April 1, 2021
Redwood City –
 The County of San Mateo continues to work to protect public health and safety in response to the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19.

The County of San Mateo’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) remains open to coordinate countywide response and communications in response to the situation. The EOC’s Joint Information Center will provide status reports every Thursday until further notice. Today’s report:

Residents Age 50 and Older Eligible for Vaccine; Sign Up for Updates
The County today opened eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine to all residents age 50 and older. The County aligns with the State’s eligibility tiers.

Vaccine supply remains limited and the County continues to focus on vaccinating eligible individuals at local community clinics and residents in lower-income and harder to reach neighborhoods.

Residents should check with their primary care provider and pharmacies for appointments.

All residents regardless of current eligibility can sign up for the County’s notification tool to receive updates about the County’s vaccine rollout.

The County notification tool is available in Spanish, Chinese simplified and traditional, and Tagalog. Through Google translate, the form is also available in multiple other languages. 

Residents should also sign up for the state’s MyTurn tool, which is expected to offer online appointment scheduling in our area in the coming weeks.

Equity Focus in Vulnerable Communities
Nearly 284,000 people in San Mateo County have received a dose of COVID-19 vaccine (44.2 percent of residents age 16 and older) and nearly half of those – 135,000 – are fully vaccinated, San Mateo County Health announced Wednesday in an update on countywide vaccination efforts.

As of March 25, 2021, vaccination of eligible residents ages 16 and older in the most vulnerable communities (referred to as the Health Equity Quartile of the Healthy Places Index, or HPI) reached 33.3 percent, compared with the overall county vaccinated rate of 44.2 percent.

The County’s recent shift away from large mass vaccination sites to focus on targeted community clinics is aiming to close the gap. Similarly, the gap in testing positivity between the countywide average and lowest Healthy Places Index tracts continues to close (countywide: 0.9 percent; HPI communities: 1.5 percent).

Postcards, Outreach in East Palo Alto, Belle Haven
All households in East Palo Alto and the Belle Haven neighborhood of Menlo Park have received a multi-lingual postcard encouraging them to sign up for County Health’s vaccine notification tool and the state’s MyTurn system.

The Office of Community Affairs developed the multi-lingual postcard and is working with community groups to help spread the word about vaccine eligibility and local vaccine clinics targeting in areas highly impacted by the virus.

Since the postcard began arriving to residences in East Palo Alto the week of March 15, registration for County Health’s notification tool has grown by 611 individuals, an increase of 75 percent.

Thank you to Nuestra Casa, one of our COVID-19 Community Action Teams, for helping distribute flyers for the North Fair Oaks Vaccine Clinic during their food distribution on Wednesday.

New COVID-19 Testing Site at Redwood City’s Red Morton Park
Safe, easy and no-cost testing is widely available at County-sponsored locations for everyone who works or lives in San Mateo County regardless of symptoms.

Testing sites are located across San Mateo County, including a new site at Redwood City’s Red Morton Park. For locations and to make an appointment, visit www.smcgov.org/testing.

Appointments at all locations are strongly encouraged.

County Manager Media Briefing
County Manager Mike Callagy provides an update on the County’s response to COVID-19 and answers questions from Bay Area media at a video news conference Wednesday, March 31, 2021. The full video is posted here: https://youtu.be/GzdftCn34-o

Fitzgerald Marine Reserve Reopens May 3
The popular Fitzgerald Marine Reserve will reopen on Monday, May 3, 2021.

Rangers and staff from County Parks are counting on every visitor to help by following the reserve’s tidepool etiquette and COVID-19 safety guidelines.

This includes maintaining at least six feet of distance from those not in your household and at least 300 feet from any marine mammal. Learn more and read about the reserve’s Tidepool Etiquette.

Second installment of property taxes is due April 10
The Tax Collector’s office is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday by appointment only to help protect employees and the public by eliminating overcrowding and reducing the potential spread of COVID-19. The second installment of secured taxes is due April 10, 2021.

For appointments and information on paying your taxes via mail or online, go to https://tax.smcgov.org.

For information on COVID-19 penalties and general FAQs, go to https://tax.smcgov.org/covid19-penalty-faq.

Grants Available for Operators of Shuttered Live Venues, Museums
The U.S. Small Business Administration has launched a portal where operators of live performing arts groups, museums and other venues can learn about the new Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) application process. Applications will be accepted starting April 8, 2021.

As the SBA prepares to open the SVOG applications, the dedicated SBA website, http://www.sba.gov/svogrant, which includes frequently asked questions, video tutorials (including one on how to get registered in SAM.gov), a preliminary application checklist and eligibility requirements, is the best source for program information.

COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program Open for Applications
The state's COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program began accepting applications Monday, March 15, 2021. Both landlords and renters can apply.

The effort is designed to help low-income Californians through the payment of back rent to landlords.

Eligible landlords may receive 80 percent of an eligible tenant's unpaid rent for the period between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021. More information is available along with how to apply at  https://housing.ca.gov/covid_rr/index.html

For eligibility and application help, you can the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Call Center at 833-430-2122.

COVID-19 Vaccine Dose Allocation Dashboard
County Health now publishes a dashboard showing the pathways COVID-19 vaccine reaches San Mateo County and how those doses are allocated through County Health, health care systems, pharmacies and other distribution systems.

The dashboard provides a summary of doses delivered to San Mateo County Health and partners. Vaccine is allocated for those who live in or work in San Mateo County. As such, the dashboard cannot be directly compared to the vaccine totals dashboard, which reflects only those who live in San Mateo County.

COVID-19 Case Counts
County Health reports a total of 40,424 total cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday, March 31, 2021. Deaths attributed to COVID-19 stand at 547.

Additional information such as cases by age group, cases by race/ethnicity and deaths by age is available at https://www.smchealth.org/data-dashboard/county-data-dashboard

211 Call Center
Residents with non-medical, non-emergency questions about the coronavirus can call 211 at any time, day or night.

Callers from landlines and cellular telephones located within San Mateo County are connected with a trained service professional from 211, a confidential service available in 180 languages.

Volunteers Needed: How to Help Your Community

The County of San Mateo is shifting away from large-scale mass vaccinations sites and towards smaller, targeted clinics in communities in need.

To ensure that the residents in those communities are aware of these clinics, the Office of Community Affairs is canvassing neighborhoods and dropping off flyers about the vaccination events. If you would like to volunteer to assist with these outreach efforts, please fill out the Volunteer Survey here.