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Monterey County says their two free Optum COVID-19 testing sites in Salinas and Greenfield are currently booked to capacity. They say while this is good news, the bad news is that there is a high ‘no show’ rate. The county is urging the public to either cancel or reschedule any appointment they make. No shows means walk-in clients, many referred due to contact tracing work, are being turned away.
Natividad will be hosting a pop-up drive-thru testing site in King City this Thursday, July 9 at 10 a.m. near the King City Recreation Department. Those wanting to be tested can access the testing site from Division St. to San Lorenzo Ave. between the Salinas Valley Fairgrounds and City Park. Testing is free and limited to 100 participants. You do not need to have symptoms to be tested. No identification or insurance card is required. The pop-up is a collaboration between Natividad, the City of King City and Mee Memorial Healthcare System.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is postponing its reopening. It comes after the state ordered the reclosure of all bars in Monterey County and asked other industries like zoos and aquariums, that don’t have outdoor operations, to close too. That aquarium had been scheduled to reopen on July 9. The aquarium says it will continue to closely monitor the situation and announce its reopening date when the county’s status improves. Ticket purchases affected by this announcement can be used at a later date.
The State of California is now asking Monterey County to close indoor operations for restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, zoos and cardrooms. Bars must close all operations. Monterey County was placed on the state’s COVID-19 county monitoring list last Thursday, July 2, after experiencing elevated disease transmission locally. In reponse to the reclosures Dr. Edward Moreno, the county's health officer, said, “We all have a responsibility in slowing this disease and protecting the most vulnerable among us. We will follow the Governor’s directive and expect all residents, visitors and business owners to do so as well.” The county added that an effective date for these changes is not yet known, but the county will alert the community as soon as more information is available.
The City of Monterey saw good mask and social distancing compliance over the Fourth of July weekend. By Saturday, July 4, code compliance officers issued just three citations for mask violations. The officers reported almost complete compliance with the city’s order to wear masks. The city handed out more than 30 masks to people who didn’t have them. City Manager Hans Uslar called the weekend a “success.”
Almost all beaches were closed on the Monterey Peninsula. Monterey Police report the city’s beaches were empty.
There was a citation for illegal fireworks over the weekend in Monterey. The citation carries a $1000 fine.
Monterey County was placed on the state’s COVID-19 county monitoring list last Thursday, July 2, after experiencing elevated disease transmission locally. The key areas where the county is not reaching the state’s targets for slowing the spread of the coronavirus are:
- Having a positivity rate of more than 8 percent over the period of a week,
- Seeing more than 10 percent increase in hospitalizations over a three day period.
The county is also very close to not reaching the target of having less than 100 positive cases per 100,000 people over a two week period. Monterey County has its own targets it’s monitoring with data that differs from the state’s.
Applications for Monterey County’s Great Plates Delivered Program are no longer being accepted at this time because the program has reached its capacity. 200 seniors at high-risk from COVID-19 are now being delivered three healthy meals everyday from seven restaurants strategically located around the county. If it isn’t extended by FEMA the program will end on July 10.
In Monterey County they are currently reporting confirmed COVID-19 cases have reached 2,151. That’s an increase of 87 cases over a 24 hour period. Fatalities remain at 15. A total of 149 people have required hospitalization and 1,203 have recovered from the coronavirus. 29,636 tests have been conducted.
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY
The Santa Cruz County Clerk and Santa Cruz County Parks have joined efforts to offer weddings at no cost on Sunday, July 19 at Valencia Hall (2555 Valencia Road) in Aptos. Couples can book their “Vows at Valencia” free wedding ceremony online or call 831-454-2060. Ceremonies will take place outdoors, the number of guests is limited to 15, and guests are required to wear masks covering their nose and mouth. Ceremonies will occur every 30 minutes from 1pm until 6pm. There is no cost for the wedding ceremony; however, couples must purchase a marriage license prior to July 19. Marriage licenses in Santa Cruz County cost $90 and are issued by the Santa Cruz County Clerk located at 701 Ocean Street, Room 310, in Santa Cruz.
In Santa Cruz County, as of July 6, there are 459 known cases of COVID-19. Fatalities remain at three. 22 new cases were reported on July 3. Currently there are 181 known active cases and a total of 48 people have required hospitalization. 19,039 negative tests have been conducted.
The California Health and Human Services Secretary, Dr. Mark Ghaly, is calling on laboratories across the state to speed up test processing for at-risk groups. This includes those who are hospitalized or in long-term care facilities, and patients in institutional settings, including prisons and jails. Dr. Ghaly said, “Together, we increased testing from 2,000 tests per day to 100,000 test per day in just a few months.” But added that as testing capabilities scaled up labs have been overwhelmed with specimens slowing down timelines.
As of July 4, California has 260,155 confirmed cases of COVID-19, resulting in 6,331. That’s a daily increase of 5,410 cases of 18 deaths. The rate of positive tests over the last 14 days is 6.3 percent. California’s hospitalizations due to COVID-19 increased by 74 from July 3. More than 4.6 million tests have been conducted.