This week of July 28th 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.
  • The number of positive cases of COVID-19 has jumped significantly in the last few weeks, with two-thirds of all our cases appearing in the last three weeks. This increased number of cases has placed our county on the State Monitoring list. This means that as of 12:00 a.m. on July 28, there will be new indoor restrictions set by the State. Gyms, non-essential offices, religious services, and hair styling will not be allowed to be conducted indoors. These restrictions are required for at least three weeks or until we have reduced the positive case rate for 14 days. As of today, nearly 30 counties, encompassing over 80% of the population of the state, are under these restrictions. To track the metrics used by the State, visit the revised County COVID-19 website here.

  • Most cases identified so far have shown that the majority of transmission is related to interactions with family and friends. Backyard gatherings, graduations, and BBQs have been the source of much of the transmission activity. While there has been a concentration in South County, particularly in the Latinx community, cases are also spreading throughout the entire county, especially among young people. The County is working with South County leaders to address targeted messaging and services in Watsonville and surrounding communities. The community can help reverse this trend by doing 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

  • As prevalence of COVID-19 in the community increases, concern over workplace transmission among staff has increased as well. To help minimize impacts among employees and assist with investigation of COVID-19 cases, the County is providing local employers with tools to help manage COVID-19 transmission. They include detailed guidance on prevention, preparation for exposures and management of workplace cases, and information on the rights and responsibilities of employers. The employer toolkit is available here. The toolkit includes links to detailed guidance from the California Department of Public Health, a sample employee notification letter, and a contact tracing form for employers to help monitor workplace-based exposures of impacted employees. The County also urges employers to continue following Social Distancing Protocols and urges employees to follow basic safety practices in the workplace, including wearing a face covering, maintaining physical distancing, and washing hands frequently with soap and water. It is also critically important that employers implement daily symptom screening for the workforce, and for employees to stay home if they have symptoms. Employers who have cases in the workplace are urged to notify Public Health at HSACD@santacruzcounty.us

  • County Health officials will be starting their weekly press conferences again. They will be held on Thursdays at 10:00 a.m. on the County’s Facebook page, which can be reached by clicking here. To watch past press conferences, click here and scroll down the page.
Upcoming Town Halls
This Wednesday I will be hosting a Town Hall with the Superintendents of the Live Oak and Soquel Elementary School Districts. Lorie Chamberland and Scott Turnbull will share their plans for meeting the educational needs of their students for the coming year. Please join us to find out what school will look like when teaching starts again in the new school year.

July 29
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
 
Or Telephone:
+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: 910 0951 3270
For the Town Hall in August, we will be having several special guests and a slight change in format. I will be co-hosting this meeting with Supervisor Bruce McPherson and we will be joined by Assembly Member Mark Stone and State Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara to discuss fire insurance issues in the county and what the State is doing to support residents at risk for wildfires. Due to everyone’s schedules, we will be starting this meeting at 5:30 p.m. on August 5. Please join us and hear how some of our State leaders are working to address this critical issue.

August 5
5:30p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Or Telephone:
+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: 948 2128 6249
Slow Streets Update
When I was originally contacted by some of the Pleasure Point neighbors about safety on the streets, I looked for a tool to use that would help. While we had a robust conversation online with 75 people, it is clear that Pleasure Point residents have more to share about how this program may unfold in their neighborhood. We also heard from other County residents about interest in the SLOW Streets program in other neighborhoods. Therefore we are not moving forward with specific street implementation in Pleasure Point unless people want it. There will be a street nomination process in the near future that will allow County residents to organize themselves about the use of this tool. I will be posting a link in my newsletter, Facebook and Instagram pages when it becomes available and I will ask someone to post on NextDoor.
Email John and his staff!