Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Federal COVID-19 Task Force held a Press Conference this morning at the White House. Gov. Newsom gave a comprehensive update at his Press Conference this afternoon. In addition, Johanna and I sat in on a call with Congresswoman Jackie Speier and San Mateo County Health Officer, Dr Scott Morrow and a separate call from Congresswoman Anna Eshoo.
Here’s what we know:
852 Confirmed COVID-19 cases in California.
80 Confirmed cases in San Mateo County
50 Confirmed in San Francisco County.
15 Californians have died, as of last night.
Dr Scott Morrow, San Mateo County Health Official stated “The current situation in San Mateo County is somewhere between Dire and Catastrophic, we simply do not have the capacity to care for all those who will become infected with this virus”. Congresswoman Anna Eshoo stated “This is the single most challenging time, in our Nation’s History”.
The guidelines for our vulnerable population are now anyone above the age of 50 or anyone with underlying health conditions (Heart, Lung, Diabetes, Immune Deficient). Lives will depend on all residents following the guidelines and orders being issued.
“Shelter at Home” Orders have been issued for 8 Bay Area Counties
These orders state that non-essential workers are to remain home.
Essential Business/Employees include:
Public Safety Police Fire Sheriff CHP Prison Guards
Health Care & Pharmacies
Business & Trades that provide essential service.
Government Food & Grocery Utilities Gasoline Day Care Providers
For more information re: San Mateo County “Shelter In Place Order” please go to: https://www.smcgov.org/shelter-place-faqs or Call 211 to reach the San Mateo County COVID-19 call center. The call center answers non-emergency calls 24/7.
12,600 Californians have been tested
3,215 of these tests are still awaiting results.
Currently, testing is still limited to vulnerable populations who have a known exposure or experiencing significant symptoms of the COVID-19 Virus. Testing is currently taking place at Stanford and Kaiser Permanente. In Addition, Verily Life Sciences has begun a Pilot COVID-19 Drive Through Testing Program. For more information please go to: https://verily.com Each of these locations hope to increase their ability to test up to 1K residents by next week.
Testing costs will be covered by the Federal Government to ensure everyone who meets the requirements for testing will not be turned away for the inability to pay. The President is expected to sign a Bill in the next 24 that will include 4.2 Billion in Medicaid funding for the state of California to cover the cost COVID-19 testing.
Benefits & Resources:
A Stimulus Package is being drafted as I write this briefing. Congresswoman Speier is pushing for the expansion and extension of Unemployment Benefits (which cover roughly 67% of employees wages), over the purposed 2K per person payments, paid over a six month period of time. While some areas in our Country maybe able to sustain themselves on 2K dollars per person over 6 months, the high cost of housing in our region makes this all but impossible here. For more information on Unemployment and/or Disabilty benefits please go to: https://www.edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019.htm
Congresswoman Speier stated the 3rd Stage of the Stimulus package is expected to include Mortgage Abeyance provisions to assist with mortgages for both landlords and homeowners. In addition, Governor Gavin Newsom has authorized local governments to place a moratorium on eviction through May 31, 2020.
Local small businesses will be hit particularly hard during this pandemic. Residents are encouraged to support local restaurants offering take-out service. Take out service is considered safe, if all protocol are being followed. Fresh produce is also considered safe but, must be washed thoroughly.
Small Business Loans will be offered up to 2 million dollars at an interest rate of 3.75% with terms as long as 30 years. The interest rate non-profits is 2.75%. For more information please go to: https://www.sba.gov In addition, the State of California has a Cal-Cap program for small business owners. For more information please go to: https://www.treasurer.ca.gov/cpcfa/calcap/sb/index.asp
Hospital Beds Medical Equipment & Supplies:
Both of our Congresswomen are aware of the shortage of PPE’s (Personal Protection Equipment) for our Health Care Workers.
Governor Newsom has formally requested the following from the US Dept of Defense:
PPE’s - gloves, N-95 masks, face shields and gowns
Respirators and Ventilators
California does not have enough ICU/Hospital beds to meet the current projected models. The gap is roughly 20K beds. The Governor has requested the use of the US Navy Hospital Ship, USNS MERCY to care for COVID-19 patients. Two "Mobile Hospitals" have also been requested.
As of right now property taxes remain due on April 10th.
State and Federal Income Taxes:
Congresswoman Speier is purposing the deadline to file federal taxes also be extended to match the extension to pay federal taxes. Residents who anticipate receiving a tax refund are strongly encouraged to file your income taxes as soon as possible. Free tax filing software can be found: https://www.hrblock.com/online-tax-filing/free-online-tax-filing/ Information on State taxes can be found at: https://www.ftb.ca.gov and Federal Taxes at https://www.irs.gov
The state of California is requesting local law enforcement agencies relax enforcement on expired vehicle registration and driver’s license renewals, for the next 60 days. For more information go to:
Today, 50 residents from Redwood City's Maple Street Shelter were moved into a local area hotel/motel to adhere to the 6ft social distancing guidelines. Governor Newsom has allocated 100 million dollars in funding for cities and counties for the care for our unhoused residents during this pandemic. An additional 50 million dollars is being allocated for hotel/motel rooms to provide shelter and care for unhoused residents who become infected with COVID-19
That’s all for tonight. Until tomorrow, be kind, be considerate, and, if possible, be of service.
COVID-19 Information & Resources
San Mateo County Website
Questions re: “Shelter in Place Orders”
San Mateo County COVID-19 PUBLIC CALL CENTER:
Call 211 For non-emergency, non-medical questions open 24/7
San Mateo County Health Department
State of California
Federal Government: Centers of Disease Control
City of Redwood City
State of California DMV
California Franchise Tax Board
Internal Revenue Service
Financial Help & Resources
What is being to help you and your family during this pandemic?
State of California Unemployment & Disability Benefits
Small Business Administration
Cal-Cap Program for Small Business:
Verily-Life Sciences-Covid-19 Testing
Second Harvest Food Bank
Fair Oaks Community Center
RCEF COVID-19 Family Relief Fund
Receive the latest updates from your elected *Representatives
Congresswoman Anna Eshoo https://eshoo.house.gov
Congresswoman Jackie Speier www.speier.house.gov/home
*I strongly recommend signing up for both