Feb. 11, 2021: Update on County Response to COVID-19: Move to Expand Vaccinations to Eligible Essential Workers; Testing Widely Available; Local Video in Spanish Addressing Vaccine Concerns
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:
County Moves to Expand COVID-19 Vaccinations to Eligible Essential Workers
The County of San Mateo beginning February 22 will expand COVID-19 vaccinations to teachers and child care providers, first responders and food and agricultural workers who are eligible under the state’s Phase 1B as supply allows.
Following the state’s tier system, the County in partnership with private providers has focused on immunizing health care workers, residents of long-term care facilities and seniors since the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines became available in December. As of this week a third of seniors ages 65 and older in San Mateo County have received the first dose of vaccine.
This effort will expand on February 22 to include eligible essential workers such as educators, child care providers, law and enforcement and food and agricultural workers, which includes certain grocery store employees, as limited vaccine supply allows.
Applications Open Soon for Restaurant, Brewery and Winery Relief Program
The Restaurant, Brewery and Winery Relief Program will provide a limited number of grants of up to $10,000 each to qualifying establishments in San Mateo County to cover expenses required to ensure continued operation, including but not limited to:
· Facility modifications needed to accommodate on-site indoor and outdoor dining
The application portal will be open February 22 to March 8, 2021. Learn more at www.smcstrong.org.
Board of Supervisors Vote to Join Statewide Emergency Rental Assistance Program
Renters who lost jobs and income due to COVID-19 and who meet additional requirements may be eligible for debt and eviction protections.
The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to a proposal by the County’s Human Services Agency to opt in to the Statewide Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which will make millions of dollars in state and federal relief available to qualified renters.
Applications for rental relief and further information regarding eligibility, funding amounts, fraud and privacy protections will be available in the coming weeks. The Program will be administered by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), and is in the process of developing the portal, multi-lingual application and call center. The County will assist with outreach, application assistance, and monitor how the state program performs to ensure eligible residents are successful in receiving assistance.
Testing Widely Available in San Mateo County
Testing for COVID-19 is widely available across San Mateo County, including a newly opened dedicated site at the College of San Mateo.
The County of San Mateo offers no-cost testing for everyone who lives or works in the county – regardless of symptoms.
Drive-through testing for adults and children is available at locations in North Fair Oaks, San Bruno, Daly City and East Palo Alto, in addition to the College of San Mateo.
For details and to make an appointment, visit the County’s testing site. Note days and times as well as ages of eligible children vary by location. The site also includes a link to a State of California searchable map of testing locations.
Vacuna COVID-19: Mi Cuerpo, Mi Mente, Mi Bienestar, Mi Comunidad
COVID-19 Vaccine: My Body, My Mind, My Wellness, My Community
A Facebook Live event addressing community concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine was hosted in Spanish this week on the County of San Mateo's Facebook page. It includes tips to avoid health, labor and social inequities, and the psycho-emotional effects of the pandemic.
The Spanish-speaking conversation featured panelists including:
· A Stanford University infectious diseases associate professor
· The County Health equity officer
· A Legal Aid at Work representative
· Mental health specialists
The event was organized and hosted by San Mateo County Health's Office of Diversity and Equity, Office of Consumer and Family Affairs, and the County's Office of Community Affairs and can be viewed here:
Health Order Business Compliance
The County believes most businesses and individuals want to comply with state and local health orders to keep themselves and the community safe. The primary focus is on education and voluntary compliance.
The County’s Business Engagement team has begun outreach to Cantonese-, Mandarin- and Vietnamese-speaking businesses with visits to 49 establishments.
Overall, the County has received a total of 1,342 complaints as of Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021, about possible COVID-19 health and violations. Of those, 90 percent have been abated, meaning the violation was either not found or was corrected on the spot. Other cases are in progress or under further investigation.
County inspectors have written 122 warnings and 28 citations. Learn more about reporting and appeals.
Great Plates Delivered: Funding extended through March 8, 2021
Great Plates delivers three free restaurant-quality meals a day to older adults in San Mateo County who are at heightened risk due to COVID-19 and are unable to obtain or prepare meals on their own while sheltering in place during the coronavirus outbreak.
Digital Equity Portal Helps Students, Public Find WiFi Locations
The County of San Mateo now provides an online hub showing a user’s nearest free and safe public WiFi access points.
Go to www.smcgov.org/wifi to find libraries, schools, County-sponsored access points and other locations with free and safe WiFi. The innovative service directs users to the nearest access point via Google maps.
The service – unveiled at Tuesday’s meeting of the Board of Supervisors – is the latest innovation to help students plug in to distance learning during the pandemic. It also helps the economy by allowing anyone with a smart device to connect with work or to find out about public services and job opportunities. Read the news release.
COVID-19 Vaccinations and Case Count
A total of 84,783 individuals (0ut of the county population of approximately 780,000) have received a first dose of vaccine as of Sunday, Feb. 7, 2012. Nearly 20,000 have completed the two-dose vaccine series, according to publicly available data dashboards.
County Health has reported 37,437 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Note: The total number of cases has more than doubled since Dec. 7, 2020, when a total of 18,295 cases were reported.
Total number of deaths attributed to the disease is 447. More than three out of four deaths have occurred to individuals age 70 and older.
Residents with non-medical, non-emergency questions about the coronavirus can call 211 or 800-273-6222 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.