City of Benicia This Week
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In this edition: Updated Guidance for Fully Vaccinated, Pop-up Book Sale at the Library, Prescription Drug Drop-off, City Employee Spotlight, COVID Assistance
Message from the City Manager
May 10, 2021

Hello Everyone,
There was another beautiful Benicia moment last week as we hosted our fourth vaccination event. The clinic was open to everyone 16 and above, and this time our outreach focused on getting our younger, future generation in and vaccinated. Publication after publication is pointing to just how critically important vaccination is to us getting back to ‘normal’. Our hope is to have our youth set the example and help send a message about the importance of getting vaccinated.

I am so proud of our community! We had no less than 120 sign-ups for our pizza coupon give-away (targeting youth 16-24). Everyone had a great attitude, and the atmosphere was wonderful. Thank you again to our City staff and our community members for stepping up to lead the way.

I’m also very proud of the work we have been doing regarding vaccine equity. Our new Equity Manager has been working diligently to insure we get the word out to our underrepresented populations regarding our clinics by providing communication, information, and opportunity to those who may not similarly have access to get vaccinated. Having attended every Benicia vaccination clinic thus far, I feel the outreach efforts have been effective, and have positively impacted the demographics of those fully vaccinated in our County.

We are second in the County for highest level of vaccination at 73.9% (just behind Rio Vista at 74.8%) and have the lowest incident rate at at .035 (Solano County average is double that at .07). There are many factors that go into those numbers, but I believe part of it is our City’s approach to making it our top priority and our community’s willingness to step forward and set the example. Great job Benicia! If you're looking for a vaccine, click here to find upcoming clinics.
Related to this issue, May is Mental Health Month. The pandemic has had a profound impact on people’s mental health, especially our youth. In addition to the pandemic, there has been so much uncertainty, even in how we fundamentally understand our identity as a nation. The uncertainty creates fear. Fear can often manifest itself in some very sad and ugly ways. Let's take this opportunity to reiterate the importance of acknowledging the experiences of others, and reach out and help lift up those around us. Empathize and heal. Find common ground, communicate, and if you need to…walk away. As Marcus Aurelius said, “The best response to anger is silence”. True love of humanity and community is the best solution to fear. Understand that as a community, we need to find ways to come together - there is strength in unity.
Please consider that many around you are suffering, and some will not manifest any outward signs. Check in with those you love and those around you. If you need help, there are resources available. The Kyle Hyland Foundation is offering a series of Zoom presentations this week (see website for details), as well as a “Chalk for Hope” event at the Benicia Teen Center on Tuesday, May 11 at 3 p.m. at 1135 Church Street. I strongly encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities, especially for those of you with teenage children. Solano County is also providing a special community forum in Spanish on Tuesday, May 25 from 5 - 7 p.m. as part of their efforts to address focus groups that have been identified to be at more risk for suicide. Please share all of these fliers through your networks. You may touch the one person who needs support now more than ever.

Thank you for your interest in the City of Benicia This Week! If you enjoy reading this weekly message, please share and encourage your friends, family, and coworkers to subscribe or text jointhisweek to 22828 (messaging and data rates may apply).

Erik Upson
City Manager
KHF Mental Health Awareness Week Schedule
KHF Mental Health Awareness Week In-Person and Virtual Events
Latino Suicide Prevention Community Forum
City News
Updated Guidance for Fully Vaccinated
From Solano County Public Health, we receive the following updated information:

Last Monday, California Dept Public Health (CDPH) released an updated guidance for the use of face coverings for those who are fully vaccinated (at least 2 weeks after receiving the 2nd dose of a 2-dose series, or a single-dose vaccine) to align with CDC guidance.
CDPH Face Covering Guidance
  1. For fully vaccinated persons, face coverings are not required outdoors except when attending crowded outdoor events, such as live performances, parades, fairs, festivals, sports events, or other similar settings.
  2. For unvaccinated persons, face coverings are required outdoors any time physical distancing cannot be maintained, including when attending crowded outdoor events, such as live performances, parades, fairs, festivals, sports events, or other similar settings.
  3. In indoor settings outside of one's home, including public transportation, face coverings continue to be required regardless of vaccination status, except as outlined.
  4. As defined in the CDPH Fully Vaccinated Persons Guidance, fully vaccinated people can:
  • Visit, without wearing masks or physical distancing, with other fully vaccinated people in indoor or outdoor settings; and
  • Visit, without wearing masks or physical distancing, with unvaccinated people (including children) from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease in indoor and outdoor settings
There are certain exemptions to the guidance, as indicated in this link:
CDPH Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People
Additional guidance documents from CDPH
New! Get the Vaccine Facts
New! Water Parks Guidance
New! Community Endurance/Sporting Events Guidance
Update! K-12 Reopening Framework Q&A
Pop-Up Book Sale at the Library
Friends of the Library announces their next Pop-Up Book Sale on Sunday, May 16, 12:30 - 4 p.m. in the courtyard/amphitheater behind the Benicia Public Library, 150 East L St. Please wear masks and maintain social distancing for everyone's safety. Only cash and checks accepted.

Please note that donations are not being accepted at this time. Further announcements will be made when that changes. In the meantime, please hold on to all those treasures!
Prescription Drug Drop-off
This is a friendly reminder to help keep prescription medication out of our waterways and out of the hands of our youth by dropping off medication in the prescription drop off box in front of Benicia Police Department, 200 East L Street, 24-hours a day.

If you have expired or unused medication for humans or animals, you may remove them from bottles and place in a zip-lock plastic bag, then drop off anonymously at the Police Department. Make sure to remove all personal identification and seal all liquids and creams with tape.

Acceptable items are medication waste defined as items intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease in humans or animals. Medication waste is synonymous with drug waste, pharmaceutical waste, unused or expired medication, unused or expired drugs, prescription and over-the-counter human drugs, veterinary drugs, diagnostic agents and nutritional supplements.

No sharps are accepted but may be dropped off in the 24-hour drop box in front of Benicia Fire Department Station 11 at 150 Military West.
City Employee Spotlight
Fwaak Manzoor joined the City of Benicia on December 7, 2016. In February 2020, he was assigned to the Benicia Police Department as an Information Technology Analyst. He quickly won department personnel over with his friendly personality and “can do” attitude. Fwaak’s primary responsibilities include; managing and maintaining the police department’s connection to the Department of Justice and Solano County law enforcement systems, supporting the police operation center, and evaluating and implementing new software that allows patrol officers to respond to calls for service promptly while being transparent to our citizens. One significant example of this is the large body camera and evidence retention project Fwaak completed in October. With assistance from the City's Services Division, he purchased and configured body cameras for all of Benicia’s sworn and community service officers.
“Fwaak’s commitment to his work and our department has been outstanding. He has worked hard to build relationships within the department and with our vendors and outside partners. This has translated into great working partnerships and the smooth completion of several projects. The body worn camera and interview room project was completed on time and with little to no issues. He managed the installation of new camera’s at the Lake Herman and Reservoir Road intersection which has helped our department respond to in progress side shows and dumping violations more effectively," said Lieutenant Edward Criado. "Most recently he designed the city’s evacuation resource webpage giving our community access to important resources on how to plan for and respond to a disaster. Fwaak has been a great addition to our family.”
Fwaak is married to wife, Jia, and they have an eighteen-month-old son, Aydin. When he is not working, Fwaak enjoys spending time with his family and pursuing his Information Technology Cybersecurity degree.
COVID Assistance
Find resources and information for seniors, local food access, basic needs and rental assistance, mental health, stress and coping, and more courtesy of Solano County Public Health. Benicia residents in need of help during these difficult times may find assistance through these local resources:

Save the Date
  • May 10 - Human Services Board meeting, canceled.
  • May 11 - Board of Library Trustees meeting, 6:30 p.m. via livestream. See the Full Agenda for more information.
  • May 11 - City Council meeting, 7:30 p.m. via livestream. Watch live at See the Full Agenda for more information.
  • May 13 - Arts and Culture Commission meeting, 6:30 p.m. via livestream. See the Full Agenda for more information.
  • May 13 - City Council meeting, 7 p.m. via livestream. See the Full Agenda for more information.
  • May 14 - City Offices closed for Alternate Friday.
Modified service due to COVID-19
City Hall is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you require entrance to City Hall offices outside of these hours, please make arrangements with staff from the department that you will be visiting.

All visitors shall be required to enter City Hall from East L street through the door located on the left (East) side of the building closest to the Post Office. Please check in with the staff person at the designated Welcome Window.

You will be required to wear a face covering over both your nose and mouth for the duration of your visit to City Hall. Please maintain 6 feet of social distancing between other visitors and staff. Do not visit City Hall if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Appointments can always be rescheduled.
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