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This week of May 18th newsletter is to give you the latest update on local issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Remember to visit the County website about COVID-19 by clicking here  which will be updated when anything NEW is announced.

  • With Santa Cruz County in early Stage 2 of the State Resilience Roadmap, non-essential retail businesses may offer curbside pickup only, such as bookstores, jewelry stores, toy stores, clothing and shoe stores, home and furnishing stores, sporting goods stores, and florists. Essential retailers may still offer in-store shopping as long as they follow and post guidelines. These types of retailers include medical goods and supplies, grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores, animal/pet food stores, gas stations, hardware and building materials stores, and consumer electronics and appliance stores. Construction sites and related activities are allowed to open and must comply with the April 29 order. Restaurants remain open for pickup only. No dine-in or outdoor seating of any kind is allowed until the County is allowed to proceed into late Stage 2 of the State's Resilience Roadmap. If you are interested to see what restaurants will look like when we return to limited dine-in services, the State recently released guidance on safe operations, available here
  • The County is closely monitoring local indicators such as case counts, testing capacity and personal protective equipment availability to determine whether it can apply for a variance allowing the County to move into a later Stage 2 phase of opening. The County intends to work closely with Community Foundation Santa Cruz County and the newly formed Economic Recovery Council to move toward a safe, phased, and enduring reopening of the local economy. Stage 3 and Stage 4 businesses and operations, such as hair and nail salons, movie theaters, religious services, sporting events, and other large gatherings, are not included in the variance process at this time and remain closed throughout California. In deciding whether to allow activities to resume, counties may not be more permissive than State rules.
  • The State informed the County on Friday that the trailers for the temporary housing site of Transition Aged Youth, at the Seventh Day Adventist site in Soquel, may arrive today (May 18th). We have put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions to address many of the issues that have been discussed. Click here for a copyNo one will be moving onto the site until the Community Advisory Group in Soquel is seated and another community meeting is will be held (this time via Zoom). The County is still accepting applications for the Community Advisory Group. The group will meet directly with program managers, County staff, and church representatives as we set up and run a program while the Shelter In Place order is in effect. Neighbors with backgrounds in public administration, business, education, public health or public safety, and/or have served on other boards are encouraged to apply. For an application please click here. Applications are due no later than Tuesday, May 19th by 10:00 am.  If you accept the appointment to this Board, please be available for your initial meeting to review material on Thursday, May 21st at 2:00 pm.  A meeting with the County, program staff and the Advisory Board will be set with the community the following week.
  • The Homeless Action Partnership (HAP), a collaboration of the County of Santa Cruz and each city within the county, along with local providers of homeless services, has launched a new website. The site was developed to make crucial county resources and updates accessible to area homeless service providers, community members, and those seeking assistance. The site includes the COVID-19 Homeless Response Fact Sheet, as well as essential information and weekly updates from the Santa Cruz County Shelter & Care Task Force.  To visit the site, click here.
  • The Board of Supervisors will honor Ben Kelly at tomorrow's Board meeting. Ben was a Pleasure Point resident whose life was cut short in a surfing accident. You can tune into the recognition event at 9:00 a.m. by clicking here or by watching on the Community Television website or on your cable system.
  • Last Wednesday I held a Telephone Town Hall with Assembly member Mark Stone about the State response to the COVID-19 crisis and what will be changing in Sacramento. You can listen to it here
  • There is a weekly press conference with County health officials on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. You can watch it on the County's Facebook site by clicking here.

Zoom Town Hall at 6  pm Wednesday
This week we are moving to a new format for the weekly meeting. We are using the Zoom interface that allows people to both view the meeting or call in via telephone if that is preferred. Questions can be submitted in writing online as the meeting is happening. Those on the telephone will not be able to submit questions during the meeting.
Joining me this week are Margaret Lapiz, Recovery Branch Director for SAVE Lives Santa Cruz County, and Jenifer Herrera, Chief of Public Health. They will discuss their work on increasing testing and contact tracing capability, along with their efforts with the County's Economic Recovery Team.
Wednesday, May 20
6 p.m. - 7 p.m.
To listen in or ask questions, NEW SYSTEM: ZOOM Meeting:
Or Call: (669) 900-9128 - Webinar ID: 987 2823 0728 

Let Us Know
I have been publishing this weekly update to keep you informed about the latest news regarding the local response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please let me know if you want me to continue this weekly format or go to a monthly format by answering this short survey.

Not paid for with County funds