Caltrans are allowing food trucks to operate in rest areas during the COVID-19 pandemic. They say with restaurants closed and only curbside pickup allowed, this has made it very difficult for truckers to find a hot meal. A list of rest stops and operating food trucks can be found here. Food truck operators who want to take part can apply for a permit here.
The California Department of Public Health today (May 18) announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19. As of May 17, California now has 80,430 confirmed cases and 3,302 deaths. This is a daily increase of 41 deaths and 1,591 cases. Local health departments have reported 8,330 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 47 deaths statewide. 1,292,672 tests have been conducted in California.
The California Department of Public Health announced today (May 18) a new attestation opportunity for counties to move through Stage 2 of the Resilience Roadmap, opening additional sectors of their economy at their own pace. To qualify, counties must attest that hospitalization and test positivity rates are stable or declining; that they have a significant level of preparedness with testing, contact tracing, PPE and hospital surge; and that they have adequate plans related to county-wide containment. More details on the requirements can be found here.
The California Department of Public Health says the statewide Stay-at-Home order has helped slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, but has also resulted in some children missing their recommended vaccines. CDPH says when comparing April 2019 with April 2020, the number of shots given to children 0 through 18 years old in California decreased by more than 40 percent. Dr. Sonia Angell, Director of the California Department of Public Health and State Health Officer said, “During and after the pandemic, unvaccinated infants and children will be more vulnerable to dangerous diseases like measles and whooping cough. It’s so important that parents make sure their children are up-to-date on their immunizations.”
Monterey County Supervisor Jane Parker is hosting her regular ‘Virtual Hot Topics’ this afternoon (May 18) from 5:30 p.m - 6:30 p.m. The Governor's revised budget will be discussed, as will the new COVID-19 drive-thru testing site.
Monterey County Health Officer, Dr. Edward Moreno, says currently the county has around 34 contact tracers, and 12 more will be added very soon. These individuals are trained to track down people who could have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. This helps to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. The county is looking to add 20 more to the team. Moreno says a minimum of 65 tracers are required for the county to further re-open, and move through California’s Resilience Roadmap.
Monterey County Health Officer Dr. Edward Moreno, says since opening on May 6, two COVID-19 testing sites in Salinas and Greenfield have conducted over 1,600 tests. Around 600 people have been tested at the Greenfield site and over 1,000 people have been tested at the Salinas site. You must make an appointment in order to get tested at these sites.
They are located at:
- Alisal High School (777 Williams Rd, Salinas) Tuesday - Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Greenfield Branch Library (315 El Camino Real, Greenfield) Tuesday - Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Patients are asked to bring insurance cards but you don’t need to have insurance to be tested. You also don’t need symptoms to be tested for COVID-19.
The Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula or CHOMP says patients putting off medical care, has been a huge concern for them during the coronavirus pandemic. They have found that because people have put off care they are much sicker when they come into the hospital. CHOMP is reassuring the public that their hospital is safe to visit, and that significant safeguards have been put in place to isolate COVID-19 patients.
A new drive-thru COVID-19 testing site has opened at Monterey Peninsula College (Parking lot D, near the Student Services Building). Testing at this location will be done by Planned Parenthood Mar Monte and processed by Quest labs. Testing is available to all community members, with or without symptoms. No appointment is required. Testing will be available Monday - Thursday 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. and then again from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. Those coming to get tested are asked to bring photo ID and insurance. But if you don’t have insurance you will not be turned away, and you can still be tested. The site is expected to remain open until June 15.
The drive-thru testing site can process at least 100 tests per day.
Street resurfacing in the City of Monterey on Alvarado Street will take place Tuesday (May 19) and Wednesday (May 20) of this week.
The Monterey City Council is scheduled to vote on changes in parking fees at tomorrow’s (May 19th) meeting. The changes were discussed at a virtual public town hall last week. The changes affect both the amounts and structure of parking fees at city owned garages and parking meters.
The City of Monterey’s two boat ramps, that are used by recreational fishermen, will reopen tomorrow (May 19). The ramps were closed on March 29 due to shelter-in-place orders, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The reopening coincides with the reopening of ramps in Moss Landing. Salmon season is currently underway in the Monterey Bay.
SANTA CLARA COUNTY
As of May 17, Santa Clara County has 2,453 confirmed cases of COVID-19. 135 people have died from the virus. The county says this represents 37 news cases and no new deaths. 75 people are currently hospitalized because of the coronavirus, 25 are in ICU. 50,570 tests have been conducted.
Santa Clara County has issued a new order today (May 18) that allows retail establishments to offer storefront pick-up, and also allows the manufacturing, warehousing, and logistical operations that support retail to resume. The announcement was made in a joint statement with other Bay Area jurisdictions. The statement said this move was possible because sustained progress has been made on several key indicators regarding containment of COVID-19. The jurisdictions did though add that businesses should consistently follow social distancing protocols and public health guidance to protect their employees and customers as these activities resume. They said COVID-19 continues to pose a very significant risk, and that continued vigilance is necessary to ensure that there isn’t an increase in spread as more activities resume.
Goodwill Central Coast stores and donation centers are asking the public not to drop off their unwanted items at local Goodwill stores because they are still closed. Goodwill on the Central Coast will begin operations again as soon as the state and counties allow it. The best way to be notified of opening is to sign up for email announcements on the Goodwill website.
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY
Starting today (May 18), the City of Santa Cruz is reopening many public counters. The city has installed transparent dividers (sneeze guards) to help protect the public and city employees. Social distancing in city facilities will be required, and the use of face coverings is mandatory. The city is asking the public to check it’s website first before visiting them as many services are available online.
As of May 17, Santa Cruz County is reporting 163 known cases of COVID-19 in the community. This represents 3 new cases compared to the day before. Fatalities remain at 2. 25 people have required hospitalization and 124 people have recovered from the coronavirus. 5,883 negative lab test results have been recorded.