.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY
Second Harvest Food Bank will host another drive through community food distribution on Friday, April 24, at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds. The distribution will be between 9am – 1pm. Residents of Santa Cruz County can come and receive a bag of pantry items and a bag of produce. The Food Bank says this is plenty of food for a family, so are asking that if you have attended one of Second Harvest’s previous food distributions in this same week please allow those who still need food to get their share. They are also asking community members not to arrive before 9am so they can set up sufficiently.
Upcoming Second Harvest food drive schedule:
April 24 , 2020 –Fairgrounds, Watsonville
May 1, 2020 – Fairgrounds, Watsonville
May 8, 2020 – Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz
May 15, 2020 – Fairgrounds, Watsonville
May 22, 2020 – Fairgrounds, Watsonville
May 29, 2020 –Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz
The California Department of Public Health says as of April 21, there are 35,396 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state. 1,354 have died. That’s an increase of 60 deaths since April 20. Local health departments have reported 3,877 confirmed positive cases in health care workers. More than 308,700 tests had been conducted in California (some of these results are still pending).
Caltrans says it is working with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to urge drivers in the state to slow down. Officials have recently recorded an 87% increase in citations for speeding in excess of 100 mph, when compared the same period last year. They say this trend has occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Caltrans has measured an average decline in traffic volume on state roads of approximately 35%.
- Free, online tutoring for students K through college, 7 days a week between 10am - 11pm.
- Free E books and audio books
- Zip books delivered directly from Amazon.
- Texting with a librarian at 831-869-2960 (Mon - Sat 10am-5pm)
The libraries are also making 3D-printed and hand sewn masks. They are running low on supplies so are asking for donations such as sheets, T-shirts and elastic (for the masks) and filament (for the printers).
The Monterey County Office of Emergency Services has provided more insight about how the alternative care site will work at Marina Airport. The site will be used to accommodate the anticipated surge beyond the collective hospital capability. It will act as an extension of local hospitals and patients will only be moved there when all local hospitals have reached capacity. Hospitals will work in coordination with each other.
The Monterey County Office of Emergency Services says it’s expecting more trailers to arrive from the state this week. 15 were delivered last week and a total of 100 were promised. These trailers, similar to a 30 foot long RV, will be used to isolate patients rather than for patients that require treatment.
The Monterey County Health Officer is working, in coordination with neighboring counties, on a face-coverings order. The order will be consistent with what the state has proposed and is expected to be announced soon.
Monterey County has identified 725 residents who have been in close contact with individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. The “close contacts” are being monitored and have been asked to isolate and quarantine themselves.
The Monterey County Public Health Officer Dr. Edward Moreno estimates the county is currently seeing a doubling of coronavirus cases every 14 days. He says this indicates social distancing and the current shelter-in-place order is working to slow the spread of the virus.
Another non-medical masks giveaway event is planned for tomorrow (April, 23rd) from 3 - 5:30pm at Soledad High School. This is a project administered by volunteers and the parents and students at Stevenson School in Pebble Beach.
The organization behind the give away also donated 500 non medical masks to the City of Monterey to give to seniors who may need them. The city will distribute the masks through its Monterey Outreach program
Monterey City Council met for two sessions on Tuesday, April 21. The later session ran until 1:30am. The council took several actions pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The council deferred action on the proposed layoff of more than 80 city employees. The city will meet with bargaining units representing the employees over the next week. The council will meet again on April 29th at 4 pm to vote on the layoffs. That meeting will be videocast on Access Monterey Peninsula and Youtube live.
The council also voted to allow the city to take money from Neighborhood and Community Improvements Funds to help balance a shortfall in revenue. The city announced earlier that it would lose $10 million in revenue over the three and half month period ending June 30th because of a decline in tourism during the pandemic. Most of the money comes from losses in hotel and sales taxes.
The council approved a $1 million stimulus plan for businesses with fewer than 5 employees. The money will come from the Parking and Tidelands Funds.
The council approved a rental assistance program. Program details still need to be worked out. It would give financial assistance to residents laid off because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce is hosting a webinar this Friday, April 24 from 10 - 11am to discuss a new grant and low-interest loan program called the Monterey Peninsula Small Business Relief Fund.
The Community Foundation of Monterey County will also be discussing opportunities for local nonprofits to get assistance through their "COVID-19 Relief Fund".
As of April 20, there are 150 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Monterey County residents. That’s an increase of 2 cases from April 19. 2,430 tests have been conducted and fatalities remain at 4.
The Everyone's Harvest Farmers’ Markets in Pacific Grove and Marina are launching an online pre-ordering system to support shoppers and vendors at both markets. Online shoppers will be able to select a time to pick up and pay for their order.
The initiative began on Monday, April 13 at the weekly market in Pacific Grove. It begans at the Marina market on Sunday, April 19.
The Monterey County Board of Supervisor has approved $250,000 in financial support to the Food Bank for Monterey County. They say the COVID-19 pandemic in Monterey County is increasing the need for food by residents.
Monterey County already provides annual support to the Food Bank of $60,000. The money, which has been approved by the Board, is in addition to those annual funds and are being taken from the County’s cannabis tax revenue account.
This brings the total support provided by the county for the Food Bank to $500,000 in just the last month. $250,000 was approved March 24.
SANTA CLARA COUNTY
The County of Santa Clara Medical Examiner-Coroner has identified three individuals who died with COVID-19 in Santa Clara County before the COVID-19 associated death on March 9, 2020, originally thought to be the first death associated with COVID-19 in the county.
The county says these three individuals died at home during a time when very limited testing was available only through the CDC. They add that as their Medical Examiner-Coroner continues to investigate deaths throughout the county, they anticipate additional deaths from COVID-19 will be identified.