April 24 coronavirus roundup for San Benito County

47 confirmed cases since February, four active, 41 recovered; face covering order goes into effect April 27; health order amendment exempts utilization of open areas to include county and city parks, golf courses; drive-thru face covering distribution on April 25.

With everything happening with the coronavirus pandemic, we at BenitoLink want to provide a roundup of recent articles, as well as closures and cancellations happening in San Benito County.

As of 4:30 p.m. on April 24 there are 47 confirmed cases in San Benito County since February, four of which are active, 41 recovered and two deaths. For the most updated information, visit the San Benito County COVID-19 Dashboard.

Information courtesy of San Benito County Public Health Services.
Information courtesy of San Benito County Public Health Services.

The San Benito County Health and Human Services Agency has provided a list of agencies, in both English and Spanish, who can assist residents in need at this time. See attached PDFs. This information has been mailed to county residents.

Recent Articles

Hollister family competes in virtual martial arts tournament—Nathan Fort and family create video lessons for their students while sheltering in place.

Face covering order goes into effect April 27—Combined with sheltering in place, social distancing, and frequent hand hygiene, facial coverings help slow transmission of COVID-19.

Essential, but unprotected—SBC LULAC writes that the threat posed by the coronavirus is exacerbated for the farmworker community.


State and federal elected officials’ COVID-19 web pages.

-San Benito County is requiring residents to wear face coverings in public starting April 27 at 8 a.m. See article for more info

-April 24 SBC Virtual Town Hal highlights:

  • Congressman Panetta: Paycheck Protection Program loan extension has been approved.
  • State Senator Caballero: Some insurances paid during shelter-in-place could be reimbursed. Call your insurance company.
  • CAO Ray Espinosa: $1 million allocated for personal protective equipment
  • Health Officer Dr. Martin Fenstersheib: 47 cases to date. That is 75 cases per 100,000 people. There has been a downward flow since shelter-in-place enacted.
  • Hospital has the capacity to meet the needs of the community, but the county does not have testing capacity.
  • Tax Collector Melinda Casillas: Penalty waiver until June 30. Payment plans might be available after that date.
  • DA Candance Hooper: Prices cannot be raised more than 10% during an emergency. Price gouging will be prosecuted.
  • Sheriff’s Office: Staff and inmates at the jail have not tested positive for COVID 19. There has not been increase in the yearly death count of the county. There have been no arrests for not sheltering in place.
  • Hollister Police Department: Officer enforcing shelter-in-place, nonessential businesses operating and wearing face coverings. They ask the public not to call 911 with reports on violations of these orders.
  • Hollister Fire Department: To prevent fires later in the season, the weed abatement program is still in effect.

-San Benito County Public Health Officer Dr. Martin Fenstersheib has issued an amendment to the March 31 shelter-in-place order exempting the utilization of open areas to include county parks, city parks and golf courses.

According to a recent release, amendments include:

a. For the purposes of this Order, individuals may leave their residence only to perform the following “Essential Activities.”  But people at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and people who are sick are strongly urged to stay in their residence to the extent possible, except as necessary to seek or provide medical care or Essential Governmental Functions.  Essential Activities are:
iii. To engage in outdoor recreation activity, including, by way of example and without limitation, walking, hiking, bicycling, and running, in compliance with Social Distancing Requirements and with the following limitations:
5. The public may utilize any open areas of County and City Parks, which are not specifically closed pursuant to paragraphs (1)-(3) above, while following all social distancing requirements/orders of the Public Health Officer.  Further, Golf courses may operate pursuant to the Social Distancing Requirements stated in subparagraph (k) below and in the Golf Course Social Distancing Protocol Form located in Appendix B.

The amendment becomes effective on April 27 at 8 a.m. and will continue through May 3 at 11:59 p.m. or until it is extended, rescinded, superseded or amended in writing.

-Gov. Gavin Newsom said on April 24 that the state will partner with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and local governments to provide food for isolated seniors. Working on a local level, restaurants will provide breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. This allows seniors to have nutritious meals and allows restaurants to open and to hire/rehire staff. Restaurants would be paid by the state for each meal provided. Criteria requirements for businesses to participate. Seniors interested in the program should call 211.


There will be a drive-thru face covering distribution event on April 25 from 12-4 p.m. or until stock is gone, located in Winn Alley from Fifth Street (next door to the Office of Education). Social distancing and contactless delivery will be practiced.


Tips for avoiding COVID-19                      

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
  • Keep a minimum of a six feet physical distance from others.
  • Avoid people who are sick.
  • Stay at home. Only leave to take care of essential errands.
  • Cover your cough and sneeze.
  • Cover your face (mouth and nose) with protective covering when in public
  • Disinfect frequently touched objects.
  • If you think you might be infected call your health care professional and follow their directions.


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BenitoLink Staff