COVID-19 Updates and Resources
My team is working closely with state and county public health agencies to share accurate information with our community and to keep vulnerable people safe from COVID-19. As developments continue, this page will be updated.
UPDATES FROM THE GOVERNOR
On Jan. 5, 2021, Governor Newsom announced his Equitable Recovery for California’s Businesses and Jobs plan, the business and workforce recovery elements of his 2021-22 State Budget that will help California through the COVID-19 pandemic and advance an equitable, broad-based recovery. Watch the Governor provide a brief overview of his Equitable Recovery for California’s Businesses and Jobs plan here.
UPDATES FROM SANTA CLARA COUNTY
As of Jan. 25, 2021, the State of California announced the lifting of its Regional Stay at Home Order for all regions statewide, including the Bay Area. Effective today, Santa Clara County has returned to the Purple Tier of the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, with some additional local restrictions remaining in place. Outdoor dining may resume, as well as personal care services and professional, collegiate, and adult and youth sports. The County’s mandatory travel quarantine remains in place, requiring a 10-day quarantine for most people who travel into the county from more than 150 miles away. As always, businesses and individuals must follow both the State and County Health Officer orders, and where there is a conflict between the two, the stricter rules must be followed.
COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise. The Health Officer has issued new and revised risk reduction directives to slow the spread and protect hospital capacity. Also, effective November 30, 2020, you must quarantine for 14 days after traveling more than 150 miles from Santa Clara County. To see other changes, visit: www.sccgov.org/cv19summary.
- Los casos de COVID-19 y las hospitalizaciones continúan aumentando. La oficial de salud emitió nuevas directivas para frenar la propagación y proteger la capacidad de hospitales efectivas hoy, noviembre 30. También debe ponerse en cuarentena por 14 días después de viajar 150 millas fuera de Condado de Santa Clara. Visite: www.sccgov.org/cv19summary-es.
- Số ca nhiễm bệnh và nhập viện Covid-19 ngày càng tăng cao. Giám đốc Sở Y Tế đã ban hành và sửa đổi các giới hạn và Chỉ Thị Bắt Buộc để làm giảm sự lây lan và giúp hệ thống bệnh viện bảo toàn khả năng chữa bệnh. Lệnh này sẽ có hiệu lực vào Thứ Hai tới. Thêm vào đó, những ai đi ra ngoài hạt Santa Clara quá 150 dặm sẽ phải cách ly 14 ngày sau khi trở về. Để biết thêm chi tiết, vui lòng vào trang: www.sccgov.org/cv19summary-vi.
- 新冠肺炎病例和住院人數持續增加。衛生局長發布了將在星期一生效的新的修訂版降低風險指，來減緩病毒傳播，確保醫院的負荷能力。從星期一開始，若您從離聖縣150英里以外出行返回，必須自我檢疫14天。欲知其他變更，請參閱: www.sccgov.org/cv19summary-zh.
- Patuloy na tumataas ang mga kaso at na-oospital sa COVID-19. Ang Opisyal ng Pangkalusugan ay nagpalabas ng bago at mga binagong direktiba ng pagbabawas ng panganib upang mapabagal ang pagkalat at maprotektahan ang kapasidad ng ospital, epektibo sa Lunes. Epektibo rin sa Lunes, ikaw ay dapat magkuwarantina ng 14 na araw pagkatapos mong bumiyahe nang higit sa 150 na milya mula sa Santa Clara County. Para makita ang ibang pagbabago, bumisita sa: www.sccgov.org/cv19summary-tl.
More information and regular updates can be found on the Santa Clara County Public Health website and below are links to "Frequently Asked Questions" about local Public Health Orders:
- Link to Frequently Asked Questions (English)
- Orden de Quedarse en Casa de la Oficial de Salud del Condado de Santa Clara (Spanish)
- Lệnh Ở Yên Tại Nhà của Viên Chức Y Tế Công Cộng Hạt Santa Clara (Vietnamese)
- 當前居家避疫解釋 (Chinese)
WHAT WE CAN ALL DO
- If you think you might be sick:
- Call ahead: If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough or shortness of breath), call your health care provider before seeking medical care so that appropriate precautions can be taken. More than 100 community testing sites also offer free, confidential testing: Find a COVID-19 Testing Site.
- Stop the spread of germs – hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds, wear a cloth face mask when out in public, avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands, cover a cough or sneeze with your sleeve, or disposable tissue, and wash your hands afterwards
- Stay connected and follow guidance from public health officials
- Practice social distancing
- Wear a mask when out in public
- Stay away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough
- Don't leave the house except for essential activities
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Share only verified information from health agencies and trusted sources
WHAT CALIFORNIA IS DOING
Directed Californians to stay at home to slow the spread of the virus
Made testing free for most Californians who are medically eligible for testing
Ensured students continue to learn and get meals even when schools physically close
Deployed the California National Guard to work at food banks
Distributed millions of N95 masks and other protective gear to health care workers
Secured travel trailers and hotels to house people experiencing homelessness
- California Department of Public Health:
- Santa Clara County Public Health:
- Santa Clara County Office of Education:
- Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development:
- California Employment Development Department (EDD):
- California Labor and Workforce Development Agency:
- California Department of Education:
- California Immigrant Resource Guide:
- California Department of Aging:
- Administration for Community Living:
- San Jose State University:
If you have questions or need more information, do not hesitate to contact my office at (916) 319-2027 or email me.
If you need a COVID-19 test, don’t wait! A high rate of testing helps identify and stop the spread of COVID-19 cases, and is one of the factors that is helping our county reopen under the new State regulations. Some testing sites are listed below, but there are many more throughout the county. For a full list of COVID-19 testing sites in Santa Clara County, go to www.sccfreetest.org or call 2-1-1. The County offers support options for people who test positive or have been in contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive. If you need help with food, bills, or a place to stay while you isolate or quarantine, please call 408-808-7770 to learn about support services from the County of Santa Clara.
- Appointments Available for Testing in San José, Campbell, and Palo Alto: Getting tested for COVID-19 is convenient and easy, and now there’s more lead time offered for scheduling an appointment through an improved online portal. Appointments can be made at the rotating city-based sites a week in advance, and five days in advance at the ongoing Santa Clara County Fairgrounds operation. Appointments can be made at www.sccfreetest.org, where you can also find a complete list of testing options. Valley Medical Center testing sites can now provide automated results via text message – often as soon as the day after the test is administered.
OLSE provides a free Advice Line for businesses and workers seeking information or assistance with labor standards compliance or workplace issues. Operators can provide limited advice, information, referrals to other agencies, and schedule appointments for direct assistance. The Advice Line is staffed by non-profit partners, including lawyers who speak Spanish, English, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and Mandarin, who help people fill out the unemployment forms and answer legal questions.
You can choose to remain anonymous when calling the OLSE Advice Line. Call 1-866-870-7725 (toll free).
For info on fighting evictions or public benefits issues during the COVID-19 pandemic, resources are available through Bay Area Legal Aid (BayLegal):
BayLegal's Legal Advice Line (LAL) is 1-800-551-5554, and operates Monday-Thursday, from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., though they will stay open later if they have capacity. The LAL handles legal matters related to:
- Housing discrimination or loss of housing, including evictions and problems related to housing subsidies (like loss of a Section 8 voucher)
- Public benefits matters, including appeals of denials, terminations, and overpayments of various state and federal public benefits, such as SSI, CalFresh, CalWORKs, veterans benefits, and benefits for immigrant crime victims
- Family law or immigration matters for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, or human trafficking
- Questions related to public charge
- Consumer rights, including protection from predatory lending and illegal debt collection
- Youth justice matters for court-involved or at-risk youth, including homeless youth
For the most up-to-date information on VTA and its services, visit: https://www.vta.org/covid-19:
- VTA riders must wear face coverings.
- VTA is running reduced bus service, with some routes suspended or coming less often.
- Fares are not being collected at this time.
To meet social distancing health requirements, VTA is limiting passenger capacity as follows:
- 11-20 passengers on extra-long buses: nine behind barrier, up to nine more family/household members, and two reserved seats in front
- 8-15 passengers on 40-foot buses (most routes): six behind barrier, up to six more family/household members on standard 40-foot buses (seven on hybrid 40-foot buses), and two reserved seats in front
- 7-13 passengers on 35-foot buses: five behind barrier, up to six more family/household members, and two reserved seats in front
Operators may need to turn on a "drop off only" sign and pass up customers if these limits are reached.
- San Jose Unified School District
- Franklin McKinley School District
- Mt. Pleasant Elementary School District
- Oak Grove School District
- Evergreen School District
- Alum Rock Union School District
- East Side Union High School District
- FAQs (English): http://www.esuhsd.org/documents/Home%20Page/ESUHSD_Closures_FAQs%20Revised%202020-05-04%20-English-.pdf
- Spanish: http://www.esuhsd.org/documents/Home%20Page/ESUHSD_Closures_FAQs%20Revised%202020-05-04%20-Spanish-.pdf
- Vietnamese: http://www.esuhsd.org/documents/Home%20Page/ESUHSD_Closures_FAQs%20Revised%202020-05-04%20-Vietnamese-.pdf
For more information and guidance on COVID-19 resources for schools, please visit: www.sccgov.org/sites/covid19/Pages/school-guidance.aspx
- Santa Clara Valley Medical Center
- O'Connor Hospital
- Kaiser Permanente
- Community Health Partnership
- Regional Medical Center
The Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) is leading an effort with other Bay Area philanthropic partners on a regional response to this public health crisis. The COVID-19 Regional Nonprofit Emergency Fund will be used to provide flexible operating support grants to nonprofit organizations that SVCF has pre-qualified to provide emergency-related services: food, shelter, health and mental health services to affected communities. For more information, visit: https://www.svcn.org/covid19-resources.
211 connects the community to the latest health and human services information. When people dial 2-1-1, staff are prepared to address the needs of residents through a free, confidential service available 24/7.
- Home Delivered Meals
- Errand Running and Shopping Assistance
- Senior and Health Support Services
- Transportation Options for Seniors
Paratransit for People with Disabilities:
San Andreas Regional Center:
- www.sanandreasregional.org/coronavirus/ or (408) 374-9960
At the Governor’s direction, the Employment Development Department (EDD) has launched a new call center that operates 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The EDD has several benefit programs to help you if you’re out of work or had your hours or wages reduced. Visit the Latest News for Workers for the details.
- As part of the federal CARES Act, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program helps unemployed Californians who are business owners, self-employed, independent contractors, have limited work history, and others not usually eligible for regular state UI benefits who are out of business or services are significantly reduced as a direct result of the pandemic. This program serves those who don’t usually qualify for regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits, including businesses and the self-employed, has to be developed and could rival the size of the current UI program EDD administers for unemployed workers.
- The EDD will also keep you posted on the CARES Act provision establishing a new 13-week extension of benefits paid for by the federal government when someone exhausts their regular state UI claim between March 29, 2020 and the end of 2020. This too also requires an extensive effort to implement these new extended benefits.
Benefits can be retroactive to weeks starting on or after February 2, 2020, depending on your last day of work due to COVID-19 and regardless of when you submitted your claim application. The effective date of your claim will begin the Sunday of the week when you last worked and became unemployed due to reasons directly related to COVID-19.
If you're unable to work because you're caring for a sick or quarantined family member with Coronavirus, you can file a Paid Family Leave claim here: EDD Paid Family Leave claim.
If you or a family member are sick, there may be paid sick leave or other paid leave that is available. Additionally, employees at worksites with 25 or more employees may also be provided up to 40 hours of leave per year for specific school-related emergencies, such as the closure of a child's school or day care by civil authorities (see Labor Code section 230.8). Whether that leave is paid or unpaid depends on the employer's paid leave, vacation or other paid time off policies. Discuss your options with your employer, and read more about Paid Sick Leave eligibility here: DIR Paid Sick Leave eligibility.
The Labor and Workforce Development Agency has more information about potential benefits, including informative chart displaying and explaining these benefits, here: LWD Coronavirus Resources.
The Legislature has passed SB 91, extending the State’s current eviction moratorium (AB 3088) until June 30, 2021. Under SB 91, tenants must continue to make certain declarations to qualify and can make partial payments to avoid eviction on June 30, 2021.
In addition, SB 91 will use federal funds to pay up to 80% of back rent accumulated between April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021. Landlords who choose to participate in the program will receive 80% of back rent owed due to COVID-19 impacted tenants unable to pay full rent since last March. In exchange, the rental debt accumulated by their tenants will be dismissed and tenants will be protected from eviction through June 30, 2021.
Tenants with landlords that decline to be a part of the program can still qualify for eviction protection by submitting declarations and paying at least 25% of their rent. We hope that this stopgap measure will help bring relief to renters and creates a path forward for tenants and landlords experiencing financial distress from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please visit https://housingiskey.com or call the California Housing Is Key COVID-19 Assistance Line at 1-833-422-4255 for more information.
California has increased support for California small businesses through hiring tax credits, automatic sales tax extensions, and access to capital. For more information, visit: business.ca.gov/coronavirus-2019.
"Main Street" Small Business Hiring Tax Credit
As of Dec. 3, 2020, qualified small businesses adversely impacted by COVID-19 can reserve tax credits for hiring full-time employees. There are a limited number of credits available, so be sure to reserve your credits today.
To qualify for the credit, taxpayers (employers) must:
- Have 100 or fewer employees on December 31, 2019 (all employees, including part-time employees).
- Have experienced a 50% decrease in gross receipts from April to June 2020, compared to the gross receipts in April to June 2019.
- Apply for a tentative credit reservation from CDTFA between December 1, 2020 through January 15, 2021.
For more information or to reserve your credit, click here.
Access to Capital & Technical Assistance
The California Rebuilding Fund is now taking loan applications to support California's small businesses—especially those located in economically disadvantaged and historically under-banked areas. Businesses with 50 employees or less and revenues less than $2.5 million or below in 2019 are eligible to apply.
For more information or to apply, click here.
Temporary Tax Relief and $500M in Grants to Assist Struggling Businesses
Governor Newsom announced temporary tax relief and a new grant program for businesses impacted by COVID-19. The temporary tax relief includes an automatic three-month income tax extension for taxpayers filing less than $1 million in sales tax and broader opportunities for businesses to enter into interest-free payment arrangements. The Governor also announced the creation of a $500 million COVID-19 Relief Grant program administered by the Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) for small businesses that have been impacted by health and safety restrictions implemented as a result of the pandemic. Funds will be awarded to intermediaries with established networks of Community Development Financial Institutions to distribute grants of up to $25,000 to small businesses and non-profits throughout the state by early 2021. CalOSBA is in the process of developing the program and will make it available to small businesses as soon as possible.
- For updates on the availability of this funding, see here.
- The State is also increasing funding for the California Rebuilding Fund, a low interest loan program to help impacted small businesses rebuild from the economic crisis. Learn more about all of these programs here.
- State grants for eligible non-profits, small and micro-businesses. California's Office of the Small Business Advocate is working to establish the program. For updates, please sign up here.
Additional Support for Business Owners
During this unprecedented economic time, California has taken multiple actions to support small businesses. This includes:
- Expanding eligibility for the California Earned Income Tax Credit to self-employed and small business owners.
- Waived $800 minimum franchise tax for small and medium-sized businesses during their first year of business creation.
- Exempting Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans provided to California small businesses under the CARES Act.
For a complete list of programs to support California businesses, click here.
Covered California for Small Business (CCSB) Premium Deferral Program
This new program will allow businesses that have not paid their April or May premiums to pay just 25 percent of their premiums for those months and defer the remaining amount across the rest of the year. CCSB is also providing a 30 day grace period for April and May premiums. Employers who would like to participate must contact the Covered California for Small Business service center at (877) 777-6782, or CCSB@covered.ca.gov, within 10 business days of being notified. Covered California will continue to monitor the pandemic and determine if further actions are needed to protect small businesses seeking to keep their employees covered. A press release is attached and can be found here.
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, California is providing one-time state-funded disaster relief assistance to undocumented adults who are ineligible for other forms of assistance, including assistance under the CARES Act and pandemic unemployment benefits, because of their immigration status. This state funding is expected to reach about 150,000 undocumented adults.
The California Department of Social Services selected twelve immigrant-serving nonprofit organizations to help individuals apply for and receive this disaster relief assistance in their region. An undocumented adult who qualifies can receive $500 in direct assistance, with a maximum of $1000 in assistance per household. Read frequently asked questions here.
Nonprofit organizations have completed the application intake phase of the Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants Project at this time. They will continue to work on application approval and pre-paid card disbursement until all funds have been disbursed.
California State Association of Counties and the California Association of County Treasurers and Tax Collectors announced that counties will use all existing authority to cancel penalties and other charges for homeowners, small businesses, and other property owners that are unable to pay their property taxes due to circumstances caused by COVID‐19 on a case‐by case basis. However, property owners who can pay or that haven’t been directly affected by COVID‐19, including international corporations and out‐of‐state landlords, still need to pay on time to keep critical government services running.
The State of California is working to soften the financial impact of COVID-19 on residents who are struggling to pay their mortgage and bills. Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, US Bank, Wells Fargo, and nearly 200 state-chartered banks, credit unions, and servicers have committed to providing relief for consumers and homeowners in California.
See the list of participating financial institutions.
Under the Governor’s proposal, Californians who are struggling with the COVID-19 crisis may be eligible for relief, including a 90-day grace period for all mortgage payments, after contacting their financial institution.
On April 23, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that 21 of the 24 student loan servicers operating in the state have agreed to a 90-day forbearance on payments. The relief will have no impact on credit for eligible borrowers. The Governor also announced that he had signed an executive order denying debt collectors the ability to garnish federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) act money from debtors. The retroactive order will also require reimbursements of any garnishments that took CARES act money from California residents previously. The order does not apply to people who owe child support, alimony, or victim compensation.
Consumer protection provisions have been enacted in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in California. This list covers both Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs), which are regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), and Publicly Owned Utilities (POUs). Please visit your specific utility’s webpage for more specific information about protections and benefits available to you: www.cpuc.ca.gov/covid19protections.
- For payment assistance programs, please visit www.cpuc.ca.gov/assistanceplans.
- For information about discounts on home and cell phone service available through the California LifeLine Program, please visit www.californialifeline.com/en/login for the application and www.californialifeline.com/en/provider_search to find a provider near you.
- If you have an issue with your utility and would like to file a complaint, please contact the Consumer Affairs Branch via phone at 1-800-649-7570 or via email at email@example.com.
Price gouging is illegal in California. If you or someone you know needs to file a complaint against an individual or business, you can add your claim here. On April 3, Governor Newsom signed an executive order expanding consumer protection against price gouging as California continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The order generally prohibits sellers of any kind from increasing prices on food, consumer goods, medical or emergency supplies, and certain other items by more than 10 percent. The order also gives additional tools to the California Department of Justice and Attorney General’s Office, among others, to take action against price gougers.
Governor Newsom signed an executive order to expand support for vulnerable populations by allowing 60 days waivers for In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program caseworkers their work and be able to care for older adults, as well as individuals with disabilities.
The Governor signed an executive order that will facilitate childcare for children of essential critical infrastructure workers by allowing the California Department of Education and California Department of Social Services the flexibility to waive certain programmatic and administrative requirements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Executive order can be found here.
On April 1, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a major agreement between teachers, classified employees, school boards, superintendents, and principals to work together to provide distance learning to California’s students as a result of school closures due to mitigation efforts against the COVID-19 outbreak. The agreement means more kids will be able to get school resources, such as quality distance instruction, and empowers teachers to create lessons within clear parameters.
- The agreement includes a collaboration framework for school employers and employees to work together on matters of labor and management to minimize any impact to students—including direction on implementation and delivery of distance learning, special education, and meals through the end of the school year.
On April 30, the Governor announced a new portal to help Californians working in essential sectors find safe, reliable, and accessible childcare options. Californians working in essential sectors during the coronavirus (COVID-19) response need safe, reliable, and accessible child care options. MyChildCare.ca.gov provides an interactive map of qualified licensed child care providers near you. The tool is available in English and Spanish.
Current California law circumscribes the authority of the Chief Justice during emergencies. Presiding judges of county superior courts may petition the Chief Justice—as chair of the Judicial Council—for an emergency order to support their local needs.
The law allows local courts to request a number of relief measures, including declaring holidays to recalculate filing deadlines, extending temporary restraining orders, holding sessions elsewhere in the county, extending the time for a criminal trial to be held, and others.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra issued a consumer alert about deceptive advertising related to novel coronavirus in California. Attorney General Becerra reminds all Californians to be mindful of any products or services that falsely claim to treat, diagnose, prevent, or cure COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, nor is there a medicine that treats or cures coronavirus. Individuals who have been the victim of a falsely advertised product that claims to treatment, test, or cure coronavirus are encouraged to file a complaint through Attorney General Becerra’s website at http://oag.ca.gov/report.
The DMV is providing an automatic one-year extension to Californians age 70 and older with a noncommercial driver license with an expiration date between March 1 and December 31, 2020. This action delays the requirement for this population to visit a DMV office during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Age 70 & older (noncommercial)
Age 69 & younger (noncommercial)
Commercial (all ages)
The DMV has resumed administering behind-the-wheel drive tests as of Friday, June 26. In-vehicle testing – a requirement for first-time driver license holders and commercial license applicants – has been suspended since mid-March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The DMV will automatically reschedule all canceled drive test appointments.
Employees at 169 field offices are assisting customers with current appointments at the specific office and limited transactions that require an in-person visit. The DMV continues to recommend that customers use its online services, expanded virtual services and other service channels to complete transactions, including eligible driver license and vehicle registration renewals.
The DMV's Virtual Field Office at virtual.dmv.ca.gov creates more digital options for transactions that previously required an in-person office visit. Available transactions now include:
- Vehicle title transfers (transfer of ownership) and duplicate titles
- Complex vehicle registration renewals that require additional documentation, including partial year registration for commercial vehicles
- Submission of commercial driver medical certificates
- Temporary driver license extension (drivers encouraged to renew their license online if eligible)
- Online renewals and reinstatements for vehicle salespersons
- Customers with pending virtual transactions can check the status online
For more information, please visit www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/covid-19-relief-information/.
In support of the state's efforts, California State Parks has taken various safety measures to avoid dangerous visitation surges and help prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as modifying operations of the park system.The reopening of state park units will be made with little advance notice and visitors should expect a different state park experience than they are used to. Visitors are advised to visit the webpage of their local outdoor destination before leaving home to find out if it is open, what new visitor guidelines are in effect and if parking is available.
A full closure list of park units operated by California State Parks and other park operators can be found here: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=30355. This list is dynamic and will be updated regularly. High public use indoor facilities – including museums and visitor centers – are not included in this list but continue to be fully closed.
On March 30, Governor Gavin Newsom launched a new initiative to expand California’s health care workforce and recruit health care professionals to address the COVID-19 surge. Health care professionals with an active license, public health professionals, medical retirees, medical and nursing students, or members of medical disaster response teams in California are all encouraged to join the new California Health Corps.