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This weekly newsletter is to give you an update on issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. My office has been contacted by numerous  constituents on many aspects impacting day to day life  and 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.
  • The Shelter In Place Order has been extended to May 3. Read the new order here.
  • I will be hosting a telephone town hall with Dr. Gail Newel this Wednesday at 6 pm. Details below.
  • The County has recently revised its website dedicated to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is more user-friendly and contains additional information. You can see it here. There is also a weekly news conference with Health Department leadership which will be broadcast live on the County's Facebook site.  You can see it here.
  • The County is opening a second Alternate Care Site at the 1440 Multiversity Learning Center in Scotts Valley. The use of alternate care sites is being established to support the Santa Cruz County Public Health Division as part of its surge care planning and is designed to free up local hospital capacity by treating patients who need hospitalization but do not have complex medical needs. The first site identified is at Simpkins Swim Center last week. Read more here.
  • There has been an increase in enforcement of the Shelter In Place order. Since we have seen a lot of people at our local beaches, the Sheriff has added two deputies dedicated to responding to COVID-19 calls.  The Sheriff has worked to clear all the beaches and has issued dozens of citations. In addition, we are limiting parking spaces at both The Hook and Moran Lake parking lots. We are also working with the Coastal Commission to start the Live Oak Parking Program early. Lastly, we had the changeable message on Highway 17 to say "Stay Home, Limit Travel, Save Lives." 
  • The California State Association of Counties and the California Association of County Treasurers and Tax Collectors announced that counties will use all existing authority to cancel penalties and other charges for homeowners, small businesses, and other property owners, on a case-by-case basis, that are unable to pay their property taxes due to circumstances caused by COVID-19. However, property owners who can pay or haven't been directly affected by COVID-19, including international corporations and out-of-state landlords, still need to pay on time to keep critical government services running.  
  • The County's Economic Development Office is hosting regular webinars every other week for local businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The next one will be held this this Friday, April 10. For information about the webinar, visit or click here. Information from past webinars and other useful information is available at the site as well.
  • California Small Business Loan Guarantee Program (via IBank) is making available $50 million in state funding, providing potential capital for individuals who do not qualify for federal funds. This includes small businesses located in California with 1-750 employees that have been negatively impacted or experienced disruption by COVID-19, and nonprofits are also eligible.
  • In response to questions regarding vacation rentals, the County of Santa Cruz provided guidance that vacation rentals, including those rented through Airbnb, VRBO or other platforms, are not allowed to operate as such under the revised Order issued by Health Officer Dr. Gail Newel on March 31, 2020, which is in effect through May 3 unless revised or extended. Under the Order, only essential businesses are allowed to operate, and travel is prohibited unless for essential services or purposes as defined in the Order. There are some exceptions for traveling medical and public safety professionals, essential workers, or for families attending to the critical medical needs of local relatives. Read more here.
  • Due to the pandemic, the County will be going to an all-mail ballot election for this upcoming November election. Read more from County Clerk Gail Pellerin here.

Telephone Town Hall at 6  pm Wednesday
In order to accommodate everyone with and without a computer or a Facebook account, I am switching to a telephone town hall format for my meeting this week.  It will be at a new time, starting at 6 pm.  

Joining me will be Dr. Gail Newel, County Health Officer, and the leader of our county's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Newel will answer questions you have about what is happening in our county and what we can expect in the future.

 Wednesday, April 8th
6 pm - 7 pm

To listen in or ask questions at the Telephone Town Hall Meeting, call

Use Meeting ID Number: 855976

If you want to help:
The Live Oak Education Foundation is seeking funds to ensure that every child has a Chromebook in their household. Live Oak School District wants to buy 100 Chromebooks, and the Foundation is matching donations up to $5,000. To donate, click here.
Santa Cruz Community Health Centers (East Cliff Family Health Center) is the health care provider for the most vulnerable in our community. They are one of the first lines of defense against COVID-19 spread in Santa Cruz County. Sixty dollars pays for personal protective equipment for one provider for each patient seen during one, four-hour shift of work. To donate, click here.
Not paid for with County funds