COVID-19 Updates

Dear Friend and Neighbor,

My office is working closely with county and state officials to ensure that we are best prepared to handle the impacts of COVID-19 and to work as a community to reduce the spread of the virus. 

I have pulled together some helpful resources for frequently asked questions. If you can’t find answers to your questions below please reach out to my office at 916-651-4006 or email Senator.pan@sen.ca.gov

Sincerely,
Dr. Richard Pan
State Senator 6th District

Upcoming Teleconference Town Hall 

Listen-in as Dr. Answers Questions:

Dr. Pan will be on “The Drive” on KHTK 1140am to provide information and answer questions about COVID-19 on Friday, March 27 at 10 a.m.  Listen on the radio or online at: https://khtk.com. Also listen to last Friday’s show at: https://khtk.com/12217/dr-richard-pan-joins-the-drive/

 

Shelter In Place Ordered by Sacramento and Yolo Counties:

Sacramento and Yolo County Health Officers directed all individuals living in the counties to stay at their place of residence except for essential activities until at least April 7, 2020. The intent of the Public Health Order is to ensure that the maximum number of people self-isolate in their places of residence to the maximum extent feasible, while enabling essential services to continue, to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible.

  • Essential business includes; grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and hospitals as well as public transportation including BART will remain open. Restaurants will remain open but only for takeout and delivery.
  • Non-essential business includes; All non-essential gatherings of any size are now banned, along with any non-essential travel.
  • Essential/Non-Essential workers Everyone is being asked to work from home or stop work unless their work is an essential service such as health care workers, public safety, utility providers and sanitation workers. Day care centers may remain open.

 

Further Sacramento Guidance:

  • Step 1: If you have not already, please take a look at page 5 of the Public Health Order and this FAQ to see if your business is listed as an essential business. 
  • Step 2: If you do not have clarity after reading the FAQ, go ahead and call 916-875-2002. 

 

Further Yolo Guidance:

 

State actions to protect our communities and prevent the spread of COVID-19

The State of California has a comprehensive Coronavirus Response webpage with resources and information - I encourage you to check the webpage frequently for updates. 

Californians can learn about ways to assist their community at serve.ca.gov 

 

School District Closures

We are in close communication with our school districts and are actively monitoring local and state guidance for school closure. The health and safety of our students, teachers, and staff are most important. School funding is a top priority and I will strongly advocate for continued funding during emergency closures. This is a very rapidly changing situation and we recommend checking directly with your school for updates.   

For information regarding Sacramento county school closures, free or reduced meal sites and more, please visit the links below:

 

School Lunch Program: 

  • Sacramento City Unified School District meal access for students affected by school closures. Pickup times and locations are available here. Call 916-395-5600 for more information.
  • Natomas Unified School district is providing lunch and breakfast for children 18 and under at 15 NUSD locations from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through April 3. Go to natomasunified.org for a list of locations.
  • Robla School District’s Meals on Wheels program is available twice a week. School buses make assigned stops in area neighborhoods to provide breakfast and lunch to children under 18. Visit the Meals on Wheels page or call 916-649-5248 for more information.
  • Washington Unified School District meals will continue to be provided at nine sites, and the district is offering resources and activities for students when they pick up their meals.

 

The drive thru meal service is available from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the following schools:

  • Elkhorn Village 750 Cummins Way, West Sacramento, CA 95605
  • Westfield Village 508 Poplar Ave, West Sacramento, CA 95691
  • Westmore Oaks Elementary 1100 Clarendon Street, West Sacramento, CA 95691
  • Riverbank Elementary 1100 Carrie Street, West Sacramento, CA 95605
  • Southport Elementary, 2747 Linden Road, West Sacramento, CA 95691
  • Stonegate Elementary, 2500 La Jolla Street, West Sacramento, CA 952691
  • Bridgeway Island Elementary, 3255 Half Moon Bay Circle, West Sacramento, CA 95691
  • River City High School, 1 Raider Lane, West Sacramento, CA 95691
  • WUSD School Bus @ 731 F Street, West Sacramento, CA 95691

 

Food/Basic Needs:

  • Yolo Food Bank has free home-delivery food box program for LOW-INCOME senior citizens and other Yolo County residents facing disproportionate health risks beginning March 16. Individuals who are not low-income are urged to contact a for-profit grocery delivery service, so that Yolo Food Bank can prioritize the needs of low-income residents during this time. Sign up to participate or to volunteer with the Food Bank at https://yolofoodbank.org. 
    • All others who access food via Yolo Food Bank’s 100+ ongoing public distributions should continue to visit these locations. As some of these sites are being temporarily relocated due to host public facilities closing, visit https://yolofoodbank.org/get-help/ for up-to-date information. 
  • The Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services continues to work with more than 220 partner agencies to distribute food throughout the community. The food bank has set up a Frequently Asked Questions page with links to its distribution sites, schedule and other information.

 

Child Care:

Sacramento announced a free Essential Worker Childcare program for first responders, healthcare workers and essential city of Sacramento employees. Beginning March 23, 2020, 350 childcare slots for children ages 5-12 will be available at eight community centers throughout the city. Parents who wish to enroll their children can visit this site.

 

Utilities:

SMUD (Sacramento Municipal Utility District) and PG&E are offering assistance to customers:

▪ SMUD will not disconnect your power due to non-payment through March 31. Customers who are behind on payment will still owe SMUD for service, but they will not lose power at this time.

▪ PG&E is suspending service disconnections for non-payment and waiving security deposits; implementing flexible payment plan options; and providing additional support for low-income and medical baseline customers.

Please visit the links for additional guidance for SMUD and PG&E customers.

 

Stay Up-To-Date with Local County Health Departments

Our local county public health departments, in conjunction with the California Dept of Public Health, are on the front lines in combating the spread of COVID-19. Visit their websites regularly and follow them on social media for updates.

 

What You Can Do To Stop the Spread of Germs

  • Residents should take these precautions to stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses:
  • Wash hands with liquid soap and water and rub for at least 20 seconds, before and after eating and when you arrive home from being out in public.
  • Use liquid hand sanitizer when not able to wash hands with soap and water.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve or the crook of your arm (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Refrain from touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Get a flu shot to protect yourself and others from the flu, which has similar symptoms to COVID-19.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Common Signs and Symptoms of COVID-19

1. Fever
2. Fatigue
3. Dry cough

*If you think you may have COVID-19, please contact your healthcare provider or local county health department first for an assessment. Going to the doctor’s office or hospital if you are positive could result in further transmissions of the virus.

 

Travel Advisories Outside of the United States

If you are planning to travel internationally, please consult the CDC’s risk assessment here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

 

California COVID-19 Emergency Legislation

On Tuesday, March 16th, 2020, the Legislature used emergency authority under the California Constitution to approve up to $1.1 billion in state funding to address the COVID-19 public health crisis. The state funding will be available to expand hospital capacity, fund public health system responses to the virus, acquire vital health equipment, help vulnerable seniors, and disinfect school buildings. As the trajectory of the virus evolves, the State Assembly aims for California to keep leading the nation in response to this difficult situation.

The economic challenges resulting from the emergency require additional, significant state budget actions in the coming months. California will need to receive substantial federal assistance to preserve vital programs and help individuals and small businesses in need. Thanks to the state’s record budget reserves, California is better prepared to preserve and sustain vital programs than it was during the last recession. AB 89 also includes a commitment by the Legislature and the Governor to pursue efforts in the coming weeks to help individuals and small businesses affected by the COVID-19 economic slowdown.

Businesses and Employees

  • On March 18, the State Controller announced it has postponed the deadline for filing state tax returns until JULY 15, 2020.  [Please note that the deadline had previously been extended by the Franchise Tax Board to June 15, 2020.]
  • March 16th the Small Business Administration approved an Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance declaration for California, which makes loans available to small businesses and private, non-profit organizations in designated areas of a state (including Alameda and Contra Costa County) to help alleviate economic injury caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • March 13th Franchise Tax Board announced special tax relief for California taxpayers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Affected taxpayers are granted an extension to file 2019 California tax returns and make certain payments to June 15, 2020, for all tax filings and payments due between March 15, 2020, through June 15, 2020.
  • March 11th Governor Newsom issued an Executive Order which waives the one-week waiting period for people who are unemployed and/or disabled as a result of COVID-19 and delays the deadline for state tax filing by 60 days for individuals and businesses unable to file on time based on compliance with public health requirements related to COVID-19 filings.
  • March 5th The California Employment Development Department announced support services to individuals affected by COVID-19 in California who are unable to work due to having or being exposed to COVID-19.  Individuals who are unable to work due to having or being exposed to COVID-19 can file a Disability Insurance claim. Californians who are unable to work because they are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19 can file a Paid Family Leave claim.

Schools

  • March 17th the Department of Education released new guidelines for K-12 schools. The guidance focuses on four critical areas: distance learning and independent study, school meal delivery, accommodations for students with disabilities, childcare and supervision.
  • March 16th AB 117, passed unanimously through the legislature waives the requirements in CA education code for instructional days/minutes for school districts during a school closure that is in response to COVID-19 and ensures that districts continue to receive funding. It also allocates $100 million to disinfect schools.
  • March 13th Governor Newsom issued an Executive Order, which insures public school districts retain state funding even in the event of temporary physical closure. The order directs school districts to use those state dollars to fund distance learning and high quality educational opportunities, provide school meals and, as practicable, arrange for the supervision for students during school hours and continue to pay employees.

Seniors and Sensitive Groups

  • March 18th Governor Newsom announced an Executive Order to ensure that vulnerable residents have access to health care, food, and in-home care in a timely manner. The order waives eligibility re-determinations of Medi-Cal, IHSS, CalFresh, and CalWORKS for 90 days.
  • March 16th Governor Newsom announced an Executive Order to protect the health and safety of Californians most vulnerable to COVID-19 residing at health care, residential and non-residential facilities licensed by the state. The order directs state health and social services agencies to redirect resources and staff to the facilities, focusing on providing technical assistance and supporting compliance with core health and safety requirements for caregivers and the cared for.
  • March 16th DMV has announced a 60-day period waiving enforcement of expired driver license and vehicle registrations intended to protect the health and safety of DMV customers who would otherwise have to come to a DMV office to take care of business, but are concerned during this coronavirus pandemic.
    • Those transactions that require a DMV office visit include new driver license, duplicate driver license, some driver license renewals, new license plates, complex vehicle registrations or title transfers and off-highway permits.

Health and Safety

  • March 17th Governor Newsom Executive Order to ease restrictions on commercial drivers engaged in support of emergency relief efforts in order to ensure key commodities can be delivered to retailers.
  • March 17th Governor Newsom placed the National Guard on alert to be prepared to perform humanitarian missions across the state including food distribution, ensuring resiliency of supply lines, as well as supporting public safety as required.
  • March 16th Governor Newsom issued new guidance asking the entire state to stop gatherings of any size, have restaurants open only for takeout and delivery as well as close gyms.
  • March 15th Governor Newsom issued guidance, which asks all persons over 65 and those with immune deficiencies to self-isolate. Additionally, the guidance requests that all bars, wineries/breweries, and nightclubs close. It also stated that restaurants cut their occupancy by half and use social distancing when seating patrons with a focus on takeout/delivery. 
  • March 11th State public health officials announced updated guidance stating that gatherings of 250 people or more should be postponed or canceled across the state until at least the end of March. Gatherings of individuals who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should be limited to no more than 10 people, while also following social distancing guidelines.
  • March 4th Governor Newsom declared a State of Emergency to streamline processes that will allow California to more rapidly address the impacts of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases throughout the state.
    • This includes price gouging protections for emergency and medical supplies statewide, including, but not limited to, antibacterial products, hygiene products, prescription and over-the-counter medications, and personal protective equipment;(file a complaint)

Homeowners and Renters

  • The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced a national eviction moratorium for public-housing residents who cannot pay rent due to the coronavirus outbreak. Locally, the Sacramento City Council established an emergency moratorium on evictions, protecting renters who are financially impacted by the coronavirus.
  • March 16th Governor Newsom announced an Executive Order authorizing local governments to halt evictions for renters and homeowners, slows foreclosures, and protects against utility shutoffs for Californians affected by COVID-19. The order does not relieve a tenant from the obligation to pay rent, or restrict the landlord’s ability to recover rent that is due. The order also requests banks and other financial institutions to halt foreclosures and related evictions during this period. The protections are in effect through May 31, 2020, unless extended.