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This week of July 15th newsletter gives you the latest update on local issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. As we continue to move through this pandemic, I will be sending less frequent updates. Should major news or changes be released I will make sure to notify everyone.  Remember to visit the County website about COVID-19 by clicking here  which will be updated when anything NEW is announced.

  • Governor Gavin Newsom announced Monday in his live briefing that due to an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, he is rolling back the state's reopening. Effective July 13, 2020, ALL counties were required to close indoor operations in the following sectors: dine-in restaurants; wineries and tasting rooms; movie theaters; family entertainment centers (for example, bowling alleys, miniature golf, batting cages, and arcades); zoos and museums; and card rooms. Additionally, bars, brewpubs, breweries, and pubs must close all operations both indoor and outdoor statewide, unless they are offering sit-down, outdoor dine-in meals. The alcohol can only be sold in the same transaction as the meal. These activities and businesses will remain closed until a new order is issued by the Governor.
    He also added additional restrictions on the 28 counties that are on the State's Watch List. Counties that have remained on the County Monitoring List for 3 consecutive days will be required to shut down the following industries or activities unless they can be modified to operate outside or by pick-up: fitness centers; worship services; protests; offices for non-essential sectors; personal care services, like nail salons, body waxing, and tattoo parlors; hair salons and barbershops; and malls. "Although Santa Cruz County is not currently on the monitoring list, with our current trend, I anticipate we will join our neighboring counties in the next two weeks," said Santa Cruz County Health Officer Dr. Gail Newel. The community can help reverse this trend by continuing to do the following:
    * Wash your hands
    * Keep 6 feet of distance from those not in your household
    * Wear a face covering
    * Don't gather in groups
    * Get tested if you have symptoms
  • The County has over 40 contact tracers currently reaching out to people all over the community.  If you get a call from a number and your phone ID says "COVID" and has an "831" prefix, please answer. You can track progress on many of the measures used by the State on the SAVE Lives Santa Cruz County website. Click here  to see the dashboard.
  • The Great Plates Delivered program has been extended through August 9, allowing the continued delivery of fresh, nutritious meals to older residents while supporting local restaurateurs and caterers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Great Plates Delivered supports vulnerable older adults through home-delivered meals, primarily funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The program currently utilizes five providers delivering meals to hundreds of local residents. Seventy-five percent of the cost of Great Plates is funded through the federal CARES Act, with the State providing 18.75 percent. The County provides the balance of funding. For questions or to enroll, please call (831) 454-4406.
  • I had a good conversation with Central Fire's Interim Fire Chief John Walbridge and Fire Marshal Mike DeMars about how to be safe this summer from fire. We also discussed upcoming changes at the Fire District. You can see it by clicking here

Upcoming Town Halls
Please join me tonight, along with Amelia Conlen from Ecology Action, Gina Cole from Bike Santa Cruz County, and members of the Pleasure Point neighborhood, to discuss the potential for a Slow Streets program in the Pleasure Point and Opal Cliffs area. The Slow Streets program aims to address public health concerns during the COVID-19 Shelter In Place directive by creating more public space for Pleasure Point and Opal Cliffs residents to practice physical distancing while safely and comfortably biking, walking, and exercising in their community. Specifically, Slow Streets in Pleasure Point and Opal Cliffs would provide an alternative to East Cliff Drive for residents to walk and bike because of the crowded conditions on East Cliff. Incorporating public input, current traffic levels, and other strategic selection criteria, specific streets would be designated as "Slow Streets" so that people can more comfortably use these streets for physically-distant walking, biking, wheelchair rolling, and jogging. Signage letting drivers know to slow down and expect cyclists and pedestrians would also be included. Residents, emergency vehicles, and trash collection vehicles would still be able to access streets, and parking on streets would still be allowed. A Slow Streets program could be implemented continuously or during specific time periods, such as weekends through the summer.
When: July 15, 2020
6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Or Dial: +1 669 900 9128 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 558 8656 or +1 301 715 8592
Webinar ID: 938 9015 2805

On July 22, 2020, I will be hosting Santa Cruz County Health Officer Dr. Gail Newel to talk about where we are in our pandemic response. Dr. Newel will talk about what we are seeing in our county and what we might expect over the coming weeks.
When: Jul 22, 2020 
6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Or Dial:  +1 669 900 9128 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 558 8656 or +1 301 715 8592 
Webinar ID: 924 4527 5882

For details about upcoming Town Halls please check my Facebook Page, the newspaper or

Speak For Change Podcast

With so much focus on the unfolding pandemic in our community, I was happy to be asked to join a recent podcast about another critical issue of the day, criminal justice reform.  Thomas Pedersen interviewed me on his podcast, Speak for Change, to talk about what is happening here in Santa Cruz County to ensure a fair justice system.  If you want to listen, please click here.
Not paid for with County funds