May 21 coronavirus roundup for San Benito County

Sixty-six people have tested positive since February, eight active, 55 recovered; CDC says person-to-person is major mode of transmission; SBHS superintendent gives update on plans for next school year.

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 4:50 p.m. on May 21, 66 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in San Benito County since February. Eight of these are active, 56 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

Taking time for mental wellness—Therapists share tools and strategies for coping with shelter-in-place.

Swank Farms holds outdoor farmers market—Fruits, veggies, sweets and wine available every Saturday through October.


The Centers for Disease Control changed the wording of how COVID-19 spreads on their website. The intent is to stress that person-to-person is the major mode of transmission.

From CDC:

The virus spreads easily between people.

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious, like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, which means it goes from person-to-person without stopping.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading very easily and sustainably between people. Information from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic suggests that this virus is spreading more efficiently than influenza, but not as efficiently as measles, which is highly contagious.

The virus does not spread easily in other ways.

COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning about how it spreads. It may be possible for COVID-19 to spread in other ways, but these are not thought to be the main ways the virus spreads.

  • From touching surfaces or objects. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about this virus.
  • From animals to people. At this time, the risk of COVID-19 spreading from animals to people is considered to be low. Learn about COVID-19 and pets and other animals.
  • From people to animals. It appears that the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread from people to animals in some situations. CDC is aware of a small number of pets worldwide, including cats and dogs, reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after close contact with people with COVID-19. Learn what you should do if you have pets.


In a May 21 letter to the community, San Benito High School superintendent Shawn Tennenbaum gave an update on plans for next school year.

“Our goal is to promote and protect student health and safety while working to minimize the risk for everyone: students, staff, faculty, as well as our neighbors and families.

  • Our Fall Semester is scheduled to start on August 13, and we are planning for that accordingly, though we do not know what the public health status of our community or state will be at the end of the Summer. However, we are hopeful that we will be in Stage 3 of Governor Gavin Newsom’s plan by then and that we can have students and staff return to campus for in-person learning.
  • We continue to plan based on the latest information from local and state officials and pledge to remain transparent with those plans going forward.
  • We will provide regular updates as we have substantive information to share.
  • We will continue to collaborate and plan for continuity with guidance from the County Office of Education and local educational leaders.
  • Given the evolving nature of the pandemic, San Benito High School will continue to evaluate the situation and provide definitive information on the status of our Fall semester when it has been determined.

“On May 19, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated guidelines for reopening and resuming schools and child care facilities during the coronavirus pandemic. The CDC recognizes that schools will determine, in collaboration with state and local health officials to the extent possible, whether and how to implement these considerations while meeting their local needs. The guidelines also provide a three-step approach on scaling up operations, promoting health hygiene practices and intense cleaning, training on social distancing protocols, and establishing a plan in the event someone becomes sick and/or schools require closing.

“While we remain optimistic that we can return to our traditional, in-person learning offerings in the Fall, we are considering scenarios that range from the traditional approach, through a hybrid learning environment (a mix of in-person and online instruction) to a return to the distance learning model we have used this school year.

“SBHS is developing a detailed plan that will be consistent with the governor’s plan, guidelines from the California Department of Education, and advice from the San Benito County Health Department. The ‘new normal’ in California schools this coming year, according to State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, will likely include masks, daily school sanitation and smaller class sizes to maintain six feet of distance between students and staff.”


The county will host its last Zoom industries reopening meeting on Friday, May 22 at 4 p.m. for entertainment (movie theaters, sports, night clubs / bars), concerts, convention, live audience sports.

Webinar ID: 983 4741 8981


-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


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.


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BenitoLink Staff