COVID-19 & More...Local Update
December 30, 2020
Wildlife Wednesday: Everything Whale Be Alright
Local whale watching tours are reporting lots of orca activity this month! Orcas are highly intelligent and social creatures, traveling in groups of up to 40 individuals. Each pod makes its own specific clicking sound, allowing members of the pod to easily recognize each other. Local tours have observed several families mixing. Very cool! Photo by @mikedoherty_photos via Instagram
California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program: $500 Million in Grants Now Available
Starting today through January 8, small businesses in California can apply for grants of up to $25,000 through the state's Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program.

Grant amounts will vary from $5,000 to $25,000, depending on the applicant's annual gross revenue. Nonprofits are also eligible to apply. For more information about the grants, visit

Need help or have questions about the application process? California SBDCs are hosting webinars in multiple languages every day at 11:00AM PST. Register online at
California's Safe Schools for All Plan
Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled a school reopening plan today, proposing $2 billion in funding to expand the number of schools returning to in-person instruction. The first priority will be students in transitional kindergarten through second grade and the most vulnerable- children with disabilities, those who have limited access to technology at home and those who have struggled more than most with distance learning. Other grades would be phased in during the spring, and distance learning would remain an option. More information:
Tree Disposal in Monterey
Putting away your tree and decorations? For residential customers of Monterey City Disposal, trees can be placed next to your yard waste cart. Trees under 6' tall do not need to be cut. Trees over 6' must be cut in half. All decorations, stands and lights need to be removed. Trees will be collected for the first two weeks of the new year. After the first two weeks, trees must be cut and placed in the yard waste cart.
Important Links and Daily Numbers
The new, more contagious variant of COVID-19 that was first observed in the United Kingdom has now made its way to Southern California, Gov. Gavin Newsom said today.

The variant is described as far more contagious than earlier variants of the coronavirus, but not necessarily more deadly or likely to make an infected person more sick. Please continue to stay vigilant and protect yourselves by staying home, wearing a face covering and practicing social distancing. Get breaking news updates by following or visiting our Twitter page at
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Wearing masks is a proven method to stop the spread of COVID-19. Let's get our economy reopened - wear a mask.