Dear Half Moon Bay Community (Para ver esta carta en español, oprime aquí),
I hope everyone is doing well. I’m becoming somewhat more acclimated to this new normal of ours – I hope you’re also getting more comfortable with the changes in how we live our lives. It’s not easy to change life-long habits, but let’s remember that by staying home, we’re protecting health care workers and others working on the front lines. Our efforts in staying home and practicing social distancing remain critically important– we all play a part. If anyone wants to chat, please reach out to me – I’m happy to chat via email or give you a phone call. I want you to know that I’m here for you.
Here are a few quick updates for this week.
Special remote protocols for tonight’s City Council meeting are in place. We’ll be holding a COVID-19 Study Session at 6:00 p.m., followed by our regular meeting at 7:00 p.m. Agendas are posted online. You can view the meeting on Channel 27, participate online via Zoom webinar, on Facebook in English, and on Facebook in Spanish. Participants will be able to make live public comments during the public comment portion of each item if participating via Zoom webinar. If you wish to comment on an item without participating via Zoom, please email your comment to email@example.com prior to the meeting, or prior to the close of the public comment period for that item. Comments received will be read aloud at the meeting. Please note that comments will be limited to three minutes.
The San Mateo County Public Health Officer issued a new order on Friday requiring members of the public and workers at essential businesses to wear face coverings outside the home for certain activities and in places of business. The order takes effect tonight and will be enforced beginning Wednesday morning. The order requires members of the public to wear face coverings when they are inside or in line to enter essential businesses such as grocery stores, laundromats, and pharmacies, and when they are in hospitals, clinics, COVID-19 testing locations, dentists, and facilities providing veterinary care, and when they are waiting for or riding on public transportation, including ride shares, Caltrain, and BART. For businesses, the order requires employees, contractors, owners, and volunteers to wear a face covering in the workplace and off-site when they are interacting in person with the public or working in any public space, like a reception area, restroom or service counter—regardless of whether anyone from the public is present at the time. Face coverings are also required where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution, working in or walking through common areas such as hallways, stairways, elevators, and parking facilities, and in any room or enclosed area when other people, including co-workers, are present (except for members of the person’s own household or residence).
Wearing a face covering is recommended but not required for outdoor recreation such as walking, hiking, bicycling, or running. But social distancing requirements—including maintaining at least six feet of separation from other people to the greatest extent possible—are still in place. For outdoor activities, the order recommends carrying face coverings at all times, so that they can be readily worn in situations when six-foot distancing is impossible, such as when passing on a narrow path. Runners and cyclists should avoid being directly in front of or behind another runner or cyclist who is not in the same household.
Factory-made or improvised from ordinary household materials face coverings are defined as any type of cloth, fabric, or other soft material that covers only the nose and mouth and surrounding areas of the lower face. Scarves, bandanas, neck gaiters, homemade coverings made from t-shirt material or other fabric and held with rubber bands are appropriate. Purchased masks may also be used but should not be medical grade, such as N95 respirators, which are in short supply and prioritized for health care workers.
The San Mateo County Health Officer order requiring the public and workers at essential businesses to wear face coverings is enforceable beginning at 8 a.m. tomorrow (April 22). The order and frequently asked questions are available online.
Ayudando Latinos A Soñar (ALAS) has kicked off a special care campaign, “Un Respiro de Vida / A Breath of Life,” to protect and support workers on the Coastside by providing FREE protective face masks for local essential workers. Our Farmworkers, Housecleaners, and Essential Workers need protection during this challenging COVID-19 health crisis.
The MAMAS of ALAS (parents of children participating in ALAS Arts programming), under the guidance of ALAS Arts Director Zenon Barrón, are sewing protective face masks for Farmworkers and others. Masks will be donated free of charge to the hardworking community out in the field. If you are a farmworker, custodial staff, agricultural worker, or other essential staff, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 650-560-8947.
Thank you to ALAS for taking care of our community this way.
To purchase a mask for $12 (for groups not mentioned above),
contact the Bay Area Border Relief Team, on Venmo at @Lilli-Rey.
Governor Newsom just announced a new coronavirus volunteer initiative and website, called Californians For All (californiansforall.ca.gov). The initiative seeks to organize volunteers to help others during both the coronavirus outbreak and during future times then the need for volunteer help is great. The website provides information on volunteer opportunities which range from staffing food banks, delivering meals, and tutoring, to helping at shelter facilities, making masks, donating blood, checking on neighbors, and more. For those who want to stay home but still contribute, there are also opportunities available. Governor Newsom asks that all Californians who are healthy to volunteer, do – I encourage you to visit californiansforall.ca.gov and see what you can do to help others during this difficult time.
We are still in the middle of our Census and it’s important that everyone completes theirs. As of Sunday, April 19, the City of Half Moon Bay had a 63.1 percent self-response rate, which is great and on par with, if not better than, other cities in San Mateo County. For comparison, the County overall has a 60.9 percent response rate, and the State has a 51.9 percent response rate. Even though we’re doing well, there’s always room for improvement! The Census is quick and easy to fill out, and can be completed online, by phone at 844-330-2020, or you can request a paper form be mailed to you by calling that same number. Having an accurate count of everyone living in our community is more important than ever to ensure we have proper funding for essential services for years to come. I strongly urge you to complete the Census – if you have already done that, please encourage your friends, family, and neighbors to do so as well. Remember, it’s not too late!
Tomorrow will mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Even through a pandemic it is important to remember the importance of sustainability. This continues to be one of the City Council’s top priorities and since we are unable to hold our annual Earth Day Festival, we have decided to make 2020 Earth Year! Help us in honoring the planet by checking out our Earth Year webpage dedicated to sharing tips, resources, and online learning opportunities that you can use to support sustainable living and sharpen your sustainability skills throughout the year. Starting in April, each month will focus on a different topic with great tips and ideas for small changes in your day-to-day routines that will help you and your household to make a difference. The webpage will include a monthly challenge, relevant articles, videos, and more. April’s theme is: “Reducing Your Carbon Footprint.” Check out the website for links to carbon footprint calculators and a list of ways you can pledge to reduce yours in 2020.
As a result of the San Mateo County Public Health Officer’s Order to recreate within five miles of your residence, the City of Half Moon Bay Recreation Division has put together a list of virtual activities to help make staying at home more fun and productive for everyone. The list of activities includes health and fitness, activities and education for kids, learning for teens and adults, new hobby ideas, family games and crafts, brain exercises, and virtual field trips! Check out all the great activities offered at hmbcity.com/virtualrecreation.
Continuing with our #WaveofStrength campaign, the City announced last week a Youth Art Contest. We welcome all youth age 18 and under to submit artistic designs around the theme, “What does strength look like to you?” For your painted or hand drawn artwork, please take a high-resolution picture and email it to email@example.com. Winners will be chosen in the following categories – ages 5 and under, ages 6-10, ages 11-14, and ages 15-18. The deadline for submissions is May 1, 2020.
Winners will have their artwork featured on the City’s social media and displayed on posters throughout the City. Depending on age, winners will have a chance to tour City Hall (once it is re-opened) and meet with me, Mayor Adam Eisen!
In an effort to help California residents find essential life services, job training, and employment opportunities, the state has launched a new website, www.OnwardCA.org. The state has partnered with Bitwise, LinkedIn, and Salesforce to help match people with employment opportunities. The website asks a series of questions to partner your skill set with open jobs and job training opportunities. The site currently lists 70,000 jobs, and that number is expected to grow in the coming days. On top of job placement, the website is focused on providing food, shelter, childcare, and financial assistance.
I want to be sure you are checking the City’s coronavirus daily updates webpage (hmbcity.com/
covid19dailyupdates). There, you’ll get the latest information about resources that are available to you and your family. Recent updates include free COVID-19 testing for those meeting certain conditions (and shuttle service for those with a testing appointment), food pantries and nutrition assistance, the Coastside Crisis Fund, and more.