Redwood City – The County of San Mateo continues to work to protect public health and safety in response to the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19.
The County of San Mateo’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) remains open to coordinate countywide response and communications in response to the situation. The EOC’s Joint Information Center will provide status reports every Thursday until further notice. Today’s report:
County on Track to Move to “Orange” Tier 2, Allowing Additional Activities
With coronavirus case rates down, San Mateo County is on track to further reopenings of shopping centers and retail stores, places of worship, restaurants, gyms and other indoor operations.
If current metrics hold, the county could join the “orange” Tier 2 on Wednesday, March 17, 2021, under the state’s four-tier, color-coded Blueprint for a Safer Economy.
San Mateo County’s metrics as reported to the state:
► 6.0 new COVID-19 cases per day per 100,000 people
► 3.0 adjusted case rate for tier assignment
►1.2 percent positivity rate (seven-day average)
► 2.3 percent Health equity quartile positivity rate
The Bay Area’s regional intensive care unit capacity has risen to 27.2 percent.
The state is expected to announce on Tuesday whether San Mateo County may advance to the orange Tier 2. Only three of California’s 58 counties representing just 0.1 percent of the state’s population are currently in the orange tier.
Vaccine Eligibility Expanding on March 15
On March 15, individuals with certain medical conditions, outlined in the State's Feb. 12, 2021 guidance to providers, will become eligible to receive the vaccine.
“We expect health care providers to identify those who will become eligible to be vaccinated starting March 15th based on specific medical conditions,” said Anand Chabra, MD, COVID-19 Vaccination Branch Chief.
As vaccine supply allows, many residents will have pathways through the large health care provider systems (Kaiser, Sutter, Dignity, AHMC-Seton). For those who are found eligible by their health care provider who do not have a vaccination pathway, the County will continue to arrange pathways and partner with local providers such as pharmacies and safety net clinics.
“We are awaiting any further State guidance on the documentation that could make eligibility easier to confirm at the local level and/or any aspects that will be standardized as appointments are offered through the State’s My Turn platform,” said Dr. Chabra.
Testing Widely Available, Key to Further Reopenings
To move through tiers, the state looks at several metrics: the number of people being tested as a share of a county’s overall population and positivity and case rates. A county also needs to meet an equity metric in less advantaged neighborhoods.
You can do your part by getting tested: Safe, easy and no-cost testing is widely available at County-sponsored locations for everyone who lives or works in San Mateo County regardless of symptoms.
These include testing sites at:
- College of San Mateo
- North Fair Oaks
- San Bruno
- Daly City
- South San Francisco
- East Palo Alto
- Menlo Park
- San Mateo
- Half Moon Bay
Learn more and schedule a test at https://www.smcgov.org/covid-19-testing
Vaccine Doses Administered Tops Quarter Million
A total of 181,504 individuals have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot in San Mateo County through Wednesday, March 10. 2021, up by approximately 21,000 from the prior week.
Of the total, 77,605 individuals have completed the vaccination series, bringing the total number of doses administered to 259,109.
As of March 7, 2021, of all county residents who have received the vaccine, 60.5 percent identify as people of color, 33 percent identify as white and 6.5 percent identify as other.
The County of San Mateo has expanded COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to include teachers, child care providers, first responders and food and agricultural workers who meet the state’s Phase 1B criteria, as supply allows.
County Health continues to work with community partners on outreach to groups eligible to receive the vaccine.
Sign Up Now for Vaccine Notification Tools
While COVID-19 vaccine supply remains limited, you can sign up for the County’s notification tool to receive notification when the state makes you eligible and information about how you may get an appointment.
The County notification tool is available in Spanish, Chinese simplified and traditional, and Tagalog. Through Google translate, the form is also available in multiple other languages.
Residents should also sign up for the state’s MyTurn tool, which is expected to offer online appointment scheduling in our area in the coming weeks.
COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboards
Five dashboards are now live, showing totals, demographics, the cities/communities of vaccine recipients, vaccine administration in Healthy Places Index neighborhoods, and overall vaccine distribution. See the dashboards here: https://www.smchealth.org/coronavirus-health-data.
Join a Facebook Live on Tuesday, March 16, 2021, at 6:30 p.m.: Spanish language forum titled "Vacuna COVID-19, Mi Bienestar, Mi Comunidad" @SMCHealth and @CountyofSanMateo
COVID-19 Black Regional Town Hall on Thursday, March 25, 2021, at 5:30 p.m.: "COVID-19 Black: Saving Black Lives Around the Bay Area." Hear from policy makers, public health officials, doctors and advocates from the Bay Area. Learn and discuss the facts about the vaccine. Register here: www.covid19black.org/get-involved
Digital Equity Portal: Find a Wifi Hotspot Near You
Free high-speed wireless internet access is available across San Mateo County through the County’s Digital Equity Portal, an initiative to help bridge the digital divide. The portal is a collaboration between County and city officials, local school districts and libraries.
Find a free WiFi hotspot near you and learn how to log on and more at https://www.smcgov.org/wifi-faqs
Want to learn more? Check out a short video at https://youtu.be/wvNALCAfDhQ
COVID-19 Rent Relief: Application Portal Scheduled to Go Live Monday
Renters who cannot pay their rent due to COVID-19 and eligible landlords can apply for financial relief through an online portal scheduled to go live Monday, March 15, 2021.
The state’s COVID-19 Rent Relief effort is designed to help low-income Californians through the payment of back rent to landlords. Funding for this effort comes from $2.6 billion in federal rental assistance.
Eligible landlords may receive 80 percent of an eligible tenant’s unpaid rent for the period between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021. Eligible tenants whose landlords choose not to participate may apply on their own.
Learn more at https://landlordtenant.dre.ca.gov/covid_rr/index.html
Business Outreach and Compliance
The County’s Compliance Team, as part of the Business Engagement and Compliance Program, investigates and responds to reports of alleged violations of state and local health orders related to COVID-19. The primary focus is on education and voluntary compliance.
As of March 10, 2021, the County has received 1,443 complaints. Of those, 96 percent have been abated, meaning the violation was either not found or was corrected on the spot. Other cases are in progress or under further investigation.
The County has issued 160 warning letters and 40 citations with fines totaling $36,500.
COVID-19 Case Counts
County Health reports a total of 39,290 total cases of COVID-19 as if Wednesday, March 10, 2021. Deaths attributed to COVID-19 stand at 528.
Additional information such as cases by age group, cases by race/ethnicity and deaths by age is available at https://www.smchealth.org/data-dashboard/county-data-dashboard
Funding Extended for Great Plates Delivered
Great Plates Delivered San Mateo County will deliver three free meals a day to older adults in San Mateo County who are at heightened risk due to COVID-19 and are unable to obtain or prepare meals on their own while sheltering in place during the coronavirus outbreak.
Great Plates Delivered is funded through April 7, 2021. Learn about eligibility and how to sign up at https://www.smchealth.org/post/great-plates-delivered-faqs
211 Call Center
Residents with non-medical, non-emergency questions about the coronavirus can call 211 at any time, day or night.
Callers from landlines and cellular telephones located within San Mateo County are connected with a trained service professional from 211, a confidential service available in 180 languages.