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 6 there are 30 confirmed cases in San Benito County since February, 13 of which are active, 15 recovered and two deaths. For the most updated information, visit the San Benito County COVID-19 Dashboard.
Sheltered at home, San Benito students study with homework packets—Schools in Hollister send out review work each week on math, science, reading and art.
San Benito County shares information on masks—County is not requiring masks, but news release said they can help protect others around you.
Nurses and Doctors get recognition in the form of a hot meal—Two regional companies decide to join together and help sustain staff at three area hospitals with a tall stack of pizzas from local restaurants.
San Benito High School provides meals to children in need—Free food program serves over 1,000 students per day.
A view from the inside: What does it feel like to be in jail during a pandemic?—Inmates at the San Benito County Jail take classes to continue their education. During the COVID-19 pandemic, jail staff and Gavilan College have improvised to maintain students’ education.
San Benito County confirms second coronavirus death—Elderly woman with several underlying health conditions experienced worsening symptoms while isolated at home, taken by ambulance to Natividad Hospital on March 28.
Starting April 13, free student meal distribution at San Benito High School will switch from a Monday-Friday schedule to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
-A recent San Benito County Health Department release recommends residents wear face coverings while out:
“Our best community and individual defense against COVID-19 is washing our hands frequently, avoiding touching our eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, avoiding being around sick people and physical distancing, especially by staying at home,” the release said. “There may also be a benefit in wearing a face covering to reduce transmission from sick people or from people who have no symptoms, who are unaware that they may be sick and shedding the virus. Remember however, that a face covering must be used along with all of the other protective and preventative measures. It will not help ‘flatten the curve’ if you go out more or stop taking other protective measures.”
-The California Conservation Corps (CCC) helped with food distribution at the Community FoodBank last weekend. Scott Kindred, communications director at the food bank, said the CCC arrived last week and “immediately pitched in.”
“They are great,” Kindred said. “They supported the food packing process of sorting food from pallets and into grocery bags—alongside the city of Hollister employees who were also lending a hand—and they have been invaluable in providing traffic control and giving our customers some friendly help with directions. Our customers have been very understanding, too. They know that there are more people in need of food these days and that the lines are naturally going to be longer. Most everyone has remained patient and courteous and we really appreciate that.”
-At Gov. Gavin Newsom’s April 6 press conference, Dr. Charity Dean of the California Testing Task Force said an antibody test from Stanford should be approved by the FDA within hours of the conference (noon). Antibody tests allow doctors to see who has already had the virus. The test should be available in the next few weeks, according to the press conference.
-Congressman Jimmy Panetta joined Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo and 38 other California democrats in urging the Department of Health and Human Services to distribute $100 billion that Congress authorized in the Coronavirus Aid, Response and Economic Security (CARES) Act to reimburse health care providers for care related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Full release here
-California issued a statewide moratorium on residential evictions for renters who cannot pay their rent because of COVID-19 related economic hardships. The moratorium went into effect on March 27 and is valid through May 31.
If COVID-19 has impacted your ability to pay all or part of your rent, you should:
- Explain your financial situation to your landlord and relay how much you are able to pay
- Save all financial documents
- Pay as much of your rent as you can
If your landlord is attempting to evict you for not paying rent and you took all of the above steps, contact a local legal aid provider.
–California is working to soften the financial impact of COVID-19 on residents who are struggling to pay their mortgage and bills. Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, US Bank, Wells Fargo, and nearly 200 state-chartered banks, credit unions, and servicers have committed to providing relief for consumers and homeowners in California. See the list of participating financial institutions
-Due to the immediate and ongoing impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on California’s judicial branch, and at the request of Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, chair of the Judicial Council, the chairs of the Judicial Council’s six internal committees recommend that the Judicial Council adopt rules of court to: suspend the entry of defaults in unlawful detainer actions; suspend judicial foreclosures; provide for remote appearance via technology; adopt a statewide emergency bail schedule that sets bail at $0 for most misdemeanor and lower-level felony offenses; provide for personal appearance through counsel for defendants in pretrial criminal proceedings; prioritize for juvenile dependency and juvenile delinquency proceedings, various hearing and orders, and set a structure for remote hearings and continuances; extend the timeframes for specified temporary restraining orders; and adopt miscellaneous civil proposals, including suspending the statutes of limitations governing civil actions.
A recent release said the Judicial Council should take these temporary actions in order to protect the health and safety of the public, court employees, attorneys, litigants, and judicial officers, as well as staff and inmates in detention facilities, and law enforcement during the state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
-Several markets in the county—including Lucky, Nob Hill, and Safeway—are now prohibiting shoppers from bringing reusable bags into the facilities. Target and Hollister Super/Windmill Market will allow reusable bags, but shoppers must pack their own bags.
-Target is not accepting returns until April 17. The company has said returns that expire during this time will be honored.
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.
- Disinfect frequently touched objects.
- If you think you might be infected call your health care professional and follow their directions.
San Benito County Health and Human Service Agency has provided a list of agencies, in both English and Spanish, who can assist residents in need at this time. See attached PDFs at bottom of article.
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