Thursday Updates: 5/21/20
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY
SAVE Lives Santa Cruz County, which provides a framework for safely moving forward amid the coronavirus pandemic, has launched a website. It includes updates from the county officials, frequently asked questions and an interactive map of local testing sites. Click here for the website.
Santa Cruz County officials are concerned about crowding on beaches this Memorial Day weekend. Health officials considered closing them altogether over the three-day weekend. But in consultation with law enforcement and city officials, they’ve decided to continue under the current rules and see how the holiday weekend goes. Under the current rules, no activities on the beach are allowed between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily. Water activities are allowed anytime.
Santa Cruz County’s contact tracing program is growing. The county currently has 15 contact tracers and will have 15 more by the end of the week. Contact tracers call community members who may have been exposed to COVID-19, which helps contain spread of the virus. Health officials say this will be vital as the county re-opens. More than 100 people have volunteered to get trained in contact tracing.
The Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency is committed to applying to the state for a variance to move more quickly in re-opening the community. The county has reached milestones outlined by the state to move further into Stage 2 of the Resilience Roadmap. The county is hoping to have an application ready by June 2. That’s when the next board of supervisors’ meeting is. Once the board approves it, the application goes to the state.
An expanded Stage 2 includes the reopening of retail stores, dine-in restaurants and schools with safety modifications. Santa Cruz County health officials plan to align with the state’s guidelines when it comes to the reopening of schools.
As of May 21, there are 174 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Santa Cruz County residents. That marks an increase of 6 cases since the report on May 20. Fatalities remain at two people, 28 have required hospitalization and 127 have recovered from the virus. 6,582 negative tests have been recorded in the county.
SANTA CLARA COUNTY
The Santa Clara County Health Department is asking for hundreds of volunteers to help bolster their contact tracing program. Officials say this will help the county meet local and state goals that are critical for easing more restrictions.
The California Department of Public Health says as of May 20, there are 86,197 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state. 3,542 people have died. That’s an increase of 106 deaths since May 19. Local health departments have reported 8,793 confirmed positive cases in healthcare workers, with 47 deaths statewide. 1,421,127 tests have been conducted in California.
California State Parks is encouraging people to recreate responsibly this Memorial Day weekend. They’re advising people to stay local, practice physical distancing and avoid congregating with others outside of their household. State Parks is working on a phased approach to increase access to their parks. Guided tours, campgrounds and indoor facilities like museums remain closed until further notice.
The Osio Theater is now offering online movies. The theater’s building is owned by the city of Monterey and has been closed since the outbreak of the coronavirus. The movies are pay per view. You can find what’s available here.
Wildland Fire Safety Inspections begin June 1st on homes and vacant lots in Monterey, Pacific Grove, Carmel and Sand City. The Monterey Fire Department has created a quiz to help determine whether you’re prepared for wildfire season. Click here to take the quiz.
Monterey County Supervisors will meet on Tuesday, May 26 to discuss requesting a variance from the state. That would allow the county to move through Stage 2 of California’s roadmap to reopening faster. Expanded Stage 2 allows shopping and in-person dining with masks and social distancing. To qualify to move forward, the county must have fewer than 25 new cases per 100.000 people in the past 14 days. According to city of Monterey officials, the county has had 23 new cases per 100,000. Local mayors have been asked to write letters in support. Monterey is in the process of doing that.
The Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau has compiled a list of outdoor recreation businesses that are open with safety modifications.
- Adventures by the Sea (Monterey, CA) – biking and kayaking
- Big Sur Adventures (Monterey, CA) – e-bike rentals
- Black Horse and Bayonet Golf Courses (Seaside, CA)
- Carmel Valley Ranch Golf Course (Carmel Valley, CA) – golf only
- Pacific Grove Golf Links (Pacific Grove, CA)
- Pebble Beach Golf Links (Pebble Beach, CA)
- Spyglass Hill Golf Course (Pebble Beach, CA)
- Quail Lodge & Golf Club (Carmel Valley, CA) – golf only
According to the Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau, the cities of Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea are looking into the possibility of closing some streets to provide space for outdoor restaurant seating.
While most State Parks remain closed, many Monterey County park trails are open to the community.
- Fort Ord National Monument (Marina, CA)
- Garland Ranch Park (Carmel Valley, CA)
- Jacks Peak Park (Monterey, CA)
- Lake San Antonio (near King City, CA)
- Palo Corona Regional Park (Carmel, CA) – only accessible at Carmel Valley Road entrance
- Royal Oaks Park (Prunedale, CA)
- San Lorenzo Park (King City, CA)
- Toro Park (Salinas, CA)
Social distancing must always be practiced.
46 of Monterey County’s more than 220 hotels and lodging properties are temporarily closed, according to the Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau. Hotels that remain open are for those who need to shelter-in-place or for essential travel only.
The 87th Festa Italia Fishermen’s Festival, held at Monterey’s Custom House Plaza, has been postponed to September of 2021. The 3-day outdoor festival honors Italian Sicilian Fishermen. The board of directors said it was difficult to cancel this year’s event, but that it was a necessary decision in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The drive-through COVID-19 testing site at Monterey Peninsula College will be closed this Thursday, May 21. Testing supplies have been used up due to a big turnout from the community. Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, which runs the site, expects to reopen next week. For updates on the testing site’s schedule, click here.
As of May 19, there are 355 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Monterey County residents.That’s an increase of 6 cases since the county’s previous report. Fatalities remain at 8 people, 49 have required hospitalization and 254 have recovered from the virus. Local labs have conducted 6,092 tests in the county as of May 19.