March 20 coronavirus roundup for San Benito County

Old Mission San Juan Bautista has canceled mass until shelter-in-place order is lifted; Covered California expanding special enrollment until end of June; San Benito County Free Library offers online options for students, parents and educators.

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 March 20, there are five confirmed cases in San Benito County since February, only two of which are active. One death was reported earlier this week.

Recent Articles

Cause of death still unknown for COVID-19 case

Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital gives update on COVID-19 preparations

Gov. Newsom issues a shelter in place order of all of California

Where to get food to-go in San Benito County

San Juan restaurants offer to-go options during shelter in place

Closures and Limited Services

The Old Mission San Juan Bautista gift shop and church are closed.


-Old Mission San Juan Bautista has canceled mass until the county shelter-in-place is lifted. They have also canceled tours, appointments, classes and meetings.

-All California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) in-person classes across the state have been postponed, and will be rescheduled at a later date to ensure the health and safety of CDTFA’s customers and team members to support social distancing safety measures as a result of COVID-19, according to a recent release.

-San Benito Integrated Waste Earth Day Celebration scheduled for April 25 at Memorial Park is cancelled.


-Governor Gavin Newsom has issued a statewide shelter-in-place order in effect until further notice.

-The Federal tax filing deadline has been extended to July 15. Read here

-The California tax filing deadline has been extended to July 15. Read here

-Congressman Jimmy Panetta wrote a letter to the Small Business Administration urging the agency to immediately provide Spanish-language online resources for small business owners seeking coronavirus-related assistance through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.

According to a March 20 release, Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed into law H.R. 6074, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, which provides the SBA additional funding and authority to make low-interest loans available to businesses facing economic harm from COVID-19, through the EIDL program. Administration web pages related to COVID-19 guidance and resources, and pages to apply for COVID-19 EIDL loans, specifically, are only presented in English.

“For many hardworking businessowners across a range of industries on the central coast of California who have limited English proficiency, this lack of Spanish-language resources could prevent them from receiving critical emergency assistance, forcing them to lay off workers or close permanently,” Panetta said.

-Covered California is expanding special enrollment until the end of June. See release


Paicines Ranch is offering free, local meat deliveries (grass-fed and finished beef, lamb, pork) in the county once a week on Thursdays. Orders can also be picked up at the ranch, provided customers stay in their vehicles. According to a recent release, all county residents will receive 15% off their orders.

For more information, email [email protected] or call (831) 628-0288.

The ranch has also complied an ongoing list of food resources in San Benito County.


Pinnacles National Park has announced modifications to operations to implement the latest guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and local health orders:

  • The Nature Center and Visitor Centers are closed.
  • Shuttle services are suspended until further notice.
  • Bear Gulch Caves, Balconies Caves, and part of the High Peaks Trail (High Peaks Steep and Narrow) are closed.
  • Visitors are encouraged to arrive early or in the late afternoon to avoid long delays getting into the park. Another way to avoid long delays is to visit the park on a weekday.

Where it is possible to adhere to the latest health guidance, park rangers will be available to answer questions, such as at tables outside and on trails.

Updates about NPS operations nationwide will be posted on Please check for specific details about Pinnacles National Park operations.


-First 5 San Benito and the Family Impact Center are conducting a local needs assessment about what items families are in need of during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as food, diapers, medical supplies, internet, ideas for children activities, etc. For more information, email [email protected] or call (831) 634-2046

The San Benito County Free Library has several online options for students, parents and educators:

  • Brainfuse: Students can interact with live tutors for math, science, reading/writing, social studies, PSAT/SAT/ACT, AP, GED, and state standardized tests.
  • Britannica School and Britannica Escolar
  • CloudLibrary: Provides access to more than 90,000 ebooks and audiobooks, including fiction and nonfiction titles for children and young adults.
  • Kanopy Kids: A streaming video service that provides entertainment for children aged preschool and up.
  • Middle Search Plus: A full-text database providing popular middle school magazines and reference books.
  • Universal Class: A growing catalog of over 500 courses and over 300,000 students around the world and real instructors guiding the learning through video-based lessons.
  • Word Book Online: Supports all levels of learning.


For more information about novel coronavirus (COVID-19), see the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website at and visit the San Benito County Public Health Services website for updated local information at


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BenitoLink Staff