Friday Updates: 6/17/20
California now has 366,164 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of July 16, resulting in 7,475 deaths. Hospitalizations increased by 31 from Wednesday. The state’s overall test positivity rate is around 6% and the 14-day average is 7.4%.
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY
Second Harvest Food Bank continues to host community food distributions in the county, alternating between the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds in Watsonville and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in Santa Cruz. The next one will be friday, July 24 at the fairgrounds from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. ID is not necessary.
The City of Santa Cruz is accepting applications for rental assistance grants through July 24. The city says names will be placed on the waitlist in a randomized order. The emergency assistance will help low-income city residents who haven't been able to pay their rent recently. Those approved could receive up to $5,000 toward past-due rent since April 1. The program is in partnership with the Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County, Inc. Click here to apply.
Santa Cruz County reported a significant jump in COVID-19 cases this week. On Monday, the data dashboard showed 569 cases. Today (Friday) the cases are at 735. That marks an increase of 166 cases over 5 days.
Dr. Gail Newel, the county’s health officer, said case investigators are working to figure out what’s behind the increase.
“It's too early to comment on the cause or means of spread in the last two weeks, because our case investigators are still working on that. But most of the cases that we have completed investigations on are still person to person contact,” Newel said.
She said another cause is gatherings among friends and family members.
“We know that there are infectious people out and about in our community who don't even know that they have the disease,” she said.
Newel doesn’t believe the recent spike is from the Fourth of July, noting there’s typically a three week lag between an event and reports on the data dashboard.
Dr. Newel said Santa Cruz County is close to being flagged by the state, and could be added to California’s watchlist soon.
Santa Cruz County is currently reporting 736 known cases of COVID-19. Fatalities remain at three people. A total of 58 people have required hospitalization. 23,003 negative lab tests have been recorded.
The Monterey County Office of Education announced Friday that, at this time, all Monterey County schools must resume the 2020-21 school year with distance learning. Monterey County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Deneen Guss said this is based on Governor Gavin Newsom’s updated guidance for schools. Under the guidance, schools and school districts can only reopen when their county has been off the state's COVID-19 watchlist for 14 days. Monterey County was added to the list on July 2 and remains on it today.
For parents who are essential workers and need childcare, click here.
Monterey-Salinas Transit will implement contactless payment for some riders. Beginning mid-September, riders will be able to tap a Visa card or digital wallet to take the bus. MST partnered with Visa and Caltrans to roll out the new technology.
Monterey County is currently reporting 3,059 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Fatalities remain at 18. A total of 201 people have required hospitalization. 36,374 tests have been conducted. The county’s overall positivity rate is at 8.41%.
California State University Monterey Bay announced Friday that campus will remain limited to faculty and staff until at least January 4. President Eduardo Ochoa attributed the reason to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases.
"The recent substantial rise in the number of COVID-19 cases statewide and in Monterey County has reinforced the wisdom of the CSU system’s decision to deliver instruction using alternative modalities for the fall 2020 semester,” Ochoa wrote.
The university plans to evaluate new data in November to determine whether it is safe to proceed with phased repopulation next year.
29 businesses in the City of Monterey have applied for encroachment permits. 21 have been approved. These permits are valid for six months and allow businesses to move their products and services onto the sidewalk in front of their business location, without impacting streets or parking stalls. Most of the businesses that have applied for these permits are restaurants on Alvarado Street and on Fisherman’s Wharf and the Municipal Wharf. A gallery and retail shop have also applied for the temporary permits
175 people took part in the City of Monterey’s last Family and Senior Drive Thru Produce Distribution. The weekly event is by reservation and participants are encouraged to book their place soon as the next food drive is filling up quickly. The distribution takes place most Mondays at Dennis the Menace Parking Lot (777 Pearl Street)