July 9, 2020
A Message from Supervisor Burgis
Greetings to you and yours,
We often greet each other with a “hello” and “how are you?” Lately, I experience that pause, that hesitancy, because do we really answer? Do we talk about the struggles in our families or at work? Do we talk about the physical and mental challenges of being ever vigilant during these trying times? Do we feel guilty to talk about the good stuff like the garden or the project we completed at home? Do we talk about the friends and family members that have COVID or those we know that have passed away from it? Do we talk about the huge divide amongst our family and friends, the tensions in the world? Do we discuss what is yet to come? Many of us are feeling the “COVID Fatigue.” 
I get it. I am with you; I am there too.
In my life, I have had to face some pretty tough times as I am sure most of you have too.  I have found that the best way to get through things is to acknowledge that we can’t give up—that isn’t an option. So…let’s get through this holding on to each other. Please realize that each of us (no matter how loud and offensive some may be) are tired, afraid, angry, and just want this to be over. I challenge you and ask that we practice our own personal responsibility with compassion, patience & empathy.  I believe those things are more contagious than COVID-19 and could help us do a better job of turning the recent surges down and help us get into a better place with COVID and with our economy.
When you do things, as we have for three months: washing our hands often, wearing a mask, physically distancing, and going out in the world with a sense of caution and concern, we can become complacent or act on autopilot. I challenge you (and myself) to recommit to this effort: pull up that mask up over your mouth and nose, wash your hands that whole 20 seconds and make sure you are limiting your interactions to your bubble. Please follow our local health orders so that we can get through this.
This is all about personal responsibility. Each of us needs to do our part.  That means protecting yourself AND protecting others.
Personal responsibility is also needed these days as we have entered fire season. It is important that you are looking around your home and clearing all fire dangers whether you live in an apartment, a house or even out on a ranch surrounded by acres of land. Have you removed those flammable things that during this heat could cause a fire?  Have you checked your smoke alarms and added carbon monoxide detectors? Have you mowed or somehow cut back the tall grasses around your property to make a defensible space?
Have you thought about possible power shutoffs and the possibility of an evacuation?  This week we had a community that was evacuated for a short time.  Are you ready for that possibility? You should be ready no matter where you live.  Do you know where your important papers, your animal crates, & your emergency kits are?  Is everything updated just in case?
There is something empowering about doing something to be prepared and actively practicing your personal responsibilities. It gives you a sense of peace to be prepared. It also helps you to be prepared to help your loved ones, your neighbors and your friends.  It also helps those that serve us as first responders as they run towards the dangers, those same people that are taking the brunt of all COVID is wreaking on our community while trying to protect themselves and their families. 
This week, I will commit to updating my earthquake kit, check my smoke alarms, clear debris around my house and talk to my family about evacuations.  I will make sure my phone stays charged and that I keep my gas tank full. I do that to protect myself, my family, my neighbors and my community.
We are all in this together and we will get through this together.
Status of Fire Services in East County
discusses the reduction of Fire Services in East County in this Podcast from Eastcountytoday.net

For more info, see https://www.eccfpd.org/
Contra Costa Health Services Updates

Get Tested.
By appointment only
Call 8 a.m. – 3:30 pm
7 days a week

Be Sure You’re Red Cross Ready. 
That means:
  • Assembling an emergency preparedness kit.
  • Creating a household evacuation plan that includes your pets.
  • Staying informed about your community’s risk and response plans.
  • Educating your family on how to use the Safe and Well website.
  • Download the Emergency App for iPhone >> or for Android >>

Additional steps to protect your family
  • Talk with your family about wildfire facts: how to keep them from starting and what to do if one occurs. Discussing ahead of time helps reduce fear, particularly for younger children.
  • Post emergency phone numbers by every phone in your house.
  • Ensure that every member of your family carries a Safe and Well wallet card.
  • Make sure you have access to NOAA radio broadcasts:
  • - Find an online NOAA radio station
  • - Search for a NOAA radio app in the Apple Store >> or Google Play>>
  • - Purchase a battery-powered or hand-crank NOAA radio in the Red Cross Store
  • Keep insurance policies, documents, and other valuables in a safe-deposit box. You may need quick, easy access to these documents. Keep them in a safe place less likely to be damaged. Take pictures on a phone and keep copies of important documents and files on a flash-drive that you can carry with you on your house or car keys.

Please download the full document:
Prepared by the Red Cross National Headquarters Preparedness Team. 

Also see:
Please review Red Cross guidance on preparing for a disaster while still protecting yourself from COVID-19. (Available in multiple languages.) 
For Seniors Sheltering in Place
As the positive cases of COVID continue to surge, we need everyone to do their part to protect others and themselves.

We especially need our beloved seniors and most vulnerable to stay at home sheltering in place except for essential trips.

There are many resources to connect you with people who will shop and bring groceries and medicines to you. They will also call to check in on you, and to just visit.

Visit the INFORMATION & ASSISTANCE Senior Resources website.

Call Info/Assist (800) 510-2020
TDD line for the hearing impaired, call  (925) 602-4198

Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

If you do need to go out, please follow the protocols. Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Keep your distance from others outside of your home unit.

Also expect businesses to operate in a safe way for you. If you see something that you don’t think is right, please contact our office .
P-EBT Program Extended
Families can receive up to $365 per child for groceries with a
Pandemic EBT card. Extended until July 15th.
Was your Income Impacted by COVID-19?
Community members whose income has been impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for a one-time opportunity for financial assistance. 

Contra Costa County residents who experienced layoffs, reduced work hours, or inability to work due to school/childcare closures, or high risk of contracting COVID-19, can potentially receive reimbursement for housing, utilities, childcare, telework equipment and other costs.
The  Contra Costa County Workforce Development Board , in partnership with Eastbay Works and America’s Job Center of California , is encouraging Contra Costa residents to find out if they are eligible by calling  Rubicon Programs at (510) 323-1104
Franks Tract Futures Project Exploring Concepts