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Local public health departments, including those in Assembly District 22, are making dramatic recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the coronavirus.
Effective 12:01 a.m., March 17, 2020 six Bay Area counties (San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin and Santa Clara) have issued a public health order, directing all residents to "shelter-in-place." That means residents should stay home if they have non-essential job duties. Functions that are essential to an individual or their family, such as getting food, going to the medical appointments, or providing for a sick family member, can be continued. The order is in place until at least April 7, 2020. This is an evolving situation and could change.
- County of San Mateo: https://www.smcgov.org/
- Information for specific cities: https://www.smcgov.org/covid-19-information-cities.
- San Mateo County Office of Emergency Services: https://cmo.smcgov.org/eoc
- San Mateo County Public Health: https://www.smchealth.org/coronavirus
- Shelter in Place Order: https://www.smcgov.org/sites/smcgov.org/files/HO%20Order%20Shelter%20in%20Place%2020200316.pdf
- California Department of Public Health: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Guidance.aspx
The best way for us all to reduce their risk of getting sick, as with seasonal colds or the flu, still applies to prevent COVID-19:
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Cover your cough or sneeze.
- Stay home.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Try alternatives to shaking hands, like an elbow bump or wave.
- Keep common spaces clean to help maintain a healthy environment for you and others. Frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned regularly with disinfecting sprays, wipes or common household cleaning products.
- Take care of each other and check in by phone with friends, family and neighbors who are vulnerable to serious illness or death if they get COVID-19.
- If you have recently returned from a country, state or region with ongoing COVID-19 infections, monitor your health and follow the instructions of public health officials.
Health Care Settings: Avoid as possible, protect the vulnerable
- Long term care facilities must have a COVID-19 plan in accordance with DPH guidelines.
- Long term care facilities must screen all staff and visitors for illness and turn away those with symptoms.
- The general public should avoid going to medical settings such as hospitals, nursing homes and long-term care facilities, even if you are not ill.
- If you are ill, call your health care provider ahead of time, and you may be able to be served by phone.
- Do not visit emergency rooms unless it is essential.
- Experience symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath
- Experience symptoms of fever and cough and have come in contact with someone confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 (coronavirus)
- Experience symptoms of fever and cough and have been hospitalized recently with pneumonia, regardless of cause
Call your primary care provider; your provider will evaluate your condition and refer you to testing.
If you do not have a primary care provider:
- In San Mateo County: Get enrolled in the county’s Access and Care for Everyone (ACE) program for the uninsured by calling the Health Coverage Unit of the Health Plan of San Mateo at 650-616-2002. Once you are enrolled, you will then be referred to a provider at a nearby San Mateo Medical Center clinic. For more information on ACE, visit https://www.hpsm.org/member/ace.
There have been plans announced for an online tool, to be developed by Verily, a subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet, to help triage individuals and direct them to testing facilities if necessary. This will be rolled out for testing in the Bay Area at some point in the near future. As information becomes available, we will post updates.
For more information and resources, visit:
California Department of Public Health: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/ncov2019.aspx
San Mateo County Health: https://www.smchealth.org/post/novel-coronavirus-covid-19-updates-resources
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) today asked California law enforcement to exercise discretion for 60 days in their enforcement of driver license and vehicle registration expiration dates beginning March 16, 2020. The DMV is taking this action so that at-risk populations, including seniors and those with underlying health conditions, can avoid required visits to DMV field offices for driver license or vehicle registration renewals.
This 60-day period for driver license and vehicle registrations is 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.
Those Californians who will benefit from this action include the elderly, those with compromised immune systems and those who are ill.
Transactions that fall within this action include driver license renewals for those:
- 70 years of age and older, who are required to take a knowledge test
- Individuals who are required to renew in the office (last DMV visit was 15 years prior)
- Individuals subject to vision testing
- Individuals with complex driving history
The 60-day period also applies to vehicle registration renewals for customers who are not eligible to use an alternative service channel because of the following reasons:
- Outdated insurance information
- Registration expired for 90 days or more
- Smog issues
- Recent transfer
Dozens of DMV tasks can easily be taken care of through other channels including online, through the mail, through the 365 kiosks statewide or in our business partner locations.
California law enforcement is encouraged to exercise flexibility and discretion when reviewing driver license or identification and vehicle registration records. If applicable, DMV may waive vehicle registration penalties.
All DMV offices remain open at this time to process those transactions that must be taken care of in an office, including REAL ID. The DMV has implemented many process improvements and incorporated technological solutions to increase access to DMV outside of the office and decrease the amount of time someone has to spend at a DMV office.
For REAL ID, the federal government requires an office visit. REAL ID customers can fill out the online application before going into an office. In 23 offices throughout the state, customers can upload their REAL ID documents before their office visit. This option will be statewide by June.
If you encounter significant price gouging, please contact the CA Attorney General at (800-952-5225) or this website: https://oag.ca.gov/consumers
Designated Shopping Times for Seniors and Vulnerable Populations
In an effort to provide seniors and members of San Mateo County’s vulnerable populations with the opportunity to shop at a time when stores are likely to be cleanest, crowds have not yet arrived and shelves are as stocked as possible, many local and national businesses have reserved times for these individuals to shop. The following stores have indicated they have implemented these designated times. As more information becomes available, we will update this list. Everyone is also encouraged to contact each store to confirm their hours and policies.
Whole Foods – doors will open at 8:00 a.m. to customers 60 and older to give them one order to give them one hour to shop before stores open to the general public at 9:00 a.m.
Target – every Wednesday, the first hour of shopping is reserved for “vulnerable” customers, including elderly and those with underlying health conditions.
Safeway – every Tuesday and Thursday vulnerable shoppers can shop from the time the store opens to 9:00 a.m.
Key Market, Redwood City – their store will open at 8:30 a.m. for seniors and those with disabilities.
New Leaf Community Markets, Half Moon Bay – their stores has a senior hour from 8:00-9:00 a.m. daily and a 10% senior discount is now being offered at all hours Monday through Friday.
Information from the State of California and State Surgeon General
San Mateo County Information for Coping With Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreak