March 18, 2021
  • 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 Expands Access to COVID-19 Vaccines in Communities Highly Impacted by Virus

    With the continuing scarcity of vaccine and uncertainty about when supplies will increase, the County of San Mateo County is shifting away from large-scale mass vaccinations sites and towards smaller, targeted clinics in communities in need.

    County officials announced the shift on Wednesday, March 17, 2021.

    “We look at the data and want to focus on neighborhoods where the vaccination rates are lower than the county as a whole,” said Anand Chabra, MD, the County’s COVID-19 Vaccination Branch chief. “We’re trying to reach people where they live and in a format that make sense to them. As much as possible we want to eliminate barriers to getting vaccinated.”

    Learn more at

    San Mateo County Advances to Orange Tier, Allowing Further Reopenings

    The state of California has moved San Mateo County to the orange tier, which allows the easing of certain restrictions and most indoor businesses to operate with modifications.

    The move occurred on Wednesday, March 17, 2021. 

    The state places counties in one of our color-coded categories based on a number of metrics, including positivity rates in heavily impacted communities. In the orange tier, the risk from COVID-19 is considered “moderate.”

    Learn more about the county’s advance and what can open at

    San Mateo County Confronts COVID-19 on a Landmark Anniversary

    This Wednesday, March 17, 2021, marks the one-year anniversary of the first shelter-in-place order due to COVID-19 in San Mateo County. The pandemic has since altered the course of all of our lives.

    The County compiled photographs, videos and text that look over the past year. The look-back spotlights not only the response and toll of the COVID-19 pandemic but also wildfires, social justice protests and other events. The compilation is available here:

    COVID-19 is Still Here: Get 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

    Vaccine Doses Administered Tops 300,000

    A total of 214,838 individuals have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot in San Mateo County through Tuesday, March 16, 2021, up by approximately 30,000 from the prior week.

    Of the total, 104,454 individuals have completed the vaccination series, bringing the total number of doses administered to 317,483.

    As of Sunday, March 14, 2021, of all county residents that had received the vaccine, 51 percent identify as people of color, 32 percent identify as white and 17 percent identify as other/unknown.

    The County of San Mateo has expanded COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to include teachers,  child care providers, first responders, food and agricultural workers and transit 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 Dose Dashboards

    County Health publishes five vaccine dashboards, showing totals, demographics, the cities/communities of vaccine recipients, vaccine administration in HPI neighborhoods, and overall vaccine distribution. See the dashboards here:  

    County Manager Media Briefing

    County Manager Mike Callagy provides an update on the County’s response to COVID-19 and answers questions from Bay Area media at a video news conference Wednesday, March 17, 2021. The full video is posted here:

    Upcoming Events: 

    Community Zoom Day: March 24 at 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.: COVID Vaccine Q&A with Dr. Anand Chabra. Learn more and register at  

    Leading San Mateo County Before and During the Pandemic, and What Comes Next: March 25 at 1 p.m.:  Join San Mateo County Supervisor Carole Groom and San Mateo County Manager Mike Callagy for a conversation with ABC7 news anchor Kristen Sze as they discuss leading the county before and during the pandemic, and into recovery. The discussion will focus on how county leadership is working to balance priorities and what it takes to create trust and stability during uncertain times. Register here:

    Saving Black Lives — All Around the Bay Area: California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris will be speaking at the COVID-19 Black Regional Town Hall event starting at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 25, 2021. Dr. Burke Harris will join a panel of African American doctors, public health representatives and community leaders from all over the Bay Area sharing what you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine. Representatives from San Mateo County Health will participate on the panel. Learn more and register at

    COVID-19 Rent Relief 

    The state's COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program began accepting applications Monday, March 15, 2021. Both landlords and renters can apply.

    The effort is designed to help low-income Californians through the payment of back rent to landlords.

    Eligible landlords may receive 80 percent of an eligible tenant's unpaid rent for the period between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021.

    More information is available along with how to apply at

    For eligibility and application help, you can the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Call Center at 833-430-2122.

    County Canvassing to Help Residents Access Vaccine Appointments

    The Office of Community Affairs is ramping up its door-to-door canvassing efforts to reach communities most at risk or impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, the team led volunteers to reach as many eligible North Fair Oaks residents as possible to get vaccinated at a County-operated community clinic. Special thanks go to volunteers from CARON, Nuestra Casa and the San Mateo Medical Center.

    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 16, 2021, the number of complaints has been on a downward trend with 92 additional complaints in the past month. The most common complaint is businesses allowing too high an occupancy and not taking steps to ensure social distancing.

    The County has issued 165 warning letters and 44 citations with fines totaling $37,000.

    COVID-19 Case Counts

    County Health reports a total of 39,538 total cases of COVID-19 as if Wednesday, March 17, 2021. Deaths attributed to COVID-19 stand at 536. 

    Additional information such as cases by age group, cases by race/ethnicity and deaths by age is available at

    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.

    Texting is also available. In addition to calling 211, you can also send your ZIP code by text message to 898-211 and connect to an operator to ask questions by text.