KAZU's Coronavirus Blog: Latest Updates, Resources

Credit CDC.gov





Santa Cruz County COVID-19 hotline: 831-454-4242 or text “COVID19” to 211-211
Monterey County COVID-19 hotline: 831-755-4521 or 831-769-8700 or 211

Wednesday Updates: 7/22/20

Jul 22, 2020

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12 p.m.

Congressman Jimmy Panetta says the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has provided financial assistance to 6,621 local businesses and helped to retain over 82,000 jobs across the Central Coast. The deadline to apply for a PPP loan is August 8. Panetta, who represents California 20th District, has voted for the ‘Heroes Act’, which would extend the PPP through December 31. The legislation is being considered by the Senate.


11:25 a.m.

Santa Cruz County’s Health Services Agency is reporting, as of July 22, a total of 848 known cases of COVID-19, that have resulted in three deaths. There are currently 511 active cases and a total of 63 people have required hospitalization. 25,192 negative tests have been recorded.


12:15 p.m.

This Saturday, July 25, the SPCA Monterey County is hosting a free pet food bank in Greenfield. From 10 to 11 a.m. at Patriot Park, pet owners can collect a two-week supply of a variety of pet foods. The SPCA says since the start of the pandemic they have provided food to over 3,200 pets including cats, dogs, chickens, rabbits, hamsters, birds, and horses. The next event will be in Castroville on August 15.

11: 35 a.m.

The City of Monterey has announced a new senior drive thru meal program that will begin August 4. It's a joint effort between Monterey Recreation and Meals on Wheels. The meals will be distributed Tuesday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to noon at El Estero Park. Reservations are required.

11:20 a.m.

According to the Monterey County Health Department’s COVID-19 data dashboard, July 20 saw the highest daily cases of COVID-19 ever recorded - 165 new cases. The total number of cases has reached 3,545. Hospitalizations continue to increase. 10 new hospitalizations were reported in the last 24 hours bringing the total number to 237. Fatalities remain at 21. 40,757 tests have been conducted.


11:10 a.m.

The California Department of Public Health is reporting, as of July 21, 413,576 confirmed cases of COVID-19, that have resulted in 7,870 deaths. The state is reporting another record, with the highest ever daily amount of coronavirus cases - 12,807. The rate of positive tests over the last 14 days is 7.4 percent. California’s hospitalizations due to COVID-19 increased by 79 from Monday. More than 6.6 million tests have been conducted.  


Monday Updates: 7/20/20

Jul 20, 2020

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11:15 a.m.

Gilroy will have a pop-up COVID-19 testing site this week at the South County Annex (9300 Wren Avenue, Gilroy). From July 21 - 24 between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. residents can get tested without an appointment, symptoms, insurance, or a doctor’s note, and regardless of immigration status.  


6:05 p.m.

The City of Monterey says weekend parking revenue is currently about half of what it was compared to a year ago. Revenue from parking spaces and lots is seen an indication of the level of tourism during the summer. Week on week parking revenue is flat.

6 p.m.

The Monterey City Council will meet Tuesday evening and go over a proposal to increase the city’s hotel tax. The proposal would increase the tax from 10% to 12%. If approved by the council, it would go on the November ballot. It would take a two-thirds vote to pass.

5:45 p.m.

Monterey County’s Health Officer, Dr Edward Moreno, has clarified his comments on the reopening of schools for in-person classes this year in the county. The health officer says “it does not appear that schools will be able to begin the school year with in class, in person instruction”.

1:30 p.m.

*** CLARIFICATION ABOVE. Dr. Edward Moreno, Monterey County’s health officer, says at this time he doesn’t expect schools in the county to open for in-person instruction before the end of 2020. Under California Governor Gavin Newson’s requirements for reopening public and private schools, a school may choose to offer in-person instruction only once their county has been off the state’s monitoring list for 14 consecutive days. Dr. Moreno says he doesn’t expect Monterey County to be removed from the monitoring list in the near future.

1 p.m.

Monterey County Health Officer, Dr. Edward Moreno, says he doesn’t see Monterey County being removed from the state’s COVID-19 monitoring list in the near future. The monitoring list currently has 33 counties on it that the state feels are not sufficiently containing the spread of COVID-19 in their communities. Dr. Moreno says one of the key areas of concern for Monterey County is its case rate per 100,000 people. The county currently has 168 cases per 100,000 people. The state wants that number to be at 100 per 100,000 or below. Dr. Moreno says he doesn’t see this figure moving in a downward trend.

12:45 p.m.

To date, (July 20) 151 inmates at the Monterey County Jail have tested positive for COVID-19. That’s an increase of 77 new cases since July 13. Two inmates have required hospitalization. The jail says a total of 360 inmates have been tested for the coronavirus. Staff have also been tested for the virus. Of the 178 staff that have been tested, a total of nine have tested positive. 

To try to slow the spread of the coronavirus the jail has opened up a new housing block that is used to detain new inmates in single cells during a quarantine period. New inmates have to test negative before entering general population.


11:05 a.m.

Monterey County is reporting one new death from COVID-19. That brings the total number of fatalities to 19. The county is currently reporting a total of 3,353 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. That’s an increase of 125 cases in the last 24 hours. 221 people have required hospitalization because of the virus. 38,838 tests have been conducted. 

Monterey County continues to be on the state’s COVID-19 monitoring list. The county is not meeting the state’s requirements when it comes to case rates (the number of positive cases per 100,000 people) and the testing positivity rate (a weekly average of those who have tested positive).


8:25 p.m.


The Santa Cruz County Office of Education announced today (Monday) that all public and private schools in the county need to provide distance learning only when school starts.


4:45 p.m.

Santa Cruz County Public Health Division says a number of staff and residents at the Salvation Army Shelter in Watsonville have tested positive for COVID-19. The first case was discovered when a resident was tested as part of preparations for an unrelated medical procedure. After the discovery the county’s Communicable Disease Unit conducted testing at the site and so far a total of eight cases have been recorded. The county says all individuals are asymptomatic. Operations at the shelter have been temporarily suspended, and shelter residents have been relocated to support isolation.


11 a.m.

Santa Cruz County is reporting, as of July 18, a total of 772 known cases of COVID-19. Of those cases 448 are active cases. Fatalities remain at three. 38 new cases were reported on Friday. A total of 59 people have required hospitalization. 23,330 negative lab tests have been recorded.




8:40 p.m.


The California Interscholastic Federation, CIF, has decided that all high school sports will be delayed until December at the earliest. 


4:10 p.m.

The California Department of Public Health has released guidance on how personal care services such as hair salons, barbershops, nail salons and massage parlors can provide outdoor services. The state says other services, such as tattooing, electrolysis, and piercing, cannot be performed outdoors because they require a hygienic environment. Guidelines include:

- conducting operations under a tent or canopy as long as no more than one side is closed, allowing sufficient outdoor air movement,

- requiring face coverings,

- social distancing and more. 

Salons and barbershops should not perform a service that would require a customer to have to enter the establishment.

10:55 a.m.

As of July 18, California has 384,692 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the California Department of Public Health. 8,487 new cases were recorded on Saturday. A total of 7,685 have died from the coronavirus. That’s a daily increase of 90 deaths. The rate of positive tests over the last 14 days is 7.4 percent. California’s hospitalizations due to COVID-19 increased by 5 from Friday.   

Friday Updates: 6/17/20

Jul 17, 2020

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2:05 p.m.

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%.


5:30 p.m.

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.


12:40 p.m.

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.

11:10 a.m.

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.

11 a.m.

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.


1:10 p.m.

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.

1 p.m.

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.

10:45 a.m.

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%.

9:25 a.m.

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.

9:15 a.m.

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

9:10 a.m.

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)

Monday Updates: 7/13/20

Jul 13, 2020

Friday Updates: 6/10/20

Jul 10, 2020

Wednesday Updates: 7/8/20

Jul 8, 2020

Monday Updates: 7/6/20

Jul 6, 2020

Friday Updates: 7/3/20

Jul 3, 2020

Wednesday Updates 7/1/20

Jul 1, 2020

Monday Updates: 6/29/20

Jun 29, 2020

Thursday Updates: 6/25/20

Jun 25, 2020

Wednesday Updates: 6/24/20

Jun 24, 2020

Monday Updates: 6/22/20

Jun 22, 2020

Sunday Updates: 6/21/20

Jun 21, 2020

Friday Updates: 6/19/20

Jun 19, 2020

Wednesday Updates: 6/17/20

Jun 17, 2020

Tuesday Updates: 6/16/20

Jun 16, 2020