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 3:50 p.m. on July 17, 434 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in San Benito County since February. Sixty-eight are active patients, 364 have recovered and two have died. For the most updated information, visit the San Benito County COVID-19 Dashboard.
San Benito High School moving to full distance learning for start of school year—Board of Trustees expected to formally approve the approach at a July 21 meeting.
San Joaquin Valley counties promote self-isolation for those who are sick—New websites launched to provide clear step-by-step instructions.
The San Joaquin Valley Public Health Consortium, of which San Benito County is part of, has launched a new messaging campaign providing instructions to residents experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. The tagline of the campaign, “Don’t Feel Great—Self-Isolate,” urges residents who feel sick to isolate away from others including members of their own household to slow the spread of COVID-19. The website provides specific instructions on how to isolate, even in a large family with limited space.
Two new websites have been launched to provide clear step-by step instructions: valleycovidhelp.com in English and ayudadelvallecovid.com in Spanish. The websites are a collaboration between the 11 health departments that make up the San Joaquin Valley Public Health Consortium: Calaveras, Fresno, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Benito, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare and Tuolumne.
See article above for more info.
Following a July 17 announcement by Gov. Gavin Newsom, the San Benito High School District Board of Trustees has scheduled a special meeting for Tuesday, July 21, during which it will ratify a resolution formally approving a full distance learning approach at the start of the 2020-21 school year on August. 13.
Governor Newsom’s order, based on updated guidance from the California Department of Public Health, requires that all schools in counties on the California County Monitoring List, of which San Benito is one, must conduct only distance learning until the county has been off the state’s COVID-19 monitoring list for 14 consecutive days.
See article above for more info.
Gov. Newsom announced on July 16 the availability of $600 million in funding for Homekey, the next phase in the state’s response protecting Californians experiencing homelessness who are at high risk for serious illness from COVID-19.
See more information here.
From the County of San Benito:
County of San Benito COVID-19 Disaster small business relief grant program
The purpose of the grant program is to assist small businesses with expenses associated with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. To mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on San Benito County businesses and their employees, the County has committed up to $1,500,000 in one-time funds to create a Small Business Assistance Grant Program. The objective of this program is to offer immediate financial assistance and small businesses located in San Benito County to aid in maintaining their business and workforce.
Grants of up to $15,000 may be used for expenses associated with re-opening your business in compliance with state and local requirements, payroll, business lease or rent, business telework equipment costs; inventory acquisition (inventory needed to reopen or maintain open status); personal protective equipment purchase, Facility Readiness (social distancing preparedness, business modifications, etc.), or other expenses specifically related to helping your business continue to operate.
Funding will be limited to business operating within San Benito County. Priority will be given to businesses who were deemed non-essential and rated on three tier criteria. We anticipate more requests for grants than available funds; therefore, meeting the eligibility requirements does not guarantee funding. Prior to filling out the application for up to $15,000 grants. The grant funds must be solely used for expenditures that occur between March 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020 and fall under one or more of the following categories:
Applicants must verify the business has experienced an economic loss of income due to COVID-19 by completing the Estimated Disaster Economic Injury Worksheet and submit a current copy of its W-9
- Applicants must have been in operation in the County of San Benito for at least one year as of March 1, 2020 and have under than 100 full-time employees.
- The business must remain open at least 30 days after receiving grant funding, otherwise business must return the Business Relief Grant funds.
- Applicants must have an active Business license, a copy is required at submission and be in good standing with the local jurisdiction and State. Applicants who are involved or have been involved in legal or financial issues may not qualify.
- Prioritizing business that have not received either SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) or other SBA, government or other grant source related to COVID-19.
- Applicants operating out of a physical storefront within the County limits of San Benito will be prioritized.
- Prioritizing locally and independently owned business.
Grant Application Forums
From the Community Foundation for San Benito County:
New deadline for Recovery Grant application is Friday, July 31.
Application, resources, other materials, and information on CFFSBC website.
COVID-19 Relief Fund Recovery Grant Cycle Important Dates to Remember:
Application Period Opens: Friday, June 26
Application Deadline: Friday, July 31
Decisions Announced: Friday, August 28
Funding Deadline: Friday, September 18
The State has several hotlines for residents to call for suicide prevention, abuse, and mental health.
The Division of Occupational Safety and Health, better known as Cal/OSHA, helps protect workers from health and safety hazards in almost every workplace in California.
Visit Cal/OSHA for information about workplace safety and health.
File a whistleblower complaint if you suffer retaliation for reporting a workplace safety hazard
Obtain free consultation services from Cal/OSHA.
Contact Cal/OSHA at 844-522-6734.
State and federal elected officials’ COVID-19 web pages.
Food Distribution Community Food Bank www.communityfoodbankofsbc.org
Drive-thru service at the marketplace Fridays and Saturdays, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 1133 San Felipe Rd. Hollister Sign-ups for supplemental food are done by phone 831-637-0340.
Food Distribution Salvation Army hollister.salvationarmy.org Drive-thru service Tuesdays at 11:00 a.m. 910 Buena Vista Rd. Hollister Sign-ups not required To schedule delivery call 310-753-6520.
Public Assistance CalFresh/Medi-Cal/Cash Aid/GA hhsa.cosb.us
apply online at www.c4yourself.com
Unemployment Insurance Benefits Employment Development Department
apply online at www.edd.ca.gov/ui_online
Senior Services Delivery of essential items and food City of Hollister and Jovenes de Antano
Disability/Paid Family Leave Employment Development Department
apply online at www.edd.ca.gov/sdi_online
United Way of San Benito County 2-1-1 Text your Zip Code to 831-898-211 or call 211 Text COVID2019 to 211211
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.
BenitoLink is a nonprofit news website that reports on San Benito County. Our team is working around the clock during this time when accurate information is essential. It is expensive to produce local news and community support is what keeps the news flowing. Please consider supporting BenitoLink, San Benito County’s news.