Novel Coronavirus. Photo courtesy of Centers for Disease Control.
Novel Coronavirus. Photo courtesy of Centers for Disease Control.

As a public service, the BenitoLink team provides a frequent roundup of recent COVID-19 related data, resources and articles about San Benito County.

As of 4:58 p.m. on Dec.23, 8,057 people in San Benito County have tested positive for the coronavirus since the first confirmed case in February 2020. One hundred fifty are active patients, 7,825 have recovered, three are hospitalized and 82 have died, with the latest deaths reported Dec. 21. For the most updated information, including bi-weekly statistics about variants and number of vaccinated individuals visit the San Benito County COVID-19 Dashboard.  (The county will provide graph reports every Tuesday and Thursday. The dashboard is updated daily.)

Bi-weekly statistics Dec. 21:

Recent Articles

Governor announces healthcare workers required to get boosters by Feb. 1.

Staff members who have not received the booster must test for COVID-19 twice weekly until they are up to date on their vaccines.


On Dec. 23 the Biden administration said it had ordered 500 million home testing kits to be made available free to all Americans (more tests will be ordered as needed) beginning January 2022. Websites to order free kits for home delivery will be set up in January.

On Dec. 22, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the state is requiring health care workers to get boosters by February 1, 2022.

See article above.

This week, the U.S. Federal Drug Administration authorized two oral antivirals for the treatment of COVID-19 in certain patients.

Pfizer’s Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir tablets and ritonavir tablets, co-packaged for oral use) is authorized for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients (12 years of age and older weighing at least 88 pounds) who have tested positive COVID-1 and who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death.

Merck’s molnupiravir is authorized for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults who have tested positive for COVID-19 and who are at high risk for severe disease including hospitalization or death, and for whom alternative FDA authorized COVID-19 treatment options not accessible or clinically appropriate.

Both treatments are available by prescription only and should be started as soon as possible after diagnosis of COVID-19 and within five days of symptom onset.

More here.

Vaccination Progress

San Benito County Vaccination statistics from the state COVID-19 site as of 11:59 p.m., Dec. 22.

  • 97,189 doses have been administered.
  • 69.5% of eligible individuals are fully vaccinated.
  • 7.9% are partially vaccinated.
  • 10,340 booster doses have been administered.

Percent of San Benito County population by ethnicity with at least one dose.

  • American Indian or Alaska Native-0.3 (3.1% of SBC population)
  • Asian – 3.6 (3.9% of SBC population)
  • Black -0.8 (1.6% of SBC population)
  • Latino -46.9 (60.8% of SBC population)
  • Multi-race -1 (3.6% of SBC population)
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander -0.4 (0.4% of SBC population)
  • White-28 (32.8% of population)
  • Other -7.3
  • Unknown – 11.8

Percent fully vaccinated per zip code:

  • 95023- 74 (Hollister)
  • 95045- 64 (SJB)
  • 95043- 39 (Paicines, Panoche Valley and New Idria)
  • 95075- 80 (Tres Pinos)
  • 95004- 70 (Aromas. 95004 extends into three counties-San Benito, Monterey and Santa Cruz. Count is for entire zip code)

More statistical information on the County’s vaccination progress can be found here.


The governor announced on Dec. 22 that home testing kits will be available to all students returning to school following the winter break.

“As the Omicron variant spreads rapidly across the country and circulates in all regions of the state, we’re taking immediate, proactive steps to protect Californians with boosters and expanded access to testing,” said Newsom. “The state is also redoubling our efforts to  keep kids safe and keep schools open. We will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our communities by making at-home testing kits available to every K-12 public school student as they head back to the classroom from winter break.”

See article above.


On Dec. 20, the state announced  that it plans to provide $1 billion in mortgage relief grants to homeowners who have fallen behind on housing payments or reverse mortgage arrearages during the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Department of the Treasury has approved funding, clearing the way for a full program launch in the coming weeks.

More information can be found in a news release from the governor’s office.

State rent assistance resource for tenants and property owners. Housing is Key


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

24-hour Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255 or text 838255

24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233 or click Chat Now

Call 911 if you or the person you are helping is in immediate danger.

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 from Cal/OSHA.

Contact Cal/OSHA at 844-522-6734.

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

Jimmy Panetta

Anna Caballero

Robert Rivas

Alex Padilla

Diane Feinstein

State of California:


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

Food Distribution Salvation Army Drive-thru service Tuesdays at 11:00 a.m. 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 831-636-4180.

Unemployment Insurance Benefits Employment Development Department apply online at 831-638-3306.

Senior Services Delivery of essential items and food City of Hollister and Jovenes de Antano 831-636-4390.

Disability/Paid Family Leave Employment Development Department apply online at 831-638-3306.

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                 

  • Get vaccinated
  • 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.
  • Avoid public indoor places.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with protective covering when indoors with the public.
  • Disinfect frequently touched objects.


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.