Friday Updates: 5/15/20
California State Parks has provided safety tips for this year’s boating and water season amid the COVID-19 pandemic. They recommend you plan ahead, stay local, boat only with your household and stay clean. For more information, click here.
The California Department of Public Health says as of May 14, there are 74,936 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state. 3,108 people have died. That’s an increase of 76 deaths since May 13. Local health departments have reported 7,977 confirmed positive cases among healthcare workers with 44 deaths statewide. 1,133,906 million tests have been conducted in California as of May 14 (some of these results are still pending).
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY
Santa Cruz Mayor Justin Cummings has proclaimed the week of May 17-23 as National Public Works Week in honor of those who keep essential services running year-round in and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Santa Cruz County officials issued an advisory on local business activity Friday. With Santa Cruz County in early Stage 2 of the State’s Resilience Roadmap, non-essential retail business may offer curbside pickup. This includes bookstores, jewelry stores, toy stores, clothing and shoe stores, home and furnishing stores, sporting good stores and florists. Social distancing must be practiced.
Essential retailers may still offer in-store shopping as long as they follow guidelines under Santa Cruz County’s shelter-in-place order. This includes grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores, animal and pet food stores, gas stations, hardware stores and electronics and appliance stores. Construction sites are allowed to open under strict safety guidelines.
As of May 15, there are 149 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Santa Cruz County residents. That marks no increase in cases from May 14. Fatalities remain at two people, 22 have required hospitalization and 121 have recovered from the virus. 5,475 negative tests have been recorded in the county.
AT&T has donated to the Grower Shipper Association of Central California to help purchase more than 13,000 cloth face masks for farmworkers. The Association hopes to secure one million face masks as the need will continue throughout the summer harvesting season. Already, it has distributed over 350,000 masks.
On May 15, the Monterey County Health Department announced that two more Monterey County residents have died from COVID-19. That brings the total number of deaths to 8. As of May 14, there are 322 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Monterey County residents.That’s an increase of 5 cases since the county’s report on May 13. 45 residents have required hospitalization and 158 have recovered from the virus. Local labs have conducted 4,989 tests in the county as of May 14.
Next week is National Public Works Week. The City of Monterey is celebrating the work that crews have been working on during the COVID-19 pandemic. Next week, the city will begin re-paving Alvarado Street, the main street in downtown Monterey.
Monterey City Manager Hans Uslar says the city is “well prepared” for the weekend with regard to shelter-in-place orders on beaches. Two police officers have been assigned to patrol beaches and parks on ATVs. They will educate and then, if necessary, cite people who violate the order. Currently, activities like walking and running are allowed, however, activities like sitting and sunbathing on the beach are prohibited.
Healthcare workers from Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System and local clinics have been visiting agricultural fields and packing plants to educate farmworkers about the coronavirus. This outreach has increased COVID-19 testing and medical services for those who work in the industry.
Monterey County officials are trying to get the word out about a new federal program that’s operating in the county called “Great Plates Delivered.” It teams up local restaurants with seniors to deliver meals. So far, only about 30 seniors have signed up. You can do so by calling 211. Officials say if you’re denied, you can call Monterey County social services for more help. More than 50 local restaurants have applied to participate.
Monterey County needs a total of 65 contact tracers to meet the state’s requirement to move further along California’s Resilience Roadmap. Currently, Monterey County needs about 20 more contact tracers. These individuals are trained to call people who may have been exposed to the coronavirus.
Monterey County Health Officer Dr. Edward Moreno is encouraging community members to get tested for COVID-19 at two new testing sites run by the state. One site is located in Salinas and the other is in Greenfield. Moreno said more testing will help health officials better control the spread of the coronavirus. He said getting a test can also relieve anxiety. If you test positive, the health department can get you the right information. More testing will also help the health department make informed decisions about future modifications to the county’s shelter-in-place order.
Moreno is encouraging healthcare providers to get tested multiple times to prevent any possible spread to patients.
Monterey County Health Officer Dr. Edward Moreno announced two more deaths from COVID-19. Moreno said both were adults who had underlying health conditions. Now, eight Monterey County residents have died from COVID-19.
More cloth face coverings are being donated to agricultural workers on the Central Coast thanks to Ann Irvine, a resident at UCSC Natividad Family Medicine Residency. She asked for donations and a southern California culinary company stepped up. Called Hedley & Bennett, it produce aprons. Around 40,000 masks will be distributed to farmworkers in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties.
Alaska Airlines’ new Seattle-Monterey flight out of the Monterey Regional Airport has been postponed due to the coronavirus. The airport hopes it will begin in late summer. Flights to Denver, LA and Las Vegas have been suspended, and flights to Phoenix have been reduced. The airport is still open and operating other flights daily.
Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula is resuming services that were put on pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That includes a slow introduction of elective medical surgeries, such as eye surgeries and joint replacement. Cosmetic surgery is not resuming at this time. The hospital is following strict protocols to ensure safety of patients and staff. All surgical patients are being tested for COVID-19 and staff members are being screened.
The Monterey County Office of Education formed a Digital Equity Task Force at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to help students in need of technology so they could continue to learn virtually. It was determined more than 6,000 students needed devices, like laptops, and more than 11,000 needed access to the internet. Resources have been handed out, but more help was needed. On Friday, the education office thanked Taylor Farms, the Monterey Peninsula Foundation and other organizations for their financial support to purchase more devices.
Cal State Monterey Bay is celebrating 2,395 new graduates, including 300 of whom are receiving graduate-level degrees. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they are honoring the students with a celebration video and via the school’s website. CSUMB plans to hold a full in-person commencement ceremony as soon as it is safe to do so.