TEST ONLY friday 3
The California Department of Public Health says as of May 21, there are 88,444 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state. 3,630 people have died. That’s an increase of 88 deaths since May 20. Local health departments have reported 8,902 confirmed positive cases in healthcare workers, with 49 deaths statewide. 1,466,773 tests have been conducted in California.
Governor Gavin Newsom said by the end of Friday (May 22), 45 counties in California will be approved to move further into Stage 2 of the state’s Resilience Roadmap. These counties have filed an Attestation that they have met the readiness criteria to move forward. The state updated that criteria earlier this week. San Benito County has been approved. Both Monterey and Santa Cruz counties are working on applying. Expanded Stage 2 allows retail stores, restaurants and schools to reopen with modifications.
The Bureau of Land Management is reminding people to recreate responsibly during Memorial Day weekend. Some areas remain closed. Click here to check the status of which BLM which areas are closed/open.
SAN BENITO COUNTY
Tomorrow, California Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) and California Senator Anna Caballero (D-Salinas) will host a farmworker relief drive in San Juan Bautista. Congressman Jimmy Panetta will also be volunteering at the event. People can drop-off non perishable foods, diapers and cleaning supplies.
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY
The Santa Cruz County Public Health Division is investigating clusters of COVID-19 cases involving family gatherings. The agency has identified four separate clusters of transmission in the South County region. These gatherings involved close contact between different households. One was a Mother’s Day gathering and another was a large gathering involving people who travelled from out-of-state.
Over the last week, the number of Santa Cruz County residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 has increased 20 percent. This coincides with the easing of restrictions in state and local shelter-in-place orders. Santa Cruz County health officials are encouraging everyone to main social distancing and follow shelter-in-place orders.
Cabrillo College is honoring its largest graduating class ever. More than 1,640 students are getting their degrees. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's ceremony is a virtual graduation.
The Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency is committed to requesting a variance from the state. This would allow the county to reopen the community more quickly. The county has reached the new milestones outlined by the state to move further into Stage 2 of the Resilience Roadmap. The county hopes 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.
As of May 22, there are 186 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Santa Cruz County residents. That marks an increase of 12 cases since the county’s report on May 21. Fatalities remain at two people, 29 have required hospitalization and 128 have recovered from the virus. 6,791 negative tests have been recorded in the county.
Santa Cruz County Health Officer Dr. Gail Newel plans to ease more restrictions next week to align with the state’s roadmap to reopening. This would allow offices where tele-working is not possible to reopen and would also allow activities such as pet grooming and car washing to resume. It’s expected the updated shelter-in-place order will take effect on May 26.
The city of Santa Cruz is reminding people that beaches continue to be closed between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily over Memorial Day weekend. During the times beaches are open, they can only be used for running, walking and other forms of physical activity. Activities in the ocean, like surfing, are allowed anytime. Parking lots along West Cliff Drive will remain closed. Car access to the Santa Cruz Wharf is limited to 20-minute curbside pick-ups for to-go orders.
The Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office said on Friday they're seeing a lot of visitors from out-of-town coming to use the beaches, but not knowing the rules.
Monterey County supervisors will meet on Tuesday, May 26, to discuss requesting a variance from the state. This 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. Monterey County officials say they’ve met the requirements to move forward under the state’s new criteria, which was announced earlier this week.
The drive-though COVID-19 testing site at Monterey Peninsula College should reopen on Tuesday. Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, which is running the site, is working to get more testing supplies after running out this week.
Monterey County parks and lakes will be open with restrictions over the Memorial Day weekend. Parks are open for trail use, but no gatherings are allowed. Picnic areas and campgrounds remain closed. Lakes are also open, with limits on the number of boats that can be out on the water.
The mayor of King City, Mike LeBarre, says the cancellation of the Salinas Valley Fair will have a significant financial impact on the area. Despite decreases in revenue, King City is focusing on keeping all of their city staff employed.
Monterey City department heads and staff are working through the Memorial Day weekend to finalize numbers for the city’s 2020-21 budget, which begins July 1. City Manager Hans Uslar expects a 25 percent loss in revenue next year. Even with recent layoffs, the city will have to make additional cuts and dip into its “rainy day fund.” A budget proposal will be presented to City Council in a special meeting and study session on Wednesday, May 27.
As we head into a three-day weekend, Monterey City Manager Hans Uslar is reminding residents and visitors that social distancing orders are still in place. Monterey Police and State Parks rangers will be patrolling beaches. The city’s policy is to educate first and then cite only if necessary. Click here to read the regulations for Monterey beach access.
The Panetta Institute for Public Policy has released results from their twentieth nationwide survey of college students. The students say the coronavirus is the top issue for them. Nearly 80 percent of the students polled said COVID-19 is changing their life in a “very” or “fairly” major way. Other topics in the poll include the presidential race and financial distress. Click here to read the results.
The SPCA is modifying its Pet Food Bank hours. People should come prepared to have food safely loaded into your car by staff.
To Receive Free Pet Food:
As of May 20, there are 362 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Monterey County residents.That’s an increase of 7 cases since the county’s report on May 19. Fatalities remain at 8 people, 51 have required hospitalization and 261 have recovered from the virus. Local labs have conducted 6,333 tests in the county as of May 20.