April 24, 2020

SEVEN BAY AREA HEALTH OFFICERS TO EXTEND THE SHELTER IN PLACE ORDERS THROUGH MAY

The Public Health Officers of the Counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara as well as the City of Berkeley will later this week issue revised shelter-in-place orders that largely keep the current restrictions in place and extend them through May. Thank you to all the residents across the Bay Area for helping us to slow the spread of Covid-19.  While we have made significant progress in slowing the spread of the disease, it is critical that we continue these efforts.  We do not want to lose the progress we have made.  More work is still required to ensure that we can safely re-open our communities and businesses.  The new order will include limited easing of specific restrictions for a small number of lower-risk activities. More information can be found on the Berkeley News Main Page

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Topics in this Newsletter

 


CITY AUDITOR REPORT - NAVIGATING THE IMPACT OF THE COVID- 19 PANDEMIC ON BERKELEY’S FINANCES

The COVID-19 pandemic is a public health crisis with devastating social and economic impacts. The City Auditor has published a report  to help guide Berkeley’s leaders in navigating the financial challenges ahead. The auditor’s office conducted interviews and reviewed data from government finance and budget officials to compile information estimating the financial impact of the pandemic on the local economy.  You can find more information here.


BUDGET AND FINANCE COMMITTEE

For the foreseeable future, the Budget and Finance committee will meet at 10am on Mondays. You can access this meeting via telephone or Zoom. More information is here. At this morning’s meeting, city staff presented on COVID-19 responses and a budget update


BERKELEY COVID-19 STATISTICS

  • As of April, 27, 2020, there are 49 lab-confirmed cases and 1 death attributed to COVID-19 in Berkeley. The case count includes 2 passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
  • Of a total of 965 tests conducted on Berkeley residents, 4.9% have been positive.
  • Information is updated daily here.

PROTECT BERKELEY’S REFUSE WORKERS

  • Put trash in a closed plastic bag
  • Make sure lid closes completely
  • Wash hands before and after putting out waste.
  • Due to the greater load of trash and recycling generated during Shelter-In-Place, please avoid cleaning out basements, attics 
  • Wear a face covering when handling your bins. 

For more information about all of these recommendations, recycling, Zero Waste, or the Transfer station, please click here.


DEBT RELIEF

  • Governor Newsom signed an executive order to stop debt collectors from garnishing COVID-19 related financial assistance, including stimulus checks. Checks that have been garnished already will have to be returned.
  • He also announced a multi-state relief agreement with 21 of the largest private student loan services, which will benefit 1.1 million Californians.  Borrowers will get a minimum of 90 days payment forbearance, waived late fees, and protection against negative credit reporting.

SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES

  • There are federal, state, and local resources available to support businesses, non-profit organizations, and workers impacted by COVID-19. You can find more information here. 
  • Our Office of Economic Development has a lot of information on its website for local businesses. See more here
  • To access the forgivable loans authorized by the Paycheck Protection Program, contact your lender ASAP. If you need help finding a lender accepting PPP applications from new customers, email oedmailbox@cityofberkeley.info
  • Berkeley Business Forum on Outbreak Responses Tuesday from 10am-11:30am.  The Berkeley Chamber, in collaboration with OED, hosts Berkeley Business Digital Forums weekly for business and community leaders to ask questions, share best practices, and connect with peers. Register here to attend.

 

 


DISCOVERED IN BERKELEY

The City of Berkeley’s DiscoveredinBerkeley campaign continues to highlight local businesses enriching our community and building a better world. The latest article showcases companies that are innovating through the shelter-in-place restrictions and exemplify the campaign’s “Food Forward” theme, which recognizes how Berkeley’s foodie heritage not only includes ‘slow food’ pioneers but also sustainable agriculture champions, culinary experts, social innovators, and contemporary food tech companies.


THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON YOUR BUSINESS

Provide critical information about the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic and local shelter-in-place order on your business. Your input will help the City of Berkeley -- and the East Bay region -- effectively plan recovery efforts and advocate for high priority needs. TAKE THE SURVEY HERE.


FACE COVERINGS MANDATE

The City of Berkeley Health Officer has issued a new order mandating face coverings to prevent people without symptoms from unintentionally spreading Covid-19.  Many people have already been covering their face while in public but we need to do more to protect public health.  Face coverings need to be matched with other mitigation measures such as maintaining 6 feet distance, washing your hands, and staying home unless it's necessary for you to leave.  You can find more information about the new face mask requirement here.  

Here are some quick takeaways:

  • Face coverings required for customers and workers in essential businesses. For more information about business and customer requirements, click here. To help with compliance, call (510) 981-7530 or email oedmailbox@cityofberkeley.info.
  • Masks are not required when you are at home, in a car, exercising outdoors more than 6’ feet away from others, or have a physical disability that prevents you from wearing a face covering. More information and exemptions here. Nevertheless, you should always keep a mask on hand, even if you are exercising. 
  • Make your own mask! You can sew your own mask or use an old t-shirt to make a mask.

HEALTH OFFICER ORDER FOR SKILLED NURSING FACILITIES 

City of Berkeley Health Officer Dr. Lisa Hernandez issued an Order imposing new requirements on skilled nursing facilities. Temperature and symptom screenings will be required for all staff and visitors before entry. Staff  will now have to wear masks at all times, and residents must wear masks when outside their rooms. 


MANAGING ANXIETY AND STRESS DURING COVID-19 

Sheltering in place is critical to protecting our community and it is essential that we all take good care of our mental health during this unprecedented challenging time.  The City of Berkeley’s Mental Health Department put together a few tips for managing anxiety and stress that we included below.  You can also visit the link at the City of Berkeley’s website that contains more information for you here. 

California Peer-Run Warm Line - 855-845-7415

Non-emergency number for those feeling anxiety or seeking emotional support. 

24 Hour Crisis Support Line - 800-273-8255

Crisis Support of Alameda County

Trained Crisis Line Counselors are available 24/7 to take your call. For those struggling with difficult life circumstances or uncomfortable thoughts and emotions. You do not need to be experiencing suicidal thoughts or feelings to call.

Berkeley Mental Health Crisis Triage Line - (510) 981-5244

City of Berkeley Mental Health Division 

Speak to a local mental health professional for support and resources over the phone. The crisis line is open Monday through Friday 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

24-hour Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

1-800-273-8255 or text 838255

24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline:

1-800-799-7233 or click Chat Now

Call 911 if you or the person you are helping is in immediate danger.

If you struggle with substance abuse, check out some resources here.


DO YOU NEED HELP OR WANT TO GIVE BACK?

Find out about some ways the City is doing to help our community here

Donate Masks, Gloves, Hygiene Supplies, Goggles, New Thermometers, etc.

If you have personal protective equipment to donate to our firefighters, nurses, police, and others on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response, please fill out this form. For more information, click here.

Join the California Health Corps

The State of California is recruiting health care professionals to help support the urgent need. For more information or apply online, click here.

Donate or Volunteer at Food Bank

Alameda County Community Food Bank

Every $1 you give to the food bank provides $7 worth of food to neighbors in need. Donate online or volunteer by contacting volunteer@accfb.org

Berkeley Food Network

Berkeley Food Pantry

For more information about food access, please visit cafoodbanks.org

Donate Blood

You can donate blood at 6230 Claremont Ave. In Oakland. Please check with the Red Cross website to see if appointments are available before visiting. 

Help Vulnerable Members of Our Community

A few neighborhood groups have created websites to help high risk neighbors in need by pairing them with lower-risk individuals (please keep in mind that everyone is at risk). Please visit berkeleymutualaid.org if you would like to volunteer or need help. Another nonprofit aimed towards helping vulnerable people is Helping Hands

Support Nonprofits and Berkeley Businesses and Arts Organizations

Donate to the Berkeley Relief Fund. We will be doing another round of funding applications. Stay tuned!

Support your local favorite business or arts organizations by donating or purchasing a gift certificate. Berkeleyside has launched a platform for local businesses to share fundraisers. To learn more visit here.

Donate to Double Helping Hands to help both small businesses and our homeless population. Learn more here.

Support Healthcare Workers

Berkeley resident Ayelet Waldman set up East Bay FeedER to help feed individuals working in hospitals. Please support! Ayelet also asks me to let you know to please work through them and don’t show up at the hospital with food.


PROTECT YOURSELF AND OTHERS

  1. Stay home except for essential needs
  2. Cover your face when out
  3. Practice social distancing
  4. Wash your hands
  5. Don’t touch your face
  6. Disinfect surfaces

For more information, click here.


Prepare to care for yourself or someone sick at home 

As COVID-19 spreads, learn how to take care of yourself or someone who is ill. You or other people may get mild symptoms. We need those people to stay home entirely. This will slow the spread. Here is more information. 

Everyone should be ready to care for themselves or a family member. When sick, it’s important to: 

  • Avoid contact with other household members 
  • Stay in one room and use a separate bathroom if possible 
  • Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces every day 
  • Monitor your condition and look out for emergency warning signs 

CDC has a factsheet with more information about what to do if you are sick with COVID-19.


CORONAVIRUS/COVID-19 RESOURCES

Please SIGN UP for City of Berkeley emails here. Recommendations may change rapidly. Please remember to get public health information from official public health channels and not social media posts. 

Sincerely, 

Lori Droste

Berkeley City Councilmember, District 8

www.LoriDroste.com