COVID-19

 

COVID-19 Information and Resources

The state is working in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the San Mateo County and Santa Clara County Departments of Public Health to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19. Difficult decisions are being implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect our most vulnerable residents. My office continues to place our highest priority on the safety and well-being of you and your loved ones.

This is an evolving situation; the public health guidance and directives may continue to change. We strongly recommend that you refer to the Santa Clara County Public Health Department, San Mateo County Health Department, California Department of Public Health, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention webpages for the most up-to-date information from public health experts. In addition, Governor Newsom launched a comprehensive COVID-19 website

For questions, assistance, and up-to-date information regarding COVID-19, please call the statewide hotline at (833) 544-2374. You may also call 2-1-1 or text “coronavirus” to 211211 at any time for updates.

For information regarding the number of cases, hospitalizations, and tests administered in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, please refer to the Santa Clara County COVID-19 Data Dashboard and the San Mateo County COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

 

Quick Guide: 

 


Vaccines *NEW*

Vaccine Safety

Fear and misinformation about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine is a significant barrier to vaccinating large portions of our population. To try to get ahead of this, I organized a Vaccine Town Hall with Dr. Bonnie Maldonado from Stanford University in mid-December, just as the vaccine was being made available. Hundreds of constituents tuned in to hear from Dr. Maldonado, a renowned vaccine expert and member of the Governor’s Vaccine Scientific Safety Review Workgroup. If you missed the town hall, you can view it here.

Make a Plan to get Vaccinated

There are steps you can take to ensure you are vaccinated as soon as possible.

The first step in making your plan to get vaccinated is to refer to your health system’s vaccine website. The links to the major health systems’ vaccine pages are included below.

While some people will be vaccinated at mass community vaccination sites (please refer to my website regularly for information on these sites as they come online), many people will receive the vaccine through your primary care provider. Your medical provider will release information about their specific system of vaccine distribution and when you and your family members will be eligible to receive a vaccine.

All large health systems including Kaiser, Stanford Healthcare, Palo Alto Medical Foundation (Sutter Health), county run hospitals and clinics, and many smaller community clinics will be allocated vaccines directly to vaccinate their patients as they become eligible.

The state and counties are working with the large pharmacy chains so that they may eventually offer COVID-19 vaccination to eligible members of the public. The state is also working with counties to establish mass vaccination sites and a statewide online vaccine registry where people can sign-up to be notified when it is their turn to receive the vaccine. Keep an eye out for these updates in the coming weeks.

How to Make an Appointment Based on Your Provider

Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF)/ Sutter Health        

Who is currently eligible to be vaccinated:

Individuals who receive primary care through PAMF/Sutter and are:

  • Eligible healthcare personnel in Phase 1A; or
  • Age 75 and older

How to make a vaccination appointment with PAMF/Sutter:

To schedule an appointment online visit: https://www.sutterhealth.org/pamf/for-patients/health-alerts/covid-19-vaccine or call: (844) 987-6115 to reach a scheduler.

The call center is open 7 days a week, Monday – Friday, 7:00 am – 6:00pm and Saturday – Sunday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. A representative will find a location near you and book your vaccination appointment.

Kaiser Permanente

Who is currently eligible to be vaccinated:

Kaiser members who are:

  • Eligible healthcare personnel in Phase 1A; or
  • Age 65 and older

To make a vaccination appointment with Kaiser:

  • Call the 24/7 COVID-19 vaccine hotline: 1-855-550-0951 (TTY 711). Also available in Spanish.
  • COVID-19 information on kp.org/covidvaccine will be updated as new info becomes available.
  • Kaiser will reach out to members who are 65 and older to provide information about vaccine availability and the appointment process.
  • By the end of next week, Kaiser expects to have online self-service tools in place that will allow eligible individuals the opportunity to schedule an appointment if vaccine supply is available

Stanford Healthcare

Who is currently eligible to be vaccinated:

Established primary care patients with Stanford Health Care who are:

  • Residents of Santa Clara County and San Mateo County over the age of 75; or
  • Health care workers who work in Santa Clara County. (If you are a health care worker not necessarily employed or contracted by Stanford Health Care, you are eligible for vaccination at this time)

To make a vaccination appointment with Stanford:

El Camino Health

Who is currently eligible to be vaccinated:

·         Individuals whose primary care provider is not with Kaiser, PAMF, Stanford, or SCVMC and are:

o   Eligible healthcare personnel in Phase 1A; or

o   Age 75 and older and live or work in Santa Clara County

To make a vaccination appointment at El Camino Health:

·         Schedule an appointment and get more information by clicking here.

·         Vaccines will be administered beginning January 19th, Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. The vaccination location will provided with your appointment registration.

Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Hospitals and Clinics (SCVMC)

Who is currently eligible to be vaccinated:

Individuals whose primary care provider is not with Kaiser, PAMF, or Stanford and are:

  • Eligible healthcare personnel in Phase 1A; or
  • Persons age 75 and older

To make a vaccination appointment at SCVMC:

  • Click here to complete an online form to schedule your appointment.

Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System

Who is currently eligible to be vaccinated:

Veterans living in VA long-term care facilities; and VA health care personnel

To make a vaccination appointment at the VA:

  • Your team will contact you when a vaccine is available for you. If you decide to get the vaccine, your team will help you schedule your appointments. 
  • You can sign up to share your interest in getting a COVID-19 vaccine by clicking here.
  • If you have questions about how your personal risk for COVID-19 will determine when you can get a vaccine, send a secure message to your VA health care provider

Senior and Long Term Care Facilities

Who is eligible to be vaccinated:

Residents and staff

How to get vaccinated at senior and long term care facilities:

The federal government has created a program under which CVS and Walgreens are responsible for vaccinating residents and staff in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities across the United States.

Vaccine Priority List

Phase 1A:

  • Healthcare workers
  • Long-term care residents

Phase 1B Tier One:

  • Individuals 65 and older (CDPH recommends prioritizing and targeting outreach to persons 75 years or older due to increased risk of mortality and other severe disease)
  • Those at risk of exposure at work in the following sectors: education, childcare, emergency services, and food and agriculture

Phase 1B Tier Two:

  • Those at risk of exposure at work in the following sectors: transportation and logistics; industrial, commercial, residential, and sheltering facilities and services; critical manufacturing
  •  Congregate settings with outbreak risk: incarcerated and homeless

Phase 1C:

  • Individuals 50-64 years of age
  • People 16-49 years of age and have an underlying health condition or disability which increases their risk of severe COVID-19
  • Those at risk of exposure at work in the following sectors: Water and wastewater; Defense; Energy; Chemical and hazardous materials; Communications and IT; Financial services; Government operations / community-based essential functions

After focused and appropriate efforts to reach the prioritized groups, vaccine providers may offer doses to people in lower priority groups when demand subsides in the current groups or doses are about to expire according to labeling instructions.

Avoiding Scams

Another important thing to keep in mind as you plan to get vaccinated is avoiding vaccine scams. There are currently scammers contacting people, especially seniors, about the COVID-19 vaccine with the intent to obtain personal data. Reputable medical providers will not ask for personal information like credit cards or social security numbers. If you are contacted by someone purporting to be your doctor or medical provider and you are unsure if they can be trusted, call or email your medical provider directly. 

FAQ:

How much will the COVID-19 vaccine cost?

COVID-19 vaccines are available at no cost, but they are only available to eligible individuals.​ Vaccination providers will be able to charge administrative fees for giving the shot—the price of which will depend on your health care provider.

How many COVID-19 vaccine doses are needed?

Two doses for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, 21 days apart.

Two doses for the Moderna vaccine, 28 days apart. 

Is there a statewide vaccine registry?

Currently there is no statewide registry to sign-up for the COVID-19 vaccine. The State will have a registry available for the public in the coming weeks.

I’ve already had COVID-19. Should I get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes. At this time, we do not know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19.

Helpful Resources

More information is available here: https://covid19.ca.gov/vaccines/

Santa Clara County specific vaccine information is available here: https://www.sccgov.org/sites/covid19/Pages/COVID19-vaccine-information-for-public.aspx

San Mateo County specific vaccine information is available here: https://www.smchealth.org/covid-19-vaccination


Shelter-at-Home Order

*NEW - Updated 12/28/2020*

On December 16th, the Bay Area Region’s ICU capacity dropped below the 15% threshold, triggering the Regional Stay-At-Home Order throughout the entire Bay Area.

*NEW - Updated 12/4/2020*

On December 3rd, Governor Newsom announced a Regional Stay-At-Home Order that will go into effect within 48 hours in regions with less than 15% ICU capacity. The order will remain in effect for at least 3 weeks and, after that period, will be lifted when a region’s projected ICU capacity meets or exceeds 15%. The state released a map of five regions and their current ICU capacity, as well as projected dates when regions will fall below the 15 percent threshold. The Bay Area region is projected to fall below 15% ICU capacity in mid-late December. Please click here for the latest industry guidance. 

On December 4th, Health Officers for the Counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, and Santa Clara as well as the City of Berkeley jointly announced that they will implement the State’s Regional Stay-At-Home Order early. In Santa Clara County, the order goes into effect on December 6th and will remain in place until January 4th.

A more Limited Stay-At-Home Order announced on November 19th currently applies to all counties in Purple Tier (Tier One), the most restrictive on the state’s four-tier, color-coded COVID-19 reopening plan, and requires Californians in those counties to stop non-essential activities between 10PM and 5AM.

Santa Clara and San Mateo counties were assigned to the the Purple Tier (Tier One) on November 16th and November 28th, respectively. Under Purple Tier (Tier One) restrictions, businesses and activities that may have been operating indoors – including places of worship, movie theaters, gyms and museums – must move outdoors or close. Shopping malls and all retail must operate at no more than 25 percent capacity. Click here to learn more about which activities and business are open in the four tiers. 

Back to Top


Everyone should practice increased hygiene measures that include:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used in a pinch if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid close contact with other people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or elbow.

On April 17th, the San Mateo County Health Officer in conjunction with other Bay Area counties issued an order requiring individuals to wear a face covering when they need to leave their home to work or obtain essential goods and services. For more information about face coverings and how to make them, please click here. Note: A face covering is not a substitute for social distancing and handwashing.

Back to Top


COVID-19 Screening and Testing

*Updated 12/3/2020*

You are more likely to be infected with coronavirus if:

  • You have close contact with an infected person (within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes over a 24-hour period)
  • You are frequently in a group setting (like an assisted living facility, college dormitory, homeless shelter)
  • You have been in an area with high infection rates

​​​​​Some people are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19, including:

  • people over 65 years old,
  • people with compromised immune systems, and
  • people with serious chronic medical conditions. 

See what specific actions you should take for your medical condition.

Coronavirus symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

You can check your symptoms using the CDC's Symptom Screener. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

Call your health care provider or local public health department prior to seeking medical care so that appropriate precautions can be taken.

Free, confidential COVID-19 testing is available to every Californian that needs it.

Please click here to find free COVID-19 testing sites in Santa Clara County. 

Please click here to find free COVID-19 testing sites in San Mateo County.

Back to Top


Financial Assistance

The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service today announced that distribution of economic impact payments will begin in the next three weeks and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. However, some taxpayers who typically do not file returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the economic impact payment. Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive an economic impact payment of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples and up to $500 for each qualifying child. Get an estimate of how much money you may expect from your 2020 stimulus payment: Federal Stimulus Calculator. Click here to check the status of  your economic impact payment. For more information, please visit: www.irs.gov/newsroom/economic-impact-payments-what-you-need-to-know 

The Santa Clara County Homelessness Prevention System is providing temporary financial assistance to help low-income residents who have lost income and are unable to pay rent as a result of COVID-related impacts. Eligible households will receive direct financial assistance, based on documented loss of income as a result of COVID-19 impacts, up to a maximum of $4,000 of lost income per month. Assistance may be requested once per month for the duration of the public health emergency, as long as the household continues to experience an economic impact and funds are available. Basic information and referral to area services is also available. For more information, please visit: www.sacredheartcs.org/covid19/

Santa Clara County COVID-19 Assistance Navigation (CAN) will help people navigate safety net services, including helping individuals understand what assistance they are eligible for and walking them through the application process. Santa Clara County CAN will also also connect people with legal aid attorneys who can answer questions about work related issues, such as questions related to employment and income. Santa Clara County CAN hotline at 408-809-2124. Support is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Tagalog, and Mandarin, with more languages to come.

The Redwood City Education Foundation has established the COVID-19 Family Relief Fund for Redwood City and Fair Oaks families who need help with food, rent, or other essentials. Families should call the Fair Oaks Community Center at 650-780-7500 to participate. For more information, please visit: www.rcef.org/covid-19-relief

The Community Services Agency offers services to individuals and families on low or fixed incomes, to those who are homeless, and to seniors (60+ years old) in Mountain View, Los Altos, and Los Altos Hills. For more information, please visit: www.csacares.org/services/.

City of Mountain View COVID-19 Rent Relief Package: To apply, email RentHelp@csacares.org or call 650-968-0836. Please leave your name and phone number, and a Case Manager will call you within 72 hours to assist you.

Back to Top


Food Resources

School Meals

Many schools in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties are continuing to serve meals during school closures. Download the CA Meals for Kids app for free to find meals near you. A complete list of school meal sites is also available  here.  

Community Resources

Second Harvest Food Bank offers a number of free food resources. For more information, text “GETFOOD” to 1-408-455-5181, call 1-800-984-3663, or click here.

Hope’s Corner offers offers “To Go” boxed meals for breakfast and lunch. For more information, please click here.

Meals on Wheels continues to provide home-delivery of meals. To find the nearest Meals on Wheels provider, please click here. Call (408) 350-3246 for more information.

Meals for Seniors

The County of Santa Clara Senior Nutrition Program is providing pre-packaged meals for take-out/to go at many locations. For more information, please call (408) 975-4860 or  click here

San Mateo County’s Nutrition Programs for Older Adults provide nutritious meals through home delivery to people who are homebound. For more information regarding home-delivered meals, please call the 24-hour TIES Line at 1-800-675-8437 or click here.

Great Plates Delivered is a first-in-the-nation program that connects seniors with three nutritious meals a day from local businesses struggling to stay afloat during the COVID-19 crisis.  If you’d like to receive meals, supply meals, or help administer the program, please  click here

CalFresh

The CalFresh Program, federally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), issues monthly electronic benefits that can be used to buy most foods at many markets and food stores. For more information and to apply for benefits, please click here

Beginning June 1, 2019, recipients of SSI/SSP benefits may be eligible for CalFresh Food benefits for the first time. There is no change to the SSI/SSP monthly benefit. For more information and to apply for benefits, please click here

On April 29th, Governor Newsom announced that CalFresh recipients will receive the maximum allowable benefits for the month of May and that participants can now use their EBT card to make purchases online at Amazon.com and Walmart.com

Families with children eligible for free or reduced price meals could receive up to an additional $365 for each child thanks to the Pandemic Emergency Benefits Transfer Program (P-EBT). P-EBT cards will begin arriving around May 12th. Families with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals and who do not get their P-EBT card in the mail by about May 22nd must apply online before June 30th. Families with children who get CalFresh, Medi-Cal, or Foster Care benefits do not need to apply. The online application will be available beginning May 22nd at www.ca.p-ebt.org.

Back to Top


Resources for Businesses

Local Support

The San Mateo County Strong Small Business Grant Program offered a limited number of grants up to $10,000 to help small businesses pay for payroll, maintain operations, meet ongoing obligations, and survive the economic impacts of California’s stay-at-home order. The full $1 million in funding has been disbursed and the portal is now closed. Applicants who encountered difficulty submitting their application are asked to send an email to info@flashlight.us describing the problem. For more information about the program, please click here.

State and Federal Loans and Debt Relief

*NEW -- Added December 28, 2020*

California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program: From December 30th to January 8th, small businesses affected by COVID-19 may apply for up to a $25,000 grant. The amount of grant funding ranges from $5,000 to $25,000. Businesses are eligible based on their annual revenue as documented in their most recent tax return. Applicants who submitted their application and submitted all documentation in the first round do not need to reapply; qualified applications will be automatically rolled over into the next funding round for consideration.For more information including eligibility, please click here.

On Decebmer 14th, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order R N-84-20 that in part allows the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration to offer a 90-day extension for tax returns and tax payments for all businesses filing a return for less than $1 million in taxes. Small businesses will have until the end of July to file their first-quarter returns.  

*NEW -- Added 12/10/2020*

Click here to download the Small Business COVID-19 Relief and Resources Guide

*NEW -- Added 12/2/2020*

On November 30th, Governor Newsom announced new assistance for businesses impacted by COVID-19.

  • Tax relief, including deferrals & interest-free payment options

  • $500 million for a new COVID Relief Grant for small business & non-profits

  • $12.5 million added to the California Rebuilding Fund

Click here to learn more. 

Main Street Small Business Tax Credit: Qualified small businesses adversely impacted by #COVID19 can now reserve tax credits for hiring full-time employees. The credit reservations will be allocated to qualified small business employers on a first-come, first-served basis. The reservation system will be available from December 1, 2020 at 8:00 a.m., through January 15, 2021. There are a limited number of credits available, so apply now. Click here to learn more.

----

Small businesses can now apply for low-interest loans up to $10 million through the Paycheck Protection Program to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. These loans are first come, first serve. The U.S. Small Business Administration will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.

The U.S. Small Business Administrations Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million. Small businesses can apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance of up to $10,000 to help small businesses experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application. This loan advance will not have to be repaid.

The California IBank Small Business Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program provides guarantees for loans of up to $50,000 for small business with up to 750 employees that may not qualify for federal funds.

The California Capital Access Program for Small Business is a loan loss reserve program which may provide up to 100% coverage on losses as a result of certain loan defaults.

The Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is providing debt relief to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Small Business Administration will automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of current 7(a), 504, and microloans for a period of six months and automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of new 7(a), 504, and microloans issued prior to September 27, 2020.

Tax Relief

The California Franchise Tax Board and the Internal Revenue Service have extended the deadline to file and pay state and federal taxes to July 15, 2020.

Employers experiencing a hardship may request up to a 60-day extension from the Employment Development Department to file their state payroll reports and/or deposit state payroll taxes without penalty or interest. A written request for an extension must be received within 60 days from the original delinquent date of the payment or return. For questions, employers may call the EDD Taxpayer Assistance Center toll-free from the U.S. or Canada at 1-888-745-3886.

Small businesses with less than $5 million in taxable annual sales can take advantage of a 12-month, interest-free, payment plan for up to $50,000 of sales and use tax liability.

The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service have launched the Employee Retention Credit, designed to encourage businesses to keep employees on their payroll.

The U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service, and the U.S. Department of Labor announced that small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees.

Additional Information and Resources

The San Mateo County Economic Development Association has compiled a list of business assistance programs and a variety of other resources: www.samceda.org/COVID-19-Resource-Links-Business

Santa Clara County has also compiled a list of resources for businesses and workers: www.sccgov.org/sites/opa/opa/covid19/Pages/Resources-for-Businesses-and-Workers.aspx 

The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development has compiled helpful information for employers, employees and all Californians as it relates to the COVID-19 outbreak: www.business.ca.gov/coronavirus-2019/

The California State Treasurer's Office has put together a resource list for small business owners affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes resources from the federal, state, and local governments as well as nonprofits, and the private sector. www.docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1tYNAyRgzUfsAlLl7RJC0Ez_ClyyLXSsNWfB-1UPetQY/htmlview?usp=sharing 

U.S. Small Business Administration has provided guidance for businesses and employers and compiled loan resources: www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources

Find local business assistance at a California Small Business Support Center or though the U.S. Small Business Administration

Back to Top


Protections for Renters and Homeowners 

Local

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors adopted a temporary urgency ordinance to prohibit evictions through May 31st. The order applies to residential and commercial properties, providing protections to renters and small businesses. Under the ordinance, the owner of residential real property or commercial real property cannot evict a tenant for failure to pay rent, if the tenant demonstrates that the failure to pay rent is directly related to a substantial loss of income or substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses associated with COVID-19. Upon expiration or termination of the ordinance, tenants must pay all past due rent within 120 days. 

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors has also approved a countywide eviction moratorium for residential renters that can demonstrate an inability to pay rent due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The moratorium ends May 31st.

State

On March 27th, Governor Newsom issued an Executive Order that gives tenants who are now unable to pay their full rent, for reasons related to COVID-19, an extra sixty calendar days to to file an answer to their landlord’s eviction lawsuit if they (a) were previously current on their rent, (b) notify their landlords in writing of their inability to pay, either before rent is due or seven days thereafter, and (c) have documentation of their inability to pay. It also forbids county sheriffs from evicting tenants who meet these requirements. If your landlord is attempting to evict you for not paying rent and you took all of the above steps, contact a local legal aid provider: lawhelpca.org/ 

On April 6th, the Judicial Council adopted eleven Emergency Rules, two of which further protect tenants and property owners. These rules are in effect until 90 days after Governor lifts the pandemic-related state of emergency or until the Judicial Council repeals them.

  • Emergency Rule #1, which applies to both residential and commercial tenants and applies to all evictions, not just those based on non-payment of rent, automatically halts eviction proceedings at the beginning of the process, and omit complex procedures for tenants to provide information to landlords, the courts, and county sheriffs. There is an exception for evictions that concern the health and safety of residents.
  • Emergency Rule #2, which addresses foreclosures, places a stay (a temporary halt) on all foreclosure cases in the courts, regardless of what stage they are at, until the Rule expires. This does not impact non-judicial foreclosures.

Governor Newsom has announced mortgage relief for Californians affected by COVID-19. Eligible homeowners can defer mortgage payments for at least three months. The relief package included Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, Citi Bank and J.P. Morgan Chase, as well as 200 state-chartered banks and credit unions. For more info, please visit: www.gov.ca.gov/2020/03/25/governor-gavin-newsom-announces-major-financial-relief-package-90-day-mortgage-payment-relief-during-covid-19-crisis/

National

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has announced that it is suspending foreclosures for homeowners with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac for at least 60 days. For more information, please visit: www.fhfa.gov/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/FHFA-Suspends-Foreclosures-and-Evictions-for-Enterprise-Backed-Mortgages.aspx

Additionally, the Department of Housing and Urban Development is halting foreclosures for homeowners with mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration for at least 60 days. For more information, please visit: www.hud.gov/sites/dfiles/OCHCO/documents/20-04hsgml.pdf

Back to Top


Resources for Workers

The State of California is taking proactive steps to ensure that workers affected by COVID-19 are protected from discrimination and understand all the benefits available to them.

  • If you are unable to work due to medical quarantine or illness, you may qualify for Disability Insurance.
  • If you are unable to work because you are caring for an ill or quarantined family member, you may qualify for Paid Family Leave.
  • If you lost your job or have had your hours reduced, you may be able to partially recover your wages by filing an Unemployment Insurance claimStarting April 12th, California workers who are receiving unemployment insurance benefits began receiving an additional $600 per week.
  • If you or a family member is sick or for preventative care when civil authorities recommend quarantine, workers may use accrued paid sick leave in accordance with the law. If accrued sick leave is denied, you can file a Wage claim.
  • If you are unable to do you usual job because you were exposed to and contracted COVID-19 during the regular course of your work, you may be eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits.

For more information, please visit: https://www.labor.ca.gov/coronavirus2019/.

The Employment Development Department (EDD) also provides a variety of support services to people who have lost their jobs or have had their hours reduced due to the impacts of

As part of the federal CARES Act, the new 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. For more information and to file a claim, please visit www.edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/pandemic-unemployment-assistance.htm 

The Governor, along with the Department of Social Services (DSS) Director Kimberley Johnson, unveiled a new  childcare portal/website where you can search childcare options in your zip code. The portal provides locations, hours and the size of the facility (capacity), ages of children, and available slots, etc.  All childcare facilities have been provided guidance from DSS on social/physical distancing, the need for small group sizes, etc. as related to COVID-19.

Back to Top


Tax Relief

The California Franchise Tax Board and the Internal Revenue Service have extended the deadline to file and pay state and federal taxes to July 15, 2020. In addition, the California Franchise Tax Board and the Internal Revenue Service will waive interest and any late filing and payment penalties that would otherwise apply. The California Franchise Tax Board asks that taxpayers claiming the special COVID-19 relief write the name of the state of emergency (for example, COVID-19) in black ink at the top of the tax return to alert the Franchise Tax Board of the special extension period. If taxpayers are e-filing, they should follow the software instructions to enter disaster information.

The 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. For more information, please visit: www.gov.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/4.4.20-Property-Tax-Statement.pdf 

Back to Top


DMV Changes

*NEW - Updated 12/10/2020*

The DMV is temporarily suspending behind-the-wheel driving tests for at least two weeks beginning December 14th. In-vehicle testing is a requirement for first-time driver’s license holders and commercial license applicants. The temporary suspension includes commercial and noncommercial tests but does not apply to motorcycle drive tests, which can be conducted at a safe distance. Customers with scheduled appointments in the next two weeks will be notified their tests are canceled. The DMV will automatically reschedule the tests at a later date.

*NEW - Updated 12/9/2020*

The DMV is now offering Californians who are 70 and older the option to renew their noncommercial driver’s license online. Licenses that expire beginning March 1, 2020, and throughout the COVID-19 emergency are eligible, including REAL ID renewals. A mail-in option will be available in the coming weeks. Most drivers 69 and younger can also renew at dmv.ca.gov – even if their renewal notice states they must come to an office.

The alternative to an in-person renewal follows Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent Executive Order that temporarily waives California law requiring drivers age 70 and older to visit a DMV field office to renew their license. The DMV will make this option available during California’s State of Emergency or until the order is modified.

The DMV previously provided yearlong extensions to senior drivers with noncommercial licenses expiring in March through December 2020. Those who received the extensions are eligible to renew online.

Commercial licenses, including those for drivers 70 and older, expiring between March and December are extended through December 2020, to align with federal guidelines.

-----

The DMV continues to provide essential services via mail, online, virtual office, kiosks, its call center at (800) 777-0133, and available business partners.

The Federal Government has announced that it will not begin enforcing REAL ID until October 1, 2021 (one year later than previously announced).

For more information, including other extensions, please click here.

Back to Top


Covered California Extended Enrollment

Effective immediately, anyone uninsured and eligible to enroll in health care coverage through Covered California can sign up through June 30th. All medically necessary screening and testing for COVID-19 are free of charge, and all health plans available through Medi-Cal and Covered California offer telehealth options. For more information, please visit: www.coveredca.com/newsroom/news-releases/2020/03/20/california-responds-to-covid-19-emergency-by-providing-path-to-coverage-for-millions-of-californians/ 

Back to Top


Resources for Students

Local

San Mateo County Office of Education put together a resources page where families can find food and mental health assistance: www.smcoe.org/other/for-families/resources.html

State

For guidance from the California Department of Education, please visit: www.cde.ca.gov/ls/he/hn/coronavirus.asp

Student Loan Relief

On April 23rd, Governor Newsom announced that most private student loan servicers have agreed to provide payment and other relief to borrowers, including more than 1.1 million Californians with privately held student loans. For more information and to see which student loan servicers have agreed to provide relief options, please click here.

The U.S. Department of Education is temporarily waiving interest on all federally held student loans and has directed federal lenders to suspend student loan payments for 60 days. For more information, please visit: www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/delivering-president-trumps-promise-secretary-devos-suspends-federal-student-loan-payments-waives-interest-during-national-emergency

Back to Top


Insurance

Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara issued a Notice on March 18, 2020 requesting that all insurance companies provide their policyholders with at least a 60-day grace period to pay insurance premiums. Please call the Department of Insurance's Consumer Hotline at 1-800-927-4357 or visit: www.insurance.ca.gov/

Commissioner Lara has also issued a Notice calling on auto insurers to refrain from using the expiration of policyholders’ drivers licenses or vehicle registration for 60 days to affect a driver’s ability to secure and maintain auto insurance coverage, affect a driver’s eligibility for a Good Driver discount, to determine eligibility for a California Low Cost Automobile policy, or to impact the rates charged to any driver.

The California Department of Insurance Consumer Hotline continues to be available from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM to help California consumers and businesses with their urgent insurance issues and answer questions that they may have. Please call 1-800-927-4357. 

Back to Top


How You Can Help 

Governor Newsom has launched a major 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. For more information and to register, please click here.

On March 31, Governor Newsom announced the “Stay Home. Save Lives. Check In” campaign urging Californians to check in on older Californians in their life as they may need friends and neighbors to help them obtain basic needs like groceries and prescriptions, and much-needed social interaction. Take the pledge: www.engageca.org/check-in

California Volunteers has launched a new initiative, #CaliforniansForAll, that unites organizations in desperate need of volunteers with Californians looking to serve and share their commitment to their neighbors, while ensuring stay-at-home and physical distancing protocols are met. Participants will receive an email from California Volunteers with information on what they can do in real time to help out, and those who opt in to volunteer will be contacted by local nonprofit partners when opportunities open up in their area.  Click here to learn more about local opportunities to volunteer.

California Volunteers has also launched their Neighbor-to-Neighbor campaign, which calls on neighbors to be the first line of support for California’s most vulnerable residents. The Neighbor-to-Neighbor campaign is focused on older adults and promotes ways to safely check on your neighbors, family and friends.

Many local organizations that serve our most vulnerable community members are experiencing a shortage of volunteers. For more information about volunteering at Second Harvest of Silicon Valley, our local food bank, please visit: www.shfb.org/give-help/volunteer/. For more information about volunteering with Meals on Wheels, please visit: www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org/americaletsdolunch.

The American Red Cross is facing a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Find a blood drive near you: www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/find-drive 

Helping Hands is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving those most vulnerable to COVID-19: senior citizens, the immunocompromised, and people with pre-existing medical conditions that put them at additional risk. The platform connects at-risk community members with local volunteers for support with critical errands like grocery shopping or pharmacy visits, enabling them to stay home and stay safe. Click here to learn more.

California is expanding Friendship Line California to support lonely and isolated older Californians across the state. Friendship Line California is toll-free and available to provide emotional support to older Californians facing loneliness, isolation and anxiety. Call 1-888-670-1360.


Medical Supply Donations

State of California COVID-19 Medical Supply Contributions: Governor Newsom has launched a new  website to get critical medical supplies to the front lines of California’s fight against COVID-19. The website will allow individuals and companies to donate, sell, or offer to manufacture 13 of the most essential medical supplies, including ventilators, N95 respirators, and testing materials. 

The Valley Medical Center Foundation is currently accepting NEW supplies for use by hospital staff. These supplies include personal protective equipment (i.e. N95 masks, surgical masks, face shields, gowns), disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer and other items. To see a complete list, click here. Donations can be delivered to their office (2400 Clove Drive, San Jose, CA 95128) on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and on weekends between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Please call 408-885-5299 or email vmcfoundation@hhs.sccgov.org if you have any questions. 

Sutter Health is also accepting medical supplies (new items in their original packaging). For more information, please  click here.

Back to Top


Park Closures

In an effort to prevent visitation surges and help stop the spread of COVID-19, State Parks has taken the following temporary safety measures to date: closed some parks, meaning all trails and restrooms within these parks are closed; closed vehicular access at remaining parks, including for off-highway vehicle riding; closed all campgrounds, museums and visitor centers; and cancelled all events. For more information, please click here

The San Mateo County Parks Department will reopen trails in 13 of its 23 parks on Monday, May 4, after being closed since March 27. Visitors will be required to hike single file on narrow trails, keep 6 feet apart from others, not congregate with people who aren’t from their household, and carry face coverings. To prevent the congestion on trails and in parking areas that occurred last month prior to park closures, the department will convert some single-track trails to one-direction routes, open a limited number of parking lots, prohibit off road parking, and keep some trails closed to bikes. For more information, please  click here

Back to Top


Domestic Violence Resources

For people who experience violence in the home, a shelter in place order is especially difficult. While violence at home may increase for many victims of abuse, help is available online and by phone—whenever it is safe to reach out. Santa Clara County Domestic Violence Agencies are open and supporting clients by phone and online in multiple languages during the COVID-19 crisis. They can connect survivors with critical emergency services, including shelter and food. 

SafeChatSV was created by a partnership of local domestic violence agencies to provide online chat services seven days a week to survivors of gender-based violence in Santa Clara County.

Hours:

  • Monday through Wednesday from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm
  • Thursday and Friday from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm and 1 pm to 10 pm
  • Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 9 pm

National Domestic Violence Hotline provides highly trained expert advocates that are available 24/7 to talk confidentially with anyone in the United States who is experiencing domestic violence, seeking resources or information, or questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationship. They will connect clients to local resources if they call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

Futures Without Violence provides credible and accurate information related to health and relief for survivors from national experts, including COVID-19 resources for domestic violence survivors and service providers.

WomenSV works one-on-one with survivors to help them find the means to break free from abuse and go on to build healthier lives for themselves and their children. They assist with safety planning, provide court and attorney accompaniments, and connect survivors to resources and help available to them, based on their specific needs. Call 833-966-3678 or email info@womensv.org

Back to Top


Homelessness Assistance

San Mateo County

For information and referral for health and human services, call 2-1-1 or text your zip code to: 898211.

Core Service Agencies provide safety net services to San Mateo County residents in need of food, emergency housing assistance, emergency utility assistance, shelter and other basic needs. Call the Core Service Agency that serves your area to find out more about the services they offer and how to access services. Click here for a complete list of Core Service Agencies.

Santa Clara County

For information and referral for health and human services, call 2-1-1 or text 888777.

All homeless shelters are open 24/7, by referral. Download the County Homeless Help Card for contact information for referral agencies. 

Safe parking lots are still being operated. Contact MOVE Mountain View for information regarding locations, hours of operation, and availability: Call (650) 861-0181 or email movemvemail@gmail.com.

The County of Santa Clara Office of Supportive Housing is working closely with local non-profits and service providers to coordinate services. For more information, visit www.sccgov.org/sites/osh, call (408) 278-6400, or text 888777.

Community Services Agency (CSA) is providing homeless prevention and homeless services case management by phone. For more information, www.CSACares.org or call (650) 968-0836. Dignity on Wheels continues to provide free mobile showers and washer and dryer services at CSA (204 Stierlin Rd. Mountain View, CA 94043) on Tuesday’s between 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Click here for a full list of Emergency Assistance Network partners in Santa Clara County.

Back to Top


Resources for Immigrants

For information about the following, please refer to the COVID-19 California Immigrant Guide. 

  • Stay-at-home order considerations
  • Ways to protect yourself and others 
  • Immigration help
  • Public charge information for accessing public benefits
  • Testing and treatment
  • Information on jobs, wages, and benefits 
  • Small business support
  • Housing 
  • Food and bills 
  • Community safety
  • Protection against scams and bad information 

Medical Care

Governor Newsom announced that California is seeking to take appropriate steps to ensure care and treatment for COVID-19 for its residents, regardless of immigration status. Given the current public health emergency, COVID-19 testing, evaluation and treatment services are being deemed as emergency services under Medi-Cal, regardless of the location where it is received. Deeming COVID-19 testing and related treatment services as an emergency will entitle all Medi-Cal beneficiaries, regardless of their scope of coverage under Medi-Cal or their documentation status, to receive all medically necessary inpatient or outpatient services related to a COVID-19 diagnosis.

Financial Assistance

California's $75 million Disaster Relief Fund will support undocumented Californians impacted by COVID-19, who are ineligible for most other forms of pandemic assistance, including direct assistance under the CARES Act and unemployment insurance. Eligible Californians may receive one-time COVID-19 disaster relief assistance at a value of $500. A limit of two adults per household can receive this assistance (maximum assistance of $1,000 per household). Community-based non-profits will deliver the assistance directly to qualified individuals. Applications for disaster relief assistance services will be available on Monday, May 18th and accepted on a first come, first served basis. 

To be eligible for disaster relief assistance, an individual must be able to provide information that they: 

  1. are an undocumented adult (person over the age of 18); 
  2. are not eligible for federal COVID-19 related assistance, like CARES Act tax stimulus payments or pandemic unemployment benefits; and 
  3. have experienced a hardship as a result of COVID-19. 

For more information, please click here.

The California Immigrant Resilience Fund provides direct cash assistance to immigrant Californians who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, but are excluded from federal relief and ineligible for most state safety-net programs. The California Immigrant Resilience Fund provides cash assistance through local community organizations. Please check their website regularly as they'll be posting a list of organizations that will distribute cash assistance directly to immigrants. 

For other relief funds that may be able to assist you and your family, please click here

Back to Top


Resources for Emotional Support and Well-being

If you are experiencing stress, anxiety, depression, or other emotional distress, or if you are struggling with substance abuse, know that you are not alone.

Tips for managing stress include:

  • Maintaining social contact with friends and family by phone or online;
  • Taking care of yourself by exercising regularly, eating healthy, and getting quality sleep;
  • Practicing mindfulness like meditation or prayer;
  • Limiting for your consumption of news about the virus; and
  • Seeking mental and behavioral health support.

For more information about coping during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to learn about free and confidential resources available for you and your loved ones, please refer to the following:

24-hour Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 or text 838255

24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or visit www.thehotline.org/ and click “Chat Now”

In addition, sixteen hotlines offering emotional support for a variety of situations and other helpful mental health resources available here: https://covid19.ca.gov/resources-for-emotional-support-and-well-being/ 

Back to Top