Contra Costa County Covid-19 Hotline: (844) 729-8410

The County Health Department has been great about responding at this email: doc.callcenter@cchealth.org.

City of Lafayette Business Assistance Program >>

 

Lafayette’s Business Assistance Program: The Lafayette Business Assistance Program is still available to provide one-on-one help to local businesses and non-profits with COVID relief grants, programs and resources.

 

Contra Costa to Lift Masking Requirements in Some Indoor Settings on Nov. 1.

October 14, 2021. Read more: https://bit.ly/3BJQhEC

 

 

Bay Area Health Officers Issue Criteria for Lifting Indoor Masking Requirements

Thursday, October 7, 2021

As decisions to vaccinate and wear face coverings indoors drive down COVID-19 case rates and hospitalizations, health officers for the nine Bay Area jurisdictions that require face coverings in most indoor public spaces today reached consensus on criteria to lift those health orders. Read more here.

 

Tell the City How Best to Spend $6.3M in Covid-19 Relief Funds

The City is receiving $6.3 million in federal assistance from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to assist with our local economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Learn more about these funds on the Business Recovery page and share your priorities for how to spend the money to support local individuals, businesses and non-profits, make certain infrastructure investments, and/or replace lost City revenue:

  • TAKE THE SURVEY: In order to develop a program that will best help Lafayette businesses and non-profits, the City’s ARPA subcommittee developed a community survey, which will be open until October 25: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/lafayettebiz
  • ATTEND AN ONLINE MEETING: The ARPA subcommittee is hosting two public forums to discuss ideas. For more details include information on how to participate in the Zoom-based forums, click on the meeting dates below:

 

Supervisor Candace Andersen’s Weekly Update

September 17, 2021

https://myemail.constantcontact.com/September-17th-Weekly-Update.html?soid=1110465271384&aid=6Gs4SfK8BXI

➡ New COVID-19 Health Order: COVID-19 Proof of Vaccination or Test Required for Some Contra Costa Businesses
➡ Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record
➡ It’s Not Just Public Health Officers Asking People to Get Vaccinated, It’s Your Own Local Doctor
➡ COVID-19 Booster Vaccines Are Available for Some Immunocompromised People

And more!

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Proof of Vaccination RequiredCOVID-19 Proof of Vaccination or Test Required for Some Contra Costa Businesses

Press Release

Business Resources

Contra Costa County joined San Francisco, Berkeley, and other communities across the U.S. today with a countywide health order that increases COVID-19 safety in restaurants, gyms, and other indoor businesses where there is an elevated risk of the virus spreading.

The new order, effective September 22, requires patrons of these businesses to show proof they are fully vaccinated to enter indoor areas or a negative COVID-19 test result from the past three days.

Contra Costa has endured a severe spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations this summer due to the increasing prevalence of the highly infectious delta variant of the virus and unvaccinated residents.

While the peak of the surge seems to have passed, data show the county’s daily case rate remains as high as it was last February. There were 15 COVID-related deaths in Contra Costa from August 25 to 31, and 20 from September 1 to 7, the two highest seven-day totals since March. Unvaccinated residents account for 95.9% of the county’s deaths so far.

COVID-19 case rates are about five times higher in unvaccinated county residents compared to fully vaccinated residents, hospitalization rates are approximately 16 times higher, and death rates are approximately 22 times higher.

“This order is necessary now to save lives, protect our overburdened healthcare system, and slow the pandemic enough to keep our schools open,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa County Health Officer. “Reducing community transmission of the virus now is key to preventing future spikes in cases from overwhelming our county’s hospitals during the winter months.”

The new order applies to businesses where people remove face coverings to eat or drink indoors, such as restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues, and to gyms and other indoor fitness facilities, including yoga and dance studios, where patrons breathe more heavily due to exercise.

The order also includes a requirement for workers in indoor areas of these businesses to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 by November 1 or test weekly for COVID-19.

To show proof of vaccination, patrons must show a photo ID and their vaccination record cards from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), or copies or pictures of their cards. Documentation from healthcare providers will also be accepted, as will digital COVID-19 vaccine records issued by the State of California.

Visit myvaccinerecord.cdph.ca.gov for a link to your digital vaccination, which can be downloaded onto your smartphone.

Visit cchealth.org/coronavirus for more information about this health order, or to find a safe, fast and free COVID-19 vaccination in Contra Costa County.

 

Everyone 12 years and older must show proof of vaccination or a negative test result before going into or working at a high-risk indoor place, including:
Restaurants
Bars
Theaters where food and beverages are served
Gyms
Recreation facilities
Yoga studios
Dance studios
Starting Sept. 22, businesses that must verify vaccination or negative testing must ask each customer for photo identification and proof full vaccination or negative test result and ensure the names match on the records provided. One free tool businesses can use to scan vaccination QR codes is the SMART® Health Card Verifier App.
This requirement only applies to indoor areas of businesses. No verification is required for outdoor dining or activities. Masked patrons who have not provided vaccine or testing verification may briefly enter a business that requires it to use the restroom, pick up or deliver food or goods, or perform other transactions that do not require them to be inside the business for an extended period.
Starting Nov. 1, 2021, workers at businesses serving food and drinks indoors or fitness facilities must show proof of full vaccination. If not fully vaccinated, workers must test for COVID-19 weekly and provide negative test results to their employer.

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Live Performers Can Drop Their Masks in Fully Vaccinated Venues

Thursday, September 2, 2021  READ UPDATE HERE from Supervisor Candace Andersen

➡ Updated Information for Quarantining in Contra Costa County
➡ COVID-19 Booster Vaccines Now Available for Some Immunocompromised People
➡ Federal Unemployment Benefits End September 4, Available Resources to Help With Food, Healthcare & Housing
➡ Suicide Prevention Community Forum on Youth and Suicide
➡ Immigration Inclusion Welcoming Plan
➡ Information for Voting in the Upcoming Recall Election of Governor Newsom
➡ Contra Costa County Seeks Nominations for Humanitarian of the Year

Contra Costa Releases COVID-19 Safety Guidance for Youth Sports and Activities

Thursday, September 2, 2021  READ MEDIA RELEASE HERE

 

 

Face Coverings Required in Public Indoor Settings to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

Post Date: 08/03/2021 2:18 PM, City of Lafayette

As of August 3, 2021, all people, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear face coverings in public indoor settings in Contra Costa County until further notice. Public settings include but are not limited to business offices, retail stores, restaurants, theaters, family entertainment centers, meeting rooms and State and local government facilities where services are provided to the public.

Vaccination continues to protect against severe COVID-19 illness, but with the COVID-19 Delta variant now infecting a small percentage of vaccinated people as well as many unvaccinated people, Contra Costa County and other Bay Area health officers have issued health orders requiring masks indoors in public places.

This order does not apply to people in the following circumstances:

  • When alone in a room.
  • When actively eating or drinking.
  • When swimming or showering.
  • When receiving care or other service that requires removal of the face covering, including by way of example and without limitation, medical care requiring exposure of the nose or mouth, cosmetic services involving the face, and dental procedures.
  • When exempt from wearing face coverings under the State Face Covering Guidance or other applicable California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidance. The State Face Covering Guidance exempts the following individuals from wearing masks:
    • Persons younger than two years old. Very young children must not wear a mask because of the risk of suffocation.
    • Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a mask, including persons with a medical condition for whom wearing a mask could obstruct breathing or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a mask without assistance.
    • Persons who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
    • Persons for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined.

For more information, read the Contra Costa Health Services Health Order and Press Release (issued 8/2/2021)

 

Bay Area Health Officials Urge Immediate Vaccination and Issue Orders Requiring Use of Face Coverings Indoors to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

Counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma, and the City of Berkeley Indoor Masking Orders Take Effect Tuesday

Vaccination continues to protect against severe COVID-19 illness, but with the COVID-19 Delta variant now infecting a small percentage of vaccinated people as well as many unvaccinated people, eight Bay Area health officers have issued health orders requiring masks indoors in public places.

The orders require all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, to wear face coverings when indoors in public settings, with limited exceptions, starting at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, August 3rd.

Vaccines remain the most powerful tool in the fight against COVID-19, including the Delta variant. Nonetheless, the Delta variant is infecting a small percentage of the vaccinated in the Bay Area — who still remain strongly protected against severe illness, hospitalization, and death. In those instances of infection in a vaccinated person, a face covering prevents further spread. Bay Area health officials urge all unvaccinated residents 12 and older to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

“We must act now to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our community. If you are eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine and have not yet done so, please do not wait any longer,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, health officer for Contra Costa. “During July the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in our county increased 400%. Four out of five of the COVID patients we see are not vaccinated, even though only one out of five Contra Costa adults are not vaccinated.”

These health orders aim to reduce community transmission of COVID-19 and protect everyone. Health officials are very concerned by the substantial levels of community transmission now found across the Bay Area, especially among unvaccinated people. In part, this is due to the widespread COVID-19 Delta variant, which is substantially more transmissible than previous forms of the virus. Recent information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also indicates that even fully vaccinated individuals can in some cases spread the Delta variant to others, and so indoor use of face coverings provides an important added layer of protection.

The new Health Orders require wearing a well-fitting mask indoors in public settings. Indoor settings, whether public or private, are higher risk for COVID-19 transmission, especially when you are with people you do not live with. Health officials also recommend that all employers make face coverings available to individuals entering their businesses, and businesses are required to implement the indoor face covering order.

Today’s Health Orders are consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Public Health, which recommend that fully vaccinated individuals wear masks while in indoor public settings. Bay Area Health Officers will continue to monitor data, including increasing vaccination throughout the region, to determine when the Orders can be adjusted or lifted.

For more information about COVID-19, and how to get a free vaccine near you, visit cchealth.org/coronavirus.

 

 

Supervisor Candace Andersen’s Weekly Update – July 24, 2021

https://myemail.constantcontact.com/July-24-Weekly-Update.html?soid=1110465271384&aid=o5RJYACYzaI

➡ Contra Costa, Santa Clara County and San Francisco Public Health Officials Urge Employers to Consider Requiring Employee Vaccination to Promote COVID-Safe Workplaces
➡ Masking Indoors for Everyone is Recommended as a Precaution Against Increased Circulation of COVID-19
➡ Masking and Social Distancing Changes: Masks Required in Court Facilities Effective July 20
➡ COVID Status of Contra Costa County: Cases per day per 100,000 for unvaccinated is approximately 32 per 100,000
➡ COVID hospitalizations have more than doubled since the June 15 reopening when only 25 COVID patients were hospitalized.
➡ TRUTH Act Virtual Community Forum on July 27
➡ City Wide Sidewalk Sale
➡ I-680 Contra Costa Express Lanes Begin Tolling on August 20th
➡ Students Can Receive Two Months of Free Rides On County Connection
➡ Public Safety Power Shutoffs
➡ Contra Costa County Library Increases Hours at 17 Libraries
➡ BART Continues Limited Late Night Service for Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays
➡ Wildfire Risk to Communities Website
➡ Measure X Community Advisory Board Seeks Public Input

 

Media Release: Contra Costa, Santa Clara and San Francisco Public Health Officials Urge Employers to Consider Requiring Employee Vaccination to Promote COVID-Safe Workplaces

Thursday, July 22, 2021
Contra Costa, Santa Clara and San Francisco Public Health Officials Urge Employers to Consider Requiring Employee Vaccination to Promote COVID-Safe Workplaces :: Press Releases :: Contra Costa Health Services (cchealth.org)

 

Supervisor Candace Andersen’s weekly update, July 16, 2021

https://myemail.constantcontact.com/July-16-Weekly-Update.html?soid=1110465271384&aid=A7SOSfmSAqg

With a new surge of COVID-19 driving up case rates and hospitalizations across the Bay Area, Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) recommends that everyone consider wearing face coverings whenever they enter indoor public spaces, regardless of their vaccination status.

This extra precaution is not a requirement, but a healthy choice that Contra Costa and most other Bay Area counties endorse, including Alameda, Marin, San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Sonoma, and the City of Berkeley.

➡ Masking Indoors for Everyone is Recommended as a Precaution Against Increased Circulation of COVID-19
➡ COVID-19 Rates Continue to Rise in Contra Costa
➡ COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools in California, 2021-22 School Year
➡ Final Weekend of Free COVID-19 Vaccines at Local School Campuses
➡ I-680 Contra Costa Express Lanes Begin Tolling on August 20th
➡ Students Can Receive Two Months of Free RidesOn County Connection
➡ What is the Truth Act Forum?
➡ Public Safety Power Shutoffs-GET ALERTS ON YOUR CELL PHONE
➡ Contra Costa County Library Increases Hours at 17 Libraries
➡ BART Starts Limited Late Night Service for Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays
➡ Caltrans Advisory: NB SR-242 Concord Full Highway Closures this Weekend
➡ Contra Costa Animal Services/PetHub Partnership 21st Century Pet Identification
➡ Wildfire Risk to Communities Website

 

Supervisor Candace Andersen’s July 1st Weekly Update

Supervisor Candace Andersen’s July 1 Weekly Update (constantcontact.com)

  • Regulations for Masks in the Workplace
  • Requiring Masking and Testing of Unvaccinated Personnel Working in High Risk Settings
  • Bring Vaccinations to Your Workplace or Organization: Contra Costa Mobile COVID-19 Vaccine Service
  • Free COVID-19 Vaccines Being Offered at Local School Campuses
  • Contra Costa County Extends Eviction Moratorium Through September 30
  • Contra Costa Rental Relief Program

 

Media Release: Contra Costa, Santa Clara and San Francisco Public Health Officials Urge Employers to Consider Requiring Employee Vaccination to Promote COVID-Safe Workplaces

Thursday, July 22, 2021

MCE Cares Credit

As part of MCE’s ongoing COVID relief efforts, we are offering bill credits to help those most financially impacted. Beginning in April 2021, eligible residential customers can receive the MCE Cares Credit of $10/month, and small business customers are eligible for a 20% monthly discount on their electric generation charges. The MCE Cares Credit will be available through December 2021. Please visit https://www.mcecleanenergy.org/mce-cares-credit/ for more information.

 

 

Contra Costa County Passes Ordinance to Extend Eviction Protection and Rent Freeze

Posted in the Weekly Roundup, July 25, 2021
This week, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors extended eviction protections when they unanimously passed Urgency Ordinance No. 2021-20 that continues a temporary eviction moratorium for certain residential tenants and a moratorium on certain residential rent increases through September 30, 2021. The Urgency Ordinance also continues a temporary eviction moratorium for certain commercial tenants through September 30, 2021. This action took effect immediately. You can read the full document rich here: Ordinance No. 2021-20 (PDF). Find answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding this ordinance on the County website soon.

 

Supervisor Candace Andersen’s June 24th Weekly Update

https://myemail.constantcontact.com/June-24th-Weekly-Update.html?soid=1110465271384&aid=Kj8JfsPQnQ0

➡ Contra Costa County Continues to Align with California’s Grand Reopening
➡ State Unveils New Vaccine Verification System
➡ Regulations for Masks in the Workplace
➡ County’s Two Largest Private Healthcare Providers to Offer Vaccine Answers
➡ Bring Vaccinations to Your Workplace or Organization: Contra Costa Mobile COVID-19 Vaccine Service
➡ Free COVID-19 Vaccines Being Offered at Local School Campuses
➡ Contra Costa Rental Relief Program
➡ PG&E Financial Assistance Programs Available
➡ Make Your Plans for a Safe 4th of July Without Illegal Fireworks
➡ Contra Costa Wildfire Safety Regional Webinar
➡ Wildfire Risk to Communities Website
➡ BART Overnight Construction Work in Lafayette and Orinda
➡ Measure X Community Advisory Board Seeks Public Input

Contra Costa County Continues to Align with California’s Grand Reopening

When California moved Beyond the Blueprint for a Safer Economy and eliminated the color-coded tier system for counties.
Contra Costa County aligned with the state’s guidance – meaning there are far fewer restrictions on business and social activity, although things still won’t be exactly like they were before the pandemic.
While there won’t be capacity limits on businesses in Contra Costa County, masking will still be required for everyone in several settings. Some businesses may choose to maintain masking or distancing requirements for their patrons in their facilities, which is their right. Also, no one can be denied service if they choose to wear a mask.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the new rules for outdoor and indoor settings in Contra Costa and across the state:
  • Capacity limitations: No restrictions
  • Physical distancing: No restrictions for attendees, customers, and guests. Workers on the job must maintain physical distancing and schools should keep student desks at least 3 feet apart.
  • Masking: Fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks in most settings. Unvaccinated people must still wear masks in indoor public settings and businesses.
Places Where Everyone, Regardless of Vaccination Status Must Still Wear a Mask:
  • Public transit (examples: airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, and ride-shares)
  • K-12 schools, childcare facilities, and other youth settings (indoors)
  • Healthcare settings (including long-term care facilities)
  • Homeless shelters, emergency shelters, and cooling centers
  • Correctional facilities and detention centers
  • Businesses that choose to require masks for all customers
  • Fully vaccinated people may also choose to continue to wear face coverings if that makes them more comfortable
  • Travelers: follow CDC recommendations and CDPH Travel Advisory
  • Vaccine verification/negative COVID-19 test: required for indoor mega-events (5000+ attendees) and recommended for outdoor mega-events (10,000+ attendees). The State of California is supposed to be coming out with a verification system soon.
For more information, see the Beyond the Blueprint webpage.

Regulations for Masks in the Workplace

Cal/OSHA, the state regulatory agency for workplace safety, approved new workplace rules on June 17 that allows most fully vaccinated workers in many workplaces to stop wearing masks and ends physical distancing requirements for all workers. Governor Newsom signed an Executive Order last week implementing this policy immediately.
Employers may allow fully vaccinated employees not to wear face coverings indoors but must document their vaccination status. Workers may self-attest to having been vaccinated, but employers may also require it as a condition of employment.
Unvaccinated employees still must wear masks indoors except when alone in a room or vehicle or when eating or drinking.
Contra Costa County will align and follow the Cal-OSHA guidance; the health officer will not be imposing and additional restrictions.
Businesses seeking assistance to provide N95 respirators for unvaccinated employees as required by the revised Emergency Temporary Standards can find distribution locations for state-provided N95 respirators here.
The full text of the executive order can be found here.

Bring Vaccinations to Your Workplace or Organization: Contra Costa Mobile COVID-19 Vaccine Service

Businesses and community organizations can now request visits from Contra Costa Health Services’ (CCHS) mobile COVID-19 vaccination van to workplaces, community centers and other locations where five or more members of a group want to receive vaccine.
The free mobile vaccination service began Monday June 14. Any business or organization can request a mobile vaccination clinic using an online form if they are in the county and CCHS will send a mobile health van to provide free vaccinations on site within one week after completing the request.
This service operates weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will only travel to locations within the county, though they will vaccinate anyone eligible regardless of where they live. There is no cap on the number of people who can be vaccinated during a visit.
The state’s pandemic health orders ended on June 15, allowing fully vaccinated people to visit businesses and enjoy communal activities without the need for face masks or physical distancing. Visit the CCHS Beyond the Blueprint page for details. But the health guidelines for people who are not vaccinated will remain largely unchanged – now is a great time to consider a safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine if you have not already gotten one.

 

Contra Costa Rental Relief Program

If you need help paying rent and utilities due to COVID-19’s impact on your finances, you can check eligibility and apply for assistance at HousingIsKey.com or call 833-430-2122.

 

PG&E Financial Assistance Programs Available

Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) updated customer support website, launched earlier this month, provides information on all the financial assistance and support programs currently available to qualified customers in one easy to use page.
June 30 is the anticipated end-date for the moratorium on non-payment shutoffs. This does not mean shutoffs will happen July 1 – but the clock does restart. PG&E is prepared to help customers with arrearages, but the customer must initiate the contact. To learn more options about various programs go to payment assistance.
Customers who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can now find new and updated information and web resources on various programs available to those who are behind on their bills and/or needing financial assistance due to the ongoing pandemic by going to PGE financial support
To access additional information for more ways for customers to receive support, you can go to PG&E’s Medical Baseline Program as well as various external programs such as the California COVID-19 Rent Relief Act helping income-eligible households pay rent and utilities, both for past due and future payments.
Renters and landlords are eligible to apply.

 

Understanding the new rules for COVID -19

Posted June 12 by Jay Lifson

As an employer, you have followed the State and County guidelines and health orders.  On Tuesday, June 15, the entire system we have been following for the last 10 months (the California 4-Tier, color-coded reopening framework) will be shelved.  California will open up to pre-pandemic status.  With a few exceptions of course.  The challenge health officials have had is nothing less than colossal.  With that said the direction or often mis-direction from authorities made navigating the changes nearly impossible to follow.

On Thursday, May 13, 2021 the CDC dropped the mask rules for those who were fully vaccinated.  Yet it took 4 days for the State of California to respond with, NOT SO FAST.  Unless you are following this day to day, most people had no idea that the County and State override the CDC guidelines.  Mask mandates have remained, and will until June 15.  Now businesses have something else to worry about.  Cal/OSHA (The Division of Occupational Safety and Health) has been vacillating over workplace standards after June 15.

Here is where we are now…

Cal/OSHA released their new rules (Standards Title 8, Division 1, Chapter 4, Subchapter 7.  General Industry Safety Orders, section 3205), that would guide workplace orders post June 15.  The order was so out of touch with science and completely unacceptable to most people, Governor Newsome asked OSHA to walk the order back.  The main complaint had all employees wearing masks if only one employee was not vaccinated.  On June 9, the board decided to withdraw revisions to the Emergency Temporary Standards.  On Friday, June 11, the OSHA board released revisions to the safety orders.  OSHA plans to pass the new standards on Thursday, June 17, two days after California drops the tier system.  If amended, they will not go into effect until June 28.

What you need to know…

  • Until June 28, employees are still required to wear masks
  • After June 28, anyone who has not been vaccinated or can not be vaccinated must still wear masks indoors, which includes children 2-12 years old.
  • Outdoors un-vaccinated persons will still need to practice social distancing and must wear a mask if they are within 6’ of others.
  • Employers must verify and document the vaccination status of vaccinated employees if they chose not to wear a mask
  • The honor system is OK to use for your customers
  • You can still require your customers to wear a mask when they are in your business
  • You can not ask someone to take off their mask

Protect yourself and your business

Please take the time to read through the revised Safety Orders https://www.dir.ca.gov/oshsb/documents/Jun172021-COVID-19-Prevention-Emergency-txtcourtesy-Readoption.pdf

There is a number of steps that you as an employer will need to follow.  They include prevention plans, workplace conduct, procedures to investigate workplace COVID-19 cases and policies for correcting unsafe conditions.

We find ourselves in the “Red Zone” (inside the 20 yard line) for the first time since the pandemic began.  Please do not let your guard down.  Your employees are counting on it.  Your customers are trusting you.  And your community wants to enjoy life as we knew it, before our public safety was decimated.

Respectfully,
Jay Lifson, Executive Director, Lafayette Chamber

 

Supervisor Candace Andersen Weekly Update, June 10, 2021

https://myemail.constantcontact.com/June-10th-Weekly-Update.html?soid=1110465271384&aid=ZCCl_VwJXEY

 

Supervisor Candace Andersen Weekly Update, May 27, 2021

➡ How Will California Open Up After June 15?

➡ Cal OSHA Delays Vote to Revise COVID-19 Workplace Safety Requirements

➡ California Leaves Face-Covering Requirement in Place

➡ Are You Vaccinated Yet? Free COVID-19 Vaccines Being Offered at Local School Campuses, June 1-June 5 and June 22-June 26 at Acalanes High School

➡ Vaccine Access for Those Who Cannot Leave Their Home

➡ What To Do if You Lose Your Vaccination Card

➡ Contra Costa’s Behavioral Health Community Crisis Response Initiative

➡ Contra Costa County Active Transportation Plan

➡ Red Cross Sponsored Blood Drives, Lafayette Library and Learning Center June 23, 10am-4pm

And so much more!! Learn more in Supervisor Candace Andersen’s Weekly Update here. 

 

SBA) will stop accepting applications for direct aid to restaurants from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund after 8 p.m. EST on Monday, May 24

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will stop accepting applications for direct aid to restaurants from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund after 8 p.m. EST on Monday, May 24, signaling that the aid program is running out of its $28.6 billion in funding.
The agency said in an announcement Tuesday evening that it has already received more than 303,000 applications requesting over $69 billion in direct relief to restaurants from the fund. To date, the SBA said, it has approved 38,000 requests for more than $6 billion.
The agency acknowledges that it still has not depleted portions of the $28.6 billion that were set aside for certain groups of restaurants, including those with 2019 revenues of $50,000 or less. It is only because those sub-programs are still liquid that the SBA will keep accepting applications until Monday, the agency said.
However, it noted that all qualifying restaurants can and should apply because not all of the program’s funding has been committed.

U.S. Small Business Administration COVID-19 Update.

UPDATE: Owners of restaurants and related businesses have until 𝗠𝗼𝗻𝗱𝗮𝘆, 𝗠𝗮𝘆 𝟮𝟰, 𝟴𝗽𝗺 𝗘𝗧 to submit applications to the #RestaurantRevitalizationFund.

 

Supervisor Candace Andersen’s Weekly Update, May 13, 2021

https://conta.cc/3uFuSJj

➡ Children Ages 12-15 Now Eligible For Covid-19 Vaccination in Contra Costa County
➡ Free COVID-19 Vaccines Coming to Local School Campuses
➡ All County-run Vaccine Sites Now Accepting Walk-ins Without Appointments
➡ Free Rides are Available to COVID 19 Vaccine Sites Through Uber and Lyft
➡ Contra Costa Will Follow the State’s Mask Guidance
➡ Do You Still Have Questions About the Safety of the Vaccine?
➡ FCC Providing Discounts For Eligible Households
➡ Blueprint for Safer Economy – Dimmer Framework – Why isn’t Contra Costa County in the Yellow Tier?

 

State’s Updated Mask Guidance

Contra Costa County aligned with the state this week, relaxing mask requirements for people who are fully vaccinated. Contra Costa will not adopt anything more restrictive.

The new requirements include:
• People who are fully vaccinated can go without masks outdoors, except in crowded settings such as concerts, sporting events, street fairs and similar settings.
• For unvaccinated people, face coverings are required outdoors anytime physical distancing can’t be maintained, including at events with crowds.
• Regardless of vaccination status, face coverings are still required in indoor settings in the community such as in stores, restaurants (except when eating or drinking), and on public transportation.
• Fully vaccinated people can visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors or outdoors without masks or physical distancing.
• Fully vaccinated people can visit indoors or outdoors without face coverings with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for COVID-19.

Learn more about mask requirements in CDPH’s Guidance for use of face coverings: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/guidance-for-face-coverings.aspx

 

 

Access the Business Assistance Program’s guide to the four (4) most popular COVID-19 relief programs available to you:

SBA Paycheck Protection Program Round 2 (PPP2)

CA Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)

IBank California Rebuilding Fund (CRF)

 

City of Lafayette COVID-19 Business Assistance Program – BREAKING: PPP funds have run out; here are your options

Posted May 5, 2021
Small Businesses of Lafayette,

Please see below for an extremely important update on the SBA Paycheck Protection Program Round 2 (PPP2): The SBA has declared that PPP funds have run our. If you are still trying to get PPP funds, please read this email carefully as there may still be a chance for you to achieve funding.

We at the Lafayette Business Assistance Program are here to be your local human resource for COVID-19 funding. Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions.

If you would like to have a “face-to-face” meeting to discuss your needs, feel free to schedule a Business Needs Assessment with us via Phone or Zoom!

Please click HERE if you would like a Phone Conference. Please click HERE if you would like a Zoom Conference.

You are always welcome at the Lafayette Business Assistance Program’s webinar updates held every Thursday afternoon @ 4pm. You can access recordings of past webinars by clicking HERE. You can register to attend a future webinar by clicking HERE.

BREAKING: Payroll Protection Program Round 2 (PPP2) Out of Funding

As of this morning 5/5/2021, The SBA announced that all PPP funds have been committed. IMPORTANT: You may still be able to get funding even though the SBA has closed the program, please carefully read the following. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions.

I have already submitted a PPP application, and my lender said they sent it to the SBA. Will I get funding? Possibly, YES.

Our current understanding is that the SBA “shut their doors” because they have committed all the money they have. If your lender is done reviewing your application and the federal government is now reviewing it, you may still get funding over the next three (3) weeks because the SBA has saved funds for your application while they review it.

I had just submitted my applications a few days ago? Will that application be funded?

Most likely, NO.

If your lender is still reviewing your application and has not yet sent it to the SBA, it is most likely too late for that application to get funded. Please see below for alternative options.

This isn’t fair and I need help! Are there any other ways I can get relief funding?

YES!

It is not guaranteed, but you may still get federal funding for your business in other ways. We encourage you to apply ASAP as funds will run out quickly:

  • All businesses can still apply for the PPP through “CDFIs”. Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) have a different pot of PPP funding that has not yet run out. We encourage you to apply to a CDFI as soon as you can. PLEASE CLICK HERE for a short list of CDFI lenders we will try to keep updated for you. We do not officially endorse these lenders and there are many more you can apply through, these are simply the ones we have been able to confirm are available.
  • All “food-service” businesses can apply for the SBA Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). If your business makes at least 33% of its sales from onsite food/drink/alcohol sales, you are most likely eligible for this funding that is worth much more than the PPP. You can still receive this even if you have received the PPP before.
  • All “Shuttered Venue” businesses can apply for the SBA Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG). If your business charges ticket entry and serves “audience member” type customers, you may be eligible for this funding that is worth much more than the PPP. You can still receive this even if you have received the PPP before.

We are continuing to monitor all COVID relief programs for updates and new sources of funding. Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions.

Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF)

Current Status: OPEN

The SBA Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) is open for applications. Eligible food-service businesses will receive funding equal to their 2020 COVID-related revenue loss compared to 2019 gross revenue.

If your business makes at least 33% of gross revenue from food and/or drink sales, we highly recommend you apply ASAP! Funds are expected to run out quickly as restaurants all over the nation apply.

This is an extremely beneficial program for food-service businesses and can be applied for even if you received the PPP. The SBA claims that you can complete an application in just 20 minutes.

Please click HERE for our full tips/FAQs on how to apply for this program.

Please follow these steps to complete your application:

  1. Create an account via the Application Portal.
  2. See the Sample Application for the questions that you will fill out online.
  3. Prepare your Business Information:
  • Owner info, tax ID, etc.
  • 2019 and 2020 Tax Return Information or Profit/Loss documents
  • Bank Account Info (So the grant money can be sent to you)
  • PPP Loan Information, if applicable (SBA Loan Number and Amount)

If you have any questions at all, please reach out to us so we can help you take advantage of this grant!

SBA Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG)

Current Status: OPEN

The SBA Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) is currently reopen for applications. We encourage you to apply ASAP as funding is expected to run out quickly.

First steps needed to apply:

  1. Create a SVOG application account at their Website Portal.
  2. Create a DUNS Number in order to create the required SAM Account.
  3. Create a SAM Account in order to receive federal grants.
  4. Prepare your 2019 and 2020 financial records to prove revenue loss.
  5. Review the temporary grant guidelines on the SVOG’s official website.

Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their 2019 gross earned revenue, or a maximum $10 million.

IMPORTANT NOTE: New guidance from the SBA confirms you may now apply for both the SVOG and the PPP2. You will not be disqualified from the SVOG or the PPP if you choose to apply for both.

If you believe that your business is a “venue”-type business, you may be eligible to apply! Eligibility varies by business type, but a good indicator is if your business relies on ticket sales and “audience”-type customers.

Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Movie theaters,
  • Live venue operators or promoters,
  • Festivals,
  • Theatrical producers,
  • Live performing arts organizations,
  • Museum operators,
  • Talent representatives.

 

 

Registration for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund is Now Open

Registration for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) is now open at restaurants.sba.gov. If you are working with Square or Toast, you do not need to register.

How to prepare.

SBA will begin accepting applications via the application portal on Monday, May 3 at 12 p.m. EDT. The application portal will remain open to any eligible establishment until all funds are exhausted.

In preparation, qualifying applicants should familiarize themselves with the application process in advance to ensure a smooth and efficient application. In addition to registering at the portal, follow the steps below. If you are working with Square or Toast, you do not need to register.

  • Review the sample application, program guide and cross-program eligibility chart on SBA COVID-19 relief options.
  • Applications must be submitted in English or Spanish. We provide documents in additional languages to help you understand eligibility requirements, fill out applications, and answer frequently asked questions. See the additional languages and materials here.
  • If you were unable to attend one of the webinars held earlier this week which covered program details and a demonstration of the application portal, you can watch the recording here.

For more information, visit sba.gov/restaurants.

 

 

California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program UPDATE

Round 6 opened today, Wednesday, April 28th at 9:00 AM until Tuesday, May 4th at 5:00 PM. Notifications will begin Friday, May 7th. Eligible grant award: $5,000 to $25,000
 
Eligible applicants include current waitlisted small businesses and/or nonprofits not selected in Rounds 1, 2, 3, or 5 and new applicants that meet eligibility criteria.
 
Applicants Waitlisted in Rounds 1, 2, 3 or 5 do not need to re-apply and will be automatically moved into Round 6. New applicants will need to apply through a partner at CAReliefGrant.com.
 

 

 

Small Business Administration Announces Restaurant Revitalization Fund

This program provides emergency assistance for eligible restaurants, bars, and other qualifying businesses impacted by COVID-19.

The American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) to provide funding to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open. This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023.

Details on application requirements, eligibility, and a program guide are now available in English at sba.gov/restaurants or in Spanish at www.sba.gov/restaurantes.

 

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program

In preparation for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant application portal reopening today, April 26, 2021 at 12 p.m. EDT, follow the steps below. Remember to register on the portal in advance.

  • Now: Use the checklist to make sure you have everything you need to complete your application. Review additional resources at sba.gov/svogrant such as the applicant user guide and FAQ. Keep these resources open throughout the application process.
  • Before 11 a.m. EDT: Register on the SVOG portal. The ability to register will be temporarily suspended between 11 a.m.-12 p.m. EDT to ensure a fair process and prepare the site for opening.
  • 12 p.m. EDT: Begin the application process on the SVOG portal. Every user will be temporarily placed in a virtual waiting room and will be able to start their application in the order in which they arrived.

For technical assistance such as a password reset, browser suggestions, or how to use the multi-factor authentication with an app and the QR code, applicants can call 1-800-659-2955 or, for the deaf and hard-of-hearing 1-800-877-8339 and follow the prompts to SVOG assistance. The call center is now open 24/7.

Housing is Key

If you’re a landlord or income eligible renter in California, have been financially impacted by COVID-19, and need help paying rent or utilities, the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program may be able to help. To check eligibility and apply, or to find an organization in your community to help, visit HousingIsKey.com or call 833-430-2122. CA COVID-16 Program Flyer >>

 

Supervisor Candace Andersen’s Weekly Update

April 15, 2021 >>

➡ 60.1% of Contra Costa Residents are Vaccinated

➡ You Can Now Directly Schedule Vaccine Appointments Online with Contra Costa Health

➡ Contra Costa County Remains in the Orange Tier
Contra Costa County must remain in the Orange Tier for at least three weeks before moving into the next, less restrictive yellow tier. It is important to still remain careful. Many communities are seeing a slight rise in cases with both the California and UK Variant. We’re hoping that our vaccinations will outpace these new cases.

 

AD HOC COMMITTEE ON COVID-19 ECONOMIC IMPACT AND RECOVERY

Thursday, April 15

Important Links:

Openings at a Glance 4-7-21
Contra Costa County Moving to Orange Tier_4-6-21
Governor’s Plan to Move Beyond the Blueprint_4-6-21
Blueprint for a Safer Economy_Activity and Business Tiers_Upd 4-2-21
Guidance for Live Performances, Effective 4-1-21

 

Contra Costa County Moving into the Orange Tier

Contra Costa County Moving into the Orange Tier on Wednesday, April 7th (constantcontact.com)

Health officials urge residents ages 16+ to get vaccinated so positive trends against COVID-19 continue

The State of California announced today that Contra Costa County will be able to move into the less restrictive Orange Tier of the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy on Wednesday, April 7.

It has been five months since the last time the county qualified for the Orange Tier.

Starting tomorrow several business sectors and community services can reopen or expand capacity:

Amusement parks: Overall park capacity and indoor capacity will be limited to 25%, including indoor dining.
Bars: Outdoors with modifications; no meals required to be served
Breweries, Distilleries, and Wineries: Indoors at 25% maximum capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer; no meals required to be served
Family entertainment centers: Indoors for naturally distanced activities like bowling, escape rooms, and billiards; 25% maximum capacity
Gyms, fitness centers, and studios (including at hotels): 25% maximum capacity and indoor pools are permitted; Indoor hot tubs, saunas, and steam rooms continue to be closed
Movie Theaters: 50% maximum capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer encouraged
Outdoor sports and live performances with fans/attendees: Up to 33% and with advanced reservations only. Concession sales will be primarily in-seat (no concourse sales). Designated indoor seated dining area capacity will be limited to 25%. Attendance will be limited to in-state spectators and guests must attest their reserved seats are only for one household.
Places of worship: 50% maximum capacity
Restaurants: 50% maximum capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer
Retail: Open indoors with modifications and food courts permitted with indoor dining restrictions

Contra Costa County currently has a COVID case rate of 4.9 cases per 100,000 people and overall testing rate positivity of 1.8% (and 3% for the health equity metric). COVID-related hospitalizations are down to their lowest point since early October. Meanwhile, nearly 500,000 county residents are at least partially vaccinated.

Contra Costa Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano said people should not let down their guard yet. He noted that case rates have plateaued recently, suggesting a slowdown in the recovery. “We are still in a pandemic and people should continue to act accordingly: Keep wearing masks in public and get vaccinated as soon as you can. I still strongly recommend people to avoid most indoor activities with people outside of their own household until they are fully vaccinated,” Dr. Farnitano said.

Last week, Contra Costa extended vaccine eligibility to everyone ages 16 and over who lives, works, or goes to school in the county. Currently, people between the ages of 16-49 must schedule appointments through Contra Costa Health Services at cchealth.org/coronavirus or by calling 833-829-2626. Other healthcare providers, including the state’s MyTurn system, do not yet offer vaccines to people below the age of 50. See additional information below about all the ways to schedule a vaccination appointment.

Contra Costa County must remain in the Orange Tier for at least three weeks before moving into the next, less restrictive yellow tier.

 

 

How Far is Contra Costa from the Orange Tier?

Supervisor Candace Andersen’s Weekly Update, Thursday, April 1, 2021 >>

We hope to enter the Orange Tier by early next week. However, it is difficult to predict exactly when Contra Costa will qualify. While there is no guarantee, County Health is estimating that the State will reach the goal of vaccinating 4 million residents who live in the lowest Health Place Index (HPI) communities in the next few days, which changes the threshold we need to meet to enter the Orange Tier from 4 to 6 cases per 100,000, a number we are currently meeting. Contra Costa could move into the Orange Tier as soon as this weekend or early next week.

The State requires counties to remain in a new tier for at least three weeks after changing tiers. Once a County qualifies for the next lower tier, they must remain there for at least two consecutive weeks before moving into it.

In the Orange Tier:

• Capacity restrictions are lifted in stores (pandemic safety modifications apply)
• Houses of worship, museums, zoos and aquariums can raise their indoor capacity from 25% to 50%;
• Restaurants and movie theaters can raise indoor capacity to 50% capacity or 200
• Indoor gyms and yoga studios increase capacity from 10% to 25%
• Bowling alleys can reopen with modifications at 25% capacity
• Counties can allow bars to reopen outdoors, with modifications, without needing to serve food
• Offices in nonessential industries can reopen, but workers should be encouraged to work remotely
• Amusement parks — which can open starting April 1 in red-tier counties — would be allowed to expand their attendance to 25% capacity
• The capacity limit for outdoor sports and live performances, also effective April 1, rises to 33% for counties in the orange tier.

Go to tier assignments to learn more: Blueprint for a Safer Economy – Coronavirus COVID-19 Response (ca.gov)

 

How Far is Contra Costa from the Orange Tier?

Supervisor Candace Andersen’s Weekly Update, Thursday, March 26, 2021 >>

It is difficult to predict when Contra Costa will qualify for the orange tier of the blueprint, even if COVID-19 transmission continues to recede in the community.

The State requires counties to remain in a new tier for at least three weeks after changing tiers. We are in our second week in the Red Tier. Once a County qualifies for the next lower tier, they must remain there for at least two consecutive weeks before moving into it.

To reach the Orange Tier, Contra Costa’s must reach these milestones in its COVID-19 transmission data:

• The adjusted daily case rate must fall below 4.0 We are currently at 5.5.
• The positivity rate for COVID-19 tests in the county falls below 5%. We are currently at 2.2%.
• The positivity rate for tests in the health equity quartile is less than 5.2%. We are currently at 3.9%

Once the State reaches a goal of vaccinating 4 million residents who live in the lowest Health Place Index (HPI) communities, the state also plans to relax the case-rate requirement for entering the orange tier from 4.0 cases per 100,000 daily to 6.0 cases per 100,000 daily,

These new standards would be applied retroactively, and we could move into the Orange Tier two days after this 4 million number is reached. Currently, the State has vaccinated 3,085,171 people in the lowest HPI communities.

While there is no guarantee, County Health is estimating that under this standard we could move into the Orange Tier as soon as the week of April 5.

Go to tier assignments to learn more: https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/

Supervisor Candace Andersen’s Weekly Update, Thursday, March 26, 2021 also includes the following:

➡ Governor Newsom Announces State to Make Vaccines Available to All Californians 16 and Older Starting April 15th
➡ Scheduling Your Vaccine Appointment
➡ Mass Vaccination Site Beginning March 30th, Appointments Required
➡ Contra Costa County Passes Ordinance to Extend Protections To Commercial Tenants through June 30, 2021
➡ How Far is Contra Costa from the Orange Tier?
➡ CA COVID-19 Rent Relief

CA COVID-19 Rent Relief

Excerpt from Supervisor Candace Andersen’s Weekly Update, Thursday, March 26, 2021 >>

CA COVID-19 Rent Relief will help income-eligible households pay rent and utilities, both for past due and future payments. The federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 provides funding to support the program and tenant (renter) protection laws signed by Governor Newsom.

Click here if you’re a Landlord: https://housing.ca.gov/covid_rr/program_overview.html#landlords
Click here if you’re a Renter: https://housing.ca.gov/covid_rr/program_overview.html#renter

For additional information, to find a Local Partner Network organization near you, or for eligibility and application help, call our CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Call Center: 833-430-2122.

 

Contra Costa County Passes Ordinance to Extend Protections
To Commercial Tenants through June 30, 2021

Excerpt from Supervisor Candace Andersen’s Weekly Update, Thursday, March 26, 2021 >>

At the Board of Supervisors meeting on March 23, 2021, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed an Urgency Ordinance to continue the temporary prohibition on evictions of certain small-business commercial tenants financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This protection now continues through June 30, 2021.

Protections for residential tenants were unchanged by the urgency ordinance and last through June 30, 2021.

On March 4, 2021, the Governor issued an Executive Order which extends, through June 30, 2021, the authority of local jurisdictions to suspend the evictions of commercial tenants for the non-payment of rent if the non-payment was a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The latest Ordinance also prohibits landlords from charging late fees to small business and nonprofit organization tenants, and extends to August 31, 2021, the grace period to pay back rent. Read the full document go to Ordinance No. 2021-11: https://www.contracosta.ca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/70132/Urgency-Ordinance-2021-11

Find answers to Frequently Asked Questions regarding this ordinance on the FAQs webpage: https://www.contracosta.ca.gov/7836/Eviction-and-Rent-Freeze-Ordinance-FAQs

For emergency rental assistance for residential tenants and landlords, see COVID-19 Rent Relief: https://www.contracosta.ca.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=2554

 

COVID-19 Relief for Local Employees & Small Businesses + New Bill Relief Program from MCE

MCE Bill Relief for Small Businesses
As part of MCE’s on-going COVID relief efforts, MCE is offering bill credits to help those most financially impacted. Beginning in April 2021, small business customers are eligible for a $22/month MCE Cares Credit, available for up to 9 months. Eligible customers include small businesses enrolled in A1, A1X, or B1 electricity rates. If you qualify, we encourage you to apply immediately as space is limited and enrollment is on first-come, first-served basis. Programs to lower your monthly utility bill can be found on our website: Lower Your Bill.
COVID-19 Relief for Local Employees and Households 
MCE has pulled together a list of state and local resources that are available to residents and households in our service area that have been impacted by COVID-19. Covid related programs from rental relief to food and healthcare support came be found here: https://www.mcecleanenergy.org/covid-relief/#contracosta
COVID-19 Relief for Our Local Small Businesses
MCE has pulled together a list of state and local resources for small businesses in our service area who have been impacted by COVID-19. https://www.mcecleanenergy.org/covid-relief-smb/#contracosta
Interested in learning more about renewable energy?
Check out MCE’s second article in MCE’s Energy 101 series: Wind! Learn more about how wind turbines create energy, the different types of wind projects, and how much they generate. Fun fact: some newer wind turbines have blades as long as football fields!

 

 

How Far is Contra Costa from The Orange Tier?

Supervisor Candace Andersen’s Weekly Update, Thursday, March 18, 2021

It is difficult to predict when Contra Costa will qualify for the orange tier of the blueprint, even if COVID-19 transmission continues to recede in the community. The State requires counties to remain in a new tier for at least three weeks after changing tiers. We are still in our first week in the Red Tier. Once a County qualifies for the next lower tier, they must remain there for at least two consecutive weeks before moving into it.

To reach the Orange Tier, Contra Costa’s must reach these milestones in its COVID-19 transmission data:

• The adjusted daily case rate must fall below 4.0 We are currently at 5.9.
• The positivity rate for COVID-19 tests in the county falls below 5%. We are currently at 2.2%.
• The positivity rate for tests in the health equity quartile is less than 5.2%. We are currently at 4.0%

The state also plans to relax the case-rate requirement for entering the orange tier from 4.0 cases per-capita daily to 6.0 cases per-capita daily, once it reaches a statewide goal of vaccinating 4 million residents in pre-identified low-income areas. Go to tier assignments to learn more.

Also in Supervisor Candace Andersen’s Weekly Update, Thursday, March 18, 2021

➡ Contra Costa Health to Expand Vaccine Eligibility to Residents Ages 50+ Next Week
➡ Vaccine Eligibility Expanded to Several New Groups this Week
➡ Hope & Healing – Remembering Those Lost in Contra Costa County
➡ CA COVID-19 Rent Relief

 

 

Over $75 million in COVID-19 rent relief for Contra Costa County

Tenants and Landlords – application period opened yesterday (Martinez, CA) – Starting March 15, 2021, Contra Costa County tenants and landlords impacted by COVID-19 can apply for assistance from the COVID-19 Rent Relief program. Over $75 million is Contra Costa County’s allocation of federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program funds. (Contra Costa Herald)

 

Costa County Moves to Red Tier in California’s Reopening Plan Effective Sunday, March 14

Read Email Blast – Red Tier, March 14, 2021

 

On Friday, the county’s adjusted per-capita case rate was 6.7, qualifying for reduced state health order restrictions, including:
➡Restaurants, gyms, dance studios and museums may resume indoor operation, following state health guidelines.
➡Indoor retail stores and shopping malls may increase their maximum occupancy and grocery stores may operate at fully capacity.
➡Small private gatherings may be held indoors, following state health guidance.
➡Colleges and other higher education institutions may reopen indoor lectures, following state health guidance.
➡Elementary and secondary schools can reopen for in-person learning without submitting a safety plan to Contra Costa Health Services.

For details and sector-specific health guidance, visit covid19.ca.gov. Contra Costa has also updated its county health orders so they do not create additional restrictions to business or community activities.

Read the full article here: https://myemail.constantcontact.com/March-12th-Weekly-Update—Contra-Costa-Moves-to-Red-Tier.html?soid=1110465271384&aid=Rg3i2vXG3hU

Find out if your business can open / Protect your workers:
https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance

Small private gatherings may be held indoors, following state health guidance:
https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Guidance-for-the-Prevention-of-COVID-19-Transmission-for-Gatherings-November-2020.aspxz

 

Contra Costa Funding Updates from Laci Burnett on Vimeo.

On February 23, Governor Newsom signed into law a comprehensive package providing urgent relief for the small businesses of CA. The package provides an additional $2 billion – a four-fold increase over the $500 million currently being distributed – for grants up to $25,000 for small businesses impacted by the pandemic and allocates $50 million of this total for non-profit cultural institutions.

ROUND 3 (WAITLISTED FROM ROUNDS 1 AND 2)

Round 3 is a CLOSED round and only available to eligible applicants that have been waitlisted in Rounds 1 and 2. Applicants will be selected from the existing pool of waitlisted applicants. Applicants do not need to reapply. Important Dates for Round 3:

Closed Round Opens: March 05, 2021
Closed Round Closes: March 11, 2021
Start of Selection Notifications: March 05, 2021

ROUND 4 (ARTS & CULTURAL PROGRAM)

Round 4, The Arts & Cultural Program, will support California eligible nonprofit cultural institutions defined as registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit entities that satisfy the criteria for a qualified small business, but with no limitation on annual gross revenue, and that are in one of the following North American Industry Classification System codes:

  • (A) 453920 – Art Dealers
  • (B) 711110 – Theater Companies and Dinner Theaters.
  • (C) 711120 – Dance Companies.
  • (D) 711130 – Musical Groups and Artists.
  • (E) 711190 – Other Performing Arts Companies.
  • (F) 711310 – Promoters of Performing Arts, Sports, and Similar Events with facilities.
  • (G) 711320 – Promoters of Performing Arts, Sports, and Similar Events without facilities.
  • (H) 711410 – Agents and Managers for Artists, Athletes, Entertainers, and Other Public Figures
  • (I) 711510 – Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers.
  • (J) 712110 – Museums.
  • (K) 712120 – Historical Sites.
  • (L) 712130 – Zoos and Botanical Gardens.
  • (M) 712190 – Nature Parks & Other Similar Institutions

Important Dates for Round 4:
Application Opens: March 16, 2021
Application Closes: March 23, 2021
Start of Selection Notifications: TBD

 

How to Apply
There will be a new online application for eligible nonprofit cultural institutions to complete, which will also be available through multiple partner portals.

Eligible nonprofit cultural institutions for the Arts & Cultural Program will be permitted to complete a new application even if they already applied in the COVID-19 Relief Grant Program; provided that grants will not be awarded to any eligible nonprofit cultural institution if such entity has otherwise been awarded a grant.

For more information, please continue to check www.CAReliefGrant.com for the latest information.

Back2Business Grant Program

This is a $10K grant program only for black and minority-owned businesses with:

Revenues less than $1M
Founded prior to June 1, 2019
Less than 10 employees

Applications open March 15th and close March 29th. It is available for businesses within these counties: Marin, Napa, Sonoma, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Solano. It will be first come first serve.

For more information on this grant program: https://aeoworks.org/fiserv/
FAQS: https://aeoworks.org/fiserv-faq/

First, you need to register before you can apply. REGISTER HERE

Apply Here only starting March 15th

 

 

 

When Will Contra Costa County Move to the Red Tier?

Supervisor Candace Andersen’s March 5, 2021 Weekly Update >>

Contra Costa remains in the purple tier of California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy this week, but may shift into the less-restrictive red tier later this month if COVID-19 transmission continues to drop.

When Contra Costa does reach the red tier, notable changes will include:

  • Restaurants, gyms, dance studios and museums may resume indoor operation, following state health guidelines.
  • Indoor retail stores and shopping malls may increase their maximum occupancy and grocery stores may operate at fully capacity.
  • Small private gatherings may be held indoors, following state health guidance.
  • Colleges and other higher educational institutions may reopen indoor lectures, following state health guidance.
  • Elementary and secondary schools can reopen for in-person learning without submitting a safety plan to the health department.

 

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California Loosens Rules for Youth Sports

Supervisor Candace Andersen’s February 25th Weekly Update (constantcontact.com)

Outdoor youth sport competitions can restart in many California counties in the red and purple tiers, including Contra Costa, starting tomorrow on February 26, according to the California Department of Public Health guidance updated last Friday.
High-contact sports, which are likely to be played unmasked, can restart in counties with a case rate at or below 14 per 100,000 people. Contra Costa is currently slightly below that threshold at 11.9 cases per 100,000 people, as of February 25th.
Weekly testing will be required for football, rugby and water polo players older than 13 in counties with a case rate between 7 and 14 per 100,000. Testing is also required for coaches in these sports, with results available within 24 hours of competition.
Moderate-contact sports, such as baseball, cheerleading and softball, can be played without the testing requirement.
Regular protections include wearing masks, practicing physical distancing and hand washing and equipment sanitation will be required. Each player’s parent or guardian must sign an informed consent acknowledging risks in order to play.
The state’s new guidelines also apply to adult recreational sports. For information on all sports, youth and adult, see state guidelines.

 

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Lafayette businesses, be ready for a move to the Red Tier!

Posted Monday, February 22

No promises being made here, however we can safely report that the numbers are headed in the right direction. Currently the number of new COVID-19 cases are down to 13.6 per 100,000. In order to move to the Red Tier we must be below 7.0 per 100,000. If we continue on this track, we could see some movement over the next 3 weeks.

Please take the time now to review your compliance and procedures (Blueprint for a Safer Economy) to safely move to the Red and Yellow tiers.

Questions about procedures or compliance? Call or email the Contra Costa County Covid-19 Hotline: (844) 729-8410 doc.callcenter@cchealth.org.

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FREE guidance on how to apply for COVID-19 relief funding

Lafayette businesses and non profits have the opportunity to obtain FREE guidance on how to apply for COVID-19 relief funding. If you have not already done so, please sign up HERE for the free services through the City of Lafayette:
https://www.cognitoforms.com/ParksAndRecreation1/BusinessAssistance

Townsend Public Affairs, Inc. (TPA) has been contracted by the City of Lafayette to provide this free service to City of Lafayette Businesses. Learn more here:
https://www.lovelafayette.org/businessassistance

You are invited to learn more during a webinar, Feb. 18 or Feb. 25 at 4pm. Sign up here:
https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/8894497526695144719

 

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Supervisor Candace Andersen’s Weekly Update – February 5, 2021

– Vaccine Supply Shortages Prompt Public Health Leaders Throughout the Bay Area to Urge Prioritization of Older Adults for Vaccination
– State Clarifies Vaccine Eligibility of Essential Workers in Phase 1a and Phase 1b
– Help Your Neighbor: A New Call to Vaccinate Contra Costa
– Beware of COVID-19 Vaccine Scams
– Board of Supervisors Pass Ordinance to Cap Food Delivery Service Fees
– Supervisors Pass Ordinance to Extend Eviction Protection and Rent Freeze
– State’s Business Relief Grant – Round 2 Application Period Open (Feb. 2- Feb. 8)

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COVID-19 Relief for Small Businesses

MCE has pulled together a list of state and local resources for small businesses in our service area who have been impacted by COVID-19. Visit:  https://www.mcecleanenergy.org/covid-relief-smb/#contracosta

Time Sensitive: California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program– Round 2: The State of California has created the Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant to provide eligible small businesses and nonprofits with up to $25,000 in relief funding. Round 2 is the final application window for the Program. Application process opens Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 8am and closes Monday, February 8, 2021 at 6pm. Applicants can visit the CA Relief Grant website to view eligibility qualifications, required documentation and recorded webinars on how to apply.

 

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Regional Stay-at-Home Order Lifted, Contra Costa Returns to Purple Tier

Contra Costa County is urging residents and businesses to continue practicing health safety measures and avoiding risky activities after California lifted its regional stay-at-home order today in the Bay Area.

The state order helped the region meet the deadly surge in COVID-19 infections following the winter holiday season. But per capita, the adjusted average number of new infections reported every day in Contra Costa was 46.2 in the last week – nearly seven times the threshold for a county to enter the purple tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

“Under no circumstances should anyone view the state action today as a reason to let down their guard. We have made progress, but we need to continue what we are doing to keep our families and communities safe,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa County health officer. “It is just common sense.”

The state lifted the order Monday morning, effective immediately.

Health guidelines regarding physical distancing and use of face coverings outside the home remain in effect, as do occupancy caps for indoor businesses and requirements limiting close-contact gatherings of people from different households. Check the state’s web page for industry-specific guidance.

Some significant changes resulting from Contra Costa’s return to the purple tier include:

  • Restaurants may offer outdoor dining, following the state health guidelines.
  • Hair salons, barber shops and personal services that do not involve close contact with the face, such as nail salons, may reopen following state health guidelines.
  • Outdoor social gatherings involving 25 or fewer people, from three or fewer different households, are now permitted.
  • More information available at cchealth.org/coronavirus

The purpose of the state’s regional stay-at-home order was to slow COVID-19 transmission to protect the intensive care unit (ICU) bed capacity of hospitals and healthcare systems from overwhelming medical surge.

Staffed ICU beds in Contra Costa hospitals continue to see heavy use, with 137 of 163 beds occupied on Saturday, including both COVID-19 patients and patients with other major health problems. All hospitals in the county remain on contingency care status, and most elective surgeries continue to be postponed.

“Our county continues to experience a winter surge in COVID-19 transmission,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa County health officer. “While we are making progress in vaccinating our most vulnerable residents, we are still weeks or months away from seeing the effects of immunization in our community.”

Contra Costa has kicked off a countywide drive to provide 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine by July 4. County residents who are older than 75 can now get a vaccination appointment by calling 1-833-829-2626 or using Contra Costa Heath Services (CCHS) online request form at cchealth.org/coronavirus. The county expects to extend vaccine eligibility to more people in coming weeks.

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Public Health Officials Lift Regional Stay at Home Order for All Regions

Monday, January 25, 2021
Conditions Improving Statewide, Allowing Most Counties to Return to Most Strict (Purple) Tier of Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Read communications from California Dept. of Public Health here >>
The County will be updating it’s statements on the Regional Stay at Home Order approximately noon today. Please stay tuned for re-opening guidelines from Contra Costa County. https://cchealth.org

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Paycheck Protection Program Round 2 (PPP2) Webinars

Townsend Public Affairs invites you to join us to learn more about the Paycheck Protection Program Round 2 (PPP2). In these webinars, we will outline the PPP2 application process, provide some tips on how to be successful, and conduct a Q&A session to help address pitfalls you have been encountering.
If you are unsure if you qualify for PPP, if you’re unsure how to start, or if you keep hitting roadblocks in the applications, please attend this free webinar and Q&A series.
There will be two different times available to attend this Webinar:
• Tuesday, January 26, 2021 @ 4:00pm
• Thursday, January 28, 2021 @ 4:00pm
Please register to attend the Webinar HERE and select the date and time that works best for you.

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Lafayette Business Assistance Program Update

The Weekly Roundup, January 15, 2021

The Lafayette Business Assistance Program is continuing to assist businesses and non-profits access federal and state resources to help mitigate the impacts from the coronavirus pandemic. To date, the Business Assistance Program has served over 150 businesses in Lafayette. This week saw the close of the first round of the California Small Business Relief Grant, which can provide up to $25,000 for qualifying businesses. The second round of the Program will be open for applications on February 2. Next week the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) opens to all lenders for first- and second-draw loans. If you are interested in the PPP program, or need assistance with accessing other resources, please sign up with the Business Assistance Program here.

 

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Supervisor Candace Andersen’s Weekly Update –

Weekly Update, Jan. 15, 2021

➡  The State’s Regional Shelter-at-Home Order  Extended Until ICU Capacity Improves

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Lafayette’s Business Assistance Program

Posted by the City of Lafayette, Friday, January 8,  Weekly Roundup

Approved by the City Council on December 14, the Lafayette Business Assistance Program – known as BAP – launched its Phase 2 program to provide free assistance to local businesses and non-profits. BAP Phase 2 officially began on Monday, January 4, 2021, and as of Friday, Jan. 8 they have received 143 verified applications.

And Wednesday’s webinar, which provided detailed information about BAP’s services, was packed. If you missed it, you can watch the webinar on the City’s YouTube channel. Do not miss the Q&A session towards the end of the webinar.

To participate in BAP, you must be a business or a non-profit with fewer than 500 employees, or self-employed, and be located in the City of Lafayette.

BAP will work with your individual business or non-profit to identify funding that best meets your current and future needs. The program will also provide detailed information on what to gather and how to apply for funding programs and assist you in addressing issues with your submitted application. The major funding programs BAP will assist with include:

CalOSBA California Relief Grant: Grant funding ranging from $5,000–$25,000 to underserved micro businesses, small businesses, and non-profits throughout the state. Priority focus is on businesses severely impacted by the pandemic shutdown. Note: the deadline has been extended to January 13, 2021

SBA Paycheck Protection Program Round 2 (PPP2): Loans designed to provide direct incentives for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll during COVID-19 crisis. Loans fully forgiven if 60% of funds are used on payroll. Round 1 recipients can also be eligible for Round 2. SBA application guidelines are pending. This program is anticipated to close March 31, 2021.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL): Working capital low interest loans of up to $150,000 that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Find out more about how the Lafayette Business Assistance Program can help you and apply for assistance on BAP’s website now.

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Supervisor Candace Andersen’s Weekly Update – January 8, 2021

The State’s regional Stay at Home Order, which began last month, remains in effect due to the dwindling supply of hospital beds for patients who need intensive care in the Bay Area. Although the regional stay at home order was put in place in early December and helped to flatten and stabilize COVID cases, we are in a post-holiday surge. Read more >>

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Lafayette Business Assistance Program will officially restart on January 4, 2021

Now that Congress has approved a second stimulus package, the Lafayette Business Assistance Program will officially restart on January 4, 2021. The City, through its contractor Townsend Public Affairs, will help Lafayette businesses and non-profits access the new funds and serve as a local resource. On Wednesday, January 6, 2021, at 10:00 a.m.*, Mayor Susan Candell and Townsend Public Affairs will host a webinar to provide more information about the new funding and highlight the services offered by the Business Assistance Program.  Learn more here >>

*The webinar is currently scheduled for Wednesday, January 6th at 10:00am, but may be adjusted based on the final publication of program guidelines.

 

What Does the Lafayette Business Assistance Program Provide?

  • Participant Registration & One-on-One Triage: This service is intended to serve Lafayette-based businesses and non-profits only.  Individuals should register their business or non-profit by filling out the linked verification form.  The City will screen applicants to ensure they qualify for the one-on-one business triage appointments.
  • Business Needs Assessment: Once a business or non-profit has been qualified to be part of the program, LBA will connect directly with business owners, and their representatives, to evaluate their individual goals and desired outcomes. Using this information, LBA will identify what assistance programs the business may be eligible for and how they can leverage those various programs to achieve their stated goals.
  • Guidance and Direct Support: LBA will provide businesses with direct support as they apply for the identified programs, including assessment of eligibility, step-by-step instructions, identification of information needed to submit with any applications, and addressing any technical questions they may have with the application.   Some applications will require a Business License which the city does not issue. VIEW LETTER
  • Address Application Issues: Where necessary and able, LBA will act as a liaison to individual agencies and departments to assist businesses in resolving issues with their application. This includes utilizing legislative contacts, relationships with state and federal government officials, and collaboration with industry groups.
  • You can find out more about the Lafayette Business Assistance Program here: Email businessassistance@lovelafayette.org, or Phone (925) 284-1968
City of Lafayette Business Assistance Program >>

 

Contra Costa County Small Business Assistance

While the BAP will provide support specially tailored to the needs of Lafayette residents, the Contra Costa County Workforce Development Board has a hotline for small businesses affected by COVID-19: Assistance for Business Community Available at (833) 320-1919  More details here.

 

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City of Lafayette Small Business Assistance Program Webinar

The Lafayette Business Assistance Program will officially restart on January 4, 2021. The City, through its contractor Townsend Public Affairs, will help Lafayette businesses and non-profits access the new funds and serve as a local resource.

On Wednesday, January 6 at 10 AM, Mayor Candell and Townsend Public Affairs will host a webinar to provide more information about the new funding and highlight the services offered by the Business Assistance Program.

Register for the webinar at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1230762941626661389. You can also get more information about the Lafayette Business Assistance program at www.lovelafayette.org/businessassistance.

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California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program

The California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program is a new grant program from the State of California. Applications are being accepted now through January 8 at https://careliefgrant.com/partner/contra-costa.
The California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program provides micro grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 to eligible small businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19 and the related health and safety restrictions.
Please note that the grant has a quick turnaround time for small businesses to apply; however, the application should be very straightforward for those applying. The program will likely be oversubscribed, so we encourage eligible businesses to submit their applications as early as possible (the program began accepting applications on 12/30).
Townsend Public Affairs will discuss this grant program at the January 6 webinar.
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Main Street Small Business Tax Credit

On December 1, 2020, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) will begin accepting applications for tentative small business hiring credit reservation amounts through an online reservation system.  Qualified small business employers must apply with the CDTFA for a credit reservation. The credit reservations will be allocated to qualified small business employers on a first-come, first-served basis. The reservation system will be available from December 1, 2020 at 8:00 a.m., through January 15, 2021. Within 30 days of receiving an application, CDTFA will notify each applicant via email whether a tentative credit reservation has been allocated to them and the amount of the tentative credit reservation.

Please note, this credit only applies to California small businesses that meet the following qualifications:

  • Employed 100 or fewer employees as of December 31, 2019, and
  • Suffered a 50 percent decrease or more in income tax gross receipts (generally, all income less returns and allowances), when comparing second quarter 2020 to second quarter 2019.

Example: You had $250,000 in gross receipts for second quarter 2019 and $100,000 in gross receipts for second quarter 2020. The percent of decrease in gross receipts is 60 percent. ($250,000 – $100,000 = $150,000. $150,000 ÷ $250,000 = 0.6 x 100 = 60%)

Funding for the Small Business Hiring Tax Credit program totals $100 million and is to be allocated to qualified California small business employers. Generally, these employers may receive a credit of $1,000 for each net increase in qualified employees from April 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020, compared to July 1, 2020 through November 30, 2020. (For more information on “net increase in qualified employees,” please see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and the Calculation FAQs below). The total amount of credits received cannot exceed $100,000 for each qualified California small business employer.

If you need assistance, please call the CDTFA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (CRS:711). Customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Pacific time), except state holidays.

If you need assistance with your Franchise Tax Board (FTB) questions, including how to use your credit on your personal or corporate income tax return, please visit the Small Business Hiring Credit webpage located on the FTB website.

 

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Dr. Anthony Fauci’s Special Message to Lafayette in Interview with Councilmember Cam Burks

Post Date: 12/23/2020 8:48 AM City of Lafayette

Hello Lafayette:

On Tuesday, December 22, I had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, for a virtual one-on-one fireside chat to briefly discuss the state of the current virus situation and how well we, Lafayette as a community, have been doing.

I congratulated him as just a few hours before our chat, Dr. Fauci himself received his first vaccination shot!

He praised Lafayette and encouraged us to continue our measures, and to become vaccinated as soon as it becomes available to us. He provided valuable advice on how we can prevent transmission and was genuinely proud of our community for taking COVID-19 so seriously.

Dr. Fauci turns 80 on December 24. As a surprise, I sprang on him the idea that we, as a city, would proclaim December 24, 2020, as Dr. Anthony Fauci Day in Lafayette. He excitedly accepted!

Just another example of Love Lafayette!

You can watch Dr. Fauci’s message to Lafayette on the City’s YouTube Channel here: https://youtu.be/40xxtGLreA0

Happy holidays, happy New Year, and please be safe.

Cam Burks, Lafayette City Council

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Lafayette Business Assistance Program to Restart

Posted Friday, Dec. 18, City of Lafayette Weekly Roundup

On Monday, the City Council voted unanimously to authorize the City Manager to restart the Lafayette Business Assistance Program to assist local businesses and non-profits access available resources offered by state and local governments. It is anticipated that Congress will act in the coming days to approve new legislation to provide additional resources and assistance as well as a second round of the Paycheck Protection Program.

The Lafayette Business Assistance Program will also be conducting a webinar in early January to provide information and answer questions, on the federal, state, and local resources that are available for businesses, as well as to highlight the services provided through the Business Assistance Program. For more information on the services that will be offered by the Lafayette Business Assistance Program, as well as additional information on currently available resources, please visit the Program’s website.

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Bay Area Runs Low on ICU Beds, Triggering California’s Regional Stay-at-Home Order

While the state order will add additional restrictions to business and community activities in some other parts of the Bay Area, Contra Costa County will experience no practical changes because of it.

We can all support local businesses by shopping via their websites when possible, and using the takeout and delivery options for our local restaurants.

Contra Costa and five other Bay Area jurisdictions used local health orders to enact all the features of the state order last week, before local hospitals were critically impacted, in hopes of reducing transmission and loss of life due to surging COVID-19 infections in the region.

The state order takes effect in the Bay Area, including Contra Costa, at 11:59 p.m. Thursday, December 17, 2020. At that time, Contra Costa will lift its local order because it will become redundant. Once triggered, the state’s regional stay-at-home order lasts a minimum of three weeks. Read the order here.

 

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Supervisor Candace Andersen’s December 11th Weekly Update

For small business owners, there are resources for you. A new call center is now available in Contra Costa County to connect businesses and workers with helpful federal, state, and local programs. This includes providing resources and referrals on loans and grants, unemployment insurance, payroll subsidies, and other critical concerns. The small business call number is 833-320-1919, and available to be reached Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Additionally, there are online webinars for employers coping with COVID-19. The Contra Costa Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has created an Online Webinars for Coping with COVID-19 page to provide tools for navigating the economic difficulties posed by COVID-19, including step-by-step directions on filing an application for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan. For personalized assistance, businesses can call (925) 222-5228 or email admin@contracostasbdc.org.

There are resources the State has provided for business owners as well. The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development has compiled helpful information related to COVID-19 for employers, employees, and all Californians, available at www.business.ca.gov. The COVID-19 resource page includes information about the State of California’s small business loan programs and tax relief programs.

At the federal level, there is the Federal Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19. The deadline for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan is December 16, 2020.

Businesses can apply on the SBA Disaster Loan Assistance website at www.disasterloan.sba.gov. For application assistance, or call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

There are also resources for Employers Impacted by COVID-19 through the California Employment Development Department (EDD). The EDD has created a centralized COVID-19 resource page at www.edd.ca.gov for both workers and employers impacted by COVID-19.

supervisorandersen@bos.cccounty.us

Contra Costa Supervisor Proposes $10-20k Penalty on Businesses Who Ignore Stay-At-Home Order

On Tuesday, Contra Costa County Board of Supervisor Karen Mitchoff proposed the county look at increasing penalties on business who defy the Stay-At-Home Order. Mitchoff proposed increasing penalties to businesses who blatantly ignore the COVID-19 Stay-At-Home Orders to $10k to $20k which would include a warning or two. (East County Today)

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Effective 12/6 at 10pm

There are changes to what is open and closed in our county, effective 12/6 at 10 p.m. View the full list of openings at a glance at bit.ly/2Qyl3KW. Have questions? Contact our call center at (844) 729-8410.

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Bay Area Health Officers Move to Implement the State’s New Regional Stay Home Order, Not Waiting Until Local Hospitals Are Near Crisis to Act

Yesterday, Governor Newsom announced that all sectors other than retail and essential operations would be closed in regions of the State where less than 15 percent of ICU beds are available under a new Regional Stay Home Order. Although health officials throughout the Bay Area are glad to see the State take action in light of the rapidly escalating surge in hospitalizations statewide, many believe even more aggressive action is necessary in the Bay Area to slow the surge and prevent our local hospitals from being overwhelmed.

Rather than waiting until Intensive Care Unit (ICU) bed availability reaches critical levels and delaying closures that are inevitable, the Health Officers for the Counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, and Santa Clara as well as the City of Berkeley are jointly announcing that they will implement the State’s Regional Stay Home Order now.

“It takes several weeks for new restrictions to slow rising hospitalizations and waiting until only 15 percent of a region’s ICU beds are available is just too late,” said San Francisco Health Officer Dr. Tomás Aragon. “Many heavily impacted parts of our region already have less than 15 percent of ICU beds available, and the time to act is now.”

“We are seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations here in Contra Costa County and across our region,” said Contra Costa County Health Officer Dr. Christopher Farnitano. “The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in our county has doubled in just the past couple of weeks, and we are at risk of exceeding our hospital capacity later this month if current trends continue.”

“We cannot wait until after we have driven off the cliff to pull the emergency break,” said Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody. “We understand that the closures under the State order will have a profound impact on our local businesses. However, if we act quickly, we can both save lives and reduce the amount of time these restrictions have to stay in place, allowing businesses and activities to reopen much sooner.”

“Rising hospitalization rates across the region threaten not only our community members with severe COVID-19, but anyone who may need care because of a heart attack, stroke, accident, or other critical health need,” said Alameda County Health Officer Dr. Nicholas Moss. “By acting together now we will have the greatest impact on the surge and save more lives.”

“Each of us can fight the spread,” said Dr. Lisa B. Hernandez, the City of Berkeley Health Officer. “Keep your family safe by avoiding even small gatherings outside of your household and not traveling. We don’t want holiday gatherings and travel to create a spike of cases on top of the surge we’re already seeing.”

“Although Marin has fared better than some other counties in our region over the last few weeks, we know it is only a matter of time before rising case and hospitalization put pressure on our hospitals too,” said Marin County Health Officer Dr. Matthew Willis. “We must act now, and must act together to ensure all hospitals in the Bay Area have the capacity they need to care for our residents.”

Consistent with the State framework, the six jurisdictions are working to ensure that all sectors have at least 48-hour notice of these closures. Most of the Bay Area Health Officers will implement the State’s Regional Stay At Home Order as of Sunday December 6, 2020. In Alameda County, it is scheduled to take effect on Monday, December 7, 2020, and Marin County’s order will take effect Tuesday, December 8. The new restrictions will remain in place until January 4, 2021.

The sector closures and restrictions on activity under the State’s Regional Stay Home Order are described here.

The Regional Stay Home Order would be in effect for 3 weeks after the trigger and instructs Californians to stay at home as much as possible to limit the mixing with other households that can lead to COVID-19 spread. It allows access to (and travel for) critical services and allows outdoor activities to preserve Californians’ physical and mental health. This limited closure will help stop the surge and prevent overwhelming regional ICU capacity.

 

In any region that triggers a Regional Stay Home Order, the following sectors must close:
Indoor playgrounds
Indoor recreational facilities
Hair salons and barbershops
Personal care services
Museums, zoos, and aquariums
Movie theaters
Wineries
Bars, breweries, and distilleries
Family entertainment centers
Cardrooms and satellite wagering
Limited services
Live audience sports
Amusement parks

 

The following sectors will have additional modifications in addition to 100% masking and physical distancing:
– Outdoor recreational facilities: Allow outdoor operation only without any food, drink or alcohol sales. Additionally, overnight stays at campgrounds will not be permitted.
– Retail: Allow indoor operation at 20% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. Additionally, special hours should be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
– Shopping centers: Allow indoor operation at 20% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. Additionally, special hours should be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
– Hotels and lodging: Allow to open for critical infrastructure support only.
– Restaurants: Allow only for take-out, pick-up, or delivery.
– Offices: Allow remote only except for critical infrastructure sectors where remote working is not possible.
– Places of worship and political expression: Allow outdoor services only.
– Entertainment production including professional sports: Allow operation without live audiences. Additionally, testing protocol and “bubbles” are highly encouraged.

The following sectors are allowed to remain open when a remote option is not possible with appropriate infectious disease preventative measures including 100% masking and physical distancing:
– Critical infrastructure
– Schools
– Non-urgent medical and dental care
– Child care and pre-K

 

About COVID-19 restrictions – Coronavirus COVID-19 Response (ca.gov)

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Regional Stay Home Order:

The Regional Stay Home Order, announced December 3, will go into effect within 48 hours in regions with less than 15% ICU availability. It prohibits private gatherings of any size, closes sector operations except for critical infrastructure and retail, and requires 100% masking and physical distancing in all others.

The order will remain in effect for at least 3 weeks and, after that period, will be lifted when a region’s projected ICU capacity meets or exceeds 15%. This will be assessed on a weekly basis after the initial 3 week period. Learn more about this order.

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California and the federal government are providing broad assistance to small businesses and employers impacted by COVID-19.

Posted Dec. 3, 2020
This includes:

More >>

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Cal/OSHA Emergency Regulations to Protect Workers from COVID-19 in Effect

Sacramento, Dec. 1, 2020 —Cal/OSHA’s emergency regulations requiring employers to protect workers from hazards related to COVID-19 are now in effect, following their approval yesterday by the Office of Administrative Law.

Emergency Regulations to Protect Workers: https://www.dir.ca.gov/DIRNews/2020/2020-99.html
Cal/OSHA has posted FAQs and a one-page fact sheet on the regulation, as well as a model COVID-19 prevention program. Employers are invited to participate in training webinars held by Cal/OSHA’s Consultation Services branch.

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State of California Small Business Assistance

Posted Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Governor Newsom announced a package of assistance for small businesses impacted by COVID-19, including $500 million in grants. While the program is being created, please sign up here to receive an update when launched: https://business.ca.gov/osba-signup/

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State Issues Limited Stay at Home Order to Slow Spread of COVID-19

To protect essential workers, high-risk individuals, decrease hospitalizations and deaths, the state is issuing a limited Stay at Home Order to stop all non-essential work and activities from 10PM-5AM in purple tier counties.

We have flattened the curve before and we can do it again. Learn more here: https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/11/19/state-issues-limited-stay-at-home-order-to-slow-spread-of-covid-19.

Coffee with Mayor Mike Anderson: What New COVID-19 Restrictions Mean For Lafayette

Monday, November 23, 2020 9:00 AM thru 10:00 AM

Please join Lafayette Mayor Mike Anderson, City Manager Niroop Srivatsa, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jay Lifson, Police Chief Ben Alldritt, and Contra Costa Fire Marshal Chris Bachman in a discussion of the new Contra Costa County COVID-19 public health restrictions and how they impact Lafayette’s businesses and residents.

This special one-hour “Coffee with the Mayor,” takes place on Monday, November 23, at 9:00 a.m. via Zoom webinar and Facebook Live. Joining instructions are below.

Mayor Anderson will discuss how all of us can work together as a community to stay healthy and safe, what the new countywide restrictions are, enforcement of these restrictions, and how businesses can operate in a safe manner while following the new restrictions. The Mayor and panelists will also listen to how people are dealing with the pandemic, including ways the City can assist them and measures residents and businesses recommend be taken to keep each other safe.

You can watch the meeting and provide written comment on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lovelafayette.

If you wish to participate on Zoom, you can do so by following these joining instructions:

Join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device:

Please click this URL to join:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87307005182?pwd=NjNmdDQxUFRhWVpCV1JsSXRjM1Q5QT09
Passcode: 061408

Or join by phone:Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 669 900 9128 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 558 8656 or +1 301 715 8592

Webinar ID: 873 0700 5182
Passcode: 061408

 

 

WDBCCC Small-Business Layoff Aversion Grant Program

Learn more and apply here: https://www.wdbccc.com/bounce-back-contra-costa/employer

The Workforce Development Board of Contra Costa County is now accepting applications for layoff aversion grants through its Small-Business Grant Program, providing up to $5,000 in assistance for micro-businesses within Contra Costa County.

Priority will be given to these types of veteran-, woman- and minority-owned micro-businesses: retail, restaurants, hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, day spas and fitness studios. Also, priority will be given to businesses that have not received any COVID-19 related grants, such as the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or city grants.

“Small businesses across our county, especially micro-businesses that typically have very little in the way of reserves to withstand an on-going crisis, are struggling to overcome the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said WDBCCC Executive Director Donna Van Wert. “These grants are intended to support local businesses’ overall efforts to retain their employees and keep their doors open.” Grants will be awarded as reimbursement on approved purchases only.

To be eligible for the grant, a business must meet the following requirements:
• Have a physical location within Contra Costa County.
• Have a current business license.
• Be currently open or have the intention of re-opening.
• Be current on their unemployment taxes and in good standing with the State of California.
• Demonstrate a need for support due to the impact of COVID-19 on their business.
• Have not received a micro-grant from another local government agency.

Home-based businesses are not eligible for the grant, which is intended for physical, commercial storefronts.

Grant funds must be used to create solutions directly related to preventing potential layoffs or facility closures due to COVID-19.

Examples of allowable reimbursable expenses include:
• Paying for services or tools for restaurants or retail establishments to convert to online sales or delivery, as a result of COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders and/or on-site and in-person service restrictions.
• Purchasing remote access equipment or software that allows employees to work from home rather than being laid off (e.g., computers, printers, telephones, headsets, video conferencing software, etc.).
• Purchasing cleaning/sanitation supplies and/or services that will allow an essential small business to maintain an on-site workforce and reduce risk of exposure.
• Other creative approaches and strategies to reduce or eliminate the need for layoffs.

Grant funds cannot be used for mortgage payments, payroll or employee support services, such as rent, childcare or transportation. Purchases must be made after the date of the signed executed award agreement. Funding is provided from the U.S. Department of Labor Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and are subject to WIOA regulations and allowable cost expenses.

The deadline to apply for the grant is Dec. 2, 2020, at 5 p.m., with no exceptions. Applications may be submitted online or mailed to WDBCCC, 4071 Port Chicago, Concord, CA 94520 and must be received no later than the deadline.

Award/agreement letters will be emailed to the email address on the application by Dec. 9, 2020.

To learn more about the grant, visit our website, call the WDBCCC COVID-19 Resource Hotline at 833-320-1919 or email bouncebackcoco@ehsd.cccounty.us

For more information, call 510-323-1104.

 

 

Enforcement of Health Dept. Orders

The Lafayette Police Department will be responsible for enforcement.  Our police will first look to educate the businesses and the public on following the guidelines to protect the community in a safe way.

Violations:
First offence –  $250
Second Offence – $500
Third Offence – $1,000
At this point, your violation will have been given to the District Attorney’s Office.  The DA has created a special team that will decide on charges. Forth Offence and every offence after that is $1,000 per day

 

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COVID Q&A with Jay

Join us for COVID Q&A with Jay on Wednesday, November 18 at 9am. Chamber Executive Director, Jay Lifson, will provide an update on the resent changes and answer any questions you may have. If we don’t know the answer, we’ll see if we can find it for you! Simply join us on Zoom at: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89058268167?pwd=dlNJOXBhQzBLOWhndUNnTmgzMGJ0QT09 Meeting ID: 890 5826 8167, Passcode: 334062. One tap mobile +16699006833,,89058268167#,,,,,,0#,,334062# US (San Jose)

State Response to COVID-19 Spike Returns Contra Costa to Purple Tier

Press Release Monday, November 16, 2020, 3:11pm, Contra Costa Health Services

With new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations surging across California, the state today restored safety measures in Contra Costa and many other counties that are needed to protect the public and save lives during the pandemic.

The return to the purple tier of California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy comes with some additional requirements for businesses and community activities not imposed in Contra Costa since summer. But the change also reflects an approaching danger that health experts see in recent COVID-19 data, in the U.S., California and Contra Costa County.

The adjusted average daily number of new COVID-19 cases in Contra Costa has doubled in recent weeks, rising from 4.3 per 100,000 population on Oct. 16 to 9.2 on Nov. 16.

The average daily percentage of COVID-19 tests that return positive in Contra Costa has also increased sharply, from 1.9% on Oct. 16 to 3.6% on Nov. 16.

Health officials are also closely monitoring the number of people hospitalized in Contra Costa because of COVID-19, as a large surge in patients could overwhelm the local healthcare system. There were 21 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Contra Costa on Oct. 16, compared to 48 on Nov. 16.

To prevent unnecessary illness and death in our community, Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) urges residents to take the safety requirements seriously and consider what they can do to reduce the risk of infection to themselves and their families – such as wearing face coverings whenever they leave home.

Growing evidence shows that simple cloth face coverings reduce the spread of COVID-19, providing some protection to the wearer and, more importantly, protecting people near a wearer who is infectious but does not yet know they are sick.

“The most simple, effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to wear a face covering whenever you leave home or are around people who do not live with you,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, county health officer. “This may also be a time to consider a remote holiday gathering. We all want to see each other, but it is important to carefully consider the risks before meeting in person with our loved ones.”

Contra Costa, previously in the red tier, already enacted local health orders last week that added additional safety requirements beyond what the state had mandated, including a moratorium on indoor dining and operation of indoor gyms and fitness centers.

Contra Costa moved into the red tier just last week from the orange tier. The state today changed its guidelines to expedite movement of counties into more restrictive tiers in response to the growing public health crisis. More information is expected to be posted at the state’s web page.

Changes caused by the state’s action today will include:

  • Social gatherings involving people from different households are permitted outdoors only, with a maximum of three households and 25 people, preferably for less than two hours.
  • K-12 schools may not reopen for in-person instruction unless they have already begun to do so.
  • Worship services and cultural ceremonies must now be held outdoors only.
  • Higher education institutions must move indoor lectures and student gatherings outdoors only.
  • Movie theaters may operate outdoors only.
  • Museums and exhibit spaces may open outdoors only.

Visit covid19.ca.gov for more information about the state health guidelines, and state data regarding COVID-19.

View openings at a glace document >>

For Contra Costa data and COVID-19 health information, visit cchealth.org/coronavirus.

 

Chart of Activity and Business Tiers

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Contra Costa and Other Bay Area Counties Move to Contain Spread of COVID-19

Posted Friday, November 13, 2020. Read Press Release Here

Contra Costa Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano will take questions via Zoom at 1 p.m., Friday, November 13. Please register here. Questions will be taken via chat and a recording of the event will be made available directly following the event.

On Thursday, California reached the unfortunate milestone of 1 million COVID cases statewide. With transmission and hospitalizations on the rise, health officers representing counties across the Bay Area are tightening local rules for high-risk indoor activities where the virus can spread more easily.

Contra Costa Health Services today issued an order to close, effective Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 8 a.m.:

  • Indoor dining
  • Indoor fitness centers
  • Concession stands at movie theaters

Dine-in restaurant and gyms reopened at reduced capacities when the county entered the state’s red tier in late September. But recent increases in COVID cases and hospitalizations make the closures necessary to help contain spread of the virus.

“Indoor interactions at restaurants, movie theaters, and indoor gyms and fitness centers are high-risk activities,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, health officer for Contra Costa County. “And given what we’re seeing happen across the country and the region, we must act now.”

Diners at restaurants remove their masks to eat or drink, as do movie patrons when snacking on food from concession stands. People also breathe heavily while they exercise at indoor gyms, increasing the risk of droplet and aerosol transmission of COVID-19, which can be only partially reduced by wearing a face covering.

Contra Costa recently moved from the state’s orange tier to the more restrictive red tier because of an increasing number of cases in the county. Meanwhile, hospitalizations in Contra Costa have returned to levels not seen in several weeks. On Nov. 11, 50 people with COVID were hospitalized in the county – the highest number since September.

“I’ve said this many times before, but it’s so important I can’t repeat it enough: The best way to protect against COVID-19 is to wear a face covering whenever you are near people who do not live with you, and whenever you go in a building that is not your home,” said Dr. Farnitano.

Health officials are especially worried about people gathering indoors with the holidays coming up and may consider other closures in the days and weeks ahead. Contra Costa County, which is now in the red tier, could move into the state’s most restrictive tier, the purple tier, within the coming weeks. If the county moves into the purple tier, schools that haven’t reopened will have to remain closed until the county moves back into the red tier or until they receive a waiver from the state.

“Our hope is that this new health order will slow down the spread of COVID so schools will have a better chance to reopen,” Dr. Farnitano said.

Learn more here: https://www.coronavirus.cchealth.org/

 


 

As COVID-19 Spreads in the Bay Area, Red-Tier Safety Requirements Return in Contra Costa

Posted Tuesday, November 10, 2020. Read Press Release Here

In response to evidence that COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in Contra Costa, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) today moved the county into the red tier of its Blueprint for a Safer Economy, restoring more safety requirements to slow the virus and save lives.

The average daily number of new, confirmed COVID-19 is on the rise in Contra Costa, and across the Bay Area and the U.S. Health officials urge county residents to consider how they are protecting themselves and their families from the virus, and what they can do to make the holiday season safer.

The most critical way to protect against COVID-19 is to wear a face covering whenever you are near people who do not live with you, and whenever you go in a building that is not your home,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa Health Officer. “Face coverings help prevent people who do not know they are infected from spreading the virus to others. My mask protects you. Your mask protects me.”

Most new COVID-19 cases in Contra Costa are spread within the home, with an infected member of a household passing the virus to people with whom they live. Face coverings in public reduce the risk of bringing COVID-19 into the home, where people usually do not mask or practice physical distancing.

Data from Contra Costa show that the average daily number of newly identified COVID-19 infections has risen steadily since the county entered the orange tier of the state’s plan on October 27.

On Tuesday, the 7-day average, per-capita number of new cases (the “adjusted case rate”) was 5.3 in Contra Costa, higher than permitted for counties in the orange tier for a second consecutive week. That triggered the county’s shift back into the more restrictive red tier, effective today.

Other data show an alarming rise in local cases. On Nov. 8, for example, there were 46 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Contra Costa – the highest one-day total since September.

In response to the data, Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) issued a local health order last week that restored red-tier safety restrictions for a number of businesses and activities, though the county remained in the orange tier at the time.

Those changes remain in place today, including requirements for reduced occupancy during indoor worship services and for indoor dining and movie theaters, and the closure of bars that do not serve meals with alcohol. Cardrooms are required to operate outdoors only.

The state’s action today adds these additional requirements, effective immediately in Contra Costa:

– Retail stores that operate indoors must scale back their maximum occupancy to 50% or 100 people, whichever is lower.
– Indoor shopping malls must reduce their occupancy and reduce the occupancy of food courts to 25% or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
– Office workspaces must operate remotely.
– Higher education institutions must keep indoor lectures and student gatherings to 25% occupancy or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
– Gyms and fitness centers must scale back their indoor occupancies to 10%.
– Communal indoor pools must close.
– Indoor family entertainment centers, such as bowling alleys, must close their indoor operations. Amusement parks cannot operate.
– Most live outdoor theatrical, musical or artistic performances are prohibited.

The tier change does not affect the ability of schools to reopen for in-person instruction, following state and local health guidelines. Outdoor playgrounds may also remain open.

View your industry status here >>

Visit cchealth.org/coronavirus for local information about COVID-19. For questions about details of state or local health orders in Contra Costa County, visit our online FAQ or call 1-844-729-8410.

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Contra Costa Responds Quickly to Climbing COVID-19 Cases 

With data from the past week showing a marked increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Contra Costa County, health officials are taking steps to protect the community with modest changes to local health orders.

Contra Costa entered the orange tier of California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy on Oct. 27, triggering an expansion of community reopening activities in the county. But since that date, the average daily number of new cases in the county has grown substantially higher.

If the trend continues, the county is at risk of moving backward into the more-restrictive red tier of the state’s reopening plan as soon as next week. In the meantime, Contra Costa has amended its health orders to rein in some of the riskier indoor activities permitted under the orange tier in hopes of preventing outbreaks and keeping the county out of the red.

Contra Costa County’s health officer issued new orders today limiting the number of spectators allowed at professional and collegiate sporting events, while also reimposing restrictions on other high-risk activities.

The health order on sporting events limits the number of spectators at pro or college games to 25 people from no more than three different households. This is consistent with the County’s guidance on private social gatherings, said Dr. Chris Farnitano, the County’s health officer.

The health officer also issued another order restoring stricter limitations on high-risk activities, such as prolonged indoor gatherings and gatherings involving eating and drinking where masks must be removed. Wearing face coverings when around others from outside your household is one of the most effective ways people can stop the spread of COVID, Dr. Farnitano said.

Under the new order, select high-risk activities must be modified:

  • Outdoor bars prohibited (except where allowed under restaurant guidance with drinks as part of a meal)
  • Indoor dining allowed at a maximum of 25% occupancy or 100 people, whichever is fewer (down from 50% occupancy and 200 people)
  • Indoor movie theaters can operate at a maximum 25% of occupancy or 100 people, whichever is fewer (down from 50% occupancy or 200 people)
  • Religious services indoors allowed at a maximum 25% occupancy or 100 people, whichever is fewer (down from 50% occupancy or 200 people)
  • Cardrooms and satellite wagering sites can’t operate indoors (they previously could operate indoors at 25% capacity)

“We believe these measures are necessary to reduce the spread of COVID in our community,” Dr. Farnitano said.

The state allows counties to impose stricter standards so local health departments can respond to circumstances in their communities. The order in Contra Costa will go into effect Friday, Nov. 6. Over the past months, the Bay Area counties have made the decisions they’ve felt best around opening or not opening businesses and activities. San Francisco pulled back on their timeline for opening last week. Alameda and Santa Clara have all taken a slower pace than the state tier system allows. All three of these counties are essentially operating at red tier level restrictions even though they are in orange or yellow tiers.

Contra Costa County is still in the orange tier, but case rates are increasing again into the more restrictive red-tier level. The most recent data show an adjusted rate of 4.9 daily cases per 100,000 people in Contra Costa – above the orange-tier benchmark of fewer than 4 per 100,000 people.

If those numbers hold for another week or increase, Contra Costa will move back into the more restrictive red tier.

In addition, there were 40 people hospitalized on Nov. 2 due to COVID in local hospitals, compared to a low point of 17 in mid-October.

For now, other activities not cited in the new order will still be allowed under orange-tier criteria, including indoor swimming pools and indoor family entertainment centers can continue “naturally distanced” activities, such as bowling alleys, escape rooms and climbing-wall gyms, at 25% occupancy.

For more information, visit cchealth.org/coronavirus.

Contra Costa County Advances to Orange Tier in California’s COVID-19 Reopening Plan

Posted Oct. 27, 2020

 

More businesses and community activities can reopen beginning today in Contra Costa after the county’s data indicators for COVID-19 transmission showed improvement in October.

California today reassigned Contra Costa to the less-restrictive orange tier of its Blueprint for a Safer Economy, allowing for larger local gatherings for indoor worship services and dining, and the reopening of indoor pools, bars and bowling alleys.

But health officials caution that it is now more important than ever to follow the state health guidance for physical distancing and use of face coverings, to keep everyone safe and healthy during the holiday season and to avoid a return to the red tier.

Contra Costa’s adjusted per-capita case rate – the average daily number of new COVID-19 cases identified in the county per 100,000 population – stood at 3.7 on Tuesday, just qualifying the county to move into the orange tier.

The average daily percentage of COVID-19 tests that return positive in the county is 1.9%, with 4.9% or lower qualifying for the orange tier. That number for census tracts identified by the state’s health equity metric was 3.9% today, with 5.2% required for the orange tier.

Counties in the orange tier can allow:

  • Worship services and other cultural activities indoors at 50% occupancy or 200 people, whichever is fewer;
  • Indoor dining at 50% occupancy or 200 people, whichever is fewer;
  • Indoor swimming pools;
  • Bars and other businesses that sell alcohol without meals to open for outdoor operation;
  • Family entertainment centers to open indoors for “naturally distanced” activities, such as bowling alleys, escape rooms and climbing-wall gyms, at 25% occupancy;
  • Card rooms to open indoors at 25% occupancy;
  • Small amusement parks to open at 25% of occupancy or 500 people, whichever is fewer;
  • Professional sports venues to open at 20% occupancy;
  • Live entertainment to open with no more than 50 people, if approved by the Health Officer.

The county will remain in the orange tier for at least two weeks. The state could move Contra Costa into the less-restrictive yellow tier, or the more restrictive red tier, if its metrics qualify for one of those tiers for two consecutive weeks. The state updates the official numbers every Tuesday.

To reduce the spread of the virus in Contra Costa County, and to continue its progress toward reopening, the public should get tested for COVID-19 regularly, including people who have no symptoms of illness.

Contra Costa would not have qualified for the orange tier this week had it not tested more residents than the state average. California adjusts the case rates of high-testing counties downward to reflect their work controlling the virus. Without that adjustment, Contra Costa’s per-capita case rate this week would have been 4.1, which would not qualify for the orange tier.

Following the heath guidance for physical distancing and face coverings, practicing good hand hygiene and staying home when you feel sick are also key to continuing Contra Costa’s progress against the pandemic.

About 3,500 people get tested every day for COVID-19 in Contra Costa. By ramping up to test at least 4,500 daily, the county can more quickly notify those infected – particularly people with the virus who do not have symptoms – to prevent outbreaks and better protect community members at high risk of serious illness from COVID-19 because of their age or health.

Contra Costa recommends that workers in jobs that bring them in frequent contact with the public, including all essential workers, consider a COVID-19 test every 30 days. Anyone who has symptoms such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing should also consider a test.

To schedule a fast, free COVID-19 test in Contra Costa, call 1-844-421-0804 or visit cchealth.org/coronavirus to schedule online.

Read full email blast: conta.cc/3jwEMX9

 

Contra Costa Health Services / Supervisor Candace Andersen: October 23, 2020 Weekly Update:

This past Tuesday we were hopeful that the county’s indicators would continue to qualify us for entering the orange tier soon. On Tuesday, October 20, the State reported that we had met the Orange Tier requirements for one week and if we did it for one more week, we could move into this next tier. However, our numbers of positive cases have since increased, so it may be a little longer before we can advance to the Orange Tier. Some communities, including Danville and Oakley, have seen a surprising trend upward in new cases which have contributed to this higher cases per 100,000 number.

More Businesses and Services Can Reopen in Contra Costa Thanks to Improving COVID Situation

Posted Sept. 29, 2020

Thanks to recent progress being made in the fight against COVID-19 in Contra Costa, indoor restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, massage parlors and places of worship may now open with restrictions in the county.

The changes come after the county qualified to move into the less restrictive red tier (“substantial”) of the state’s four-tiered, color-coded reopening system today. Contra Costa had been in the state’s purple or “widespread” tier, the most restrictive tier.

Moving into the red tier means the following sectors can reopen with modifications:

  • Places of worship, restaurants, movie theaters and museums can be operated indoors at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is less
  • Gyms can reopen indoors at 10% capacity
  • All personal care services, including massage, can move indoors
  • Indoor shopping malls can operate at 50% maximum occupancy (instead of 25%). Food courts can also open following the state’s guidelines for restaurants.
  • Indoor retail stores can now operate at 50% capacity (instead of 25%)

“The credit really belongs to the residents of Contra Costa, who have adapted to the new normal and modified their lifestyles to reduce the spread of COVID in the county,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, the county’s health officer.

Elementary and secondary schools can reopen for in-person instruction on Oct. 13 if the county remains the red tier for two more weeks. Currently, elementary schools can apply for a waiver from the health officer to reopen.

In order to move into the more permissive red tier, the county had to see average case rates drop below 7 per 100,000 people and testing positivity rates dip below 8%. For the past two weeks, Contra Costa has met those benchmarks. As of Tuesday, the case rate was 6.7 per 100,000 people and the testing positivity rate was 3.7%.

Dr. Farnitano noted that Contra Costa continued to see its COVID numbers improve or remain steady even after the Labor Day weekend, suggesting fewer people engaged in risky behaviors like large social gatherings compared to the previous holiday weekends.

Health officials caution that COVID is still circulating in the community and people should continue to take all the same precautions health officials have been advising for months: wear face coverings in public, maintain physical distancing, wash hands frequently and stay home if you’re sick.

In addition, health officials encourage essential workers and people with lots of close contacts outside their own household to get tested for COVID at least monthly.

Businesses and other organizations should review their applicable industry guidance for reopening safely from the state. For more information about COVID-19 in Contra Costa, visit cchealth.org/coronavirus.

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September 25th Weekly Update by Supervisor Candace Andersen

We will most likely move into the red tier, next week.

Every county is assigned to a tier by the State based on its test positivity and adjusted case rate. The State reviews data weekly and tiers are updated each Tuesday. To move forward, a county must meet the next tier’s criteria for two consecutive weeks.  A county must also remain in a tier for a minimum of three weeks.

Contra Costa should be in the Red Tier next week (September 29) unless our numbers worsen. To qualify for the Red Tier our positive new cases must be 4-7 per 100,000, and our positive test rate must be 5-8%. Once in the Red Tier, we are required to be there for at least 3 weeks before moving into the Orange Tier, even if our numbers qualify. Right now, they don’t, and once we do meet those orange numbers, we’d need to meet the Orange Tier criteria for two weeks in a row.

To see all of the up-to-date information and daily statistics for the last 7 days, go to the coronavirus dashboard.

For more information about what is permitted in each tier, please go to covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/.

We continue to encourage everyone to get tested. Additional testing will also help us move into the next tier. We encourage you to get tested by your own healthcare provider. However, you can also get a fast, convenient COVID-19 test at no cost to you, call 1-844-421-0804 or book an appointment online acoronavirus.cchealth.org/get-tested. Test turnaround time is 2-4 days.

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Citing Lack of Federal Funding, City of Lafayette Suspends Business Assistance Program

Post Date: 09/17/2020 10:14 AM; City of Lafayette

In March 2020, a national emergency and a county shelter-in-place order were declared due to the global spread of COVID-19. Several Lafayette businesses were immediately impacted by the shelter-in-place order and had to cease operations. Other businesses had to severely limit their operations. Local non-profits were also restricted in their ability to raise funds necessary to offer their programs and services.

To assist local businesses and non-profits, the City of Lafayette created the Lafayette Business Assistance Program and hired Townsend Public Affairs in April to help businesses and non-profits access available resources offered by state and federal governments.

The Lafayette Business Assistance Program has been offering services for more than five months and the program has assisted 92 local businesses, including 10 non-profits to secure $1,561,100 in Federal funding, affecting some 460 members of Lafayette’s workforce. In addition, 822 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans were received by Lafayette businesses and organizations, including 718 loans below $150,000, and 104 loans above $150,000.

Despite months of negotiations, Congress has not reached a deal on the Phase 4 Coronavirus Relief Package. As a result, this week the Lafayette’s City Council voted to suspend the Business Assistance Program, effective September 15, 2020. 

The City’s Business Assistance Program webpage will continue to provide the Lafayette business community with updated and useful information. You can find the webpage here: https://www.lovelafayette.org/city-hall/lafayette-strong/lafayette-business-assistance.

Should the next round of Federal funding contain an assistance package that could benefit Lafayette businesses, City staff will return to the Council with a request to resume the program.

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Contra Costa Updates Health Order to Align with California’s COVID-19 Blueprint

Contra Costa County today aligned its COVID-19 social distancing health order with California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, so the county no longer has different reopening rules for businesses and activities beyond what the state requires or allows.

The change, effective at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16, simplifies the plan for reducing the spread of COVID-19 in Contra Costa so that residents and local businesses can better understand and identify the steps we all need to take to keep ourselves, our families, workers and customers safer during the pandemic.

The update to Contra Costa’s health order does allow some additional businesses to reopen, following the state health guidelines for their industries:

  • Personal care services that involve close contact with the face may begin operating outdoors, except for tattooing, piercing and nonmedical electrolysis
  • Racetracks and cardrooms may operate outdoors
  • Music, television and film production may resume
  • Professional sports without live audiences may resume

These changes are consistent with Contra Costa’s placement in the purple tier of the state’s blueprint, indicating that COVID-19 is widespread in the county. When the data tracked by the state show sustained improvement for two weeks, the county will move into the red tier, allowing more businesses and activities to reopen.

Information about the state’s blueprint, including health guidelines for businesses and activities, which business sectors are not currently safe to operate in Contra Costa, and how the guidelines will change as the county makes progress against COVID-19, are all available at covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy.

Contra Costa’s current health orders retain health guidelines for social bubbles and structured contact between people from different households, face coverings and physical distancing. The FAQ and Safer Social Interactions pages at cchealth.org/coronavirus have information about keeping safer during the pandemic.

Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) continues to monitor data that show how the virus is spreading through our community, including hospitalizations and how the pandemic is impacting the county’s healthcare system. If there is a sudden surge in COVID-19 transmission in the future, the county may need to temporarily impose more restrictions to protect the public health.

One way Contra Costans can help keep our county’s healthcare system running smoothly is to get a flu vaccine – talk to your health provider about getting one. CCHS is also planning community vaccination clinics beginning in October.

Anyone who lives or works in Contra Costa can help make the county safer from COVID-19 and reopen more quickly is to get a fast, free COVID-19 test at a community testing site. The state has reduced the requirements for moving into less restrictive tiers for counties that test many people every day, and other Bay Area counties have already qualified for this benefit.

Make a COVID-19 testing appointment today by calling 1-844-421-0804 or booking online at cchealth.org/coronavirus – hit the “Get Tested” button. This site is also an official source for local information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Understanding Our County’s Status

Posted Sept. 11, 2020, Contra Costa County Supervisor Candace Andersen

Every county is assigned to a tier by the State based on its test positivity and adjusted case rate. The State reviews data weekly and tiers are updated on Tuesdays. To move forward, a county must meet the next tier’s criteria for two consecutive weeks.

For Contra Costa County to move down to the next tier, daily new cases (per 100k) must be between 4-7 and positive tests must be between 5-8%. If a county’s case rate and positivity rate fall into different tiers, the county remains in the stricter tier. We have not yet met the criteria of the next tier down, the Red Tier, but if we continue on the current trajectory, we hope to do so by the end of this month. Click to learn more about tier assignments and metric details.

Help Get Out the Word About COVID-19 Testing So We Can Meet State Requirements for Reopening Businesses and Activities

Posted Sept. 11, 2020, Contra Costa County Supervisor Candace Andersen

Contra Costa Health Services is urging the community and government partners to promote the county’s fast, free and convenient community testing program.

Community members and business owners can post and distribute fliers promoting community testing, available in the communications toolkit.

The reason our numbers currently look so low on the County website, is that we’ve changed how we report numbers. We’re doing it on the day someone was tested, not just when we get the results.

Contra Costa Public Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano explained, “based on the County’s internal numbers, it is likely that when the state posts Contra Costa’s numbers next Tuesday, September 15th, we will still be slightly above the threshold for the red criteria. Since the County need to hit that criteria for two consecutive Tuesdays to move into the red zone, the soonest that we would move into the red zone is Sept 29, assuming our current trends continue.”

If there are hundreds more people getting tested every day in Contra Costa, we can protect the community’s health and meet state requirements for reopening businesses and activities.

Counties where many people get tested every day can reopen sooner, according to the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. But Contra Costa needs to test more people to qualify.

Anyone who lives or works in the county can get a test at one of the 12 county- or state-run testing sites for free; it is recommended that most people consider a test every 30 days, whether or not they feel sick. Getting a COVID-19 test is a healthy choice, even for people with no symptoms. Some people with the virus do not get severe symptoms and can pass it to others without realizing it.

The current, average testing turnaround time (TAT) for the laboratories that process county test specimens is 2-4 days. Anyone who lives or works in the county can get a fast, convenient COVID-19 test at no cost by calling 1-844-421-0804 or scheduling an appointment online at coronavirus.cchealth.org/get-tested.

Call Center: (844) 729-8410 Open Daily from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. coronavirus.cchealth.org

For a current list of opening guidelines, go to “Openings at a Glance” Document. 

For the updated “Most Frequently Asked Questions”, go to updated FAQ’s.

To get a fast, convenient COVID-19 test at no cost to you, call 1-844-421-0804 or book an appointment online at coronavirus.cchealth.org/get-tested.

To see all of the up-to-date information and daily statistics for the last 7 days, go to the coronavirus dashboard.

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Outsmart Disaster Campaign: Resilient Business Challenge

The Outsmart Disaster Campaign is a statewide effort to provide tools for resiliency and recovery to California businesses to prepare for or minimize the damage of a disaster. The Academy for Economic Development is offering two 1-hour previews of the Resilient Business Challenge, free of cost, with a focus in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.

The virtual workshop is perfect for small businesses, economic development stakeholders, and business associations to walk through the campaign’s Resilient Business Challenge (so feel free to share this with any business groups, etc. you may work with!). The Challenge focuses on preparing for and recovering from all types of disasters and covers topics such as Identifying Impacts of Disruption, Strengthening Facilities, and Structuring Your Crisis Communication.

Two time slots are being offered for the preview:  September 15th at 10:00 AM PST or September 17th at 5:00 PM PST. Register online at https://outsmartdisaster.com/resilient-business-challenge-preview/ for either session.

The League’s Communications Director Jill Oviatt serves on the advisory committee for this effort so please let me know if you have any questions! League of California Cities – 916-402-7258 |  scaygill@cacities.org

 

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California is changing the COVID-19 county monitoring list to make social distancing requirements and community re-openings more regular and predictable.

Effective Monday, Aug. 31, the state bands its 58 counties into four color-coded tiers according to two local COVID-19 data indicators: the county’s case rate per 100,000 population, and the percentage of tests that come back positive. Click here to learn more.

Contra Costa and most other counties are now in the purple (most restrictive) tier. According to the new state rules:

  • There is no change to restrictions on in-person education, or the state’s school waiver process in Contra Costa.

  • Hair salons and barbers may operate indoors.

  • Indoor shopping malls may reopen at 25% maximum occupancy, if food courts and other public congregation points remain closed, and the mall has an approved COVID-19 safety plan from Contra Costa Health Services.

VIEW INDUSTRY GUIDANCE HERE 

We can all work together to reduce COVID-19 in Contra Costa and move to the next tier if we focus on reducing the risky behaviors that spread infection.

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New Health Order to Allow more Outdoor Activities Effective Friday, August 28, 2020

Recent Data Suggest a Leveling of COVID-19 Transmission in Contra Costa County

Posted Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020

Daily hospitalizations due to COVID-19 and the percentage of COVID-19 tests returning positive remained steady or fell slightly in Contra Costa County during early August, reflecting recent local progress in slowing the spread of a deadly virus.

These key data indicators for the pandemic remain at dangerously high levels in Contra Costa, which remains on the California Department of Public Health’s county monitoring list, but are not currently increasing as they did in June and July.

Given the improvement, Contra Costa County is making small changes to its social distancing health order to allow certain business sectors to begin operating again outdoors. The changes align Contra Costa’s policy with recently updated state health guidelines:

  • Personal care services that do not involve close contact with the face, such as nail salons and massage, may begin operating outdoors in accordance with the state-issued industry guidelines and checklist.
  • Gyms and fitness centers may begin operating outdoors in accordance with their own state guidelines and checklist.
  • Hotels and short-term rentals in the county may open for personal or recreational travel, not just for essential business purposes.

 

These updates to the health order are effective Friday, August 28. Hair salons and barbers have already been permitted to perform limited work outdoors in the county, with no reported outbreaks.

Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) does encourage businesses to adjust reopening plans because of poor air quality in the county from Northern California wildfires. The county has issued a health advisory about smoke, encouraging all residents to stay inside when possible with doors and windows shut. For air quality updates and forecasts, visit the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

While recent issues at the state level skewed local testing data in late July and early August, Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) has confidence in data related to hospitalization and number of new positive cases because they are directly reported to the county by local health providers and clinics.

The seven-day rolling average number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Contra Costa dropped slightly, from 103 on Aug. 5 to 96 on Aug. 24. The average percentage of tests administered in the county that come back positive, meanwhile, has fallen from 8.8% on Aug. 6 to 7.4% on Aug. 24.

Previous health orders remain in effect. Contra Costa Health Services urges residents to continue wearing face coverings when they go out or are near people outside their households, observe physical distancing, stay home from work or school when they do not feel well and wash their hands thoroughly and often.

Details of the update, including the full text of the order, are available at cchealth.org/coronavirus.

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Lafayette’s Business Assistance Program

To support the City of Lafayette and the small business community in need within Lafayette, Townsend Public Affairs (TPA) is continuing all Direct Support and Guidance activities.
TPA continues to directly assist small businesses reaching for guidance as they navigate the complex relief programs available, including but not limited to:
  • SBA PPP loan forgiveness
  • SBA EIDL program
  • State and private foundation support programs
  • Extended and expanded unemployment benefits for sole proprietors, self-employed, and entrepreneurs
  • Small business commercial and residential rent deferment options
TPA will continue this Direct Support and Guidance without invoicing the City for the remainder of August 2020.
Lafayette businesses are encouraged to use this FREE resource. Click here for more information.

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Workforce Development Board of Contra Costa County: COVID-19 Resource Hotline Call Center for Businesses and Jobseekers

As part of our Bounce Back Contra Costa campaign, the Workforce Development Board of Contra Costa County (WDB), is providing information and resources to help businesses and employees/job seekers navigate through this COVID-19 crisis. Call the WDB COVID-19 Resource Hotline Call Center at 1-833-320-1919, Monday-Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm or click here to email. For further details, visit https://www.wdbccc.com/.

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Update from Townsend Public Affairs, July 22, 2020

Local Business Statistics:

  • Eighty-eight (88) local small businesses have registered with the LBA.
    • Ten (10) are local non-profit organizations:
      • Friends of the Lafayette Library and Learning Center
      • Lafayette Chamber of Commerce
      • Lafayette Library and Learning Center Foundation (LLLCF)
      • Lafayette Historical Society
      • Lafayette Partners in Education
      • Lafayette United Methodist Church
      • Lamorinda Arts Council
      • The Park Theater Trust (TPTT)
      • Peter Pan Foundation
      • Sun Valley Pool Association
  • These 88 small community businesses reflect over 460 employees and independent contractors within the Lafayette community.
  • A Total of $1,555,600 in federal funding has been confirmed to date across thirty-two (32) small businesses.

 

SBA Payroll Protection Program (PPP):

  • The final deadline to apply for the PPP is 8/8/2020.
    • This extension, combined with the Flexibility Act has allowed us to connect with several more Lafayette business who are now interested in PPP relief funding.
    • As a reminder, the House gave final last-minute congressional approval last Wednesday to extend the PPP hours after the deadline for applications lapsed.
    • There is approximately $130 billion still available.
  • The SBA continues to release detailed loan-level data for PPP loans as they are approved.
    • Loans above $150,000 have their loan level data displayed, including business names, addresses, NAICS codes, zip codes, business type, demographic data, non-profit information, name of lender, jobs supported, and loan amount ranges.
    • These categories account for nearly 75 percent of the loan dollars approved.
    • For all loans below $150,000, the SBA releases all of the above information except for business names and addresses.
  • Lafayette specific information:
    • 822 total PPP loans have been approved for Lafayette businesses.
    • 718 of which are loans below $150,000.

 

SBA Emergency Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL):

  • The EIDL application has been reopened to all business industry types.
  • Small businesses may apply for SBA Loans with a maximum of $150,000.

 

School Reopening:

  • Vice President Mike Pence said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will release new guidelines next week for reopening schools
  • This comes after President Donald Trump criticized the stated guidance as burdensome and costly, and threatened to withhold federal funding for school districts that do not welcome students on grounds this fall.
  • It should be noted that the Impoundment Control Act prevents the president and other government officials from unilaterally substituting their own funding decisions for those of the Congress, according to the House Budget Committee, so it is unlikely that funding can be withheld in the manner the President described.

 

Phase 4 Stimulus Package:

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that getting kids back in schools will be a major theme of the next coronavirus relief bill he’ll be releasing.
  • McConnell has expressed an openness to additional funding to help schools reopen but hasn’t weighed in on whether that additional money should come with the types of conditions that Trump Administration officials described.

 

Updates on CA Wildfire Preparedness: 

  • The Governor announced that California has experienced almost double the amount of wildfires so far this year, as compared to the last year. Additionally, in the past 10 years, 5 of the State’s most destructive wildfires occurred.
  • The Governor noted that the average number of acres burned is less than last year and less than historic numbers. This year, fire average has been contained to just 6.6 acres, and the State’s goal remains the same- to keep 95 percent of the wildfires suppressed to under 10 acres.
  • In order to continue mitigating the spread of wildfires, the State budget allocated substantial resources to CalFire
  • This includes a $285 million procurement for 12 new Blackhawk helicopters. This tangibly doubles the ability of first responders to suppress fire spread.
  • The State Budget also allocated an additional $130 million for new communications equipment
  • $5 million for wildfire cameras to identify early sparks
  • $25 million for innovation and new technologies to better plan and prepare for wildfires
  • $85.6 million to provide a new permanent workforce for CalFire (full baseline support and not just seasonal workers)
  • The Governor’s administration is also allowing CalFire to continue the integration of an additional 858 seasonal firefighters though at least October.
  • Governor Newsom did note that CalFire is going to have less ground support from CDCR inmate fire crews, due to COVID-19 in state correctional facilities.  At this point, fewer than half of the 190 fire crews are available to assist with combatting wildfires.

 

New Statewide and County Closures:

  • Increases in COVID-19 Cases: The Governor indicated this week’s closures are necessary due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases statewide, as well as the continued increase in the 7- and 14-day trends.
    • Positive Cases: 7-day average of 8,211 new cases per day
    • Positivity Rate: 7-day average of 7.7%; 14-day average of 7.4%
    • Hospitalizations: average 28% increase in hospitalizations over the last 14-days
    • ICU beds: average 20% increase in ICU beds for COVID patients over the last 14-days 
  • County Attestation Process:
    • In light of this week’s actions, the State is temporarily pausing the county attestation process, until further notices.

 

Testing:

  • This week the State will be providing an update on the State’s Task Force for COVID-19 testing will be providing an update on the State’s efforts to ensure that adequate testing is available.
    • The State is averaging 107,000 tests per day
    • While the testing is increasing, there are parts of the state that are running low on testing materials. Additionally, there are capacity issues related to processing tests, which is resulting in longer wait times for people to find out the results of their tests.

 

Paid Leave:

  • The Department of Labor will be undertaking a new public information campaign aimed at sharing more information about workers’ paid leave rights during the pandemic.
    • As a reminder, the Phase 2 coronavirus relief package enacted emergency paid leave for as many as 60 million workers, offering 10 paid sick days for full-time workers and up to 12 weeks of partially paid leave for those affected by the pandemic.
    • The Department of Labor has received criticism for not doing enough to educate workers on their rights to the emergency paid leave
    • The provisions expire in December

Learn more about the Lafayette Business Assistance Program here >>

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Update on getting haircuts and other personal care services outdoors

Posted July 20, 2020. Learn more here.

New state guidance clarifies what services you can get outdoors. Hair services are allowed, as are services for skin care, nails, and massage. Other services which require a hygienic environment (tattooing, electrolysis, piercing) cannot be performed outdoors. Read more in Industry Guidance.

The guidelines for outdoor hair salons and barbershops include:

  • Employees and customers have to wear masks the entire time
  • Create an outdoor reception area where guests can check in
  • No handshakes, hugs or similar greetings

Nail salons can offer manicures and pedicures outside. Other services like massages, body waxing and threading are also now allowed outdoors.

Those personal care services have to follow the above guidelines, as well as:

  • Workers should wear a face shield with a face covering when doing services on the face/neck that don’t allow clients to wear a mask
  • Disposable gloves should be worn during the entire service
  • Use single-use applicators instead of reusable ones (where necessary)
  • Ask manicure clients to use hand sanitizer first
  • Allow only one manicurist to work at a single station
  • Offer color palettes instead of nail polish color displays

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California COVID-19 Closures Affect Some Contra Costa Businesses

Monday, July 13, 2020 |  View Online

Due to a sharp rise in COVID-19 activity, California Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the temporary closure of several types of indoor businesses and activities.

Effective immediately, all counties must close dine-in restaurants, bars, wineries and tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers such as bowling alleys and arcades, zoos and museums, and cardrooms.

None of these types of businesses had previously reopened under Contra Costa County’s social distancing ordinance and must remain closed under the state order.

Breweries, brewpubs and pubs must “close all operations indoor and outdoor statewide,” according to the state’s COVID-19 web page.

Additionally, Gov. Newsom required counties that have remained on the California Department of Public Health’s county monitoring list for three or more consecutive days to close additional businesses and activities, effective immediately.

Contra Costa does meet the criteria, so this part of the governor’s order does apply to the county. Some businesses and activities that had previously been permitted in the county are affected:

  • Offices for “non-essential” business sectors, as determined by the state – visit covid19.ca.gov for more information when it becomes available.
  • Hair salons and barber shops
  • Indoor malls

All of these businesses and activities are required by the state to close today unless their operation can be modified to be outside or by pickup.

Other businesses and activities required by the state to close in watch-list counties include indoor worship services and indoor protests, which Contra Costa also suspended with its own local order effective today.

Fitness centers and personal care services, such as nail salons and tattoo parlors, were also named in the state order but had not previously reopened in the county.

For more information about today’s order from California, visit covid19.ca.gov.

Contra Costa Health Services urges everyone to continue taking simple steps to protect themselves from COVID-19: Follow the social distancing order, and wear a face covering when you leave home or when you are near other people. Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, and always stay home from work or school if you are not feeling well.

Visit cchealth.org/coronavirus for local information about Contra Costa’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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New Statewide & County Closures

Posted July 13, 4pm | View online

Effective immediately, California closes some indoor business operations statewide and additional indoor operations in counties on Monitoring List for 3 consecutive days.

Statewide indoor closures include restaurants, bars and breweries, wineries & tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos and museums, and cardrooms. County indoor closures include fitness centers, places of worship, indoor protests, offices for non-critical infrastructure sectors, personal care services, hair salons and barbershops, and malls. County closures apply to counties that have been on the County Monitoring List for 3 consecutive days. Learn more.

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Your Actions Save LivesSocial Distancing Order

Amended: 7/11/2020

Contra Costa County is experiencing a significant increase in community transmission and illness from COVID-19. The rate of occurrence of new cases per day and hospitalization rates have been steadily rising since early June.  The percentage of test results positive for the virus has been steadily rising since June 20, 2020.  For those reasons, this amended health order imposes additional restrictions on certain businesses and activities that were previously cleared for operation because they present a high risk for disease transmission due to the prolonged contact between persons who come together in these businesses and engage in these activities. 

Based on our current understanding of the transmission of the COVID-19 virus, local case investigations, and knowledge gained from case investigations and outbreaks across the region and the state, there is a heightened concern about settings where people from multiple households gather.  Gatherings where people are together for a prolonged period of time, especially indoors, and settings where people remove their masks to eat and drink, appear to pose the highest risk for transmission at this time.

The following summarizes these restrictions:

  • Restaurants and other food facilities:  Specific face covering requirements are imposed at establishments that are open for outdoor dining only.  Indoor dining remains prohibited. (See face coverings health order and Appendix C-1 below)

  • Providers of religious services and cultural ceremonies:  Indoor religious services and cultural ceremonies are prohibited.  Outdoor religious services and cultural ceremonies may be held in accordance with applicable State guidance.

  • Protests:  Indoor protests are prohibited.  Outdoor protests may take place in accordance with applicable State guidance.

  • Social Bubble gatherings: Persons over 12 are required to wear face coverings, except when eating or drinking, and all gatherings must take place outdoors.

Click below to read the following documents:

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Requiring Face Coverings

Wear a Face CoveringDate of Order: 7/5/2020  (VIEW ONLINE)

This Order requires that all individuals in Contra Costa County wear face coverings in accordance with guidance issued by the State of California. Subject to the exemptions set forth in the State Face Covering Guidance, including but not limited to exemptions in industry guidance documents issued by the State of California, individuals and businesses in the County must comply with the following local requirements, as applicable:

  • Individuals shall wear Face Coverings when less than 6 feet away from any person who is not a member of the individual’s household or living unit.

  • Individuals must wear Face Coverings when inside or on the grounds of, or waiting in line to enter, any business.

  • All businesses must:

    • Require their employees, contractors, owners, and volunteers to wear a Face Covering

    • Take all reasonable steps to prohibit any member of the public who is not wearing a Face Covering from entering and must not serve that person if those efforts are unsuccessful.

Click below to read the following documents:

Roadmap to Reopening June 29, 2020 Update

Contra Costa to Postpone COVID-19 Reopening Timeline

Posted: Monday, June 29, 2020

Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) will delay the opening of businesses and activities previously planned for July 1 until the COVID-19 outbreak in Contra Costa is better contained.
The county is closely monitoring recent data showing COVID-19 activity increasing in the community, as it is statewide and throughout the country. Read press release here >>

Businesses and activities that have already reopened are not required to close.

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Lafayette Business Assistance Program – Accion Small Business Live Restart Grant Fund – MONDAY NIGHT DEADLINE

Lafayette For-profit businesses,

We’d like to deliver a time-sensitive update on the Accion Small Business Live Restart Grant Fund. Applications are currently open until Monday, June 29, 2020 at 9:59 pm.  We recommend applying as soon as possible while COVID-19 funding is still available.  Based on the information you’ve provided us at the Lafayette Business Assistance Program (LBA), you should be eligible for this grant opportunity. This competitive grant program will provide COVID-19 relief grants to struggling small businesses. The application is very straightforward and can be completed in less than one hour. Let us know if you have any questions!

Funding Info:

  • Selected small business owners will receive a grant of $5,000
  • All grant recipients will be randomly selected from a pool of finalists.
  • Grant recipients will be notified on or around July 14, 2020.

 

Eligibility:

  • Applicant must be the owner of the business
  • Must have been in business at least 1 year, since June 2019
  • Must meet ONE of the following criteria:
    • Entrepreneur of color
    • Woman entrepreneur
    • Business annual revenue is less than $1 million
      • If you are not a woman or a person of color, you may still apply if your annual revenue is under $1 million.

 

  • Business who are note eligible to apply:
    • National chain businesses or not-for-profit organizations that have a national affiliation
    • Branch Banks
    • Payday loan stores
    • Pawn shops
    • Astrology, palm reading
    • Liquor stores, night clubs
    • Adult bookstores, massage parlors, strip clubs
    • Track waging facilities
    • Trailer-storage yards
    • Junkyards
    • Marijuana dispensaries
    • Multi-level marketing
    • Churches (non-religious activities are eligible, i.e. if they have a bookstore or cafe)

 

Steps To Apply:

Grant Application Checklist

Please find a LBA – SBLRGF – Application Checklist outlining the entire application and all information needed to apply. Feel free to use this checklist as an offline resource to prepare your application.

 

Small Business Live Restart Grant Fund Application Portal

 

Documents Required

  • You will need to submit the following three (3) attachments in order to apply for this grant:
    1. 2018 or 2019 tax returns
    2. Four (4) total business bank statements from June 2019, September 2019, December 2019, and March 2020
  1. For sole proprietorships, please provide your most recent (2019 or 2018) Schedule-C if you do not have business bank statements
    1. A scanned copy or photo of a valid identification card (driver’s license, government-issued ID card, passport, matricula)

 

Tips To Be Competitive:

  • At least 50% of funds will be allocated to current Accion and Opportunity Fund loan clients.
    • If you are a current client, make sure you include your account number in questions #21 and #22 of the checklist.
  • Special consideration will be extended to business owners who identify as:
    • People of Color
    • Specifically Hispanic, Latino and Latinx
    • Women
    • Low income and struggling small businesses
      • If you are not a person of color or a woman, you may still be competitive. A low annual revenue in comparison to your business size will make you a competitive.
  • All grant recipients will be randomly selected from a pool of finalists.
    • If you score high on the above special considerations, you will automatically be included in the pool of finalists.

More info on the Lafayette Business Assistance Program>>

 

Statement from Contra Costa County Regarding COVID-19 Reopening Timeline

Friday, June 26, 2020

Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) is evaluating whether the county should continue its current reopening timeline, due to recent data showing COVID-19 activity is increasing in the community.

CCHS is closely monitoring key data indicators that show how the virus is spreading in the county and will announce a decision about the timeline Monday.

During the past seven days, the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals in the county has increased 42%.

The seven-day average number of newly identified COVID-19 cases has increased from 39 a day to 68 a day. The positivity rate of test results – the percentage of COVID-19 tests that came back positive – has also increased. This suggests the change is not simply due to more testing, but indicates a true increase in community spread.

We are also seeing a shift with more young people testing positive. In June, 55% of cases were 40 years and under compared to 38% for that group in April. It’s a sign that younger people are playing a major role in driving the increase in new cases and potentially infecting vulnerable individuals. This highlights why it’s important for everyone to avoid social gatherings, observe physical distancing and wear masks or face coverings when around others.

CCHS encourages all residents to get tested. Increased testing for COVID-19 is a critical part of the community effort to slow local spread of the virus, and necessary to continue reopening in the future.

Contra Costa’s data are consistent with increases in COVID-19 activity now being experienced in communities across the state and the nation.

There is concern that these increases may lead to a surge in very ill people that could overwhelm the local healthcare system. We realize many people are eager to resume normal activities. However, if we adjust the reopening timeline, it will be because we have a chance to prevent the pandemic from getting out of control in the county.

Any change to the timeline would immediately affect businesses and activities that are currently scheduled to resume July 1, including indoor dining, bars, gyms, hotels and some personal care services, including nail salons and tattoo parlors.

CCHS is releasing this information today to provide businesses and residents as much time as possible to prepare for a potential change to the timeline.

With the Fourth of July weekend approaching, CCHS also reminds everyone that it’s a healthy choice to observe physical distancing when outside the home – maintain six feet of space whenever possible – and to wear face coverings. Anyone who feels sick should stay home. People should also wash their hands frequently.

# # #

Reopening Roadmap June 26, 2020

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Lafayette Business Assistance Program – EIDL Update 6.17.2020

The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) has been reopened to all business industry types. If you have not already applied, you may do so now while funds are still available. This application will provide loans of up to $150,000 and Emergency Advance grants of up to $10,000 to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please Note: if you have received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds or if you anticipate that you will receive PPP funds, the Emergency Advance grant will be deducted from your PPP loan forgiveness. You may refuse the Advance in the EDIL online application.

Please reach out to us if you have any questions regarding this funding resource:

 

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)

Steps For You To Apply:

Attached to this email, please find a checklist outlining the information that the SBA will ask in their online application. Feel free to use this document as an offline resource to prepare your application.

 

Where To Apply

 

Lafayette Business License Letter

 

Waiting In Queue

  • If your application has already been submitted, SBA funding should continue processing your application on a first-come-first-served basis.
  • Look out for any correspondence from SBA asking for clarification on certain items in order to get your funds approved.
  • Regularly check your spam folder for any missed correspondence.
  • Beware of scams. Any legitimate emails from the SBA will have “sba.gov” at the end of its email address.
  • Feel free to contact us with any questions.

 

EIDL vs PPP

  • You may apply for both the EIDL and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
  • However, if you receive both the EIDL Advance Portion and the PPP, the amount you receive in EIDL Advance will be deducted from your PPP forgiveness.
    • For example, if you receive $10,000 in EIDL Advance and $30,000 in PPP funds, only $20,000 total can be forgiven from you PPP loan. The deducted $10,000 will have to be paid back at the PPP interest rate of 1%.
    • If you do not want this Advance Portion, you may refuse it in the Applicant Awarding Information section of the online application.

 

EIDL Advance Portion:

Designed to provide rapid relief of up to $10,000. This advance portion will be fully forgiven and will not have to be repaid.

  • The advance portion is calculated by the number of your pre-disaster (as of January 31, 2020) employees:
    • $1,000 is allocated to you for each employee.
    • Maximum advance amount is $10,000.
  • Eligible use of funds include:
    • Keep employees on payroll
    • Pay for sick leave
    • Meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions
    • Pay business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments.

 

EIDL Loan Portion:

Designed to provide low interest loans to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing as a result of the pandemic.

  • The loan portion does not have any option to be forgiven, and must be repaid.
  • These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits or for expansion.
  • Maximum loan amount is $150,000.
  • Maximum loan term is 30 years
  • Interest rates are 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for nonprofit organizations
  • You are not required to commit to this loan portion in order to receive the advance portion. Once approved, you may opt out of this loan portion and receive only the advance portion.

⇒ https://www.lovelafayette.org/businessassistance

PPP Loan Forgiveness Guide

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Updated Shelter in Place Order

Date of Order: 6/16/2020

This Order supersedes the June 5, 2020, Order of the Health Officer directing all individuals to shelter in place (“Prior Order”). This Order continues to restrict most activity, travel, and governmental and business functions to essential needs and to the Outdoor Activities and Outdoor Businesses that the prior Order allowed to resume.  But in light of progress achieved in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the County of Contra Costa (the “County”), the Order allows a limited number of Additional Businesses (as described in Section 15.n below and in Appendix C-1) and Additional Activities (as described in Section 15.o below and in Appendix C-2) to resume operating, subject to specified conditions and safety precautions to reduce associated risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Click below to read the following documents:

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On Monday, June 8 the Lafayette City Council voted unanimously to approve a relief package to our local businesses as we begin to re‐open our downtown.

Posted: Friday, June 12, 2020

The assistance to date includes:

  • Temporary waiver of sign regulations
  • Furnished signs for curbside pick‐up (15 minute zone) and “OPEN FOR BUSINESS” A‐frames
  • Temporary Suspension of Parking Meter Collection
  • Assistance in procuring State and Federal Funding

Collaboration between the City of Lafayette and the Chamber of Commerce, we are adding these temporary remedies

  • Business guidance, re‐opening checklists and self‐certification
  • Temporary use of private and public open space and rights of way\
  • Re‐Open Kits

Outdoor dining will be allowed in private parking lots and limited public rights of way to increase seating  capacity until “social distancing” is no longer required.

Plan Details
Before reopening, all facilities must:

  • Perform a detailed risk assessment and create a site‐specific protection plan
  • Train employees on how to limit the spread of COVID‐19. This includes how to screen themselves for symptoms and when to stay home.
  • Set up individual control measures and screenings
  • Put disinfection protocols in place
  • Establish physical distancing guidelines

Private Spaces
Beginning Friday, June 19th, restaurants and retail establishments will be able use their parking lots for seating and shopping. The City is temporarily waiving the parking requirements to allow for additional seating.

  • Social Distancing and Masks will be mandatory when you are within 6’ of another person
  • Restaurants can serve their full menu and with a temporary license issued by the ABC, beer & wine & alcoholic beverages. (You must already have a liquor license) and you must have your temporary outside area enclosed with a barrier.
  • You can deliver full service or To‐Go menus.
  • It is the restaurants responsibility to provide the tables, chairs, and all other equipment
  • Tables and chairs must be sanitized by your staff after each turnover
  • Current state guides for restaurants: This guidance for dine-in restaurants provides guidelines to create a safer environment for workers.
    Review the guidance, prepare a plan, and post the checklist for dine-in restaurants in your workplace to show customers and employees that you’ve reduced the risk and are open for business.

Public Spaces

  • Plans are underway to prepare two public spaces that will support the open dining scene. The plan is to close Lafayette Circle between the two driveways between TuTu’s and Coffee Shop. The second closure will be the wide sidewalk between Joe and the Juice and Sideboard. The street will be open and all parking spaces will be available.
  • These closures are planned to be from 4:00pm on Friday nights through Sunday nights.
  • We plan to begin these closures Friday, June 19, 2020.
  • A reminder – if you sell alcohol, your customers must be seated within your private dining area or purchasing the beverages TO‐GO. Alcohol will not be allowed in public spaces.
  • As we move closer to July 1st, when Restaurants will be allowed to open their dining rooms (with social distancing) the city is considering the closure of more public streets to create a safe and friendly street scene. The theme will be WELCOME BACK!

Statewide industry guidance to reduce risk during Re‐Opening: https://covid19.ca.gov/industry‐guidance

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Please don’t let “I told you so” happen…

June 11, 2020

As someone who has been at the forefront of pleading with county officials to allow the re-opening of our local economy, I urge everyone to stay vigilant. Lafayette businesses are so happy to be serving you again. And it’s not just because they miss you. They must open if they are going to survive. We have a chance to help them and stay healthy at the same time.

The citizens of Lafayette want to say thank you for the pro-active steps Contra Costa took to support the safety and health of our community. We know those measures were necessarily made with a broad brush and those decisions saved thousands of lives. We all sacrificed much – please don’t stop now. We have done a lot of hard work to keep everyone safe. As retail and restaurants open I want to remind both residents and business that our work is not done.

Community Members – as cities and towns around the country have started to reopen there have been spikes in new cases and Northern California is no exception. We should all agree that basic safety precautions need to be followed by all businesses and customers. This includes crowd control, social distancing, extra space in isles, masks and in some cases gloves, proper postings for staff and customers, and enforcement by business owners. Anything less should be considered non-conforming and irresponsible. We all know how to do it now. If you have already tested positive, you really don’t know with certainty about your immunity or that you are not capable of spreading the virus. If you are young and feel invincible, you can still spread the virus.

Businesses – we have fought hard with county health officials to be reasonable and allow prudent businesses to operate safely. But now it is up to you to ensure your customers and your employees are SAFE. No shortcutting. And a note to customers, you would not believe the list of mandatory guidelines businesses must implement before they can open their doors. You can visit these necessary measures https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance.

Contra Costa has done such a good job, but we all know we can do better. Put the masks back on. I hate them too. I really do. But I want to hang around a little longer. We are closing in on 5,000 COVID-19 deaths in California. We can do better than this. Be kind. If you are not doing it for yourself, please consider the rest of us.

Jay Lifson, Executive Director, Lafayette Chamber of Commerce

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Statewide industry guidance to reduce risk

https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance/#top
Last updated June 8, 2020 at 4:08 PM

As California reopens, every business will need to create a safer, low-risk environment. If you own or manage a business, follow the guidance below to protect your workers and customers.

The industry-specific guidance below applies to businesses statewide. Review the guidance that is relevant to your workplace, make a plan, and put it into action. Post your completed checklist so everyone can know the steps you’ve taken. Feel free to add more safety measures to the ones listed here.

Some counties have received state approval to move further into the reopening roadmap. Learn more and find related industry guidance on the County Variance page. [See Contra Costa County Road to Reopening graphic below.)

Before reopening, all facilities must:

  1. Perform a detailed risk assessment and create a site-specific protection plan
  2. Train employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19. This includes how to screen themselves for symptoms and when to stay home.
  3. Set up individual control measures and screenings
  4. Put disinfection protocols in place
  5. Establish physical distancing guidelines

It’s important that employees with COVID-19 know they should stay home. Your sick leave policies will need to support that. See information on:

View Industry Specific Guidance here >>
Includes guidance for childcare, construction, day camps, workspaces, real estate, and retail.

This guidance for hair salons and barbershops provides guidelines to create a safer environment for workers.  Extended personal services are not yet allowed by the state, but they have provided guidance here.  More info: County variance info.

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Resources for businesses reopening during COVID-19 (yelp) >>

Cal Osha Industry Guidelines COVID 19 Restaurants >>

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Road to Reopening!

Updated June 8, 2020, 4:00pm

Thanks to your collective efforts & sacrifices for the health of the community, we are making progress in our fight against #COVID19.

More info on our website: cchealth.org/coronavirus

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Updated Shelter in Place Order

Date of Order: 6/5/2020; 1:20pm

​A new Health Order effective today at 5:00 p.m. allows Outdoor Dining, Outdoor Worship Services, Swimming, Dog Parks, and Camping. Learn more in Supervisor Candace Anderson’s email notice: https://conta.cc/3eSwret

This Order supersedes the June 2, 2020, Order of the Health Officer directing all individuals to shelter in place (“Prior Order”). This Order continues to restrict most activity, travel, and governmental and business functions to essential needs and to the Outdoor Activities and Outdoor Businesses that the prior Order allowed to resume.  But in light of progress achieved in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the County of Contra Costa (the “County”), the Order allows a limited number of Additional Businesses (as described in Section 15.n below and in Appendix C-1) and Additional Activities (as described in Section 15.o below and in Appendix C-2) to resume operating, subject to specified conditions and safety precautions to reduce associated risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Click below to read the following documents:

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COVID-19 TEMPORARY CATERING AUTHORIZATION APPLICATION

Posted June 5, 9:40am

We are expecting an updated health order today at approximately 1pm. Included in this new order is allowing restaurants to open for outdoor dining with social distancing using their own parking lots as of today, 6/5 at 5pm.

RESTAURANTS –  if you decide to serve alcohol, make sure you apply for the temporary ABC license ABC 218CV19.  It can now be found on the ABC Oakland office website. The fee is $100.

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Lafayette Business Assistance offered by the City of Lafayette: PPP UPDATE

Posted June 5, 2020

The City of Lafayette has collaborated with us, the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, and Townsend Public Affairs to run the Lafayette Business Assistance Program, a way for Lafayette businesses and non-profits to get help on Small Business Administration (SBA) loan and grant applications. The City designed the program to make it as easy as possible for our businesses to get the support they need during the Covid-19 crisis.

The Lafayette Business Assistance (LBA) program wanted to provide you with a brief update regarding Payroll Protection Program (PPP) COVID-19 relief funding:

On Friday morning, the Payroll Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 was signed into law. This bipartisan effort gives substantial expansions to how you may use PPP funds and still receive forgiveness.

These expansions include:

  • Allowing you a window of 24 weeks to spend PPP funds instead of the original 8 weeks.
  • Allowing you to spend up to 40 percent of PPP funds on non-payroll costs (such as rent and utilities) instead of the original 25 percent maximum.
  • Allowing you until December 31, 2020 to rehire employees to their pre-disaster (February 15, 2020) wages with PPP funds instead of the original June 30, 2020 deadline.
  • Extending the loan term to five (5) years instead of the original two (2) years, for any amount of PPP funds that are not forgiven.
  • Adding that you may defer employer payroll taxes due for PPP funds. You may defer 50% of the employer’s share of payroll taxes until 2021 and the remaining 50% until 2022.

Much of Congress’ motivation to enact these expansions stemmed from their displeasure in the rigid way the SBA and US Treasury have decided to interpret and enact the PPP to date. We will continue to update you as the US Treasury announces what their interpretations of the program will be under this new law.

For those of you that have already received PPP funds, this gives you much more flexibility to use your funds in a way that will support your business as Contra Costa County slowly facilitates reopening. This will also give you much more time to apply for loan forgiveness.

Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have regarding your loan forgiveness process in light of this change. We are here to be your information resource and want to provide any assistance that we can!

Find out more about the Lafayette Business Assistance program and how you can benefit on the City’s webpage here. Find out if you qualify for assistance by filling out the Lafayette Business Verification Form.

For more information: www.LoveLafayette.org/BusinessAssistance

BusinessAssistance@LoveLafayette.org, (925) 284-1968

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Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Guide

Under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) created by the CARES Act, loans may be forgiven if borrowers use the proceeds to maintain their payrolls and pay other specified expenses.

The Treasury Department and Small Business Administration recently released the application form and instructions for loan forgiveness. The forgiveness forms, instructions, and worksheets can be downloaded here.

PPP borrowers must apply for loan forgiveness with the lender that processed the loan. This guide is designed to help borrowers understand the process by which their loan forgiveness amount will be calculated and the overall approach of the loan forgiveness process.

 

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Lafayette Retail Businesses

You may open your doors to the public tomorrow, Wednesday, June 3, once you have satisfied the rules, regulations, and social distancing protocol.

Please make sure your read and understand everything in the new order issued today.

Order of the Health Office of CCC (PDF)

Press Release – Business Re-openings set for June 3rd

Social Distancing Protocol (PDF)

Appendix C-1 Additional Businesses Permitted to Operate beginning June 3rd (PDF)

Here are postings and checklists to help you get open safely.

Checklists and Planning to Re-Open Playbook (PDF)

Legal and Helpful Postings for Employees and Customers (PDF)

Helpful Links (PDF)

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Updated Shelter in Place Order

Date of Order: 6/2/2020

This Order supersedes the May 18, 2020, Order of the Health Officer directing all individuals to shelter in place (“Prior Order”). This Order continues to restrict most activity, travel, and governmental and business functions to essential needs and to the Outdoor Activities and Outdoor Businesses that the prior Order allowed to resume.  But in light of progress achieved in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the County of Contra Costa (the “County”), the Order allows a limited number of Additional Businesses (as described in Section 15.n below and in Appendix C-1) and Additional Activities (as described in Section 15.o below and in Appendix C-2) to resume operating, subject to specified conditions and safety precautions to reduce associated risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Click below to read the following documents:

 

PLEASE NOTE: Retail is now open however please read ALL Health Order information for details and specifics,  Appendix C-1:

2. Indoor Retail. All retail businesses may operate for indoor shopping, subject to applicable industry guidance issued by the State of California
(https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-retail.pdf). The number of Personnel and customers inside the store or other enclosed space must be limited so that Personnel and customers can comply with Social Distancing Requirements.

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Loosening of Restrictions Expected This Week

On Friday, May 29, Supervisor Candace Andersen made the following statement:

So, what’s next? Our Health Officer, Dr. Farnitano, indicated this morning that he is working with the other Bay Area Health Officers on getting a consensus to loosen restrictions to move our County to the State’s full Phase 2. It will likely allow for the reopening of all retail, outdoor museums and galleries, malls (with an approved plan to reopen), childcare/camps open to all to children, outside visiting may be allowed within small, set groups, service providers such as cleaners and piano tuners will be allowed back into our homes, and offices can be reopened where telecommuting is not possible. It is also anticipated that the order will allow for some smaller primarily outdoor worship services being permitted starting on June 15.

The new order is expected to be announced next Tuesday, June 2, with allowed activities resuming on Wednesday. The Health Order that is in effect now does not have an expiration date. Unfortunately, we do still have many COVID cases in our community, and it would be irresponsible to open everything up all at once. We still need two weeks between each loosening of restrictions so we can evaluate the impact of each change.

Please read press statement here.

Learn more here: https://www.coronavirus.cchealth.org/health-services-updates.

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Lafayette Business Financial Relief Survey

Have you … Applied for a grant or loan? Was it successful? Would you be interested in learning about the loans that are still available?

This survey will help us assess how Lafayette businesses are accessing COVID-19 financial resources. Take this important survey now >>

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City of Lafayette Business Assistance Program

Update regarding Payroll Protection Program (PPP) COVID-19 relief funding:

May 20, 2020, City of Lafayette Business Assistance Program / Townsend Public Affairs, Inc.

Over this weekend, the Small Business Administration (SBA) released the application for PPP loan forgiveness. Attached please find the official loan forgiveness application form. This application also includes concrete rules for calculating your loan forgiveness as well measures to reduce compliance burdens. Your lender should be reaching out to you this week with specific instructions on how to submit the loan forgiveness application to SBA through them.

SBA staff have confirmed that more information on loan forgiveness is forthcoming. Now that this official loan forgiveness application has been released, SBA staff are able to give concrete clarification to existing rules, rather than guidance on what the rules may be. Please reach out to us with any questions you may have on loan forgiveness as we reach out to SBA staff.

If you have successfully received PPP funds, please update us with how much you have received and what date you officially received funds. This will aid us as we reach out directly to SBA staff to clarify loan forgiveness terms relevant to your situation. If you are still waiting for approval from the SBA, please keep us updated on your progress and reach out to us if you are encountering any problems at all.

Below please find some of the most common Q&As regarding loan forgiveness:

  • Q: Can I adjust the eight-week (56-day) Payroll Covered Period or does it have to be when I receive funds?
    • Yes, you may choose the Alternative Payroll Covered Period option.
    • Borrowers with a biweekly (or more frequent) payroll schedule may elect to calculate eligible payroll costs using the eight-week (56-day) period that begins on the first day of their first pay period after their PPP Loan Disbursement Date.
    • For example, if the Borrower received its PPP loan proceeds on Monday, April 20, and the first day of its first pay period following its PPP loan disbursement is Sunday, April 26, the first day of the Alternative Payroll Covered Period is April 26 and the last day of the Alternative Payroll Covered Period is Saturday, June 20.

 

  • Q: How should I calculate the number of employees I should be rehiring and the hours they should be receiving in order to receive loan forgiveness?
    • You will calculate the PPP wages based on your total average weekly full-time equivalency (FTE) during the chosen “pre-disaster” reference period.
    • The reference period is, at the Borrower’s election, either:
  1. February 15, 2019 to June 30, 2019;
  2. January 1, 2020 to February 29, 2020; or
  3. In the case of seasonal employers, either of the preceding periods or a consecutive twelve-week period between May 1, 2019 and September 15, 2019.
  • Q: Can I still get loan forgiveness if I am unable to rehire an employee?
    • Yes. An employee position will be exempted from the loan forgiveness calculation if the employee:
  1. Rejects your good-faith offer to rehire them. You must deliver a written offer to rehire and you must retrieve a written refusal from the employee.
  2. Is fired for cause.
  3. Voluntarily resigns.
  4. Voluntarily requests and receives a reduction of their hours.

 

  • Q: If an employee position is exempted from the loan forgiveness calculation, can I spend their portion of PPP funds on other costs and still receive forgiveness?
    • Current SBA guidance states that you may only use these exempted funds to hire a replacement employee.

 

  • Q: Can I spend more than the required 75% of PPP funds on payroll costs? Can that be spent on increased wages for employees?
    • Current SBA guidance states that you may do this.
    • For each individual employee, the total amount of cash compensation eligible for forgiveness may not exceed an annual salary of $100,000.

 

  • Q: What is the full list of forgivable non-payroll costs?
    • All non-payroll costs must have documentation that your contractual obligation to pay them began before February 15, 2020.
  1. Payments of interest (not including any prepayment or payment of principal) on any business mortgage obligation.
  2. Business rent or lease payments pursuant to lease agreements for real or personal property.
  3. Business utility payments for a service for the distribution of:
  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Water
  • Transportation
  • Telephone
  • Internet access
    • Current SBA guidance states that no other non-payroll costs are eligible for forgiveness.

 

  • Q: For non-payroll costs, can I pay for something that won’t be billed until after the eight-week (56-day) Covered Period?
    • Yes. An eligible nonpayroll cost may be incurred during the Covered Period and paid on or before the next regular billing date, even if the billing date is after the Covered Period.
    • SBA guidance recommends that you provide as much documentation for costs as possible.
  • Q: For non-payroll costs, can I pay for something that is past due from before the eight-week (56-day) Covered Period?
    • Current SBA guidance states that you may do this.
    • An eligible non-payroll cost may be paid during the Covered Period.
    • SBA guidance recommends that if you must pay something past due from before the Covered Period, request an invoice that is dated during the Covered Period.

 

  • Q: For non-payroll costs, can I pay off credit card debt?
    • Current SBA guidance states that this is only acceptable if it is to pay off eligible non-payroll costs that would have been past-due if not paid for via business credit card.
    • SBA guidance recommends that you clearly document the eligible non-payroll costs being paid off with PPP funds.

 

If you are encountering any roadblocks regarding different COVID-19 relief funding, please reach out to us so that we can help troubleshoot. We are here to be your information resource and want to provide any assistance that we can. (925) 284-1968, businessassistance@lovelafayette.org

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Updated Shelter in Place Order

Date of Order: 5/18/2020: This Order supersedes the April 29, 2020, Order of the Health Officer directing all individuals to shelter in place (“Prior Order”). This Order continues to restrict most activity, travel, and governmental and business functions to essential needs and to the Outdoor Activities and Outdoor Businesses that the prior Order allowed to resume. But in light of progress achieved in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the County of Contra Costa and neighboring counties, the Order allows a limited number of Additional Businesses (as described in Section 15.n of the Health Order and in Appendix C-1) and Additional Activities (as described in Section 15.o of the Health Order) to resume operating, subject to specified conditions and safety precautions to reduce associated risk of COVID-19 transmission. 

Click below to read the following documents:

New order goes into effect 6am Tuesday, May 19, 2020.

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Guidelines for Reopening

The County will be following State Guidelines for various segments of our economy. Guidelines specific to the reopening of retail businesses can be found here: https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-retail.pdf. Information for restaurants: https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-dine-in-restaurants.pdf
General guidelines for reopening other sectors can be found here: https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance.

Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/reopen-guidance.html

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Face Covering & Social Distancing Resources for Businesses

Attached are a number of items to assist business with the cover-your-face order:

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Essential Businesses Need to Post these Notices

There are two important documents you must have while doing business during the Shelter-In-Place period of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

  1. The first is a template for the SOCIAL DISTANCING PROTOCOL that every “essential” business must have in place by Friday, April 3, 2020. You must complete, post and implement a social distancing protocol for each facility that remains open, using this template.
  2. You must post the attached PDF as of April 1, 2020:  The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act).

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Contra Costa County to Allow Vehicle-Based Gatherings and Services

  • Press release: Contra Costa County to Allow Vehicle-Based Gatherings and Services – 5/15/2020

  • Health Order: Highly-Regulated Vehicle-Based Gatherings – 5/15/2020

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COVID-19 Information for Businesses (May 11, 2020 Email Blast)

 

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COVID-19 Update – Testing Available for Anyone

The Contra Costa County Health Department announced today, May 7, 2020, that COVID-19 testing is now available for anyone who wants to be tested, regardless of whether you have COVID-19 symptoms.  Testing is done by appointment only at one of eight (8) testing locations throughout the county.  Anyone who is interested in being tested should telephone (844) 421-0804 to learn more about the testing process and make an appointment. Previously, tests were only offered for patients with symptoms of illness.

The increased access to community testing will help Contra Costa County reach its goal for easing social restrictions in the current shelter-in-place order, which lasts through May. Click here for testing information.

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Childcare Resources for Contra Costa County during the Pandemic

Greetings from CocoKids (formerly the Contra Costa Child Care County), the nonprofit dedicated to the advancement of quality child care and early education for young children and their families in Contra Costa County. We hope you are keeping safe and healthy in this unprecedented time.

During this pandemic, CocoKids would like to inform the LAFAYETTE BUSINESS COMMUNITY about the resources available for child care providers and the families they serve including free child care for essential workers, free child care referrals for families, and funds for cleaning materials, PPE,  and other supplies for child care providers that are currently open or intend to open.

FREE CHILD CARE for Essential Workers
CocoKids can pay for child care for essential workers. Here’s the link to apply for free child care: https://apps.childaction.org/CEL/home.aspx?CountyID=10699013&County=Contra%20Costa

FINDING CHILD CARE (including emergency child care sites)
CocoKids is the county’s Resource and Referral Agency that helps families find child care (including emergency child care) that best matches their needs and preferences here. Find child care here: https://www.cocokids.org/find-child-care/

ACCESS to CSCP State FUNDS for CLEANING SUPPLIES for Child Care Providers
Licensed Family Child Care (FCC) Providers and Centers and Exempt providers that are currently open or intend to open can apply for the state’s  Cleaning Supplies for Childcare Providers (CSCP) funds that  they can use to purchase much-needed cleaning supplies, PPE, and other supplies. Apply for the CSCP funds here: www.cocokids.org/cscp/

FREE SUPPLIES for CHILDCARE PROVIDERS
Cleaning materials, hand sanitizers, gloves, and other supplies are also available for providers at our Concord Office on 1035 Detroit Ave #100 Concord CA 94518. Providers can call our Donation Supplies Coordinator Monica Joseph at (925) 787-1536  to arrange for pickup of these supplies.

For questions or more information about child care resources in our community, please visit www.cocokids.org or email Letty Quizon at letty.quizon@cocokids.org. CocoKids is here to help children, their families, and their providers.

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Facebook Live Event with Mayor Mike Anderson and Supervisors Chair Candace Andersen

Post Date:05/04/2020 10:33 AM

To answer your questions about the new Public Health Order, Lafayette Mayor Mike Anderson will be joined by Chair of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors Candace Andersen, and Dr. Rohan Radhakrishna, Contra Costa County Deputy Health Officer, for a Facebook Live event on Wednesday, May 6, at 11:00 a.m. Also on the broadcast will be Lafayette City Manager Niroop Srivatsa and Lafayette Police Chief Ben Alldritt. Please send your questions to Lafayette’s Communication Analyst, Jeff Heyman, at jheyman@ci.lafayette.ca.us. You can also post questions live on Facebook during the broadcast. Participate in the event, Wednesday, May 6, at 11:00 a.m., on Lafayette’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lovelafayette.

 

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From the office of Supervisor Candace Andersen, Wednesday, April 29, 2020

New Health Officer Order Extends Shelter in Place through May 31st but Eases Current Restrictions on Some Business and Recreational Activities

Summary of New Health Officer Order
The seven Bay Area Public Health Officers who ordered a shelter in place in mid-March will extend the orders through May 31 while some restrictions are eased and tools to strengthen containment of COVID-19 are put into place.

All construction activities, certain businesses that operate primarily outdoors, and some outdoor activities will be allowed to resume with specific conditions.

These new Health Officer orders, which takes effect May 4, cover everyone living or working in the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara as well as the City of Berkeley, an independent public health jurisdiction.

This next phase reflects regional progress, thanks to the collective action Bay Area residents have taken since mid-March in response to Health Officer shelter-in-place orders. Those actions have saved lives and staved off mass hospitalizations from the COVID-19 virus, which spreads easily and causes severe illness in many people. There is not yet an effective treatment or cure for the disease.

This initial, measured easing of some restrictions is designed to set the stage for a gradual resumption of activity and prevent rapid, exponential growth of cases that could overwhelm hospitals for a particular jurisdiction or the region as a whole.

Under the new orders, all construction projects will be allowed to resume as long as the project complies with safety protocols included with the order. All real estate transactions will also now be able to resume, but with continued restrictions on open houses and limitations on in-person viewings. Any employee allowed to return to work at a facility can also access childcare programs that are allowed to operate.

Certain outdoor businesses can also begin operating again, and people are allowed to visit those businesses to perform work or obtain goods, services, or supplies. This includes wholesale and retail nurseries, landscapers, gardeners, and other businesses that primarily provide outdoor services as set forth in the order. Outdoor businesses do not include restaurants, cafes or bars, regardless of whether they have outdoor seating.

Other activities that can resume under the new order include residential moves and the use of certain shared outdoor recreational facilities that were previously ordered closed, like skate parks, but not others that involve shared equipment or physical contact.

This order is generally consistent with the state’s shelter in place order. On any issue where the local and state orders may differ, the stricter order applies.

Health Officers are also releasing indicators that will be used to measure progress in containing the virus and ensuring we have the infrastructure in place to protect the community from COVID-19. These indicators will be critical to decisions in the coming weeks and months about when and how to ease shelter-in-place restrictions.

The indicators include:

• Whether the total number of cases in the community is flat or decreasing;
• Whether the number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 is flat or decreasing;
• Whether there is an adequate supply of personal protective equipment for all health care workers;
• Whether we are meeting the need for testing, especially for persons in vulnerable populations or those in high-risk settings or occupations; and
• Whether we have the capacity to investigate all COVID-19 cases and trace all of their contacts, isolating those who test positive and quarantining the people who may have been exposed.

What Changes Does This New Order Make?

Note – Please refer to the FAQ’s for descriptions about what is now allowed. The FAQ’s are a searchable document and are being continually updated.

This updated Order continues to restrict most activity to essential functions and needs. But because of progress we have collectively achieved in slowing the spread of the disease and limiting hospitalizations, the Order allows certain additional essential businesses and activities to resume, allows certain low-risk outdoor businesses to being operating again, and authorizes certain additional outdoor activities to take place even though they are not essential. The new Order also introduces a framework to guide the Health Officer’s decisions about further easing of restrictions, focusing on progress achieved addressing COVID-19 and ensuring that there are adequate health care resources available.

This new Order replaces the shelter order issued on March 31, 2020. the March 31 order is the “Prior Order” and the April 29 Order as the “new Order” or “Order.”

This new Order will go into effect on 11:59 pm on Sunday May 3, 2020, and will remain in effect until 11:59 pm on Sunday May 31, 2020, unless the Health Officer amends or extends it.

Most of the Prior Order’s restrictions remain in place. However, the new Order makes a number of significant changes, which are highlighted below:

Essential Businesses:

• Under the new Order, all construction projects can resume, provided they comply with the Construction Project Safety Protocols issued as part of the Order. (These protocols replace the COVID-19 Construction Field Safety Guidelines applicable to the Prior Order).

• Commercial as well as residential real estate transactions are allowed to fully resume, but with continued restrictions on in-person viewings and appointments.

• Under the new Order, childcare establishments, summer camps, schools, and other educational and recreational programs can operate to provide care and supervision for children to allow all persons who are working in essential businesses or outdoor businesses or performing minimum basic operations to access childcare. All of these operations must comply with restrictions specified in the Order, including that they be carried out in stable groups of 12 or fewer children. This category is also subject to the State’s Shelter in Place Order, but the Health Officer will assess whether to ease childcare restrictions further in coordination with the State and as the spread of COVID-19 is further contained.

Outdoor Businesses:

• Outdoor Businesses (as defined in the Order and described below) are now allowed to operate, and people are allowed to visit them to perform work or to obtain goods, services, or supplies.

• Outdoor Businesses are those that normally operated primarily outdoors prior to the Shelter in Place Orders, and where social distancing of at least six feet can be maintained between all people. These include outdoor retail businesses like nurseries, outdoor service providers like landscapers, and agricultural operations.

Social Distancing Protocols for Businesses:

• All business facilities operating in the County, including businesses carrying out minimum basic operations, must comply with the requirement to create a Social Distancing Protocol. (Note: construction activities must instead comply with the Construction Project Safety Protocols.)

• In their Social Distancing Protocols, businesses must now ensure that personnel and customers wear face coverings when entering their facilities (except those customers for whom face coverings are not recommended, like very young children).

• All existing Social Distancing Protocols must be updated to reflect the new requirements.

• We encourage businesses that are not yet allowed to operate to focus on planning to effectively implement social distancing and related measures in their facilities so they are ready to safely reopen when allowed.

Essential Activities and Travel:

• All residential moves are now allowed to proceed.

Recreation:

• The new Order allows use of shared outdoor recreational facilities that do not encourage gathering or contain high-touch equipment.

COVID-19 Indicators

• The Health Officer will consider easing or expanding restrictions based on progress we collectively achieve on several key indicators described in the new Order and referred to as the COVID-19 Indicators.
Read the Full Order and Accompanying Documents Here

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What’s In The New Stay-At-Home Order: COVID-19 Town Hall Thursday

Join California State Senator Steve Glazer for a Virtual Town Hall Thursday to hear a discussion of the Bay Area’s new Stay-At-Home order, which was modified this week. This event will be Thursday, April 30, at 3 p.m.

Guests will include Contra Costa County’s top Public Health Officer, Dr. Chris Farnitano, and Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors Chair Candace Anderson. They will discuss the latest order, changes in the order that will allow more activities, and what indicators local health officials will be watching as they consider further changes in the weeks ahead.

You may join this conversation starting at 3 p.m. Thursday by streaming the audio over my website at https://sd07.senate.ca.gov/.

We will also have a limited number of listen-only telephone lines available. Shortly before 3 p.m.. Thursday, call 844-291-5489 and use this access code: 903739 #

Because of the number of participants, we will be taking only written questions for this conversation. Please submit any questions you may have before or during the call to senator.glazer@senate.ca.gov.

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FREE ZOOM Webinar: Wednesday, April 29, 12noon.

Steering Your Business in the Face of the Pandemic: Managing Through COVID 19

The unprecedented circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic have presented new and constantly changing challenges for businesses. Business owners and employers are faced with a myriad of obligations and decisions ranging from employee concerns and safety, properly handling paid sick and family leave, qualifying for and participating in various funding programs, generally staying afloat, understanding leasing or tenancy obligations, as well as addressing many general contractual obligations. While the legislative responses are encouraging, DLHA Law Group’s webinar will help businesses navigate the changing legal landscape and determine the next course of action with practical, business-oriented solutions.

Missed it? This webinar was recorded and can be viewed through May 6 here: https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/v-55f_bR0FxJHqfm4hHWU4oHQJumX6a8gCcf__ZYnUhL49clOYnobTEP9ekHSsVx Password: 4L#88UV3

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New Contra Costa Call Center Helps Small Businesses

A new call center is now available in Contra Costa County to connect businesses and workers with helpful federal, state and local programs. This includes providing resources and referrals on loans and grants, unemployment insurance, payroll subsidies, and other critical concerns. The line will help small businesses learn how to scale back or survive a temporary closure, and how to ramp back up as COVID-19 restrictions ease off. The trained team who answer calls can also assist with tapping into programs to reduce utility costs, access online career training, and other business services.

Small Business Call Number: 833-320-1919 8:30am to 5pm – Monday through Friday

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Contra Costa County suspends evictions, rent increases amid coronavirus shutdown

Read East Bay Times article here, April 21, 2020
Contra Costa Health Press Release
Official signed ordinance >>

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Contra Costa Health Officer Issues New “Cover Your Face” Order

Post Date: 04/17/2020 1:06 PM, City of Lafayette
A new health order in Contra Costa County requires anyone working at or visiting an essential business, such as a grocery store or gas station, to wear face coverings to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. The order, effective Wednesday, April 22, also requires public transit and government workers to wear masks when they come close to others, or where the public is likely to be present.
Members of the public must mask when they:
  • work at an essential business
  • are inside an essential business, such as a grocery store
  • visit a healthcare provider or facility
  • wait in line for or ride public transportation
Businesses must take reasonable measures, such as posting signs, to remind visitors about masking, and not serve customers who do not observe the order. Workers do not need to mask if they are alone in a personal office but must put them on when others enter.  READ MORE >>

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City of Lafayette Business Assistance Program

City of Lafayette Business Assistance Program

To learn more about this FREE program offered by the City of Lafayette including a description of the program, links to resources,  the Lafayette-Based Business & Non-Profit Verification Form, and a contacts for the Lafayette Business Assistance staff members, click here. 

You can also watch a Webinar, introduced by Mayor Mike Anderson, explaining how the program works and providing answers to questions from Lafayette businesses here.

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Lamorinda Cities Launch Covid-19 Community Information Portal

The Lamorinda Cities and Fire Districts in cooperation with Bay Area-based Zonehaven have released the Covid-19 Community Information Portal at https://ccc.community.zonehaven.com.
The portal allows residents to locate Covid-related resources in and around Lamorinda. Residents can find information about medical offices, social services, food (groceries and take-out), parks and recreation opportunities, pet services and home/auto supplies by visiting the portal. If they enter a home address, they can create a list of services organized by distance from home. Clicking on a business or service in the list locates the business on a new map and provides a link to create directions using the Waze application.
The intent of the portal is to continue to support our residents during the stay at home order and make finding community resources easier. The portal also provides links to Covid-19 information from the State of California and Contra Costa County Health Services.
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President Trump has unveiled Guidelines for Opening Up America Again

This is a three-phased approach based on the advice of public health experts. These steps will help state and local officials when reopening their economies, getting people back to work, and continuing to protect American lives. https://www.whitehouse.gov/openingamerica/

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Quick Links

 

Important information and resources or Lafayette businesses:

Coronavirus Aid Funds: New CARES Act Guidelines for Arts Organizations and Employees

The National Endowment for the Arts has posted the applications guidelines for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds almost a month earlier than originally planned. Implementation of the CARES Act and quickly providing those funds to arts organizations to preserve jobs and keep their doors open is the top priority of the Arts Endowment.

The National Endowment for the Arts will award funds to nonprofit arts organizations across the country to help these entities and their employees endure the economic hardships caused by the forced closure of their operations due to the spread of COVID-19. For information and application visit: https://www.arts.gov/grants-organizations/CARES/grant-program-description

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Almost Daily Briefing, April 3, 2020, Friday Edition

Post Date: 04/03/2020 9:32 AM. Published news articles from local, regional, and national media on topics of interest to the #LoveLafayette Community

COVID-19 UPDATE

This update was provided to the City of Lafayette by Townsend Public Affairs and includes Cal OES announcements. Read the latest coronavirus information and find resources for Lafayette residents and businesses on the City’s COVID-19 Webpage: http://bit.ly/LafayetteCoronavirusInfo.

  • Small Business Assistance: Today the Governor Newsom highlighted new assistance that the State is offering small businesses, as well as federal efforts that were part of the stimulus measures signed into law in March.  More information on the below programs can be found here:  https://covid19.ca.gov/business-and-employers/.
  • Sales Tax Bridge Loan: The State has announced the free deferral of sales/use tax, up to $50,000, for businesses with less than $5 million in taxable assets. The State is allowing qualified businesses to defer their payment of sales/use tax for up to one-year with no fines or penalties.  Additionally, there will be no interest payments required for any deferred payments.  The intent is for this funding, which businesses collect and remit to the State, to act as a bridge loan.
  • California Small Business Loan Guarantee Program: This program is being started with $50 million in funding being provided to the IBank.  This program is targeted at small businesses with 1-750 employees who do not qualify for federal funds.  The loans would be eligible for businesses and non-profits, and the funds could be used for operating costs, such as rent and payroll. Businesses can apply directly with a private lender or through a participating Financial Development Corporation.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan: This program was previously approved by Congress and is available through the US Small Business Administration. This program can provide qualifying businesses with a loan of up to $2 million. The loan can be paid back over 30 years at an interest rate of 3.75% (2.75% for non-profits). Applicants can receive an upfront advance of up to $10,000 while their application is being processed.
  • Paycheck Protection Program: This program was approved through the CARES Act and begins accepting applications tomorrow (April 3) Congress has made $349 billion available, nationwide, for this program.  The program is designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their employees on payroll.
  • This program can provide qualifying businesses with up to $10 million loan. The loan has a maturity of 2 years and an interest rate of 0.5%. The loan will be fully forgiven if the funds are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent and utilities (at least 75% of the forgiven amount must be used for payroll0. Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels.  Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines or if salaries and wages decrease.
  • Water Shutoffs: Today, Governor Newsom signed an Executive Order that will restrict water shutoffs to homes and small businesses while the state responds to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 100 public and private water systems have already voluntarily suspended water shutoffs for non-payment due to COVID-19. The State Water Resources Control Board will issue best practices and guidelines on support for the state’s water systems. Under the Executive Order, water systems shall restore any residential service to occupied residences that has been discontinued for non-payment since March 4.
  • Unemployment: The US Department of Labor published updated data on unemployment claims nationwide. The number of initial claims continued to spike, jumping from a weekly total of 3.3 million to 6.6 million. State Unemployment: Governor Newsom indicated, that since March 12th, over 1.9 million Californians have filed for unemployment benefits.
  • To help handle the increased volume of those seeking benefits, the Employment Development Department has reorganized staffing in order to speed up the processing of eligibility and distribution of benefits.  The State is making every effort to keep up with a 21-day turn around for those who apply.
  • Property Taxes: In response to a question from the media, Governor Newsom indicated that there are currently no plans, at the state level, to delay or relieve property owners of their property tax obligations.  The Governor has been in communication with representatives for local governments and they have stressed the critical need for the funding they receive from property tax.  Local governments have requested that the State not delay or suspend property tax payments, unless the State backfills the revenue to local governments.

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Lafayette Small Business and Covid-19 Webinar [recording]

Tuesday, March 31, 5pm via Zoom. Watch recording here.

The Lafayette Chamber hosted a Zoom Webinar on Tuesday, March 31 for Chamber members. Moderated by Chamber President John McCormick (Lamorinda Music) this 1 hour Zoom meeting covered the state of the city and answers to some of the most often asked questions about the shelter-in-place and business/disaster recovery.  We heard from Jay Lifson, Executive Director of the Chamber, Niroop Srivatsa, Lafayette City Manager, and Senator Steve Glazer. There was time for Q&A during the webinar.

It was recorded. Watch recording here. If you have any further questions send an email to info@lafayettechamber.org.

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Contra Costa County Stay Home Order for COVID-19 Extended Until at Least May 3rd.

The COVID-19 public health crisis in Contra Costa County has worsened significantly over the past two weeks. Confirmed cases in the six most populous Bay Area counties have increased more than eight-fold since the prior Stay Home order. While the prior Stay Home order has been effective in reducing the rate of transmission of the COVID-19 disease (“flattening the curve”), it is not enough.

The County Health Officer has determined that more and stricter social distancing is needed to slow the rate of spread, prevent deaths, and stop the health care system from becoming overwhelmed. The new order strengthens, extends, and clarifies the restrictions for parks, childcare, construction, recreation, and enforcement, and adds additional requirements for essential businesses. Essential businesses that continue to operate facilities in the County must complete, post, and implement a social distancing protocol for each facility that remains open, before Friday, April 3, 2020.

You can read the press release on the new Stay at Home Order here:
https://www.contracosta.ca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/64726/Stay-home-order-press-release_0331_final-1

The full Health Officer Order can be found here:
https://www.contracosta.ca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/64727/2020-0331-Health-Officer-Order-COVID19

A summary of the new Stay at Home Order can be found here:
https://www.contracosta.ca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/64733/2020-0331-Summary-Superseding-Order-Changes

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Lafayette Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Community Matching Campaign

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Lafayette Community Foundation (LCF) is increasing its support to local non-profits. Now through April 30, LCF will match every dollar that is donated up to $25,000. This year, LCF has already committed to giving $50,000 for its Excellence Grants. The COVID-19 Community Matching Campaign will allow LCF to grant up to $100,000 to financially challenged organizations that provide essential services in the community, empowering them to continue to do what they do best…..assist those in need.

To Donate please visit https://lafayettecf.org/donate/ or mail your check to Lafayette Community Foundation, PO Box 221, Lafayette, CA 94549.

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Lafayette Mayor Mike Anderson to Hold Virtual Lunch on Facebook Live

Post Date: 03/31/2020 11:15 AM
Lafayette Mayor Mike Anderson will hold a Virtual Lunch Wednesday, April 1, at noon on Facebook Live to answer residents’ questions concerning the Covid-19 emergency and how it affects Lafayette.  Mayor Anderson, who will be joined by City Manager Niroop Srivatsa, will talk about how the City is responding to the Stay at Home Order, what steps it is taking to keep the City operations functioning, and how best to get in contact with the City during the crisis. Please send your questions for Mayor Anderson to jheyman@lovelafayette.org, and write “Mayor’s Virtual Lunch” in the subject field. You can also submit questions on Facebook during this live event. Please join Mayor Anderson’s Virtual Lunch at noon, tomorrow, Wednesday, April 1, at https://www.facebook.com/lovelafayette.

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The City of Lafayette is urging everyone to sign-up for the latest Covid-19 information for Lafayette residents and businesses.

You can subscribe to City of Lafayette notifications, including Covid-19 updates, here: https://bit.ly/LafayetteNotifications.

You can also find the latest Information on Covid-19 on the City’s website here: http://bit.ly/LafayetteCoronavirusInfo.

During the Covid-19 emergency, here is how to contact City of Lafayette offices: https://bit.ly/LafayetteCovid-19Contact.

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March 27, 2020 Daily Briefing by the City of Lafayette

Read article here that includes information on the CARES Act, unemployment insurance, Small Business Administration and more.  (www.lovelafayette.org/)

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Before You Break That Lease Over COVID-19, Negotiate First, Brokers Say

Read article here. (www.bisnow.com)

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US Chamber’s analysis on the COVID-19 Stimulus Package passed yesterday, 3/25/2020, by the Senate.  CARES Act

View document here (PDF, 12 pages)

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Townsend Public Affairs Update 3/25/2020

This update was provided to the City of Lafayette by Townsend Public Affairs. Read the latest coronavirus information and find resources for Lafayette residents and businesses on the City’s COVID-19 Webpage: http://bit.ly/LafayetteCoronavirusInfo.

  • White House: President Trump has been signaling that he hopes that American life will be back to normal by Easter.
  • In a Fox Town Hall today, the President indicated that his Administration would be reevaluating the 15-day self-isolating guidelines that are currently in place. The President indicated that indicated that they would keep the guidelines in place if more time was needed, but that there is also a need for the country’s businesses to reopen.
  • Governor Newsom has previously indicated that there is no concrete timeframe in which he would like to end statewide safety actions. The Newsom Administration has indicated that they are closely monitoring the spread and infection rate of COVID-19 in California and will lift the emergency actions when they feel that they can do so without jeopardizing public health.
  • Congress: The House and Senate are deep in negotiations to finalize a “Phase 3” coronavirus package, but face hurdles in the forms of policy disagreements, quarantined members, and a recessed House disinclined to risk flying back to vote.
  • Public agency provisions: TPA has been working with elected officials, public agencies, and national stakeholders to advocate for provisions within the Phase 3 measure that would benefit public agencies. We have been in constant communication with Senator Feinstein and Senator Harris, as well as most members of the California Congressional delegation advocating for the following provisions: Aid to local public agencies with flexibility to use address various impacts from COVID-19; Aid to small businesses, including no-interest loans that can convert to grants; Paid leave reimbursement for public agencies, especially those that do not pay certain payroll taxes; Aid to transit agencies, fire relief, first responders, and other critical local resources; Increased funding and flexibility to address the impacts of COVID-19 on the homeless;Increased funding and flexibility for existing funding streams, like CDBG; and avoiding inclusion of provisions that would limit local control in a time of crisis.
  • Remote Voting: The House Rules Committee has concluded that remote voting is not a viable option at this time, given the security, logistical and institutional concerns.
  • The Committee is recommending the House try to pass the next stimulus package by unanimous consent, according to a new Rules report commissioned by leadership to study the issue.  Unanimous consent would take agreement from every single member of the House.
  • The Committee also laid out “proxy” voting, allowing a colleague to vote in someone’s place, which would require a rule change.
  • Statutory Timelines:  The League of California Cities has sent a letter to Governor Newsom (attached) to relieve public agencies from certain statutory requirements during the current COVID-19 public health crisis.  TPA has been working with the Newsom Administration, members of the Legislature, local public agencies, and other stakeholders, to have the Administration provide temporary relief from certain statutory deadlines so that cities can focus on responding to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • The letter to the Governor requests temporary relief from timelines related to: Review and Approval of Development Projects; Housing Element Submission; Housing and Community Development Grant Programs; California Environmental Quality Act; Transportation Funding
  • Public Records Act; Public Reform Act – Form 700; California Government Claims Act
  • Solar Permits; Wireless Telecommunication Facilities; Financial Reports; and Police Department Registration.
  • Department of Finance: This morning the Department of Finance (DOF) issued a letter (attached) to the Chairs of the Senate and Assembly Budget Committees indicating that, due to the potential revenue impacts from COVID-19, the Department of Finance will not be proposing any modifications to the current budget year appropriations.  Additionally,  DOF will be reevaluating “all budget changes within the context of a workload budget.”
  • This letter is the first official communication to the Legislature confirming what most already know, the budget proposal that the Governor put forth in January did not envision any scenario like the current COVID-19 crisis, and the impact on the state’s economy from dealing with the public health emergency.
  • Since the Governor has extended the deadline for the payment of state taxes until July 15, two weeks into the new fiscal year, it is likely that the budget that the Legislature approves on June 15will need to have multiple revisions throughout the year to accurately respond to the actual level of available state revenue.
  • FEMA: FEMA released a new fact sheet on their public assistance application process: https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2020/03/23/coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-public-assistance-simplified-application
  • Defense Production Act: The Trump Administration will use the Defense Production Act for the first time to procure nearly 60,000 coronavirus test kits.
  • Trump signed an executive order last week that set the stage to use the law, but has so far resisted using the authority.
  • Governors have called for him to use the authority to increase production of medical supplies, but President Trump cited concerns about nationalizing American businesses.
  • U.S. Postal Service: Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) indicated that the Postal service has seen a ‘drastic’ reduction in mail volume and could shutter by the summer without intervention.
  • This collapse that could jeopardize access to mail-order prescription drugs for millions of Americans, especially in rural communities.
  • Collapse would affect the ability of voters to cast ballots by mail.
  • Olympics Postponed: IOC officially postponed the 2020 summer games in Tokyo for a year.
  • Increasing Bed Space: On Friday, March 20, the US Army Corps of Engineers announced plans to convert hotels, university dormitories, and similar spaces into hospitals to increase clinical bed space to support the COVID-19 response.
  • States will identify suitable spaces—principally, those currently out of service and empty—and lease them to the Army Corps of Engineers, which will rapidly convert the available rooms for clinical care, with capabilities similar to intensive care units (ICUs), using standardized construction plans.
  • FEMA and the Department of Health and Human Services will provide supplies for these units.
  • The program is already being implemented in New York, and the Department of Defense plans to extend it to at least 18 states in the coming weeks. States will also be permitted to implement the program on their own, without needing to wait for the Corps of Engineers, using the same conversion plans and operational model.
  • The plan is also adaptable to other settings like gymnasiums, arenas, or convention center, but those sites may focus on a lower level of clinical care due to the inability to separate patients into individual rooms.

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An Update to the Business Community

With the speed at which things are changing it is amazing how fast information is being provided for small business to wrap their arms around some of the decisions they will need to be making over the next weeks and months ahead. Please take a look at these documents and links that can help navigate through the programs and products that SBA and EDD are supporting. There will be upcoming webinars to provide even more guidance.

COVID-19 Survival Guide – every business should start by downloading this – it is 16 pages long. Be sure to read all of the information – A lot of questions are addressed here regarding business interruptions, insurances, SBA Disaster Injury Loans, Unemployment Insurance and resources for employers and employees.

Key Areas of Focus in the Survival Guide
1. SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans
2. EDD for Business Owners
3. EDD for Business Employees
4. Business Interruption Insurance

Key Links:
• For Contra Costa County – https://www.contracostasbdc.org/
• For Alameda County – https://www.acsbdc.org/
• Northern CA SBDC Finance Center (main portal for loan and policy updates) — https://www.norcalsbdc.org/

See also: State and County Resources for Small Business Employers & Employees

This information was made possible by State Senator Steve Glazer, District 7.

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SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program: Low-interest loans

The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) disaster loan product that’s being used to provide financial aid during COVID-19 situation is the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program.

These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. At an interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses, 2.75% for non-profits, SBA offers terms of up to 30 years.

If interested DO THIS TODAY. Demand is high and processing time may be 3-4 weeks, so don’t wait. View the time-line, filing requirements and a list of documents required, HERE. For additional information, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

The three-stage loan application process:

  1. Apply online (30-45 min pending required documentation)
  2. Verification, documentation, credit review, and loan processing by the SBA (3-4 weeks)
  3. Loan closed and funds disbursed. (commonly a disaster loan is not disbursed all at once. The loan is drawn in phases)

Refer to this PDF which does a nice job outlining the process.

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United States Chamber of Commerce: Coronavirus Legislative Update 3/19

Yesterday afternoon (3/18), the Senate passed H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.  This bill provides, among other things, provisions to address Paid Sick Leave, Paid Family and Medical Leave, and Unemployment Insurance for workers displaced by the ongoing outbreak.  Furthermore, it includes provisions to provide diagnostic testing for coronavirus, and bolsters Medicaid and nutrition programs for at risk populations.  Below is a chart from the House Ways and Means Committee which describes the employer paid leave requirements and the tax credit provisions.  You may click here to see the U.S. Chamber’s summary.  
HR 602
Congress’s focus will now turn to the Phase Three stimulus package.  Click here to see the U.S. Chamber’s letter to Congress and the President with the business community’s recommendations.
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A Message about COVID-19 Testing from Candace Andersen, Chair of the Contra Costa County, Board of Supervisors, District 2

The lack of test kits has been one of the most serious problems with this pandemic. There have not been enough of them, and on my Morning Briefing call our Health Officer stated that it was getting the collection tools — such as the swabs and vials —that are most challenging right now. Because of this shortage the original requirements for getting tested have been very restrictive — you needed to have been exposed to the illness, had traveled in one of those countries where the COVID-19 is prevalent, or had all three symptoms: 1) Fever; 2) Cough; 3) Shortness of breath.

Our County Health Officer believes that by using alternate collection supplies, all medical providers will be able to start doing more testing in the next few days. You will still need to start with your own doctor or healthcare provider, but the standards they are using to determine who gets tested should be relaxed a little — if you have ANY of the three symptoms you could be tested.

Healthcare providers want most people to call ahead, although all of our local hospitals now have Triage tents to screen patients who arrive at Emergency Departments. Please refer to the COVID-19 Call Center: tel:844-729-8410 along with the Corona Virus FAQ’s https://cchealth.org/coronavirus/pdf/Stay-Home-Order-FAQs.pdf.

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Mayor’s Message to Lafayette Residents and Businesses

[Wednesday, March 18, 2020]

Due to concerns expressed by Lafayette residents, Lafayette Mayor Mike Anderson, working with Lafayette Police Chief Ben Alldritt and Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jay Lifson, today sought to clarify which businesses are allowed to remain open in the City of Lafayette during the duration of the Public Health Order (https://cchealth.org/coronavirus/pdf/HO-COVID19-SIP-0316-2020.pdf) issued by Country Costa County on March 16. The order, which also requires residents to stay in their homes except to conduct essential business and to exercise, is in effect until April 7, 2020.

The Lafayette Police Department will be monitoring the operation of essential businesses. Should you have any concerns about a business that is operating during this period, please call the Contra Costa County Call Center at 1-844-729-8410. If a violation is identified within the City of Lafayette, the Lafayette Police Department will follow-up. Here is a summary of the list of “Essential Businesses” that are allowed to function, according to the March 16 order:

• Healthcare operations and infrastructure (police, fire, hospitals, pharmacies, garbage/sanitation, utilities)
• Grocers, farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, food banks, convenience stores, and other retailers selling food — including those that also sell products aside from food
• Take-out/delivery restaurants and food-delivery services
• Food cultivation businesses (farming, fishing)
• Businesses or organizations providing social services, food or shelter to the needy
• Hardware stores/plumbers/electricians and those who provide services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences
• Newspapers, television, radio, and other media
• Gas stations and auto-related businesses, including repair shops
• Banks and financial institutions
• Shipping and mailing businesses
• Educational institutions to provide distance learning and other essential functions
• Laundry services (laundromats, dry-cleaning companies)
• Businesses that supply people with items required to work from home, or businesses that supply essential businesses with necessary supplies
• Businesses that ship groceries and supplies directly to homes
• Public transportation, airlines, taxis, and private transportation services
• Home-based and residential care for seniors, adults, and children
• Legal and accounting services that keep businesses in compliance
• Childcare facilities, with certain stipulations, like only having groups of 12 kids together at a time
• Cemeteries

In summary, Mayor Anderson stated, “I want to thank Lafayette residents and businesses for their cooperation and patience during these extraordinary times. All of us are confronting hardships in complying with this critical Public Health Order. However, as we always do, I have seen Lafayette residents and businesses coming together to support each other, help each other, and do everything we can to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our city. Let’s all do what we can, and I can assure you, that the City staff will be working to keep essential services functioning throughout the duration of the County’s Public Safety order. Again, thank you for making ours a model city, even in such trying times.”

For additional information, please refer to the County’s Public Health Stay Home Order FAQ information sheet at http://bit.ly/CountyStayHomeInfo-03-17-20. For the latest information on the COVID-19 situation and how it affects Lafayette, please visit the City’s webpage at http://bit.ly/LafayetteCoronavirusInfo.

Who’s Open in Lafayette?

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U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Disaster Declaration

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has declared Contra Costa County a disaster area as a result of economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. The declaration is effective for the period beginning January 31, 2020 and is continuing. Eligible small businesses may apply for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans directly with the SBA by December 16, 2020. Check www.sba.gov/disaster or see below for more information. See attached letter from CalOES for additional information and details.

Disaster Loan Assistance

Federal Disaster Loans for Businesses, Private Nonprofits, Homeowners, and Renters

The Small Business Administration outlined their Economic Injury Disaster Loan Assistance Program. We are in a declared disaster area (no surprise) and any small business (less than 500 employees) can apply for an emergency loan of up to $2M to meet normal business obligations, payroll, etc. Interest rate is 3.75% for small business. The term can be as long as 30 years. Plus there is a 1-year deferment on any repayments, which is significant. Details are here: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Information/EIDLLoans. You can apply here: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Account/Login. They said they would process them as quickly as possible and be very generous with criteria.

SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to California Small Businesses Economically Impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

[Click here for Press Release]  The unprecedented economic impacts of the Coronavirus on the business community in California are already being felt. CAMEO, in coordination with the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Disaster Assistance, will be holding a call on Wednesday, March 18th at 4:00PM to explain the SBA disaster loan application process and answer questions from small business support organizations. They’ll cover: • What the program is, • How it works and how to apply, • Common missteps or misunderstandings that impact business owner applicant.  Register here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ws6-7uyQR3eekbeo54im3w

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Benefits for Workers Impacted by COVID-19

The California Labor and Workforce Development Agency is keeping a central summary chart of resources available to employees from different state and federal programs. Employers should share this resource with their employees. See the Summary Chart Here.

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Helpful items from the CA Employment Development Dept’s website

https://www.edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019.htm

Sick or Quarantined Employees:

If you’re unable to work due to having or being exposed to COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional), you can file a Disability Insurance (DI) claim. DI provides short-term benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy. Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income) and range from $50-$1,300 a week.

The Governor’s Executive Order waives the one-week unpaid waiting period, so you can collect DI benefits for the first week you are out of work. If you are eligible, the EDD processes and issues payments within a few weeks of receiving a claim.

Potential Closure or Layoffs:

Employers planning a closure or major layoffs as a result of the coronavirus can get help through the Rapid Response program. Rapid Response teams will meet with you to discuss your needs, help avert potential layoffs, and provide immediate on-site services to assist workers facing job losses. For more information, refer to the Rapid Response Services for Businesses Fact Sheet (DE 87144RRB) (PDF) or contact your local America’s Job Center of CaliforniaSM.

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Message from Casey Elliott, Townsend Public Affairs, Inc.
3.17.2020 11:00 AM PT

Congress

o The Senate will look to begin consideration of the House-passed coronavirus bill today, a day after the House made technical corrections to the measure.

o The revised bill would permit the Labor Department Secretary to issue regulations exempting businesses with fewer than 50 employees from the paid leave requirement if it “would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.” Verbatim language was included in the family leave section as well.

o The House also modified definitions for both leave programs to narrow their scope, including focusing the family leave program on caring for children without access to school or child care. It also changed the emergency family leave to kick in after 10 days instead of 14, and capped the assistance at $10,000 per employee.

o The tax credits created by the bill for paid sick leave and family leave were increased to include amounts employers pay for an employee’s health care plan while they are on leave.

o Senators opened session this morning at 10 a.m. EST and could act on the bill this afternoon, though some Republicans oppose the measure, saying the bill’s paid leave requirements are too much of a burden on small businesses.

o Congress will soon begin discussing plans for a third economic stimulus plan. The measure may address issues including hospital capacity, provide emergency child care, delivery of food and medicine to seniors, and place a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures.

o Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will present a $750 billion Democrat-led proposal to appropriators as soon as today. Measure would include $400 billion in emergency appropriation to assist seniors, public housing, schools and children.

White House

o The White House held a briefing this morning and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced that the IRS is allowing the deferment of up to a $1 million (individuals) and $10 million (businesses) in tax payments for 90 days interest and penalty free. The IRS still encourages those who are able to file their taxes by the traditional April 15th deadline to do so.

o Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin also indicated that the economic stimulus package could now cost $1 trillion and will be discussed with Senators and possibly the House this afternoon. The plan is to include a payroll tax holiday over the next 6-8 months and $1000 payments to American citizens whose jobs may be impacted.

o During the briefing, it was indicated that as of today, public laboratories have reported out nearly 32,000 COVID-19 tests. Clinical laboratories have reported out 27,000 tests. Of those 27,000, nearly 8,200 were conducted yesterday. Numbers from individual hospitals will be forthcoming in the coming days. 47 Drive-Thru laboratories will also begin in 12 states by the end of the week.

Airlines

o Roger Wicker (R-MS), Chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee is endorsing the outline of a U.S. airline industry proposal for the federal government to provide as much as $58 billion in grants and loans to mitigate the impacts from the severe decrease in airline travel due to COVID-19 concerns.

o Support for airlines could become part of a stimulus package, but Democrats would insist that there be limits on the aid such as no stock buybacks, no sending jobs overseas, no outsourcing jobs to usually low-paid workers

o President Trump indicated during this morning’s White House briefing that assistance to aircraft manufacturers such as Boeing and GE is also being considered.

REAL ID

o Lawmakers have asked the White House to extend the October 1 deadline for most travelers to have new federal identification cards to fly. The identification card, Real ID, was required by an act of Congress following the 2001 terrorist attacks as a measure to force states to exert greater oversight of identification.

o Beginning Oct. 1, air travelers 18 years of age and older will need a Real ID-compliant driver’s license or other acceptable identification to board a commercial aircraft or enter federal buildings.

What Else To Know

o Elections: 3 states, Arizona, Florida and Illinois will hold votes today despite concerns about voters and poll workers becoming infected with the coronavirus. Ohio was scheduled to have a primary as well, but court action late yesterday resulted in the election being delayed until June 2.

o Senators Ask Saudi Arabia to Review Oil Supply Plans: 13 Republican Senators asked Saudi Arabia to calm economic anxiety in the oil and gas sector as the coronavirus continues to impact markets. The letter came after guidance was issued by the country’s energy minister to lower crude prices and boost output capacity. Gas prices across the US have dropped as a result and experts are predicting national gas prices may drop as low as $2 dollars per gallon over the next few weeks.

o Justice Department Targets Criminals Exploiting Fear: Federal prosecutors across the U.S. will make it a priority to investigate and punish criminals who seek to take advantage of public fear over the coronavirus crisis, such as peddling fake cures or carrying out cyber attacks, Attorney General William Barr announced yesterday. The mandate was conveyed in a directive that Barr issued to the nation’s 93 U.S. attorney’s offices following reports of online scams, including individuals and businesses selling bogus treatments as well as hackers insert ing malicious software onto mobile apps designed to track infections.

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Shelter In Place Order Issued For All Contra Costa County Residents

Post Date: 03/16/2020 1:34 PM

An important Order from the Health Officer of the County of Contra Costa has been issued. The Order directs all individuals living in the county to shelter at their place of residence except that they may leave to provide or receive certain essential services or engage in certain essential activities and work for essential businesses and governmental services; exempting individuals experiencing homelessness from the shelter in place order but urging them to find shelter and government agencies to provide it; directing all businesses and governmental agencies to cease non-essential operations at physical locations in the county; prohibiting all non-essential gatherings of any number of individuals; and ordering cessation of all non-essential travel.

This Order will become effective at midnight tonight (12:01 a.m., March 17, 2020) and will continue to be in effect until midnight on April 7, 2020.

Please read the Order carefully. Violation of or failure to comply with this Order is a misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both. (California Health and Safety Code § 120295, et seq.).

The full text of the Order can be found here: https://cchealth.org/coronavirus/pdf/HO-COVID19-SIP-0316-2020.pdf

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To the businesses and residents of Lamorinda:

Post date: 3/16/2020

The physical office of the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce will remain closed until further notice.  Our staff is still here to help you, just virtually.  You can reach us by calling (925) 284-7404 or by sending us an email at info@lafayettechamber.org.  We’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.

COVID-19 is not just a local or business problem.  This is a national problem, a world problem.  Follow the guidelines and policies.  They have been enacted to SAVE LIVES. The best way you can help our community and our businesses is to stay healthy, watch out for your neighbor, and follow social distance recommendations.  Let’s DO this.  Be the model.

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Mayor Issues Emergency Proclamation, Lafayette City Offices Closed to Public

Post Date:03/15/2020 9:12 PM

To address the quickly evolving COVID-19 threat, Lafayette Mayor Mike Anderson today proclamation a local emergency in the City of Lafayette, effective immediately. (Read the Mayor’s full Emergency Proclamation here: http://bit.ly/LafayetteEmegencyProclamation03-15-20.)

As a result of the Mayor’s Emergency Proclamation, City Manager Niroop Srivatsa directed that City Offices be closed to the public through the end of March 2020 to protect residents and city staff from possible exposure to the virus.

The Mayor’s Emergency Proclamation comes following declarations of emergency from California Governor Gavin Newsom and the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors.

Today, Governor Newsom issued new directives to slow the spread of COVID-19 in California, including:

  • Home isolation for everyone over 65 or with chronic illnesses;
  • Closing all bars, nightclubs, wineries, and brewpubs Statewide;
  • Keeping restaurants open but reducing occupancy by half to facilitate social distancing;
  • Moving homeless people from encampments to hotels and motels; and
  • For nursing homes, no visitors will be allowed except in end-of-life situations.

Please visit Lafayette’s COVID-19 Webpage for the latest updates: http://bit.ly/LafayetteCoronavirusInfo

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A timely message from your Chamber of Commerce

[View as PDF]

Jay Lifson, Executive Director
March 13, 2020

Containment and management of the virus will come with great sacrifice and economic hardship. The Chamber supports our local businesses, and we have never needed to support them more than we do now.  Small business is Lafayette.  These are hardworking people that have created the kind of town we want to live and work in. So how can we support the local merchants and services without exposing ourselves or others to the threat of contracting the virus?

  • Start by calling your local favorite businesses. Ask them what you can do to support them at this time. Some businesses are now offering private shopping experiences, curbside pickups and/or free delivery to local addresses.
  • Continue using common sense while you practice “social distancing.” Dine a little early or late. Consider take-out from your favorite restaurants – many will deliver them to your car when you pull up.
  • Go to the grocery store during off hours.
  • If a local store has online shopping or offers delivery, use it.
  • If you are not part of the “most vulnerable” group that experts tell to stay home, show kindness and shop for a neighbor.
  • Purchase gift certificates now and treat yourself later!

Small business owners are our friends.  They donate to our schools and community organizations.  They employ our kids.  They help generate nearly 30% of the General Funds that pay for our police, public works and many of the things that give you reason to live here.  Our support is crucial for their survival. Many small businesses cannot afford a month or two of reduced income. They will surely make decisions to help their bottom line that will not be easy.  But if you can find a way to help them now, the recovery will be that much easier.

We all know how easy it is to shop on Amazon. However, investing in our community has never been more important.  Not only do businesses need to find creative ways to connect with you during this phase, they also need to provide a safe environment for you and their employees.  They need to be flexible with sick leave and show compassion to their employees, many of whom do not have health benefits.

If you are a property owner, consider giving your tenants a little more time to pay rent.

As the recession began back in 2008, the Chamber launched the “TRY LAFAYETTE FIRST” campaign.  We asked residents to take a pledge that they would shop here in Lafayette before going elsewhere.  During that time, Lafayette experienced the lowest unemployment rate in the State of California.  The loss of business and sales tax revenue barely made it into double digits.  Our residents got it!  They understood why shopping local was so important for all of us.  We now stand at the gate of the unknown.  We have never faced this kind of assault on our health and the strength of our community. We need everyone to once again look out for one another.

We encourage you to come up with ideas and suggestions to keep us safe and to keep our business community healthy.

Here are some links that could help us all:

The Lafayette Chamber will be open for business just not physically. Our staff will begin rotating shifts working from home.  There will typically be someone in the office to answer your calls and questions during regular hours. We will work in that capacity until it is safe to change.
(925) 284-7404   info@lafayettechamber.org

We have a responsibility to you and the community.  We take that responsibility very seriously.

And one more time, the basics

  • Stay Calm and do what is necessary to protect you and the community
  • Wash your hands
  • Cover your face when you cough or sneeze
  • If you are sick or have symptoms – STAY HOME

Let’s do this together!

Sincerely,

Jay Lifson
Executive Director, Lafayette Chamber of Commerce

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Events through the Lafayette Chamber

[Update 3/11/2020, REV 3/16/2020]
The Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, like most organizations that put on events, is taking a measured response to the threat of COVID-19 as it relates to gatherings of people.  We are watching this outbreak closely and are evaluating protocol on a day to day basis.  Public Health Officials are offering guidance intended to slow the spread of the virus.

Contra Costa Health Services has recommended that canceling or postponing all mass gatherings with 50 people or more.

We along with the CCHS understand these recommendations will impact all of our lives and may be difficult to implement, but we are following their guidelines as best we can at this time.

Here is what the CCHS has recommended:

Cancel Large Community Events

  • Cancel or postpone large gatherings such as concerts, sporting events, celebrations, conventions, religious services and community events where 50 or more people are within arm’s length of each other.
  • Cancel or postpone events for or attended by older adults or others who are at higher risk for severe illness.
  • If a large event does take place, organizers should follow California Department of Public Health.

Please note that we have postponed the Citizen of the Year Dinner until July 10. Janet and Rick Cronk understand and have graciously agreed to the new date.

In-person gatherings through the end of March have been cancelled. Please refer to our Chamber Calendar for further updates.

Thank you for your understanding!  We will update this information as it is sure to change from day to day.

Respectfully,
Jay Lifson, Executive director

 

 

[Updated 3/10/2020]
Please refer to the attached information provided by Contra Costa Health Services:
Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Interim Guidance for Social Distancing:
Public Health Recommendations for COVID-19 – March 10, 2020

 

 

[Updated 3/5/2020 2:45pm]
Resources:
US Chamber Workplace Tips for Employees (PDF)
US Chamber Guidance for Employers (PDF)

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The new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-19-2) has not been seen by scientists before according to Yale Medicine.  So there are many key questions they can not answer without more investigation, starting with how it is transmitted between people. But with thousands of cases identified and the spreading from China to other countries, the CDC came out yesterday, 2/25/2020, to say that, like emergencies, it is not IF the virus will hit, but rather WHEN.

We know this is already – it is causing the stock market to plunge – but what could this mean for our downtowns and local businesses?

  1. For now, this year’s flu presents a greater danger to us than this new illness.
  2. The virus is contagious, even before symptoms appear. The exact mechanism for transmission is still unclear. Data is needed to understand which body fluids contain the virus and how those may contaminate surfaces and even the surrounding air. The virus is contagious during the incubation period which can last from 5-14 days after exposure. Person-to-person contact in the U.S. has been confirmed, but it has not spread through a community yet. Close contact where droplets spread from coughing or sneezing seems to be the most common way the virus spreads.
  3. If you feel ill, here’s what you should expect:
    • Fever of over 100.4 F
    • Cough
    • Sore throat in some people
    • Difficulty breathing that can be severe enough to cause people to seek hospital care.
  4. What you can do to protect yourself:
    • There is no vaccine and the flu vaccine will not protect you. However, getting a vaccine for the flu is good idea.
    • Take care of yourself. Wash your hands, especially after eating, going to the bathroom and touching your face.  Avoid other people who have flu-like symptoms.
    • There is little evidence that supports using masks, but it can’t hurt. Because they don’t seal around your mouth, much of the air you inhale remains unfiltered.
  5. Precautions remain extremely important:
    • There is an exponential growth in infections worldwide and rate is expected to climb.
    • Caution should be taken since there is so little known about this virus.

AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, THERE IS GOING TO BE A LOT OF INFORMATION OUT THERE.  MAKE SURE YOU CAN TRUST THE SOURCES YOU ARE GETTING THE INFORMATION FROM.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/
National Institutes of Health (NIH): https://www.nih.gov/
California Department of Public Health:  https://www.cdph.ca.gov/
Contra Costa Health Services: https://cchealth.org/coronavirus/

Plans are in place for a pandemic.  Lafayette and Lamorinda have planned for such an emergency.  You can always contact Jeff Heyman, Communications Analyst for the City of Lafayette, at jheyman@ci.lafayette.ca.us for additional information. Or visit www.LoveLafayette.org/connect.

Just like in China, the possibilities of businesses shutting down and unemployment rising are a concern for us too. According to a Peking University survey of small businesses and firms, respondents said they would go out of business if the outbreak lasts three months.  By the six month, 90% of the companies would collapse.

The advice I have read suggests, STAY CALM and prepare!