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 25, there are nine confirmed cases in San Benito County since February, six of which are active. For the most updated information, visit the San Benito County COVID-19 Dashboard.
90 County Residents have been tested for COVID-19—Officials give updates at remote Board of Supervisors meeting
Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat—Tres Pinos Post Office serves as central location for rural residents during the coronavirus pandemic.
Small Business Loan Association accepting loan applications for disaster and economic injury—Cal Coastal SBDC assisting with application process in San Benito and Monterey counties.
San Benito County Free Library offers online resources—Access to video streaming services, e-books, educational material and more to help keep families engaged and entertained during the shelter-in-place order.
–Gavilan College is requesting community donations to help students in need during the school closure. According to a recent release, the Gavilan College Educational Fund has created a Student Emergency Fund and contributed a starting gift of $10,000. For more information, see the release.
-San Benito High School began the check-out of Chromebooks to students who have indicated through a survey that they need the device for distance learning during the closure. According to a release, students and families will be notified by phone, text and email through Aeries Communicator when it is their time to pick up a Chromebook on campus.
-San Benito County, Hollister and San Juan Bautista are sharing enforcement and reporting resources to educate non-essential businesses in the county and cities that may still be open. Compliance is the goal, but citations and other administrative remedies could be employed if voluntary compliance measures are unsuccessful, according to a March 25 release.
To report non-essential businesses operating in violation of the shelter-in-place order, call the hotline at (831) 636-4113 and include business name and address.
-Congressman Jimmy Panetta led a bipartisan group of six lawmakers in sending a letter to U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos urging the department to develop guidance and resources for primary, secondary, and higher education institutions in creating distance learning curriculums, including best practices and guidance regarding remote learning equipment procurement. A recent release said the members of Congress are asking the department to publicly publish information regarding resources for the benefit of educators across the country. See here
-San Benito County has developed a survey to analyze the impact of the recent shelter-in-place order to participate and share with businesses for the county to attain an economic perspective of the order. Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QHX36CV
-Governor Gavin Newsom announced that Wells Fargo, Citi, JPMorgan, and US Bank have agreed to a 90-day grace period for mortgage payments for those impacted by COVID19. Click here for Governor’s March 25 livestream.
-San Benito County Emergency Operations Center sent the following release on March 25:
If members of the community would like to assist the COVID-19 incident, the Office of Emergency Services is recommending only monetary donations at this time to one of the two following recognized disaster relief organizations:
Community Foundation for San Benito County 501(c)3 nonprofit
Donations can be made to the Community Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund online at http://givesanbenito.org/ or by check to the following address:
829 San Benito Street, Suite 200
Hollister, CA 95023
Add Memo “COVID-19 Relief Fund”
American Red Cross 501(c)3 nonprofit
Donations can be made to the American Red Cross online at https://www.redcross.org/donate/donation.html/, by phone at (800) 435-7669, or by mail at the following address:
American Red Cross
PO Box 37839
Boone, IA 50037-0839
The release said that financial contributions are the most efficient method of donating. These funds allow the most flexibility in obtaining the needed resources, at the correct time and furthermore can move money into the local economy to help businesses sustain and recover. Remember, unsolicited donated goods such as used clothing, miscellaneous household items, and mixed or perishable foodstuffs require helping agencies to redirect valuable resources away from providing services to sort, package, transport, warehouse, and distribute items that may not meet the needs of the disaster and the community impacted by such.
-Charter is offering free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to household with k-12 and/or college students who do not have a Spectrum broadband subscription at any level up to 100Mbps. To enroll, call (844) 488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households. According to a recent release, Charter will partner with school districts to ensure local communities are aware of these tools to help students remotely.
-Hollister Super and Windmill Market owner Chang So had a message for the community:
We recognize these are challenging times and no one yet knows how long it will last.
We want to take this time to reassure everyone that our stores will remain open and there is plenty of food and essential supplies.
The bare shelves you are occasionally seeing does not indicate lack of supply. It is a temporary result of shoppers overbuying given the understandable worry right now. The supply and distribution system in our area is prepared to accommodate higher demand for a day or two but when demand is heavy for an extended period, it takes time to catch up.
The dedicated men and women at grocery stores and distribution centers throughout the state are working day and night to make sure you and your neighbors have what you need. They are working extra hours, away from their families and deserve all of our thanks.
At Hollister Super and Windmill Market we are also:
- We are asking that you follow CDC guidelines for social distancing while in our stores and parking lots
- We are limiting purchases on some fast-selling items
- We are managing the flow of traffic in our stores
- We are offering exclusive hours to our senior citizens, ages 65 and over, the disabled and their caregivers at Hollister Super #2, 211 Third Street location from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.
We are all looking for some normalcy in our lives and going back to our typical shopping patterns are an important part of that. Everyone can help stop this unnatural cycle of demand by simply buying only what you need for a week and curbing the tendency to over-buy.
Getting shopping patterns back to normal will reduce stress on the distribution system and can go a long way toward creating some normalcy in our stores.
Rest assured, there is enough for all of us if we just buy smart and don’t overfill our carts. Please buy smart and don’t overfill your cart.”
For more information about COVID-19, see the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html and visit the San Benito County Public Health Services website for updated local information at http://hhsa.cosb.us/publichealth/.
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