Puente Splash: COVID-19 Updates and Resources
The Coronavirus (Covid-19) calls on all of us to take care of our neighbors, our South Coast community, and ourselves. Here are some resources that we hope will be helpful to you in the days and weeks ahead. Puente is here to help you.
What is Coronavirus (Covid-19)?
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a new virus. The disease causes respiratory illness with symptoms such as a cough, fever, and in more severe cases, difficulty breathing. You can protect yourself by washing your hands frequently, avoiding touching your face, and avoiding close contact (2 meters-6 feet) with people who are unwell. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
How does it spread?
Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, and then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. A person does not always show symptoms when infected.
How can I protect my family and myself?
· Stay home
· Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
· Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue
· Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
· Maintain a safe physical distance of 6 feet whenever outside of the house
· Don’t leave the house except for essential activities
· Don’t touch your face
· Don’t go to the doctor unless you call first
· Officials are recommending face masks be worn when in public
What can I do during Shelter in Place order? What’s open?
San Mateo County, the Bay Area, the State of California and many other states have enacted shelter in place ordinances through May 3, 2020 (these may be extended).
Some services will remain open, such as gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, take-out and delivery restaurants, banks, and Laundromats/laundry services.
Essential state and local government functions will also remain open, including law enforcement and offices that provide government programs and services. Businesses and organizations that provide critical infrastructure for the state are exempted, including health care and public health, public safety, food and agriculture and media.
Read here for information about the San Mateo County shelter in place order: https://www.smcgov.org/shelter-place-faqs
My child is in school. What should I know?
Your child should be set up for long-distance learning and your school should have contacted you with information about study packets and school lunches.
If you do not have a computer or Internet connectivity, or if you have questions about your child’s assignments, contact the schools at:
· Pescadero Schools 650-879-0332 or firstname.lastname@example.org
· La Honda Elementary 650-747-0051 or email@example.com
While schools may open on May 3, 2020, the stay at home order may be extended. California state superintendent of public education, Tony Thurmond, recommends that schools prepare for distance learning for the rest of school year.
As much as your student may want to play with others outside your family, this is not the time for play-dates.
What resources are available to my family and me from Puente?
We are here for you by appointment! Contact us at 650-879-1691 or firstname.lastname@example.org between 9AM and 4PM, or after 4pm at 650-868-0236.
· Puente has received grants to provide financial assistance for those affected by COVID-19.
· Food distribution, weekly, Thursdays from 12-1230PM. 620 North Street, Pescadero. Everyone Welcome! Puente will load your car. This is in conjunction with Second Harvest of Silicon Valley and other local partners.
· Assistance filling out the Census questionnaire.
· Story time online! Visit http://www.facebook/Puentedelacostasur to view or download videos.
· Picking up groceries, medication and mail for adult +55 without other support systems.
· Immigration case intakes and other legal services that can be provided by interviews over the phone or Internet.
· Behavioral health services.
· Urgent Notary Public services.
· ACE and MediCal applications.
· CalFresh (Food stamps) applications.
· Assistance with unemployment applications.
· Tax preparation is on hold because some restrictions
Updates on these programs is available on our website at www.mypuente.org.
Where can I find other local resources and other information?
· The Pescadero Municipal Advisory Council (PMAC) makes regular updates to its special website with South Coast COVID-19 Resources. http://www.pescaderocouncil.org/south-coast-covid19-resources
· Puente’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/puentedelacostasur/
· SMC ALERT is an alert notification system used to immediately contact you during urgent or emergency situations. https://hsd.smcsheriff.com/smcalert.
· The La Honda Google Digest
· Your Nextdoor groups are a good source too as well as the Facebook groups for Pescadero and La Honda
· Pescadero Town Sign and area Post office for short notices
· California Department of Public Health https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Guidance.aspx
What can I do to help my community?
· Check in with your neighbors, especially those that are older or that have disabilities.
· Share the contents of this newsletter with a friend or neighbor.
· Contribute to Puente’s Covid-19 Fund. Puente has created a COVID-19 Public Health Response Fund. This fund is designed to support residents of Pescadero, La Honda, Loma Mar and San Gregorio who have been affected by lost work hours or laid off due to the virus pandemic. Even if the federal government provides some relief, many of the already vulnerable residents of our area will most likely not be eligible for such benefits. Despite this health crisis, families need to pay rent, buy groceries, pay their students' tuition, and more. https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/puente
· Support the organizations that support life on the South Coast during Coastside Gives fundraising campaign (from now through May 7).
· Provide tutoring and mentoring to South Coast students.
· Refer seniors and other vulnerable neighbors to Puente’s grocery and medication pick up service.
· Fill out your Census 2020 Form. Census packets are being delivered! Please fill them out so there is an accurate picture of our region. Census data will influence almost every government decision for the next 10 years.
· Governor Newsom has announced a statewide plan to recruit medical professionals to prepare for a possible surge of patients in California. For more information, visit covid19.ca.gov/healthcorps.
What resources are available for me if I am no longer working because of Covid-19?
If you are a legal resident
You may apply for unemployment insurance through the Employment Development Department (E.D.D.), which has waived the usual one-week waiting period. That means workers who are unemployed or underemployed as a result of the coronavirus should be able to receive benefits starting the first day of lost hours or work, though given the volume of claims it will likely take at least three weeks to receive your benefits. For assistance applying for unemployment call Puente at 650-879-1691.
Beginning April 1 through Dec. 31, under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, eligible employees can receive up to 80 paid sick hours and 10 weeks of extended paid leave when a parent cannot work because of the closure of a child’s school or child care because of Covid-19.
If you are undocumented
Unfortunately, undocumented workers cannot get Unemployment Insurance. Only individuals with legal authorization to work in the U.S. are eligible for Unemployment Insurance (for example, asylees, refugees, DACA recipients, individuals with temporary protected status, lawful permanent residents (even if their green card has expired), and individuals who have been issued an Employment Authorization Document while their application for legal immigration status is pending). However, undocumented workers can get income from other programs, including:
· Workers’ Compensation; and
· Paid sick days.
For families that are concerned about the "public charge" rule, immigration officials have confirmed that they will neither consider testing, treatment, nor preventative care related to COVID-19 as part of a public charge inadmissibility determination.
California is the only state to extend coverage to low-income undocumented adults ages 25 and younger for the state’s Medicaid program (Medi-Cal).
If you are a renter
No landlord is to evict a tenant who demonstrates inability to pay rent due to the coronavirus, according to the emergency regulation that ends May 31 unless extended by the county. Tenants have up to 180 days after the regulation’s end to pay delayed rents.
What can I do to keep my business going during this time?
The funds from the CARES Act, which President Donald Trump signed into law on March 27, are divided among three small-business programs that offer forgivable grants and loans, as well as loan deferral. (These Small Business Administration programs also apply to nonprofits that meet the necessary size requirements.) https://www.sba.gov
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
The bulk of the small business stimulus funds in the CARES Act, roughly $349 billion, is dedicated to establishing the Paycheck Protection Program, which is intended to guarantee businesses and nonprofits the loans they need to cover eight weeks of payroll, along with some utility and rent costs. If businesses keep employees on payroll or rehire them by June 30 after they’ve been laid off, these loans could be fully forgiven. Businesses are able to request 2.5 times their average monthly payroll costs for this loan.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance (EIDL)
This money will go toward two things: It sets up a grant program that would provide a $10,000 emergency “advance” that businesses won’t have to pay back, and it funds low-interest loans organizations can use to cover operating expenses, though they will have to repay these funds. The loan amount that organizations can request will be based on the amount of “economic injury” that they have sustained because of the coronavirus. Businesses and nonprofits can apply for the EIDL directly on the Small Business Administration website.
SBA Express Bridge Loans
Allows small businesses that currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan.
California has allocated $50 million to the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank for loan guarantees to small businesses to help eliminate barriers to capital for individuals who do not qualify for federal funds, including low wealth and undocumented immigrant communities. The state is also allowing small businesses to defer payment of sales and use taxes of up to $50,000, for up to 12 months.
California has also provided for a 90-day extension on all businesses filing a return for less than $1 million in taxes. Interested taxpayers should contact CDTFA by visiting cdtfa.ca.gov or calling 800-400-7115.