KAZU's Coronavirus Blog: Latest Updates, Resources

Credit CDC.gov

Santa Cruz and Monterey counties plan to apply for a variance from the state. This would allow the counties to move through Stage 2 of California's roadmap to reopening faster. San Benito County has already been approved



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

Friday Updates: 5/29/20

18 hours ago

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2:50 p.m.


California is reporting, as of May 28, 103,886 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 4,068 deaths. That’s an increase of 95 deaths and 2,189 cases compared to the day before. 1,835,478 tests have been conducted in the state.



12:55 p.m.

The City of Santa Cruz is extending all parking permits through the end of June, 2020.

Monthly parking permits at downtown parking garages are extended through June with no payment required for this month. If a monthly permit parking holder has pre-paid the month of June, the city will credit a month of parking and extend the validity of the permit as appropriate. Regular monthly permit parking fees will be reinstated as of July 1. Existing residential parking permits that were set to expire on May 15, will be extended until July 1, at no charge. The city’s parking office reopens to the public on Monday, June 1.


11:40 a.m.

The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors has unanimously voted to approve a Stage 2 variance application to the state. If approved by the state, this will allow the county to move further into Stage 2 of California’s Resilience Roadmap to reopening. It would allow local restaurants to offer limited indoor/outdoor dine-in services with modifications. It would also allow barbershops and hair salons to offer limited services. Upon State approval, local Health Officers must issue orders allowing these operations to resume. The county says approval may take up to one week, though a response could come sooner.


2 :55 p.m.

Monterey County is reporting two new deaths from COVID-19 bringing the total number of fatalities to 10. The county is also reporting a total of 477 cases. 9,679 tests have been conducted.


2:20 p.m.

Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital is using a drive-up/drive-thru system to screen and test people suspected of having COVID-19. This is in order to keep possible coronavirus patients separated from other hospital patients. Medical personnel doing testing are educating the public about isolating at home, if they test positive and don’t need to be hospitalized.

2:15 p.m

The drive-thru COVID-19 testing site at Monterey Peninsula College is working with the county to increase its testing capacity. Planned Parenthood, who runs the site, says the site continues to be visited by lots of residents. The current capacity remains at 100 tests per day. The site is open Monday - Thursday from 9 a.m. - 12 noon and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Testing stops when they reach 100 tests for the day. Translation services are available on site.

1 p.m.

The Monterey County Health Department’s Environmental Health Bureau has released some guidelines for reopening restaurants if the state approves the county’s attestation to move further into Stage 2 of the roadmap to reopening. The department is also taking calls to guide restaurants through the process: (831) 755-4505.

12:50 p.m.

Nine of the more than 80 City of Monterey employees, scheduled to be laid off on Monday, June 1, are being reinstated. 6 full time and 2 part-time employees. The city says its thanks to the decision to restart paid parking. The city announced on May 28, it would begin paid parking enforcement in lots and on streets starting Tuesday June 2nd. Increased citation fees will take effect on June 1.


10:45 a.m.

This Monday, June 1, Monterey County Supervisor Jane Parker will hold her regular Hot Topics virtual meeting with a focus on childcare during the coronavirus pandemic. She will be joined by First Five Monterey County who will share resources for parents who are called back to work and are facing childcare challenges. This will be livestreamed on Facebook and Zoom.

10:30 a.m.

The City of Monterey will host a virtual town hall on Monday, June 1 from 6:30 - 8 p.m. to discuss the city’s fiscal year 2021 budget. They say they are facing a loss of $31 million over the span of two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The city says the pandemic has forced the temporary closure of many city facilities and community programs. If you want to actively participate in the town hall you must register. Otherwise you can watch it on Youtube.

Thursday Updates: 5/28/20

May 28, 2020

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3:05 p.m.

The California Department of Public Health says as of May 27, there are 101,697 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state. 3,973 people have died. That’s an increase of 89 deaths since May 26. Local health departments have reported 9,647 confirmed positive cases in healthcare workers, with 56 deaths statewide. 1,790,559 tests have been conducted in California.

1:40 p.m.

Click here for helpful tips from the Bureau of Land Management on recreating outdoors safely.


2:45 p.m.

CASA of Santa Cruz County is in need of volunteers to make sure foster youth have caring adults in their lives. CASA stands for court appointed special advocate. To ensure safety of youth during shelter-in-place orders, these advocates are spending more time with their children virtually. Online information meetings to become a volunteer are coming up. Click here to register.

Upcoming online Informational sessions:

2:05 p.m.

As of May 28, there are 206 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Santa Cruz County residents. That marks an increase of 1 case since the county’s report on May 27. Fatalities remain at two people, 30 have required hospitalization and 137 have recovered from the virus. 7,848 negative tests have been recorded in the county.

12:20 p.m.

Santa Cruz County health officials formed a working group to help educate residents who live in South County about the coronavirus. The group convened before multiple clusters of COVID-19 outbreaks occurred in the area.

Health officials continue to investigate those four clusters of outbreaks in the area. Transmission occurred during family gatherings, with multiple households coming togehter, mainly over Mother’s Day weekend. These outbreaks have contributed to the overall COVID-19 case count in the Watsonville area. As of Tuesday, the county reported 91 confirmed cases in Watsonville, out of 205 cases countywide.

11:20 a.m.

The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors will hold a meeting tomorrow, Friday, May 29, to review the county’s variance to move further into Stage 2 of the state’s roadmap to reopening. Originally, they planned to discuss the variance on June 2, but were able to schedule a special meeting.

Supervisors must approve the variance and the county health officer must sign it before the document is sent to the state. If approved by the state, the application would make Santa Cruz County the first in the Bay Area to receive a variance. County officials expect it will take a few days to hear back.

Friday’s 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.


9 p.m.

The Monterey County Health Department is currently reporting 469 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Monterey County residents.That marks an increase of 28 cases since the previous report. 55 residents have required hospitalization and 298 have recovered from the virus. Local labs have conducted 9,486 tests.

4:30 p.m.

Monterey County officials say their COVID-19 information page is currently experincing technical issues. KAZU will update case numbers as soon as we know they're correct.

3 p.m.

Hartnell College will honor its graduating class on Friday, May 29 via a virtual ceremony on YouTube. This marks Hartnell’s centennial class with 1,323 students receiving a combined total of 3,020 degrees and certificates.

1:55 p.m.

The Monterey County Business Council and Small Business Development Center will host another webinar this Friday, May 29. Speaks include County Administrative Officer Charles McKee, District 5 Supervisor Mary Adams, and District 2 Supervisor John Phillips. They will give an update on the County’s application to reopen more businesses and activities. 

  • Webinar: “The County’s Proposal to the State for Reopening Business”
  • Time: 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.
  • Link to Register


1:45 p.m.

SPCA Monterey County is hosting another free pet food drive Saturday in Greenfield. It will take place at Patriot Park, 1351 Oak Avenue, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Pet food is first come, first served. This drive is in addition to the SPCA’s distributions every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at the SPCA from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

1:10 p.m.

A virtual celebration of Monterey’s 250th birthday will take place on Wednesday, June 3, at 12 noon. Several events have been postponed or cancelled because of the pandemic, but an online event will be held. June 3, 1770 is the day Captain Gaspar de Portola and Father Junipero Serra landed in Monterey Bay and established the Presidio of Monterey. The celebrations will be broadcast on the city's YouTube channel.

1:05 p.m.

Monterey city staff presented their proposed budget ideas to city council in a working session on Wednesday, May 27. The staff will now take suggestions by the council and present a revised budget at their regular city council meeting on Tuesday, June 2 at 4 p.m. The 2020-21 budget is an ongoing effort by the city to accommodate an $18 million loss in revenue due to the state's shelter-in-place order.

In preparation for Tuesday’s Council meeting, the city is planning a series of virtual town-hall meetings involving businesses, residents and other stakeholders. Those meetings are being planned for Monday, June 1.

12:50 p.m.

This Monday, the California Department of Public Health announced that places of worship can reopen statewide upon approval from county health departments. The Monterey County Health Department is allowing these organizations to reopen for religious services, cultural ceremonies and funerals. Guidance includes having a prevention plan, training, cleaning protocols and physical distaning guidelines. Staff and guests should wear face coverings at all times. Singing is not encouraged because health officials say it dramatically increases the risk of COVID-19 transmission. 

Faith-based office workspaces and counseling can also reopen with modifications.

9:40 a.m.

Paid parking is coming back in Monterey. The city suspended enforcement in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Beginning June 1, new citation fees go into effect and paid parking enforcement in lots and on the street resumes June 2. The city says this is essential for managing turnover for businesses who rely on people accessing their businesses.

Wednesday Updates: 5/27/20

May 27, 2020

Tuesday Updates: 5/26/20

May 26, 2020

Monday Updates: 5/25/20

May 25, 2020

Wednesday Updates: 5/20/20

May 20, 2020

Tuesday Updates 5/19/20

May 19, 2020

Monday Updates 5/18/20

May 18, 2020

Sunday Updates: 5/17/20

May 17, 2020

Friday Updates: 5/15/20

May 15, 2020

Thursday Updates: 5/14/20

May 14, 2020

Tuesday Updates: 5/12/20

May 12, 2020

Monday Updates: 5/11/20

May 11, 2020

Sunday Updates: 5/10/20

May 11, 2020

Friday Updates: 5/8/20

May 10, 2020

Thursday Updates: 5/7/20

May 10, 2020

Wednesday Updates: 5/6/20

May 10, 2020