This Week of April 20th newsletter is to give you the latest update on local issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. I am trying to keep you informed with the most current information available. Remember to visit the NEW County website about COVID-19 by clicking here which will be updated when anything NEW is announced.
The Santa Cruz County Public Health Department announced last week that a second resident with COVID-19 has died. The individual was an adult male in his late 60s with an underlying health condition. He was admitted to a local hospital on April 9th with symptoms including fever, cough and fatigue, and was confirmed by laboratory testing to be positive for COVID-19. He died in a local hospital early on April 14. The patient lived in South County and was employed by a local university. The Public Health Division has determined that this case was community-acquired. Read more here.
Last Wednesday I did a Telephone Town Hall meeting with Dr. David Ghilarducci, the County's Emergency Management Services Medical Director and the Chair of the statewide association of EMS Medical Directors. He discussed our hospital preparation. You can listen to it here.
Due to the low volume of COVID-19 patients in our local hospitals, the County has converted its second Alternate Care Site at Simpkins Swim Center to be a temporary shelter for Transition-Age Youth (TAY) who have aged out of the foster care system. The shelter site will hold up to 30 people and is considered temporary. The site will be converted back to medical service if, and when, it's needed.
The County is actively looking for Extra Help Disaster Service Workers in an effort to assist with staffing our shelters to support people experiencing homelessness safely shelter in place. We are especially interested in hiring people with experience supporting vulnerable community members and people with multi-lingual skills. These jobs pay over $20/hour. The County will provide training and orientation to the Sheltering Program, including appropriate personal safety measures and physical distancing protocols. Read more here.
The Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter (SCCAS) is hosting a Pet Food Pantry for pet owners in need. Free pet food can be picked up at the Shelter's Education Center, 2260 7th Avenue in Santa Cruz, on April 21st and April 28th, from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. During this time, the Shelter is also accepting pet food donations for pets in need. You can drop off unopened pet food at the Shelter's entrance (1001 Rodriguez Street in Santa Cruz) at the front door. To find out more, click here.
Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP) announced its plan to defer electric generation charges by 50% for the months of May and June, providing immediate financial relief to every MBCP customer as a swift response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Total customer bill deferment during these two months is estimated at $22.4 million, the most significant response to date by a California Community Choice Energy agency. In addition to MBCP's financial response, MBCP has suspended its non-payment policy until further notice and will continue to support customers through its call center and share resources through its website, newsletter and social media platforms. To find out more, click here.
Due to COVID-19 impacting our community, the Live Oak Parking Program (LOPP) began parking enforcement Friday, April 17, 2020.Any vehicle not displaying a 2020 LOPP permit will receive a citation. Enforcement will take place 7 days a week during the time when we are asked to Shelter-in-Place by the Public Health Officer. Residents in the LOPP zones and Seasonal permit holders are encouraged to apply for their 2020 season permit ASAP. Please visit the County Parking Program website for more information by clicking here.
A weekly press conference will be held with County health officials on Thursday, April 23, at 10:00 a.m. You can watch it on the County's Facebook site by clicking here.
Telephone Town Hall at 6 pm Wednesday
This week's Telephone Town Hall meeting features Sheriff Jim Hart. He will fill us in on what he is seeing with regard to enforcement of the Shelter In Place order and other criminal justice issues during this COVID-19 crisis.
Wednesday, April 22nd
6 pm - 7 pm
To listen in or ask questions at the Telephone Town Hall Meeting
Call 831-454-2222 / Use Collaboration ID Number: 855976
If You Want To Help
County Park Friends is pivoting from their usual Park support efforts to supporting childcare for essential workers. Our County Park partners are responding to the crisis by opening up childcare sites for essential workers and are working to make sure they have what they need to keep these kids safe and well. Together we can support these children by helping to provide supplies and materials needed to keep kids healthy and cared for so their parents can do the same for all of us. Find out how to give by clicking here.
Please also consider supporting our local restaurants during this challenging time by feeding our front line health care workers through https://covid-meals.org/. You can support frontline health workers and help our local business community at the same time. Every meal you provide makes a difference in our community.