Editor’s note: Amid the outbreak of the new coronavirus in Santa Cruz County, the Good Times team is gathering resources to help our community navigate this evolving situation. We’re proud of the action being taken by our readers and our leaders who are doing what’s best for public health. We’re continuing to cover the latest on the coronavirus and its impacts locally.
This is a time when local businesses and community groups need our support more than ever. We’re writing about interesting local musicians, important music and film releases, and many other things you can check out as some things continually virtually and others reopen. Below, we’re also compiling resources to help you find information about the Covid-19 pandemic and action you can take now in the community, from finding business assistance to learning about ways to support the arts or volunteer with nonprofit groups helping those in need.
Write to us at [email protected] to let us know what else we should share here.
Find Business Assistance
- The Santa Cruz County Chamber of Commerce has a resource kit for businesses with tips about preventing workplace exposure, financial resources, and more: santacruzchamber.org/covid-19.html
- The City of Santa Cruz has information for impacted businesses, including details on disaster loans: choosesantacruz.com/information-for-businesses-in-response-to-covid-19
- Disaster assistance is available to all California small businesses that are economically impacted by the coronavirus: oesnews.com/sba-amends-disaster-declaration/
Check out the Explore Santa Cruz 2020 magazine for a guide to help you discover the best things to do and places to go across Santa Cruz County, with a focus on what’s open for business.
Arts and Entertainment
Venues are exploring creative ways of remaining financially sustainable until they can reopen. We will add to the list here as more information becomes available about ways to support local arts and entertainment:
- Bookshop Santa Cruz: Offering curbside pickup and online ordering: bookshopsantacruz.com/bookshops-response-covid-19
- DNA’s Comedy Lab: To donate, go to fundraising.fracturedatlas.org/dna-s-comedy-lab.
- Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History: Offering ways to engage online: santacruzmah.org/blog
- Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History: Offering a virtual “The Museum at Your Side” experience: santacruzmuseum.org
- Santa Cruz Symphony: Established a Musician Relief Fund to support musicians affected by the lack of work during the coronavirus outbreak: santacruzsymphony.org/musician-relief-fund
Dining and Shopping
Many local restaurants are offering curbside takeout. Dining options may vary depending on the latest health orders.
- Businesses across Santa Cruz County that are open for delivery, takeout and online orders are being added to lists here:
- Buy gift cards to local businesses: rideoutthewave.org
- Find food takeout and delivery options from downtown Santa Cruz: downtownsantacruz.com/downtown-delivered
- Find information about downtown Santa Cruz businesses that have online stores, offer pickup or delivery, and sell gift cards online: downtownsantacruz.com/shoponline
Community groups and nonprofits
Local groups that help those in need even when our community is not grappling with a public health emergency are feeling the strain of trying to continue their services amid all of the upheavals.
Many groups are seeking volunteers or looking to get the word out about services they are providing to those in need. We will add to the list here as more information becomes available about ways to pitch in:
Community Foundation Santa Cruz County created a COVID-19 Local Response Fund with a focus on assisting residents facing financial hardships caused by the public health emergency. The fund will provide financial support for groups in Santa Cruz County that serve vulnerable populations amid the COVID-19 response.
Tax-deductible donations can be made at cfscc.org/donate/COVID. Donations will be accepted as long as the need continues. Contact the Community Foundation at 662-2061 or [email protected] for help making a donation.
Community Bridges expanded its Lift Line services to all Santa Cruz County seniors over the age of 60 and people with disabilities, regardless of income. The program provides free transportation for grocery store trips and essential medical appointments. To schedule, call Lift Line at 688-9663, Monday-Friday 8am-4pm or Saturday-Sunday 8am-3:30pm. If possible, call one or two days in advance.
Meals on Wheels
All Santa Cruz County seniors over age 65 are eligible to receive home-delivered meals through Meals on Wheels, regardless of income level. A suggested donation of $2.50 per meal is requested, but no senior will be denied if they can’t pay. Those looking to receive home meal deliveries can download an application at communitybridges.org/mealsonwheels and email completed applications to [email protected].
Those able to volunteer can contact Grace Mora at [email protected] or 479-1055 at extension 241.
Volunteers created a hub of information to help with technical support for students who are learning at home and residents who are working from home. They are offering support with networking or technical issues, and they are looking for people willing to help provide this kind of assistance. To learn more, visit cruz.one.
The NESTcorps is sharing resources including health and mental health tips, food assistance, shelter assistance, educational assistance for students, and more here: sites.google.com/view/covidresourcesscc/
The state has a blueprint for what can be open and closed, which will change for each county depending on local health trends. There’s also local information available from Santa Cruz County, including the SAVE Lives Santa Cruz County partnership.
- Santa Cruz County provides regular updates on the coronavirus, including the latest tally of confirmed cases: santacruzhealth.org/coronavirus
- You can also call 211, or text “coronavirus” to 211211, for more county info.
- Santa Cruz County officials set up a call center to help direct residents’ questions about the coronavirus outbreak. You can call 454-4242 from 8am-6pm, Monday-Friday. Residents will be directed to the appropriate resources when calling that number.
- Citing “overwhelming call volume,” the county is asking people to refrain from calling the County’s Public Health Division or Communicable Disease Unit.
- City of Santa Cruz updates: cityofsantacruz.com/community/city-newsroom/response-to-covid-19
- City of Watsonville updates: cityofwatsonville.org/1915/Novel-Coronavirus-COVID-19
- Statewide information: cdph.ca.gov/covid19
- Federal information: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- The Santa Cruz County Office of Education is providing regular updates with resources for teachers, parents, students, administrators and support staff: santacruzcoe.org/superintendent/health-and-wellness/coronavirus/
- COE also has resources including:
- Activity ideas for parents: https://sites.google.com/pvusd.net/pvusdparentideas/home
- Assistance for internet service at home: sccoe.link/internet
- Map of food services distributions: sccoe.link/coronavirus
Mental health and wellness resources: sccoe.link/wellness
- Santa Cruz METRO has made some protocol changes for riders. Learn more at scmtd.com.
The new coronavirus, or COVID-19, presents a serious risk for some groups, particularly people over 60 years old and people with certain pre-existing medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and lung diseases.
Symptoms of COVID-19 can be similar to the flu, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The symptoms can take two to 14 days to appear after exposure. People showing symptoms of COVID-19 are encouraged to contact their health care provider, especially if they have traveled to areas with an outbreak of the disease or had contact with a person known to have COVID-19.
Santa Cruz County public health officials urge community members to take precautions to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Health recommendations include:
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water, rubbing for at least 20 seconds
- Use at least 60% alcohol-based sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hand, or use a tissue and discard
- Avoid shaking hands
- Don’t touch your face with unwashed hands
- Regularly clean surfaces touched by many people using normal household cleaners
- Stay home from work or school if you are sick
- Get a flu shot to protect yourself and others from flu, which has similar symptoms to COVID-19
- Call your health care provider if you experience symptoms of COVID-19