Wednesday Updates: 5/27/20
The California Department of Public Health says Cooling Centers, that are made available to the public during heat waves, should be modified to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19. They have provided guidance for how local communities should modify Cooling Centers.
California is reporting as of May 26, 98,980 confirmed cases of COVID-19. 3,884 people have died from the virus. That’s an increase of 70 deaths and 2,247 cases from the prior day. 9,379 health care workers have tested positive for the coronavirus, 51 have died across the state. More than 1.7 million tests have been conducted.
The Monterey County Business Council and partners are hosting another webinar this Friday, May 29, on “The County's Proposal to the State for Reopening ". The webinar will take place from 10 - 11 a.m. with the county’s CAO, Charles McKee, speaking on plans for opening business back up in the community. Register here.
People currently under quarantine in Monterey County tend to be individuals who have been exposed to the coronavirus while gathering in groups. That's according to Monterey County Health Officer Dr. Edward Moreno, who says they have seen clusters associated with events such as Mother’s Day gatherings. He says friends and families are infecting each other. Dr. Moreno added that if someone is infectious, and they spend at least 15 minutes within 6 feet of another person, there is a good chance the other person will become exposed to COVID-19.
Monterey County Health Officer Dr. Edward Moreno is recommending that members of vulnerable populations continue to follow state mandates to stay at home even as California moves into full Stage 2 compliance. People who are considered in a vulnerable population include those over 65, people with chronic medical conditions and people who have a weakened immune system. People are allowed to leave their home only to conduct necessary business such as shopping for food or visiting their doctor.
The Monterey County Health Department is not currently considering reopening public pools. They say the risk is that people from different households will gather in one place where they are unable to wear face masks.
Monterey County officials say as soon as the state has approved their attestation or variance, which would allow the county to move further into Stage 2 of California Governor Gavin Newsom’s roadmap to reopening, the new order will take effect immediately. This new order will see restaurants and salons reopen with restrictions.
Fisherman’s Wharf (Wharf 1) is considering allowing outdoor seating as a way for restaurants to comply with state and county orders on social distancing. The plan, if adopted, would let restaurants on the wharf replace tables inside the restaurant with outside tables to maintain table count. Alvarado Street in downtown Monterey and Cannery Row are two other locations under consideration for outdoor seating.
One of the items on the agenda for today’s (May 27) Monterey City Council working session is a discussion of increasing the hotel tax (TOT). The city says it has one of the lowest hotel taxes in the area. No specific increase is under consideration. The city is also looking at increasing city fees as a way to increase revenue in the wake of a $21 million budget shortfall.
The City of Monterey is working on a plan to reopen the Sports Center. It is expected the reopening will happen in Stage 3 of Governor Newsom’s reopening plan but preparation has already begun. Weight and cardio machines are being rearranged for social distancing and policies for cleaning and sanitizing are being written. Initially the locker room will stay closed and the weight and cardio room will be by appointment only.
Monterey County is currently reporting 429 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the community. Fatalities remain at 8. 15 new cases were reported on May 25 (the latest numbers available). 8,740 tests have been conducted. The test positivity rate is currently at 4.91%.
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY
Throughout the month of June some farmers markets in Santa Cruz County will be accepting CalFresh benefits and EBT food cards. Also for every $10 you spend with these benefits you will receive an additional $20 on top of that. Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz County, who are involved in the project, say many households may be unaware that they qualify for CalFresh. They say a family of four making up to $4,100 per month may be eligible. To find out if you qualify you can call 831-256-7730 or fill out a form online.
This Friday, May 29, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors will hold a special board meeting to review and consider an application to seek a Stage 2 variance under the State’s Resilience Roadmap. The meeting will take place at 9 a.m. at the Santa Cruz County Governmental Building (701 Ocean St). Due to social distancing requirements, seating is limited and participants are strongly encouraged to watch and submit comments online. If approved by the state, the application would make Santa Cruz County the first in the Bay Area to receive a variance.
Santa Cruz County is reporting, as of May 25, 205 known cases of COVID-19. This is an increase of 4 cases compared to the day before. Fatalities remain at 2. 30 residents have required hospitalization for COVID-19 and 137 have recovered from the virus. 7,848 negative lab results have been recorded.
SANTA CLARA COUNTY
Santa Clara County is currently reporting 2,675 confirmed cases of COVID-19. 139 people have died from the virus. The county says this marks 24 new cases and no new deaths. 54 people are currently hospitalized, with 18 in ICU. The total number of patients tested for the virus is 65,957.