This is the KSQD news hub for COVID-19 information.  This page will be regularly updated with new links and information regarding the local, regional and national situation related to the COVID-19 coronavirus.


To help assist the community in answering questions about the COVID-19 outbreak, The County of Santa Cruz has established a call center to help direct questions to the proper channels. If you have questions, please call (831) 454- 4242 between the hours of 8 a.m.- 6 p.m., Monday-Friday.

ESPAÑOL
Para responder las preguntas de la comunidad sobre el virus COVID-19, el Condado de Santa Cruz ha establecido un centro de llamadas para ayudar a dirigir las preguntas a los lugares adecuados. Si tiene preguntas, llame al (831) 454-4242 entre las 8 a.m. y las 6 p.m., de lunes a viernes.

Latest COVID-19 Orders

Expanded Personal Care Services to be Allowed to Reopen June 19th

Hotels, Movie Theaters, Museums, Gyms, Swimming Pools, Bars to be Allowed to Reopen June 12

Variance Approved, County Restaurants and Hair Salons May Begin Limited Service

County Health Officer Issues Revised Shelter-in-Place Order



KSQD Posts/Podcasts Related to COVID-19

UCSC Reacts to DHS Ruling on International Students

UCSC Reacts to DHS Ruling on International Students

Nearly 100 members of Congress are demanding the Trump administration stop a policy that would strip international students of their ...
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Blake Boles

Why are you still sending your kids to school? A conversation with Blake Boles

On Talk of the Bay, host Suki Wessling speaks with Blake Boles, who has been writing about and leading alternative ...
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“Crushing Democracy: From the Pandemic to the Protests” with Mark Karlin, Buzz Flash

“Crushing Democracy: From the Pandemic to the Protests” with Mark Karlin, Buzz Flash

“Crushing Democracy: From the Pandemic to the Protests” with Mark Karlin, Buzz Flash Tune in to “Be Bold America!” Sunday, ...
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State Parks Update

State Parks Update

Public information office, Gabe McKenna from California State Parks Santa Cruz district gives an update on Covid, trail safety, illegal ...
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Are you ready to foster or adopt a cat or dog?

Are you ready to foster or adopt a cat or dog?

On Talk of the Bay, Annette Hogue of Four Paws to Love joins host Suki Wessling to talk about our ...
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Clearing the Air: How far has pollution dropped since Covid?

Clearing the Air: How far has pollution dropped since Covid?

This story was produced by Erin Malsbury from UCSC's Science Communications program. In it she explores the question of how ...
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Antibodies May Hold Key to Covid Treatment

Antibodies May Hold Key to Covid Treatment

Antibody therapies for COVID-19 Produced by Jack Lee, Science Communications program UCSC. Scientists are racing to develop treatments for COVID-19 ...
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Feeding the Homeless During a Pandemic

Feeding the Homeless During a Pandemic

This audio piece was produced by Jeremiah Oetting from UCSC's Science Communications masters program. In this story he talks with ...
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Print Journalism a Casualty of Covid

Print Journalism a Casualty of Covid

This story was reported by Lara Streiff of the UCSC Science Communications program. LARA: When the COVID-19 pandemic first started ...
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Cultivating Media Literacy in a Pandemic

Cultivating Media Literacy in a Pandemic

Picture Credit: Roman Kraft Here is a feature produced by science communications intern, Jesse Kathan. Transcript Keeping up with the ...
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June 30, 2020

Santa Cruz Mayor to City: Personal Responsibility is Crucial

Residents can help restrict the spread of COVID-19, ensure health and safety for all

SANTA CRUZ, CA – With the beaches now open and thousands expected to visit Santa Cruz for the Independence Day holiday, Mayor Justin Cummings urges residents to remain cautious, limit gatherings and avoid crowds this weekend.

“Santa Cruz has been a leader in the State in minimizing the impacts of COVID-19. I urge our residents to continue to lead by example,” said Mayor Justin Cummings. “Consider staying at home or seeking outdoor venues other than the beaches for holiday celebrations. We are not only responsible for our own health, but also the health of the most vulnerable residents in our community.”

The County’s face covering order, which aligns with the State’s guidance, remains in place indefinitely. Face coverings are required for everyone, including any children over the age of 2 years old. Physical distancing of at least six feet is also strongly urged.

Education and encouragement, not enforcement, characterizes the City’s approach. “With hotels, state parks, and other areas for tourism and recreation open, it is very hard to manage keeping just the City’s beaches closed. In the absence of a statewide emphasis on minimizing travel and county-wide beach closures, more conflict could arise between law enforcement and people who are visiting from out of town. Our officers are needed to respond to increase in calls that we typically receive during the 4th of July holiday weekend. People should continue to shelter in place and follow the guidelines that will ensure their health and wellbeing,” Cummings said.

Santa Cruz Police and Fire crews will focus on enforcement of the citywide Safety Enhancement Zone that will be in effect from 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 2, 2020, through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, July 5, 2020. The safety enhancement designation authorizes the tripling of fees for violations of the City’s municipal code, such as the illegal discharge of fireworks, littering, and public consumption of alcohol.

According to the Santa Cruz County Health Officer, most documented cases in Santa County and the state are person-to-person spread by known contacts who remained within 6 feet of each other for prolonged periods without wearing face coverings. The County began to see upticks in cases following Mother’s Day, Memorial Day and graduation celebrations.

Residents should also remain vigilant at gatherings of family and friends to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Minimize contact with others, including keeping visits short, wearing face coverings, staying 6 feet apart whenever possible, washing your hands often, and gathering outdoors instead of indoors. Additionally, be sure to clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces, and don’t share utensils or equipment, including sports equipment.


June 19, 2020

screaming clean handsscreaming clean hands en español

“Screaming Hand” Safety Signage Available


June 9, 2020

Restaurant/Retail Temporary Outdoor Expansion Area Applications Now Available


June 5, 2020

City Authorizes Increased Use of Outdoor Space for Restaurants and Retail (see specific orders Executive Order No. 2020-11 and Executive Order No. 2020-12)

Great Plates (meal delivery plan for seniors) Vendors Announced, Extensions Sought


June 4, 2020

UCSC, Santa Cruz Community Health provide COVID-19 testing to underserved community members


June 2, 2020

County Restaurants and Retailers Given Outdoor Options


May 30, 2020

County Health Services Agency Issues Reopening Guidelines


May 27, 2020

Board of Supervisors to hold Meeting on May 29 to Seek Stage 2 Variance


May 22, 2020

Public Health Monitoring COVID-19 Clusters


May 21, 2020

SAVE Lives Santa Cruz County Launches WebsiteClick Here to visit the new SAVE Lives website


May 15, 2020

Advisories for Businesses Reopening under the Shelter-in-Place Order


May 13, 2020

City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Summer Program Update


May 9, 2020

Save Lives Economic Recovery Council Announced


May 8, 2020

Santa Cruz’s Efforts to Support Local Businesses to be Discussed at Mayor’s Virtual Meeting


May 6, 2020

Health Officer to Amend Shelter-in-Place Order


May 5, 2020

County Guidance on Dental Services


May 1, 2020

City of Santa Cruz Parks and Beaches Update


April 30, 2020

County Health Officer Issues Revised Shelter-in-Place Order Effective May 1 2020

Health Officer Allows Certain Activities to Resume


April 29, 2020

Additional Beach Activity Limits During Peak Hours


April 28, 2020

Hotel Rooms Available for Local Health Care Workers


April 24, 2020

County Heath Officer Issues Face Coverings Order Effective 4/24/20

City Unites Community in 10,000 Masks Project to Help Reduce the Spread of COVID-19


April 21, 2020

Health Officer to Issue Face Coverings Order

City of Santa Cruz Resumes Enforcement of Beach Area Parking Meters

SANTA CRUZ — The City of Santa Cruz will resume enforcement of beach area parking meters this Friday, April 24. Beach area meter enforcement had been suspended in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic, yet increased traffic with nicer spring weather has prompted enforcement to restart.

The decision to resume beach area parking enforcement aims to discourage large crowds in support of the Covid-19 state and Santa Cruz County shelter-in-place orders. This decision in conjunction with closed parking areas along West Cliff and East Cliff drives, encourages minimal non-essential travel in observance of the shelter-in-place orders.

The public is asked to observe posted parking signage and information located on the meters regarding rates and enforcement times. At this time, the City strongly encourages use of the Parkmobile payment application to avoid and/or limit physical contact with the parking meter itself.

Information on how to download and use the Parkmobile payment application can be found at parkmobile.com.

The City of Santa Cruz offers some of the lowest parking fees along the Central Coast. More information is available at cityofsantacruz.com/parkingservices.

Up-to-date information on the City’s operations and response to COVID-19 can be found at cityofsantacruz.com/coronavirus.


April 20, 2020

State Parks Reminds Californians Not to Congregate at Parks and Compromise Social Distancing


April 15, 2020

Mayor Honors Essential Employees

City Council Adopts Santa Cruz Resilience Microloan Program to Support Business

State and County Shelter-in-Place Orders Still in Effect as City Outdoor Facilities Reopen

Santa Cruz County: Live Oak Beach Area Parking Restrictions During Shelter-in-Place


April 14, 2020

Parks and Recreation Summer Event Cancellations


April 13, 2020

Santa Cruz City Manager Places Limits on Third-Party Food Delivery Commission Rates


April 9, 2020

Religious Observances During the Shelter-in-Place Order

Online COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool

CDC: How to Safely Make and Wear a Face Mask


April 8, 2020

Santa Cruz County Parks and Beaches Temporarily Closed Until April 15th

Innovative Ways to Support Local Businesses


April 6, 2020

Mental, Physical and Spiritual Health Resources

County Identifies Alternate Care Sites


April 3, 2020

New Public Health Information on Facial Coverings

Vacation Rentals Must Comply with Health Order


March 31, 2020

March 30, 2020
Santa Cruz County Office of Education:
Schools Will Remain Closed Through At Least May 5th
More information on the SCCOE COVID-19 Page

March 27th, 2020, 11AM: SOME STATE PARKS CLOSED

West Cliff Dr. in Santa Cruz has been closed to parking to reduce public crowding.

California Parks and Recreation began closing some public lands to vehicular traffic earlier this week. As revealed on the Santa Cruz County Twitter feed yesterday, that includes some local parks and beaches. As of this morning the affected spaces include Castle Rock State Park, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, Manresa State Beach, Natural Bridges State Beach, New Brighton State Beach, Seacliff State Beach, and the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park.

Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Education announces schools closed through May 5th.

https://www.cdc.gov/COVID19

For local information, residents may visit:

https://www.santacruzhealth.org/coronavirus,

call 211,

or text “coronavirus” to 211211. Messaging rates may apply.

Download PDF Version of news release


Parent/Caregiver Guide to COVID-19

COVID-19 Helping Children Cope

Optimize your Home Environment for Online Learning

Simple activities to do with children at home

NCTSN Factsheet en Español – Coronavirus

How to talk to kids about the coronavirus

County guidance on social distancing
Santa Cruz Local’s web info on coronavirus

KSQD’s COVID-19 Response

Health Services Agency – Social Distancing Guidelines

Health Services Agency – COVID-19 Information Page

Information for Businesses in Response to COVID-19


3/26/2020

3/25/2020

3/23/2020

22 Confirmed Santa Cruz County Cases

Public Health Order Regarding Visitors at Residential Care Facilities

Monterey County schools offering meal pick-up service during coronavirus closures

-*-*-*-*-

Supervisor John Leopold

Travelers Asked to Avoid Beach Gatherings

The County of Santa Cruz is urging travelers to stay home and avoid crowding Santa Cruz County beaches during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With shelter-in-place orders in place throughout California, non-essential workers are staying home, schools and universities are switching to online classes and some students are entering their customary spring breaks. While outdoor exercise is encouraged in keeping with safe distancing guidelines, large gatherings are a violation of local and state orders meant to protect the health and safety of all
Californians.

“Santa Cruz County is a popular destination for college students during this time of year,” Sheriff Jim Hart said. “However, the County is asking everyone to adjust their routines in order to protect everyone’s health including their own, as well as the operations of our critical health care infrastructure.”

Despite warnings, many college students have congregated on beaches throughout the U.S., including Florida. Five University of Tampa students are now recovering after testing positive for COVID-19. Violations of health officer’s order are a misdemeanor subject to citation and even arrest. However, the County is seeking voluntary compliance in order to protect public safety resources.

With more State Parks than any other county and 32 miles of beaches, Santa Cruz County offers plenty of outdoor opportunities to maintain health and well-being in compliance with social distancing guidelines.

-*-*-*-*-

County to Release Personal Protective Equipment Stockpile to Critical Medical Facilities


Second Harvest Food Bank Update

 

WHAT WE ARE DOING
We are currently working with the school districts to set up additional food distributions, and with our partner agencies to ensure continuity of services. More information about these additional distributions will be available as they role out. 

At this time, Second Harvest is following the CDC guidelines as well as the advice from Feeding America with regards to continuing services in our community. According to the CDC, “Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food”, and all volunteers and staff working with food are gloved and trained on safe food handling.

We know that schools and many businesses have been closed and food need in our community is greater than ever. If you or someone you know needs food, call our Community Food Hotline at (831) 662-0991. We can direct you to a food distribution site in your area, take an application for CalFresh (food assistance program) over the phone, and also give you up-to-date food distribution information.

HOW YOU CAN HELP
The current situation is very dynamic, and things may change with a moment’s notice, but right now the biggest needs that Second Harvest Food Bank have are:

Monetary Donations:The Food Bank relies heavily on volunteer labor, which is also being affected by the governor’s recommendations to shelter at home. We are currently hiring additional temporary staffing, which will be a significant expense over the next three months. Along with staffing expenses, we are also sourcing additional food, which will increase expenses. However, our purchasing relationships mean that we can source that food at pennies on the pound.

Healthy Volunteers: (pre-register – no walk-ins) Healthy individuals ages 13 to 60.  Must be able to stand for a period of time and lift 35 lbs. The easiest way to sign up is online at www.thefoodbank.org/volunteer or you may contact [email protected] or call 831-232-8141
 
Advocacy: Contact your local and federal representatives and ask them to waive the paperwork guidelines on USDA commodities and waive the ABAWD regulations from being enacted.
We understand our role as one of the safety net services of our community and will take all practical measures to supply the community with the foods they need to thrive during this unprecedented time.

For information about where to find food, call our Community Hotline at (831) 662-0991.

 

 


3/20/2020

city council press release


3/19/2020

County of Santa Cruz

For Release: Immediately
Contact: Jason Hoppin, Communications Manager
Phone: (831) 454-3401

COMMUNITY COVID-19 RESOURCES

To help assist the community in answering questions about the COVID-19 outbreak, the County of Santa Cruz has established a call center to help direct questions to the proper channels. If you have questions, please call (831) 454- 4242 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Due to overwhelming call volume and in order to maintain the County’s ability to investigate and respond to the outbreak, members of the public are being asked to refrain from calling the County’s Public Health Division or the Communicable Disease Unit. Information about COVID-19 can be found at www.santacruzhealth.org/coronavirus, including English and Spanish FAQs on the shelter-in-place order, guidance for businesses and community organizations and information on how to protect you and your family.

In response to likely economic impacts due to the outbreak, the Santa Cruz County Office for Economic Development, in conjunction with the Workforce Development Board and Small Business Development Center, is hosting a FREE Webinar to provide current information, guidance and resources for local businesses. The Zoom webinar will be held Friday at 3 p.m., is available at https://zoom.us/j/589373809, and will also be shown on Community TV and streamed on the County’s Facebook page.

For students engaged in remote learning or residents working from home during the shelter-in-place order, a group of community volunteers has established a clearinghouse for providing support to individuals who need assistance with networking or technical issues. Individuals willing to volunteer their time assisting the community are also being sought. Visit https://www.cruz.one for more.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many vulnerable community members are likely to experience potentially significant impacts to their well-being and livelihoods. Community Foundation Santa Cruz County has established a fund to raise money for public health and to support vulnerable residents. Donations are encouraged at https://www.cfscc.org/donate/COVID.


3/16/2020

Santa Cruz County COVID-19 case total is now 9

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY HEALTH OFFICER ISSUES SHELTER-IN-PLACE ORDER STARTING AT 12:01 AM MARCH 17

Full text of shelter-in-place order


3/18/2020

SCFD and partner agencies activate Quick Response Vehicles to protect community during COVID-19 spread

Read press release


From Santa Cruz County Epidemiologist, Will Forrest, who worked for Santa Cruz County for 17 years. Dated March 14th.

You’re probably accustomed to the media jumping on a news story and over-covering it and overstating the concerns. COVID-19 is the opposite of that.

I think there is no COVID control measure, large or small, that you, your family, your friends, or your local, state, or federal government will take, that you’ll ever look back at and say “Oh, that was an overreaction.” Quite the opposite. COVID-19 is likely to kill as many people as World War II did.

I’ve worked as a county health department epidemiologist for most of the last 17 years. I’ve been paying attention, much belatedly, to the data from China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran, as well as the bad situation in the state of Washington and the brand-new cases here in Santa Cruz, California. Hardly anyone in the media or in public office seems to understand just how bad our situation is. The numbers of cases in Iran have doubled every two days for a month; most countries are on the same track, and so is Santa Cruz County. Picture a hospital where every hallway is jammed with people standing cheek to jowl like a packed elevator, waiting and hoping that they’ll be the lucky person who gets the next care available. That’s what actually happened in China, and they have more hospital beds per person than the U.S. does. Picture the 24/7 closure of every school, bar, restaurant, cafe, shop (except grocery stores), and so on. That’s pretty much what Italy recently did, but too late; and it’s what Spain and France just did. That’s what we have to do, immediately, everywhere, in order to “flatten the curve” and avoid the kind of catastrophic situation seen elsewhere.

I’m sending you this message in the hopes that you’ll contact your local and state governments to demand that they IMMEDIATELY impose the same kind of “draconian” controls that have been imposed now in Italy, France, and Spain. Next week would be TOO LATE. In this situation, the word “draconian” is kind of interchangeable with the word “inadequate.” We must press for control measures that you would normally consider outrageous and beyond the pale.

You don’t have anything more important than that to do today.

[updated Sunday 3-15-20: Yes, please feel free to share this. I wrote it specifically so that people would contact their governments to demand immediate actions that they won’t dare to take unless we demand them.]

Public Health Division, County of Santa Cruz


HEALTH SERVICES AGENCY
POST OFFICE BOX 962, 1080 Emeline Ave., SANTA CRUZ, CA 95061-0962

TELEPHONE: (831) 454-4000 FAX: (831) 454-4488 TDD: Call 711

For Release: Immediately
Contact: Jason Hoppin, Communications Manager
Phone: (831) 454-3401

March 16, 2020

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY RESPONDS TO COVID-19

To continue providing critical community services such as vital records, marriage licenses, health inspections, building permits, food support and other benefits, child protective services and health and wellness delivery, the County of Santa Cruz will continue operations for the foreseeable future.

However, several operational changes are being enacted to protect the health and safety of residents and staff. These changes are being enacted to comply with guidance from the Santa Cruz County Public Health Officer designed to slow the spread of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, which is present within the Santa Cruz County community.

“The County of Santa Cruz provides critical services to residents, particularly to the one- third of County residents who rely on our health and human services programs to support themselves and their families,” County Administrative Officer Carlos Palacios said. “We are taking some common-sense steps to comply with the guidelines, and will update these measures as needed.”

These changes include but are not limited to:

– Enhanced cleaning schedule at all county facilities including public spaces;
– Compliance with social distancing guidelines at public counters, including
potentially limiting the number of persons in public lobbies at one time;
– Providing extra space and electronic comment options during Board of
Supervisors’ meetings;
– Having County employees on field visits inquire about the health of persons at a
home or facility prior to entry;
– Elimination of walk-up building permit counter hours while maintaining eFiling
and permit appointments;
– Additional screening at County detention and medical facilities;
– Providing additional phone and online participation options to limit large internal meetings; and
– Additional safety signage throughout County facilities.

Many County services, including building permit application and tax payments, are available online and County residents are encourage to use those options in order to support social distancing guidelines.

For Planning Department Services, including applying for an ePermit, submitting building plan applications, scheduling appointments, or making payments, go to www.sccoplanning.com or call (831) 454-2580.

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors has declared a local emergency. Community guidance and other information can be found at www.healthservicesagency.org/coronavirus. Residents are encouraged to call 211 or text “COVID19” to 211211 for state and local public health information.


March 12, 2020

Public Health Officials Confirm Additional COVID-19 Cases

SANTA CRUZ  – The County of Santa Cruz Public Health Division is announcing additional cases of COVID-19, for a total of seven.

Many more people have been tested in recent days, and more cases are expected. Santa Cruz County
Public Health is in daily contact and is actively monitoring all cases.

The County of Santa Cruz is now considered to have community spread.

“We have shifted our efforts away from containment and towards mitigation,” Health Officer Dr. Gail Newel said. “We continue to work closely with our regional, state and national partners in our efforts to lessen the impact of COVID-19.”

Dr. Newel has issued social distancing and workplace guidelines.In addition, Gov. Gavin Newsom has issued statewide directives on public gatherings, available here.

As of Thursday morning, California Department of Public Health officials have identified a total of 198
COVID-19 cases statewide, including four deaths.

With Santa Cruz County considered a moderate risk community, guidance on community mitigation
strategies can be found at
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/community-mitigation-strategy.pdf.

Additional updated guidance can be found on the California Department of Public Health website at:
https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Guidance.aspx

Santa Cruz County residents are strongly urged to take measures to protect themselves, their families
and their community.