ARCHIVE - Coronavirus Updates - April 27-30
Note: This page is an ARCHIVE of KAZU's online coverage, of April 22-26, 2020.
THURSDAY, APRIL 30
The California Department of Public Health says as of April 29, there are 48,917 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state. 1,982 people have died. That’s an increase of 95 deaths since April 28. Local health departments have reported 5,316 confirmed positive cases in health care workers. More than 625,337 tests have been conducted in California (some of these results are still pending).
The U.S. Department of the Interior has put together online resources for public lands education while everyone is at home. It includes lesson plans, art activities and web cams.
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY
Santa Cruz County Health Officer Dr. Gail Newel has issued a revised Shelter-in-Place order, which allows certain activities to resume. It takes effect midnight on May 1. Limited business activities, such as gardening, landscaping and some construction-related work can start up again. Wholesale nurseries that support these activities can re-open. In childcare, recreational and educational programs serving 12 or fewer children can operate under strict safety guidelines. In medical services, elective surgeries can resume along with dentist appointments and doctor visits. Fabric and craft stores can also reopen to help with the production of face coverings.
Newel says the community is doing a fantastic job of following the stay at home rules, which has allowed her to make these modifications. However, she says social distancing, hand washing, staying home if you are ill, covering your cough and sneezes and wearing face coverings must continue.
There is no end-date for the revised order, however, she plans to modify it every three weeks. Click here to read the full order.
New Leaf Markets in Aptos reopened on April 28, following an outbreak of the coronavirus among employees. A total of 13 employees tested positive for COVID-19. It’s believed no shoppers were infected, however someone who lives with one of the grocery store employees did. New Leaf is testing all of the employees. So far, 40 test results have come back as negative, which allowed the store to re-open. Now, each employee is screened for COVID-19 before working.
Santa Cruz County's Communicable Disease Unit says there's at least one confirmed COVID-19 case among Santa Cruz County farmworkers.
The Santa Cruz County Health Officer says for each known case, there are probably 20 to 30 unknown cases of COVID-19. Undetected cases include people who have mild or no symptoms or those who couldn’t get tested.
Santa Cruz County has launched SAVE Lives Santa Cruz County to clarify the phases residents will move through until there’s a vaccine for the coronavirus.
- Slow the Spread - social distancing/contact tracing
- Adapt to New Normal - slowly loosen shelter-in-place orders
- Vaccinate - when a vaccine becomes available, prioritize high-risk residents
- Elevate Readiness - incorporate lessons learned and establish protocols to improve local public health response to future pandemics
As of April 30, the Santa Cruz County Health Officer is reporting a total of 131 known cases of COVID-19. Fatalities remain at two, 19 people have required hospitalization and 88 have recovered from the virus. 3,573 negative tests have been recorded in the county.
Monterey County Supervisor Jane Park will host another virtual Hot Topics meeting on Monday, May 4 at 5:30pm. She’ll discuss the county's new requirement to wear face coverings, the expansion of local testing and other topics.
Monterey County Behavioral Health has created the Forward Together Initiative to provide social connection during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are virtual support groups you can join for a variety of topics, including one for new moms and teens. Programming is available in English and Spanish.
Monterey County is increasing its COVID-19 testing. It will open two new testing sites on Tuesday, May 5. One site will be located in Salinas and the other will be located in Greenfield. A nasal swab will be collected and specimens will be sent to an FDA approved lab. The sites will prioritize healthcare providers, first responders and other essential workers before the service becomes available to the general public. Health insurance will be billed and the State of California will cover the cost for those who are uninsured. Testing by appointment only.
Congressman Jimmy Panetta has put together a new webinar series for National Mental Health Awareness Month, which is May. Panetta will host local mental health professionals and community leaders during the live webinars. The first one will take place May 1, 2020 at 11:30am and will focus on domestic violence resources. The video series will be broadcast on Panetta’s Facebook page and published on his YouTube page.
The Monterey County Office of Education has launched its Digital Equity Team to ensure every student can participate in distance learning. It has partnered with Monterey-Salinas Transit, or MST, to use buses equipped with wifi to provide internet access. Beginning Monday, May 4, students and families can drive to certain locations and connect to the wifi all while remaining in their cars to do schoolwork. Click here for a list of those locations and times available.
Monterey City Council voted last night 5 to 0 to lay off 82 active city employees. The layoffs were recommended by the city manager due to reductions in city revenue because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The city began notifying the employees who will be laid off this morning. The layoffs will be effective June 2nd, though the City’s intention is to re-hire the employees when the economic conditions improve. Laid off employees will maintain health insurance through July 31. City council has asked the city manager’s office to look into ways to extend that coverage.
As of April 28, there have been 206 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Monterey County residents.That’s an increase of 15 cases since April 27. Five people have died, 32 have required hospitalization and 43 have recovered. Local labs have conducted 3,239 tests in the county.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 29
The California Department of Public Health says there are now 46,500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state and 1,887 deaths have been recorded. That’s an increase of 78 from the prior day. More than 603,139 tests have been conducted.
The State Superintendent of Public Instruction will be working with groups of leaders from throughout California and the nation, to study in-depth what measures must be in place, before it is determined whether schools can safely re-open as early as July.
Tony Thurmond said, “We share the Governor’s aspirations for re-opening our schools as soon as possible. If we are going to do this, it can only be done when we are sure we can protect the health and safety of everyone in our school communities.”
SANTA CLARA COUNTY
Seven Bay Area Public Health Officers, including Santa Clara County, have officially extended their shelter-in-place orders through May 31. They say while some restrictions are being eased, tools to strengthen containment of COVID-19 are being put into place.
Under the new orders, all construction projects will be allowed to resume as long as the project complies with safety protocols. All real estate transactions will also now be able to resume, but with continued restrictions on open houses.
Certain outdoor businesses can also begin operating again, and people can visit those businesses to perform work or obtain goods, services, or supplies. This includes wholesale and retail nurseries, landscapers, gardeners, and other businesses that primarily provide outdoor services. Outdoor businesses do not include restaurants, cafes or bars, regardless of whether they have outdoor seating.
Other activities that can resume under the new order include residential moves and the use of certain shared outdoor recreational facilities like skate parks, but not others that involve shared equipment or physical contact.
As of April 28, Santa Clara County is reporting a total of 2,122 COVID-19 cases. That’s a daily increase of 20 cases. 106 deaths have been reported. That’s an increase of 3 deaths from the prior day. 182 people are currently hospitalized, 77 of those individuals are in ICU. 26,640 people have been tested for COVID-19.
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY
Santa Cruz County has announced that due to what they’re calling, "overwhelming weekend beach crowds that undermined State and local Shelter-in-Place orders," the county is implementing new rules to limit beach activity during peak usage hours.
While beaches remain available for recreational activities to promote physical and mental health, beginning this weekend, activities on the sand are not allowed between the hours of 11am - 5pm. Water-based activities such as surfing, paddleboarding, boogie boarding, swimming, snorkeling and kayaking will not be impacted by the order. Previous limits on beach activities such as lying, sitting, standing, sunbathing, sightseeing and other non-exercise related activities remain in place. No umbrellas, barbecues, coolers, beach chairs, shade structures, tents or other equipment will be allowed at any time.
Second Harvest Food Bank will host another drive through community food distribution on Friday, May 1 at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds. The distribution will be between the hours of 9am – 1pm. Attendees must bring proof that they are a Santa Cruz County resident.
The food bank has a community hotline: 831-662-0991
They add if you need food assistance and live in San Benito county, call 831-637-0340 and for food assistance in Monterey County call 831-758-1523.
Upcoming Second Harvest Food Bank food drives:
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.
As of April 28, Santa Cruz County is reporting 127 known cases of COVID-19 in the county. That’s a daily increase of 2 cases. Fatalities remain at 2. The total number of negative test results recorded is 3,492.
Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) has announced, together with Senator Anna Caballero, a Farmworker Relief Drive will be held from 12 noon to 4:00pm, this Saturday, May 2.
The drop-off event to collect non-perishable foods, diapers, and cleaning supplies will occur at Alisal Family Resource Center, 729 Williams Rd., in Salinas.
The Grower Shipper Association has partnered with the Ag community, Natividad Medical Center and Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital (SVMH) to educate farmworkers about COVID-19. Doctors and nurses from the hospitals have been teaching workers about symptoms, hygiene, social distancing and wearing masks. They say so far more than 1000 workers have been trained through the program.
The City of Monterey will begin enforcing the county’s new facemask order beginning April 30. Anyone leaving their home will have to wear a mask, unless they are walking or exercising. Those walking or exercising are encouraged to wear a mask or carry one with them.
City of Monterey parking lots are open but parking times are being enforced. Street access around Wharf 2 is being restricted due to increased commercial fishing. Wharf 2 parking, as well as streets Tide, Surfway and Beachway are restricted from 7 am through 10 pm. Parking fines are $125.
About 40 fishing boats are in the bay for Squid season. Officials say there is an abundance of Squid this year.
The City of Monterey has modified its rules concerning beaches. Beginning Friday, May 1, passive use such as sitting, sunbathing, picnics and group sports will not be permitted on city beaches. The fine for violation is $1000. Beach goers are still permitted to walk, jog, kayak and surf. Monterey police, State Parks and lifeguards will enforce the new rules.
The change is in part due to last weekend activities and to bring the city in line with other beaches in the county and state. The partial closure extends to parks in the City of Monterey as well.
Monterey County is reporting, as of April 27, 191 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county. That’s a daily increase of 6 cases. 1 new fatality was announced bringing the total to 5. A total of 3,197 tests have been conducted in the county.
The Panetta Institute has decided to reschedule the remaining three events in its Leon Panetta Lecture Series program to the Fall.
The lectures, that follow the theme of ‘Decision 2020 – A Republic If We Can Keep It’, had been set for dates in May and June and have now been rescheduled with the same speakers for August 31, September 21 and September 28.
More details on the speakers and topics can be found here.
TUESDAY, APRIL 28
As of April 27, California has 45,031 confirmed cases of COVID-19. A total number of 1,809 people have died from the virus. That is a daily increase of 45 people. 4,794 health care workers have tested positive and 24 have died statewide. More than 577,608 tests have been conducted in the state.
SANTA CLARA COUNTY
Santa Clara County is reporting, as of April 27, 2,122 positive cases of COVID-19 in the county. A total of 103 deaths have been recorded. That’s 23 new cases and 3 new deaths. 172 people are currently hospitalized and 26,640 people have been tested for the virus.
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY
Santa Cruz County is reporting, as of April 27, 125 known cases of COVID-19 in the county. That is an increase of 1 case since April 26. Fatalities from the coronavirus remain at 2. 80 people have recovered from the virus and a total of 18 have required hospitalization. 3,397 negative test results have been recorded.
Santa Cruz County is inviting local health care workers to make use of a program that has been set up to provide hotel rooms to frontline health care workers who are exposed to or test positive for COVID-19.
The California Office for Emergency Services program aims to protect the families of those individuals by offering shelter if necessary.
Rooms are available in proximity to medical facilities and are provided at no charge or at a discounted rate.
Participants must meet the following requirements:
• Be an employee of a health care facility in California;
• Have possible exposure to patients or individuals who may have COVID-19 documented by a state or county public health official or medical professional;
• Not have the ability to self-isolate or quarantine at home.
This program is also available for the health care workers hired through the California Health Corps.
To book a room, local frontline health care workers can call the Cal Travel Store at 877-454-8785.
The UFW Foundation will be holding a food distribution event on April 29 and May 1, but is short on supply of food. They are asking the community for immediate support. They are anticipating 1,000 families will attend the events.
They are asking for donations of non-perishable items such as bags of rice, beans, Fideo or Alphabet soup/pasta, and canned tomato sauce.
Donations can be dropped off at 118 E. Gabilan Street in Salinas between 10am - 12pm.
The Monterey County Health Officer is requiring residents to wear a face covering when going out into the community to perform essential activities.
The order goes into effect on 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, April 30, 2020. The Order does not have an end date.
Examples of essential activities include visiting grocery stores, medical facilities, laundromats and restaurants.
Cloth coverings are recommended as surgical masks are in short supply and the county says these masks should be reserved for health care facilities.
Officials say you could be fined for not following this order.
Answers to frequently asked questions can be found here.
Because of decreased ridership, MST (Monterey-Salinas Transit) will suspend service on Line 82 (Fort Hunter Liggett-Salinas Express) and Line 85 (Fort Hunter Liggett-Templeton), effective May 2.
MST is deemed an essential service provider during the coronavirus pandemic and say they have continued to deliver as many transportation options as possible to the community.
The Monterey County Business Council, the Small Business Development Center, the County of Monterey and City of Salinas, are collaborating to present a webinar entitled "Employer vs. Employee: COVID-19 related Legal and HR issues".
Taking place on May 1, from 10-11am, the free webinar will cover topics like:
- COVID-related Paid Sick Leave
- Childcare, Layoffs/Furloughs
- Temperature checks and asking workers about their health
- Paid Family Leave
- Unemployment Insurance (UI) and disability for sole proprietors.
The City of Greenfield has launched a pilot program offering antibody screening to the city’s first responders. This includes police officers, firefighters and city staff. The city will pay for the testing and local private laboratories will conduct the tests.
The Weather Tech Raceway at Laguna Seca is still planning to hold the Rolex Reunion Race on August 13-16th. The race features more than 500 historic racing vehicles and is usually associated with the Concours d'Elegance car week.
Monterey Police are pushing back on social media reports that officers brought a barber into the department to give haircuts to police personnel, in violation of shelter-in-place orders. The reports surfaced on the social media platforms Nextdoor and Facebook. The Department said this did not happen and responded by saying, “Any observer simply needs to look at some of the home performed hairstyling by MPD families on our officers to verify this fact.”
City of Monterey officials say Monterey County will announce new social distancing orders this week. The current shelter-in-place order expires May 3.
They expect the order will also focus on the use of beaches by local residents and visitors. Local beaches saw heavy usage over the weekend forcing the closing of Lover’s Point in Pacific Grove.
The Monterey City Council will meet at 4 pm on April 29th to take up the proposed layoff of about 20 percent of the city’s employees. The layoffs are in response to economic conditions that result from the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of April 26, Monterey County is reporting 185 cases of COVID-19. That is an increase of 2 cases from the prior day. Fatalities remain at 4. 3,076 tests have been conducted.
Monterey County has provided more information on both the Alternative Care Sites and the Alternative Housing Sites that are being set up in preparation of a possible surge in COVID-19 cases locally.
Alternative Care Sites are used when the surge of patients goes beyond the capability of local hospitals. The County is working with Joby Aviation and the Marina Airport to use a 55,000 square foot hanger for a Care Site.
While established by the County’s Emergency Operations Center, this site will be used by all four county hospitals who may need to send COVID-19 positive patients to this facility.
The site can care for up to 350 patients and will be staffed by medical personnel. This is for hospital patients only.
No visitors or public is allowed, no walk-ins or testing is offered.
Alternate Housing Sites are used specifically for patients who are COVID-19 positive, do not need hospitalization but cannot isolate themselves during recovery.
Patients are referred through the Health Department by providers or hospitals. Sites are being established around the county so that patients may use the site closest to their place of residence:
Housing Site Locations:
o Monterey County Fairgrounds Monterey
o San Lorenzo Park King City
o Salinas Valley Fairgrounds King City
o Sherwood Hall Salinas
Housing Sites are isolation/quarantine areas; they are not open to the public and patients must remain onsite until released by the Health Officer.
Each site has 24-hour site management, medical staff, high-level security, is self-contained and created in coordination with area city leadership, fire and law enforcement.
A more detailed description of the sites can be found here.
MONDAY, APRIL 27
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY
The Santa Cruz Police Department offers the "You Are Not Alone" program to their more vulnerable residents living in the City of Santa Cruz and for the duration of the Shelter In Place order includes all of Santa Cruz County.
The YANA program helps to provide ongoing contact for seniors, persons with disabilities, or anyone that can benefit from the regular connection.
Volunteers with the police department call the participants who have signed up. If several phone calls go unanswered, the Volunteer initiates a series of steps to ensure the participant's safety and well-being.
If you would like someone to check up on you during the current COVID-19 pandemic, contact our YANA coordinator at 831-420-5916, or by email.
As of April 26, there are a total of 124 known cases of COVID-19 in Santa Cruz County. The number of deaths remains at 2. 3,397 negative lab test results have been reported. 18 have so far been hospitalized because of the virus.
The Pacific Grove Police Department has closed Lovers Point Beach until further notice. They said social distancing wasn’t being practised.
From 12:00am on April 29, all passengers over the age of 12 are instructed to wear a face mask to board an Monterey-Salinas Transit or MST bus including MST RIDES buses.
MST says it will continue to provide personal protective equipment to its employees including latex disposable gloves, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer and face masks.
It says it also continues to disinfect its entire fleet each night with a hospital grade germicide, and has added mid-day cleanings as resources are available
The Carmel Bach Festival is cancelling its 2020 Season. The 83rd season will instead take place from July 17 to 31, 2021.
The festival began in 1935 and organizers say there have only ever been two cancellations, both during WWII.
The festival says its event contributes about $3 million to the local economy each year.
Patrons holding tickets for this year’s Festival may:
1) Return the tickets for donation.
2) Place the tickets “on hold,” with the cash value applying to tickets for the 2021 Festival.
3) Receive a refund.
You can find out more information by emailing Julie.
Monterey’s beaches did see an increase of visitors over the weekend. Monterey Police say, however, the visitors maintained proper social distancing. Police patrolled the beaches using all terrain vehicles. State Park lifeguards assisted in monitoring.
The city reopened parking garages and reported $2,000 in parking revenue.
The City of Monterey projects a $2 million dollar a month loss, so long as shelter-in-place orders are in effect. The projection is part of the city’s budget preparation for its fiscal year (2020-2021) beginning July 1st.
Those losses assume the proposed city layoffs of approximately 20% of staff are adopted.
The city also projects tha revenue from hotel taxes will be reduced by 50% during the fall.
In addition, Assistant City Manager Nat Rojanasathira says the city is also working on scenarios that include a second wave of the pandemic.
As of April 26, California has 43,464 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1,755 deaths have been recorded. The California Department of Public Health says more than 553,409 tests have been conducted. 4,709 health care workers have tested positive of the virus and 24 have died statewide.
The state has launched a new, user-friendly data portal that tracks COVID-19 cases statewide and by county, gender, age and ethnicity.
SANTA CLARA COUNTY
Later this week, the Public Health Officers of the Counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara as well as the City of Berkeley will issue revised shelter-in-place orders that largely keep the current restrictions in place and extend them through May.
The new order will include limited easing of specific restrictions for a small number of lower-risk activities.
The shelter-in-place orders in effect across the seven jurisdictions are set to expire on May 3, 2020.
As of April 26, there are 2,084 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Santa Clara County. 100 people have died from the virus. Currently 163 people are hospitalized for COVID-19. 24,580 tests have been conducted.