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ARCHIVE - Coronavirus Updates: May 1-6

Note:

 This page is an ARCHIVE of KAZU's online coverage, of May 1-6, 2020.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 6

CALIFORNIA

3:05pm

California, as of May 5, has 58,815 cases of COVID-19. That's an increase of over 2,600 cases compared to the prior day. 2,412 have died - a daily increase of 95.
809, 036 tests have been conducted. Cases among healthcare workers have reached 6,368. 36 deaths have occured statewide.  

State officials today launched an interactive website to help Californians find COVID-19 community testing sites near them. The testing locator website features community testing locations, including sites operated by Verily and OptumServe, which are open to Californians who meet current testing guidelines. Testing is free for all individuals, including those who are uninsured or undocumented. Individual testing results are confidential.

1:20pm

A group of mayors from the Monterey Bay Area have collectively written to California Governor Gavin Newsom requesting that a portion of the CARES Act funding, that the state received, be shared with cities with a population of less than 500,000.

The mayors are asking for the state funding, “to stabilize local government budgets to preserve the essential City services all Californians need.”

The Monterey Bay Area cities anticipate a total loss in sales and TOT (transient occupancy tax) revenues of $40,000,000 in FY 2019-2020, and a loss of $122,000,000 in FY 2020-2021.

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY

3:55pm

Second Harvest Food Bank will host another drive through community food distribution on Friday, May 8, at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in Santa Cruz. The distribution will be between 9am – 1pm at the long parking lot parallel to the San Lorenzo River.

Each family receiving food must have a representative present, with appropriate identifying materials.

They are asking attendees to please not bring dogs or other pets to the drive through if possible.

Upcoming drives:

May 8, 2020 – Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz

May 15, 2020 – Fairgrounds, Watsonville

May 22, 2020 – Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz

May 29, 2020 – Fairgrounds, Watsonville

9:25am

The Santa Cruz County Health Officer, Dr. Gail Newel, will soon be issuing an updated shelter-in-place order. The updates will follow California Governor Gavin Newsom’s Stage 2 of his Reopening Roadmap. 

Beginning Friday, May 8 local retail businesses may begin providing curbside pick-up services to customers. Examples of such businesses include bookstores, clothing stores, florists, sporting goods stores and other over-the-counter retailers.
In addition, manufacturing and supply chain workplaces supporting these businesses may open. Social Distancing Protocols must be followed in all of these settings.

The county says state guidance on allowable businesses is expected to be issued on Thursday, May 7. They are advising business owners to review state guidance to determine whether their establishments may reopen as well as operational practices, so that they may avoid enforcement actions.

MONTEREY COUNTY

5pm

Monterey County has trained 20 people in COVID-19 case and contact investigations. Normally there are 3 people doing this type of work. The county will also add 10 more contract tracers to its staff by the end of the week. 

4:50pm

This Friday, May 8, from 10am the Monterey County Business Council is presenting a webinar in Spanish about COVID-19 related HR and legal issues for small businesses. The webinar is in collaboration with the Cal Coastal Small Business Development Center (SBDC), County of Monterey and City of Salinas. Register here.

2:45pm

CRLA or California Rural Legal Assistance are focusing right now on making sure low-income families know their rights during the coronavirus pandemic. They have been helping families understand how to access healthcare, know their rights when it comes to rental evictions, and wage replacement programs. A list of their offices can be found here.

1:45pm

The Coalition of Homeless Services Providers and Monterey County Social Services have partnered together to provide motel/hotel rooms to individuals at high-risk of contracting COVID-19. The program called “Project Room Key” has already housed about 39 people and is expected to have placed more than 100 individuals by the end of the week. Those housed have access to food, laundry, medical and mental health services.

Elliott Robinson, the coalition’s spokesperson, says the program is funded with $612,000 from State COVID-19 Emergency Homeless Funds and administrative resources available through the State Homeless Emergency Assistance Program.

1:35pm

Monterey City Manager Hans Usler will be hosting another “Monterey Mornings with the Manager” tomorrow (May 7) at 9am live on YouTube. Uslar will take questions from the community.

11am

Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital is celebrating healthcare workers with the hanging of a 15X20 foot banner on it’s parking structure building that reads, “Our Heroes. Thank You Healthcare Workers. These times are extraordinary. Fortunately, so are you.”

The hospital is unable to celebrate National Nurses Week (May 6-12) and National Hospital Week (May 10-16) this year as it traditionally does, because of the coronavirus pandemic. Normally they would celebrate with cake being delivered to the units, massages, and a campus-wide BBQ.

9:20am

Monterey County is reporting, as of May 4, 241 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among residents.  This is an increase of 4 new cases compared to the previous day. Fatalities remain at 6. 66% of cases have been reported in the Salinas area.

SANTA CLARA COUNTY

9:10am

Santa Clara County is reporting, as of May 5, 2,255 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county and 121 deaths. 132 people are currently hospitalized with 47 people in ICU. 34,166 patients have been tested for the virus.

TUESDAY, MAY 5

CALIFORNIA

3:40pm

California has, as of May 4, 56,212 total cases of COVID-19. 2,317 people have died from the virus. That’s an increase of 1,275 cases and 63 deaths since May 3.
6,167 health care workers have tested positive for the virus and 33 have died statewide.
779,902 tests have been conducted.

MONTEREY COUNTY

5pm

Some Monterey County parks have reopened for limited use. This includes for walking, hiking, equestrian, or biking as long as social/physical distancing is practised and face coverings are used where appropriate. No gatherings are allowed within any park or parking area.

Developed areas like picnic grounds, campgrounds, and playgrounds remain closed to avoid gatherings. Parking areas will be opened, but most park restrooms are closed. Visitors are asked to take all trash/waste with them.

The following is a list of County Parks, their status and what is available in each location:

  • San Lorenzo Closed for general use, trails open along the Salinas River. Restrooms closed to the public.
  • Lake San Antonio South Shore: Open for trail use and fishing. Developed areas closed. Emergency restrooms only. Maximum 50 boats with up to four (4) persons from the same household per boat, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday only. North Shore: Open for trail use and shoreline fishing. Developed areas closed. Emergency restrooms only.
  • Lake Nacimiento Open (starting Friday 5/8/20) for trail use and shoreline fishing, maximum 120 boats with up to four (4) persons from same household per boat. Developed area closed. Emergency restrooms only.
  • Toro Open for trail use only. Developed area closed. Emergency restrooms only.
  • Jack’s Peak Open for trail use only. Developed area closed. Emergency restrooms only.
  • Royal Oaks Open for trail use only. Developed area closed. Emergency restrooms only.
  • Manzanita Open for trail use only. Developed area closed. Emergency restrooms only.
  • East Garrison Closed (neighborhood parks within the EG Community)
  • Fort Ord Open Space Open for trail use only. No restrooms.

12:30pm
The new COVID-19 testing site located in Greenfield that was scheduled to open today will instead open tomorrow (Wednesday, May 6).

County officials say the nurse assigned to the site called in sick and testing cannot go on without a medical professional on site.
The site is located at the Greenfield Branch of Monterey County Free Libraries (315 El Camino Real). 

The second of the two new county COVID-19 testing sites will open tomorrow at Alisal High School in Salinas (777 Williams Rd).

The general public will be invited to register for an appointment at the testing sites from May 19. Before that date, testing will be reserved for healthcare providers, and first responders. Insurance will fully cover testing, and if you don't have insurance the county says the state will cover the testing costs.

12pm

The Monterey City Council meeting is this afternoon (May 5) at 4pm. The City Manager will issue a report on how COVID-19 has affected the city.  You can watch these meetings live by clicking here.

11:45am

A new report released by the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau (MCCVB) today, reveals just how much the county relies on the tourism industry, which has been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The report says traveler spending totaled a record $3.24 billion in 2019, and that spending supported more than 27,000 jobs and generated $153 million in local tax revenue last year. 

While travelers are not able to come to Monterey County now, MCCVB is encouraging the local community to support the hospitality industry by buying take out at local restaurants, playing a round of golf, purchasing gift cards to area attractions and eventually booking a staycation at hotels.

11:40am

City of Monterey department heads are working on ways to trim their budgets. This is in preparation for a working session with the City Council on May 27th.

11:35am

The City of Monterey is working with the hospitality industry to develop plans to reopen tourism on the peninsula. Plans include using the city’s conference center as a place for seminars and training sessions for business owners, executives and employees on how to reopen and stay in compliance with federal, state and local health orders. 

The Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau is working with consultants on how to reopen and to develop marketing plans. Pebble Beach and Laguna Seca are also working on plans to reopen.

11:30am

As of May 3, Monterey County has 237 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among residents. That’s an increase of 2 cases since May 2. There have been 6 fatalities. 3,605 tests have been conducted.

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY

3:10pm

Santa Cruz County says only urgent and emergency dental care is allowed to take place during the current shelter-in-place order. The county’s health officer says this is in line with state guidelines on safe operations.

The health officer did though add that these protocols could be updated in the days to come. They are waiting on further instructions and guidance from the state and Governor.

12:40pm

The City of Watsonville and the El Pajaro Community Development Corporation have partnered together to provide emergency grants of up to $2,000 to small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Grant funds, which come from the CARES Act, may be used to assist with payment of rent and/or utility payments incurred after March 15, 2020.

It is anticipated that 50 grants will be disbursed locally through this program. 

The application period from Tuesday May 5, 2020 until 3 p.m. Friday May 8, 2020. 

Details are available in both English and Spanish.

10:45am

Santa Cruz County is looking for local restaurants, caterers and other food businesses who are interested in preparing and delivering meals to older Santa Cruz County residents without access to food support, who are at high-risk from COVID-19. 

The new federal program called the Great Plates Delivered is for adults 60 and over. 

Those interested must meet certain requirements such as meeting nutritional and delivery needs. 

The submission cut off is May 11, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.

9:30am

Santa Cruz County is reporting, as of May 2, 138 known cases of COVID-19 in the county. This is an increase of 3 cases since May 1. Fatalities remain at 2 and 107 people have required hospitalization. The county says 4,232 negative lab results have been recorded.

MONDAY, MAY 4

CALIFORNIA

3:40pm

California, as of May 3, has 54,937 confirmed cases of COVID-19. 2,254 people have died from the virus. That’s an increase of 39 deaths since May 2.
Local health departments have reported 6,103 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 32 deaths statewide.
747,874 tests have been conducted in California.

MONTEREY COUNTY

5pm

Monterey County Health Officer Dr. Edward Moreno has commented on what California Governor Gavin Newsom said today in his coronavirus press briefing. 

The Governor said the state is on track to begin easing some coronavirus-triggered restrictions later this week. This could include some lower-risk businesses and public spaces reopening, with modifications to allow for distancing. 

Dr. Moreno said in response, “I will be reviewing the Governor’s recommendations and conferring with regional health officers to determine the best approach. The addition of community testing and state assistance in contact tracing efforts are important new resources towards implementation of Phase 2 changes.”

3:15pm

The Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner's Office recently conducted a survey to see how local farmers were coping in the time of COVID-19. Of the 116 growers who took part in the survey, 44 said they had experienced losses recently. In total over 2,000 acres of crop land has been lost or not planted. 60% of the survey participants indicated there has been low demand from the food service industry in a saturated market.

3:10pm

The Monterey County Health Officer, Dr. Edward Moreno has weighed in on antibody testing. He says at some point antibody testing will be helpful but added that testing for antibodies is still unreliable as it doesn’t tell you if you are immune from COVID-19. He says the testing also doesn’t tell you if you caught and recovered from another type of coronavirus.

2:50pm

The Monterey County Resource Management Agency (RMA) says there are now no restrictions on construction in the county. This is in line with the county’s latest shelter-in-place order which went into effect today.
Permits are being approved electronically. And if hard copies of permits need to be dropped off, they can be placed in a drop box at RMA offices at 1441 Schilling Place in Salinas.

1:40pm

Monterey County has added zip codes to the breakdown of geographical information its sharing about COVID-19 cases in the county. 

The county has so far contacted more than 1,200 ‘close contacts’ of people who have tested positive for COVID-19. Those individuals have been asked to isolate.

The county’s health officer, Dr Edward Moreno, says hospitalizations are currently stable. He says hospitals are reporting enough Personal protective Equipment or PPE to cope with current rates of hospitalization. 

1:25pm

An update on alternative housing sites from Monterey County: 

The Monterey County Office of Emergency Services says the City of Monterey fairgrounds is operational as an alternative housing site but no individual is using it yet. The county is making use of trailers and hotels instead. They will only move people into the fairgrounds site when cases reach a certain number, because of the cost of running the facility. 

They have signed a contract with Sherwood Hall in Salinas to use that location as an alternative housing site if necessary. 

The use of Salinas Valley Fairgrounds in King City as an alternative housing site is still in the planning stage.

1:15pm

The two new COVID-19 testing sites in Salinas and Greenfield, set to open this week, will have capacity to do around 132 tests per day. They will be located at Greenfield Branch of the Monterey County Free Libraries, and at Alisal High School.

The general public will be invited to register for an appointment at the testing sites from May 19. Before that date, testing will be reserved for healthcare providers, and first responders. Insurance will fully cover testing, and if you don't have insurance the county says the state will cover the testing costs.

More information on the sites and testing can be found here.

1:10pm

The Monterey Sports Center is conducting a survey of what members would like to see when the center re-opens. You can take part in the survey here.

1:05pm

The partial closing of beaches over the weekend in the City of Monterey has been a great success, according to the city’s Assistant City Manager Nat Rojanasathira. He says social distancing was maintained and there were no beach umbrellas. City Manager Hans Uslar added while there may have been some parking violations cited, there were no citations for violations of the beach order.

1pm

The City of Monterey has re-opened its permit office for construction. Under the new shelter-in-place order from the county, construction is now permitted, as long as safety protocols are followed. The city is setting up the office in compliance with social distancing and contractors will be able to apply for permits and inspections.

SANTA CLARA COUNTY

9:40am

Santa Clara County is reporting, as of May 3, 2,231 cases of COVID-19 in the county. 115 people have died from the virus. 140 people are currently hospitalized.

9:30am

Santa Clara County is opening two new COVID-19 testing facilities this Wednesday, May 6. The sites are aimed at making testing available to populations who do not have readily available testing options, and will focus on high-risk populations on an appointment basis.
These new sites are part of 80 testing sites statewide operated through a partnership with OptumServe, a health services business, and managed by the State of California.

SUNDAY, MAY 3

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY

5:45pm

Click here for Pajaro Valley Unified School District's upcoming meal distribution schedule.

5:25pm

The Santa Cruz Wharf is closed to vehicles, except for curbside pick-up from Wharf businesses.

5:20pm

The DeLaveaga Golf Course will reopen Monday, May 4 under Santa Cruz County’s modified Shelter-in-Place order.

5pm

Santa Cruz County officials are currently reporting a total of 137 known cases of COVID-19 among Santa Cruz County residents. That’s an increase of 5 cases since Friday’s report. Fatalities remain at two people. 21 people have required hospitalization and 94 have recovered from the virus. 3,957 negative tests have been recorded in the county.

MONTEREY COUNTY

6:05pm

Monterey County Health Officer Dr. Edward Moreno has extended the short-term rental order until further notice. It was set to expire Monday. The order only allows short-term rentals to operate for limited purposes, such as lodging for people who needed to relocate to provide essential services.

6pm

ARCpoint Labs of Monterey Bay has increased its COVID-19 antibody testing. The lab, located in Monterey, now offers three different antibody tests, which tell whether asymptomatic people have already been infected with the coronavirus. The lab has gone from conducting around 90 antibody tests per day to around 200 per day. It also added a mobile testing unit, which allows them to send lab staff to different areas of Monterey County. Last Wednesday, staff tested more than 60 first responders and city workers for antibodies in South County. Each test currently costs $175 and involves drawing a tube of blood from the arm.

5:35pm

The city of Monterey has published its spring report for the community, and it focuses on the COVID-19 pandemic. The report includes information about the city’s economic recovery effort, staying positive and more. Click here to read it.

5:15pm

Monterey County is increasing its COVID-19 testing. It will open two new testing sites this week. The Greenfield site will open on Tuesday, May 5 at 8am. It will be located at the Greenfield Branch of Monterey County Free Libraries (315 El Camino Real). The Salinas site will open on Wednesday, May 6, at 8am. It will be located at Alisal High School (777 Williams Rd).  

A nasal or throat 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. According to the county, the general public will likely be able to register for an appointment during the week of May 19. Appointments can be made by calling 1-888-634-1123 or by clicking here. Results will be available 36 to 48 hours after testing.

4:55pm

As of May 2, there have been 235 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Monterey County residents.That’s an increase of 9 cases since the county’s last report. 6 people have now died, 33 have required hospitalization and 65 have recovered. Local labs have conducted 3,490 tests in the county as of May 2.

CALIFORNIA

4:45pm

The California Department of Public Health says as of May 2, there are 53,616 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state. 2,215 people have died. That’s an increase of 44 deaths since May 1. Local health departments have reported 5,952 confirmed positive cases in health care workers. More than 715,751 tests have been conducted in California as of April 30 (some of these results are still pending).

FRIDAY, MAY 1

CALIFORNIA

3:45pm

The California Department of Public Health says as of April 30, there are 50,442 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state. 2,073 people have died. That’s an increase of 91 deaths since April 29. Local health departments have reported 5,617 confirmed positive cases in health care workers. More than 654,985 tests have been conducted in California as of April 30 (some of these results are still pending).

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY

11am

Santa Cruz County officials are currently reporting a total of 132 known cases of COVID-19 among Santa Cruz County residents. Fatalities remain at two people. Twenty people have required hospitalization and 88 have recovered from the virus. 3,648 negative tests have been recorded so far in the county.

MONTEREY COUNTY

2:10pm

The Monterey County Health Officer says every hospital in Monterey County now has the ability to test for COVID-19. The California Department of Public Health has provided the testing equipment. Hospitals labs are responsible for 11 percent of the testing that’s done in the county.

10:55am

As of April 29, there have been 213 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Monterey County residents. That’s an increase of 7 cases since April 28. Five people have died, 32 have required hospitalization and 50 have recovered. Local labs have conducted  3,317 tests in the county as of April 29.

10:30am

Monterey County Health Officer Dr. Edward Moreno has issued a modified Shelter-in-Place Order. It will take effect Monday, May 4, and last through May 31, 2020. The new order eases restrictions on construction, golf courses and driving ranges. Summer camps can move forward, under strict safety rules. Gardening and landscaping can begin again. Fabric and craft stores can re-open to help produce face coverings, gowns and other personal protective equipment. The order also clarifies rules on rentals, leases, home and car sales. Click here to read the full order.

10:15am

The City of Pacific Grove has reopened Lovers Point Beach for water activities only. This takes effect Friday, May 1. The city had closed the area last Saturday, April 25, to ensure social distancing rules were being followed. The intent of the limited reopening is to allow community members to access the ocean for surfing, swimming, diving and other water based activities. No one is allowed to sit or lie on the beach. 

The Pacific Grove Rec Trail and Ocean View Boulevard remain open for those who maintain social distancing while running, walking and biking.