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 5 p.m. on May 18 there are 61 confirmed cases in San Benito County since February, six of which are active, 53 recovered and two deaths. For the most updated information, visit the San Benito County COVID-19 Dashboard.
Hollister City Council votes to close San Benito Street for outdoor dining—Closure will allow restaurants to use space to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
El Teatro Campesino brings puppet show online—Educational outreach program continues through video lessons and visual arts.
Simple, delicious recipes to try at home—Jennifer Martin of Hollister offers cooking tips and meals to make with family.
Anzar High School garden helps feed teachers—Former principal Charlene McKowen assembles boxes of produce grown on campus.
Bill’s Bullpen prepares to reopen its doors—Hollister comic book shop resumes foot traffic May 20.
Gavilan College’s Hollister site director uses shelter time to sew masks—Funds contribute to Gavilan Student Emergency Fund.
Cancellations and Postponements
San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery has announced that it will be open for visitation from sunrise to sunset on Memorial Day Weekend, but that public events typically associated with Memorial Day—such as ceremonies and group placement of flags at gravesites—will not take place.
-On May 15, the Hollister City Council unanimously voted to temporarily close a portion of San Benito Street for outside dining to help downtown restaurants accommodate to social distancing guidelines while reopening. San Benito Street will be closed between Fourth Street and South Street from May 22 to Aug. 17, with the length of the closure allowing the city to examine making the change permanent, according to City Manager Brett Miller.
See full article above for more information.
-San Benito County is asking the business and restaurant sectors that were able to open and/or expand their business to please use the provided forms to self-certify compliance with the industry standards. According to a recent release, the county will not require an inspection prior to reopening restaurants and/or businesses.
Industry specific guidance for newly approved business sectors can be found at https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance/
Limited Services: Limited to full-service car washes, pet grooming, tanning facilities and landscape gardening. —State Checklist
Office-based Businesses: telework remains strongly encouraged —State Checklist
Outdoor museums: open gallery spaces and other public spaces —State Checklist
Manufacturing —State Checklist
Logistics / Warehousing Facilities —State Checklist
Childcare: for those outside of the essential workforce —State Guidance
Dine-in Restaurants: other amenities, like bars and gaming areas are not permitted in Stage Two. —State Checklist
In-store Retail: Shopping Malls, Destination Shopping Centers, Strip and Outlet Malls, and Swap Meets —State Checklist
-There will be a county-led Zoom webinar on May 20 at 2 p.m. concerning nonprofits. A second meeting at 4 p.m. will provide a Spanish overview of various industries.
2 p.m. Nonprofits Webinar ID: 970 0861 3531
4 p.m. Spanish Overview of Various Industries Webinar ID: 918 6905 4495
-On May 15, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a new COVID-19 relief bill, known as The HEROS Act. National news outlets are reporting that the act, if continued on in the Senate, will provide:
- Access to the payments for immigrants, the measure removes the requirement of a Social Security number from CARES Act and allows people to file tax returns with a taxpayer identification number (or TIN).
- Nearly $1 trillion in aid to state and local governments
- Extending $600-per-week addition for unemployment benefits through January 2021
- Expanded coronavirus testing, contact tracing and treatment and a requirement for the Trump administration to develop a national testing strategy
- Enhancing tax credits for employers to keep workers on their payrolls
- Support to help renters and homeowners make monthly rent, mortgage and utility payments
- $10 billion for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, to support anticipated increases in participation for food stamps
- $3.6 billion for grants to states for contingency planning and preparation for elections for federal office
- A stimulus check up to $1,200 in payments (or $2,400 for married couples), with an extra $1,200 per dependent up to a maximum of three. The income thresholds are the same as in the earlier CARES Act, with money for people making up to $99,000 and couples up to $198,000. The amount would start to reduce from $1,200 above thresholds of $75,000 and $150,000, respectively.
The bill now moves to the Senate.
See Act summary here
-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
Contact Cal/OSHA at (844) 522-6734.
State and federal elected officials’ COVID-19 web pages:
- Jimmy Panetta
- Anna Caballero
- Robert Rivas
- Kamala Harris
- Diane Feinstein
- State of California: https://covid19.ca.gov/ https://covid19.ca.gov/es/
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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