May 20 coronavirus roundup for San Benito County

Sixty-four people have tested positive since February, seven active, 55 have recovered; Covered CA offering special enrollment period; Office of Emergency Services to distribute free masks to businesses; upcoming May 22 county webinar on entertainment and sports.

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 3:40 p.m. on May 20, 64 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in San Benito County since February. Seven of these are active, 55 have recovered and two have died. For the most updated information, visit the San Benito County COVID-19 Dashboard.

Information courtesy of San Benito County Public Health Services.
Information courtesy of San Benito County Public Health Services.
Information courtesy of San Benito County Public Health Services.
Information courtesy of San Benito County Public Health Services.

Recent Articles

San Juan Bautista council approves outdoor business operations on Third Street—Program will run at least six months to help local merchants.

Great Plates Delivered lends a hand to seniors and restaurants—State-sponsored meal program runs through mid-June and aims to provide free breakfast, lunch and dinner.

785 county residents have tested for coronavirus since May 5—Site can test 132 individuals per day.

Aromas-San Juan Unified School District rolls out WiFi-enabled school buses—Students can access remote learning content while maintaining social distancing.


Covered California is offering a special enrollment period for consumers who were unaware of the new state financial help or the new state penalty for not having health insurance. Open until June 30. To apply, visit or call 800-300-1506.


The Aromas-San Juan Unified School District is providing districtwide WiFi-equipped school buses for students and their families during pandemic distance learning.

See article above for more details.


-San Benito Street in Hollister closes for outdoor dining on Friday, May 22.

Agriculture, Ranching, Animal Husbandry

The USDA has two financial assistance programs for farmers and ranchers that will start taking applications soon.  For more details, please visit the USDA at

USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program:

Beginning May 26 farmers and ranchers whose operations have been directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic are eligible for direct relief through the USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). This $19 billion immediate relief program includes direct support to agricultural producers as well as the Farmers to Families Food Box Program.

The program will provide financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a five percent or greater price decline or who had losses due to market supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19 and face additional significant market costs. Eligible commodities include non-specialty crops, cattle, hogs, sheep (lambs and yearlings only), wool, dairy, and specialty crops.

USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program:

Through this program, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service is partnering with national, regional, and local suppliers, whose workforce has been significantly impacted by the closure of restaurants, hotels, and other food service businesses, to purchase up to $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy, and meat products.

The program will purchase:

  • $461 million in fresh fruits and vegetables
  • $317 million in a variety of dairy products
  • $258 million in meat products
  • $175 million in a combination box of fresh produce, dairy, or meat products

Suppliers will package these products totaling $1.2 billion into family-sized boxes, then transport them to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need from May 15 through June 30.

More information is available at


-To assist with the re-opening of businesses, the San Benito County Office of Emergency Services in cooperation with the state of California Governor’s Office will be distributing free masks to businesses located in San Benito County.

Application to request masks.

Within 48-hours of submitting your request, you will receive an email with the date, time and location for pick-up. Incomplete applications will not be processed.

Orders not picked up on the assigned date and time will be returned to stock.

For questions, please email [email protected]

-County supervisors will host the last Zoom industries meeting on Friday, May 22 at 4 p.m. The topics will be entertainment (movie theaters, sports, night clubs / bars), concerts, convention, live audience sports.

Webinar ID: 983 4741 8981

-In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, California is providing one-time state-funded disaster relief assistance to undocumented adults who are ineligible for other forms of assistance, including assistance under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and pandemic unemployment benefits, because of their immigration status. This state funding is expected to reach about 150,000 undocumented adults.

The California Department of Social Services has selected 12 immigrant-serving nonprofit organizations to help individuals apply for and receive this disaster relief assistance in their region. An undocumented adult who qualifies can receive $500 in direct assistance, with a maximum of $1,000 in assistance per household.

The application period opened on Monday and continues until the funding is exhausted or June 30, whichever is first. Funds will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis. To apply for disaster relief assistance, individuals in Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Cruz counties may contact the Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County at 800-228-6820. Assistance will not be provided in person. Learn more here


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

Link to resources

-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

Contact Cal/OSHA at (844) 522-6734.

 State and federal elected officials’ COVID-19 web pages:


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. Hollister.

Sign-ups for supplemental food are done by phone 831-637-0340

Food Distribution Salvation Army

Drive-thru service Tuesdays at 11 a.m. at 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


Unemployment Insurance Benefits Employment Development Department

apply online at


Senior Services Delivery of essential items and food city of Hollister and Jovenes de Antano

[email protected]


Disability/Paid Family Leave Employment Development Department

apply online at


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.


BenitoLink Staff