|Greetings ~ |
I hope this message finds you well and drying out a bit from the recent atmospheric storm. As always, things are very busy in our beautiful District 5. The topic generating the most emails and voice messages this week is the confusion and frustration surrounding vaccinations. I understand the sense of urgency to get a vaccine and feel frustrated myself that it is not possible to vaccinate everyone who wants one immediately. Additionally, the changing guidelines pose many difficult questions. Each morning, my team hears from many of you with messages conveying your frustrations. I ask for your patience as we navigate this current phase of COVID challenges – which has been difficult every step of the way. For those of you who may be wondering, I have not had a COVID vaccine. It is not my turn yet, so I have signed up for the state’s MyTurn system to be notified when it is my turn. Click this link to sign yourself up for MyTurn. https://myturn.ca.gov/
Many of our constituents are 75 years+ and eligible to register online for vaccine appointments, but understandably, many are having a hard time navigating the system. (I have a hard time navigating it myself!). Sometimes it is because all the appointments are already taken, or because Google Chrome is needed to register, or simply because it is difficult registering online in general. My team has offered to help folks experiencing difficulty until there is an established hotline number to call for support. That hotline should be up and running soon.
Right now, my office is trying to stay updated on available appointments (by refreshing the page on the County’s website and that of CHOMP) and, as time permits, calling back constituents who are 75+ and have asked for help. We go over the information needed while on the phone, and click through or enter all of the information until the appointment is (hopefully) confirmed. In some instances, the sign-up process is cumbersome and time-consuming. Unfortunately, our capacity to help is limited and we may not be able to help everyone who calls. We will do what we can to assist until the hotline is ready and available to fill the need for those without a computer, internet access, or who have difficulty navigating the online system, so please be patient. If you have left a message or sent an email, rest assured you have been added to our list and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
In addition to our COVID-19 challenges, the devastation caused by the atmospheric river in many areas of District 5 remains at the top of the list. County staff have been assessing the damages over the last week. We will have more information to share during the Fire Recovery webinar on Thursday (see information below). We are working with County staff, other legislative offices, and State and Federal agencies to plan for repairs on County roads and other public facilities. We also are doing what we can to make resources available for private property owners. It is heartbreaking to see the continued impacts from the 2020 fires on so many of you. What a hard and traumatic time this has been.
I continue to have faith for better days ahead, and hope that you can share some of my optimism. My thoughts remain with you and your loved ones. Please stay well and enjoy a Happy Valentine’s Day.
|COVID-19 Vaccine UpdateCalifornia is continuing to adjust the Statewide Vaccine Phases. Monterey County has been vaccinating healthcare workers and residents 75+. California’s latest adjustment will allow individuals in Phase 1b including ages 65+ and at risk of exposure at work in the following industry sectors: Education & Child CareEmergency ServicesFood and Agriculture Our biggest constraint with the vaccine distribution continues to be the amount of doses we are allocated each week. Monterey County’s capacity to administer vaccines is 17,100 doses per week, but we currently only receive a supply of 2,000-4,000 doses per week. Monterey County has secured sites that will be used for large scale vaccination clinics for when we begin to get greater supplies. Until we receive more vaccine allocations, we will continue to focus on the most at-risk residents in Monterey County. As you may know, the reason we do not receive the number of vaccines neighboring counties do is because we do not have any Multi-County Entities (MCEs) in our county. MCEs are those health care facilities present in multiple counties such as Kaiser, Sutter and Dignity. They are allocated an additional amount of vaccine before the rest of us get ours. Options for Veterans |
The VA Palo Alto has received approval to administer 600 doses of Moderna vaccine at the Gourley Clinic in Marina, CA on Saturday, February 13, 2021. As of now appointments are limited to Veterans in the area who are 75 years old and above.
To schedule an appointment, local veterans may call VA Palo Alto at (650) 496-2535 Monday through Friday between 8AM and 6PM. Second dose vaccines will be available 28 days later to those who receive the first dose on February 13.
The Palo Alto Website will be regularly updated to share new vaccine information through the VA. https://www.paloalto.va.gov/services/covid-19-vaccines.asp Thank you Congressman Jimmy Panetta and Monterey County Military & Veterans Affairs for your strong support of Monterey County veterans.
|COVID-19 Metrics Update|
|COVID-19 data in Monterey County is trending in the right direction. The cases and case rates are decreasing, ICU capacity has improved and is now up to 37% availability. This change means more lives may be saved as well as moving the county closer to levels which could reopen K-6 schools. |
The adjusted case rate has continued to decline, and although we are in the purple tier, these trends are showing that we are getting closer to the red tier within the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The diligence of Monterey County residents who continue to social distance, wear masks and wash their hands regularly are responsible for this improvement in our situation. We are so thankful for everyone’s efforts to keep working together and heading in the right direction.
|Fire Recovery Townhall Webinar – Thursday, February 11, 2021, 5:30 to 7:30 pm We are continuing the fire recovery townhalls for residents impacted by the River, Carmel and Dolan Fires, as well as those who sustained damages from debris flows and flooding during last week’s atmospheric river. Please join us this Thursday, February 11, 2021, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. for a continued discussion with our emergency responders and others supporting the recovery process. There will be ample time for questions and answers. |
Online: https://montereycty.zoom.us/j/93445800301 and enter Passcode: 675448
OR Via Telephone: 1-669-900-6833 Webinar ID: 934 4580 0301
|Support for Small Businesses|
|The Monterey County Workforce Development Board, on which I serve, is providing a second round of financial assistance to local small businesses that have experienced a loss of revenue due to COVID-19. The Monterey County CARES Small Business Relief Program provides up to $10,000 in grant-funded reimbursement for eligible COVID-19 related operating expenses to businesses with 5-25 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees. |
NOTE: The application period is now open until February 22, 2021. Please visit the Monterey County Workforce Development Board’s website or https://www.montereycountywdb.org/monterey-county-cares/ for more information and for the online application.
|Community Feedback for Transportation Agency for Monterey County The Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC) and Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST) would like feedback on the SURF! Busway and Bus Rapid Transit Project. |
If you are interested in supporting this effort, please take the survey. Just click on this link