In this extraordinary crisis, I'm reaching out to you as your Santa Cruz County Supervisor with resources and information for you and your family. If you'd rather not receive future information and newsletters you can unsubscribe here.
Santa Cruz County's COVID-19 Response Update
Santa Cruz is a remarkable community and I've been so impressed with how we have stepped up to protect each other. During this crisis, I've been meeting regularly, though remotely, with health officials, County staff, City representatives, Federal and State elected officials, and concerned individuals and groups to develop and support actions that serve our families, vulnerable populations, small businesses, and community health during this crisis. Please don't hesitate to reach out if I can be of help.
Our local COVID-19 numbers are looking good! We are flattening the curve and protecting vulnerable residents. Great job! You can visit the County’s COVID-19 dashboard here. On April 30, Dr. Newel, Santa Cruz County's Public Health Officer, issued a revised Shelter-in-Place order that expands essential business activities, incorporates State allowances for non-essential medical and dental procedures, eliminates restrictions on limited recreational activities and allows group children’s activities under certain conditions. The revised order maintains requirements for physical distancing.
Dr. Newel has also issued new restrictions limiting beach activity during peak hours. Beaches are closed from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., but water-based activities such as surfing and swimming are not limited by this new order. Beaches may be traversed to participate in these water activities even during the 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. timeframe. The hope is that these new restrictions discourage tourists and gatherings on our beaches, while still allowing locals to safely enjoy the beaches in the mornings and evenings (with appropriate social distancing of course).
Help a Senior & Local Restaurants
A new state program called Great Plates is currently being established for adults 65 and older, and adults 60-64 who are at high-risk from COVID-19 and have limited incomes, to stay home and to stay healthy, by delivering three nutritious meals a day, while also providing essential economic stimulus to local businesses and workers struggling to stay afloat during the COVID crisis. The criteria for this state program are very specific (click here for details). It is vital that we get any and all eligible seniors signed up for this program, both to help them and the local restaurants that will provide the meals.
To apply, call 831-454-4406 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are not eligible, please forward this information to anyone you know who might be, including friends, neighbors, community organizations, congregations, etc.
Medical and Food Assistance Available
As you know, many residents have lost their jobs and income due to the COVID-19. You may be entitled to food assistance (CalFresh), CalWORKs Cash Aid, and/or Medi-Cal Health Benefits. Apply online at GetCalFresh and https://www.mybenefitscalwin.org/. You can also apply by phone by calling 1 (888) 421-8080 Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Help Support the Diaper Drive
There is a great need for diapers in our community during this pandemic when many families are without work or access to basic resources, as a response, the County’s Family Health Unit has launched a Diaper Drive.
All moms, even those who can’t afford diapers, want a happy baby who is clean and dry. If you are able, please help prevent distress for moms and babies by donating diapers and wipes.
Contributions may be made via Paypal by clicking http://californiabreastfeeding.org. Click “donate” and choose your method of payment. To complete your contribution please click “Add special instruction to the seller” and note “Santa Cruz Diaper Drive”. Diapers and wipes may also be shipped from an online store to: County of Santa Cruz, HSA-Public Health Attn: Family Health Unit, 1060 Emeline Ave, Bldg F, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 or Dominican Hospital, Maternal Child Health- NICU ATTN: Melissa Herceg, 1555 Soquel Drive, Santa Cruz, CA 95065. Diapers and wipes will be provided to families in need in the County of Santa Cruz.
Supporting Local Food Banks
As Chair of the Central California Alliance for Health, I supported allocating $1 million for the COVID-19 Response Fund with 60% of the funding immediately disbursed to the local food banks to help provide hunger relief. According to Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County, they have seen a doubling of food needs, which is expected to remain high for the next six to twelve months.
Virtual Book Group: This Sunday, May 17 at 4 p.m.
Join me for a discussion on "Extreme Economies: 9 Lessons from the World's Limits," by Richard Davies. In a story-driven look at the future of the global economy, this book explores how places that have been battered by powerful forces have succeeded or failed. This book has much to teach us about our own communities. Here is a review that I wrote for Governing about the book. This event was arranged by the Santa Cruz Public Libraries and the book is available in ebook format from SCPL's digital library. Click here to register for this free event.