March 16 coronavirus roundup for San Benito County

Six new cases reported, 5,794 people have tested positive, 30 are active patients, 5,703 have recovered and 61 have died; the county’s current positivity rate is 2.8%. This will be the last daily roundup as we move to a weekly format.

Editor’s Note: This will be the last daily COVID-19 roundup. BenitoLink is switching to a weekly roundup.

As a public service, the BenitoLink team provides a frequent roundup of recent COVID-19 related data, resources and articles about San Benito County.

As of 3:50 p.m. on March 16, 5,794 people in San Benito County have tested positive for the coronavirus since the first confirmed case in February 2020. Thirty are active patients, 5,703 have recovered and 61 have died, with the latest deaths reported March 1. The county’s current positivity rate is 2.8%. For the most updated information, visit the San Benito County COVID-19 Dashboard.

Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital currently has zero ICU beds available. Monterey County hospitals have a combined number of 25 ICU beds open and Santa Clara County hospitals have 66 with one of those beds in St. Louise Regional Hospital in Gilroy. For more information visit COVID-19 Hospitals Dashboard.

Information courtesy of SBC Public Health Services.
Information courtesy of SBC Public Health Services.
Information courtesy of SBC Public Health Services.
Information courtesy of SBC Public Health Services.


San Benito County Interim Public Health Officers Dr. David Ghilarducci and Dr. George Gellart address the community’s COVID-19 questions every alternate Friday. Next scheduled event March 19. Prerecorded video will be available on their Facebook page and YouTube Channel following the event.

Visit for more information.


 Residents of San Benito County identified in Phase 1B Tier 1 and 2 of the state’s vaccination plan can register through the state’s MyTurn site which allows all Californians to register for an email or text notification to inform them when they are eligible for vaccination.  Soon, the system will also allow residents, if eligible, to book an appointment for a vaccination.

MyTurn can be accessed here: MyTurn website

Current San Benito County vaccine distribution:

  • Individuals 65 and older
  • Those at risk of exposure at work in the following sectors:
  • Education and childcare
  • Emergency services
  • Food and agriculture

Adults with certain significant, high-risk medical conditions, disabilities, illness, living spaces, or work environments that put them at higher risk for serious COVID-19 illness are also eligible.

Health conditions:

  • Cancer, current with weakened immune system
  • Chronic kidney disease, stage 4 or above
  • Chronic pulmonary disease, oxygen dependent
  • Down syndrome
  • Solid organ transplant, leading to a weakened immune system
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies (but not hypertension)
  • Severe obesity (Body Mass Index ≥ 40 kg/m2)
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus with hemoglobin A1c level greater than 7.5%

Disabilities or illness

  • The individual is likely to develop severe life-threatening illness or death from COVID-19 infection
  • Acquiring COVID-19 will limit the individual’s ability to receive ongoing care or services vital to their well-being and survival
  • Providing adequate and timely COVID-19 care will be particularly challenging as a result of the individual’s disability

These include people with a range of physical and behavioral disabilities. Examples include all enrolled consumers of regional centers, independent living centers, in-home supportive services, and community-based adult services/adult day health centers, Medi-Cal HIV/AIDS waiver, Medi-Cal home and community-based alternatives waiver, Medi-Cal assisted living waiver, programs of all-inclusive care for the elderly, California children’s services program (if the child is 16-21 years old), and California genetically handicapped persons program.

Congregate living spaces:

  • Incarceration/detention
  • Homeless Shelter
  • Behavioral health facility
  • Transportation and logistics—public transit/airport and commercial airlines
  • Public transit workers, including airport workers for commercial airlines (but not private airplanes)

More information can be found at California Department of Public Health’s Provider Bulletin for details, including a fact sheet on vaccines for people with high-risk medical conditions or disabilities.

As of March 9 following a statewide directive, San Benito County has transitioned from its online COVID-19 vaccination interest portal and will be using the State’s MyTurn system. See more information here.

Check eligibility and register here.


The State has several hotlines for residents to call for suicide prevention, abuse, and mental health:

24-hour Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255 or text 838255

24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233 or click Chat Now

Call 911 if you or the person you are helping is in immediate danger.

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 confidential workplace safety complaint.

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.

Jimmy Panetta

Anna Caballero

Robert Rivas

Alex Padilla

Diane Feinstein

State of California:


San Benito County Health and Human Services Agency/Coronavirus


Meals for seniors

Food Distribution Community Food Bank

Drive-thru service at the marketplace Fridays and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 1133 San Felipe Rd. in Hollister. Sign-ups for supplemental food are done by phone 831-637-0340

Food Distribution Salvation Army 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 apply online at 831-636-4180.

Unemployment Insurance Benefits Employment Development Department apply online at 831-638-3306.

Senior Services Delivery of essential items and food City of Hollister and Jovenes de Antano [email protected] 831-636-4390.

Disability/Paid Family Leave Employment Development Department apply online at 831-638-3306.

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.


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BenitoLink Staff