Update on County Response to COVID-19: Board Approves Hotel Purchases; County Remains Purple Tier 1; School Impacts; New Testing Site Opens; Case Count
Dec. 1, 2020
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 Tuesday and Thursday until further notice. Today’s report:
Supervisors Approve Purchase of Two Hotels to House the Vulnerable
The Board of Supervisors today approved the purchase of two hotels that will be converted into permanent housing.
The hotels are both located in Redwood City: the TownePlace Suites at 1000 Twin Dolphin Drive and the Pacific Inn Hotel, 2610 El Camino Real.
TownePlace suites will house seniors with extremely low incomes and Pacific Inn will provide temporary housing for those experiencing homelessness, two segments of the population who are highly vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus.
Funding for both purchases comes from the state’s Project Homekey, which provides local governments with federal and state funds to purchase and rehabilitate housing into permanent, long-term housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
TownePlace Suites consists of 95 rooms that will be occupied by seniors age 62 and older with extremely low incomes. The agreement between the County as buyer, and Redwood Suites, LLC, as seller, establishes the purchase price at $29,250,000 for the property. The property consists of 2.07 acres, which includes the 56,692-square-foot hotel and 95 dedicated parking spaces. View the staff report.
Pacific Inn consists of 74 rooms, plus a manager’s quarters that will be occupied by those experiencing homelessness. The agreement between the County as buyer, and Reno Motel Investments, Inc., owner of the Pacific Inn Hotel, as seller, establishes the purchase price at $21,500,000. The property consists of 1.5 acres, which includes the 29,593-square-foot hotel and 70 dedicated parking spaces. View the staff report.
County Remains in Most Restrictive Tier; New Stay at Home Order in Place
San Mateo County remains in the purple Tier 1, the most restrictive on the state’s four-tier, color-coded COVID-19 reopening plan, and where it was assigned on Nov. 28 by the state.
The move was based on the increase of COVID-19 cases indicating widespread disease in the county. San Mateo County Health reported an approximately 85 percent spike in new COVID-19 cases from October to November.
Under purple Tier 1 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.
A new stay at home order, announced by the state Nov. 19, is more limited than the spring “Shelter in Place” order and applies only to counties in the purple Tier 1. It went into effect in San Mateo County on Nov. 30 and will remain in place until Dec. 21.
Residents can still go outside alone or with members of their own household as long as they do not engage in any interaction with members of other households or to work at essential jobs, such as in grocery stores.
The order requires all nonessential businesses and restaurants – even if operating outdoors – to cease operations by 10 p.m. Read the full Nov. 28 news release.
Impact of County’s Purple Tier Status on Schools
San Mateo County’s move to the purple Tier 1 of the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy will not impact schools that have already returned students to campus for in-person instruction.
If a school has not yet begun implementing its plan for returning to in-person instruction, it must pause until the county is in the red Tier II unless it is eligible to apply for a waiver. Schools may also apply for a waiver to bring back students in grades TK-6 only.
Regardless of which Tier of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy is current for San Mateo County, all schools that have students on campus follow the guidance included in the Pandemic Recovery Framework and provided by San Mateo County Health and the California Department of Public Health.
“By following the safety protocols of the Pandemic Recovery Framework, which includes face coverings, physical distancing, screening, testing, and contact tracing, schools have shown they can return both students and teachers to campus safely,” explained San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools Nancy Magee.
Read San Mateo County Office of Education’s news release about how schools may be impacted by county’s move to purple Tier 1.
Learn more about schools that have approved plans, the waiver process, and the Pandemic Recovery Framework at the San Mateo County Office of Education’s website.
New Adult and Children COVID-19 Testing Site Opens in Daly City
San Mateo County launched a new COVID-19 testing site today in Daly City for drive thru testing for adults and children 5 and older, Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Jefferson Union High School District office. The office is located at 699 Serramonte Blvd., Daly City.
The self-administered oral mouth swab test is easy, safe and at no cost to those who live and work in San Mateo County. Make an appointment at curative.com/sites
COVID-19 Testing for Adults and Children Available
Testing for COIVD-19 is one way to slow the spread, receive early care, and protect loved ones. The test is safe, easy, and available at various locations in San Mateo County at no-cost to you regardless of which testing site you choose.
Adults age 18 and over can schedule a test Tuesdays through Saturdays at the San Mateo County Event Center or at a rotating series of neighborhood locations listed below.
Testing for Children
Testing for children ages 5 to 17 is also available at the San Mateo County Event Center and at the Jefferson Union High School District office in Daly City. Learn more about the testing process here; register for appointments at curative.com/sites
Adult Testing at Neighborhood Locations
Testing for COVID-19 is also available at mobile operations that rotate among five communities Monday through Friday for everyone 18 and older who lives or works in San Mateo County.
See the schedule below for Dec. 2 – Dec. 7 and make an appointment at least seven days in advance at Project Baseline.
San Bruno, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., Dec. 2
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
975 Sneath Lane
East Palo Alto, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., Dec. 3 & 4
2160 Euclid Avenue
North Fair Oaks, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., Dec. 7
Stanford Parking Lot
2685 Bay Road
Remember: If you don't have access to the internet, an on-site volunteer may be able to help you register and get tested. The County STRONGLY recommends advance registration as you cannot be guaranteed a test otherwise.
Information on testing options, including at the San Mateo Event Center, Jefferson Union High School District Officer, and at neighborhood mobile sites in San Mateo County, can be found at https://www.smcgov.org/testing.
San Mateo County COVID-19 Case Count
San Mateo County Health has updated the number of positive cases to 14,614 as of Nov. 30, 2020.
County Health provides detailed information on cases by age group and date and deaths by age group. Learn more at https://www.smchealth.org/coronavirus
Residents with non-medical, non-emergency questions about the coronavirus can call 211 or 800-273-6222 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.