Local Response to Covid-19 Pandemic

May 11, 2020

Lawrence Fan

Holding substantial economic and travel ties with China, the Bay Area appeared to be the most susceptible to a major outbreak.

However, while most of the country has struggled to take defensive measures against the Coronavirus, the swift and thorough local response ensured some of the nation’s best results. Last week saw additional cases fall to pre-quarantine levels. In fact, California has even begun to ship ventilators to the East Coast.

Here are some of the contributions our local officials and community members have made in order to mitigate the Covid-19 threat and assist citizens in the change in lifestyle:

Santa Clara County Response

Image by Santa Clara County: https://www.sccgov.org/sites/covid19/Pages/dashboard.aspx

Along with six other counties in the Bay Area, Santa Clara was first in the nation to implement a shelter-in-place order. Starting on Tuesday, March 17, all residents have been instructed to keep indoors, aside from necessary activities, including grocery shopping and exercise.

On April 8, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department mandated that businesses and individuals with large stockpiles of protective equipment and supplies report their inventory to the county.

The county is also hosting Facebook live streams to keep the community informed on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. These live streams intend to brief the public on recent developments and provide tips and advice to cope with the pandemic.

As the quarantine measures progress, county officials continue to release social distancing protocols, encouraging citizens to minimize grocery store trips. Additionally, new guidelines strongly recommend the use of facemasks in dense public areas to halt the spread of the virus.

The Public Health Department reports that Number of Hospital Patients are declining, indicating a turning point in the county’s battle against the Coronavirus.

Still, the battle is far from over. Last week, the Health Department extended its Shelter-in-Place Order to May 31, 2020. This order continues social distancing protocols but eases on certain restrictions. After May 3, construction projects, childcare establishments, and outdoor businesses like agricultural operations will be allowed to resume.

The County Board of Supervisors broadened the income requirements to gain coverage for the county’s stopgap health insurance. Now, families making less than $170,038 are eligible for free or discounted health care. Country officials are also considering waiving Tax Payment Penalties, which will excuse citizens for late tax payments.

More updates and information can be found here: https://www.sccgov.org/sites/covid19/Pages/home.aspx

Cupertino City Response

Lawrence Fan

The City Council opened donation boxes, where citizens can drop off much-needed medical supplies such as facemasks. The City staff is using these supplies to help local efforts during the Coronavirus distributing thousands of masks to essential local businesses and merchants.

The City also created a list of small businesses and restaurants (takeout) open for customers during the lockdown, so residents can continue supporting local businesses. 

To ensure maximum safety, the City has closed public playground structures and basketball courts and put cautionary signs on

picnic tables in parks. Trails that do not allow for social distancing have been closed or made one-way. CUSD school fields and playgrounds are also closed to the public.

Starting April 24, the City of Cupertino issued an Order which requires individuals to wear a face-covering when they need to leave their home to work or obtain essential goods and services. 

To document the collective community experience and lifestyle changes during quarantine, The Cupertino Historical Society and Museum is collecting writings, photos, videos, and artwork to document the community story. Residents can submit their media here:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc3fzpB-f-RCcPmQykRryPeWcpyD4KzYhmd1Iv0od-7V7MXvA/viewform

City council meetings will be held via teleconference, and residents have the opportunity to tune into the sessions.

Currently, there are 22 confirmed cases in Cupertino, with new cases being diagnosed last week.

For more updates and resources, check out the Cupertino community briefings released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, found here: https://www.cupertino.org/our-city/city-news/coronavirus-covid-19

FUHSD Response

The Fremont Union High School District has set up a no-cost lunch program for low-income families, providing 3,000 meals a day to students in need.

In light of the unprecedented circumstances, the district also swiftly implemented a credit/no credit grading system, which takes into account anxieties triggered by uncertainties and inequitable learning conditions at home. The School Board is still obtaining input and making decisions regarding the semester evaluation approach.

To ensure all students have access to online school, FUHSD has provided over 700 Chromebooks and 100 hotspots to students. Because of their efforts, attendance has remained consistent throughout the district, and the learning experience for students is maximized.

In place of Graduation, the district is planning a virtual ceremony, complete with Pomp and Circumstance, a welcome from the principal, and several speeches. Each graduating senior will be highlighted for 12 seconds during this event.

 

Community Response

Photo from City of Cupertino: https://www.instagram.com/cityofcupertino/

 

Many residents have sought to do their part in helping the community brave the pandemic in light of the pandemic. Here are a few examples of the many community grassroots efforts to help those in need:

Lazy Dog and Pineapple Thai, both located in Main Street Cupertino, each provided 550 meals to students experiencing food insecurity in the Fremont Union High School District. Coordinating with the Cupertino city staff, the meals have been distributed to families with students at Fremont High School and Homestead High School.

Cupertino High School junior Jonathan Dinh created Cheffin’ for Charity, an organization where he delivers hand-baked goods to customers, putting aside the earnings for charity. Every month, he donates the revenue to a select charity. In April, he raised $425 for the Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund. Check out the charity at https://tinyurl.com/y7ogqlfj.

CHS juniors Ramana Kolady and Alexander Wang founded Fierce Fighters, aimed at delivering groceries to senior citizens or those with pre-existing health conditions. They do this through student volunteers who help pick up and deliver the groceries. Check out their website at https://www.fiercehelpers.com/.

Founded by Nitya Devisetti, a CHS junior, Masking a Difference hopes to donate face masks to partners across the Bay Area. It has raised over $600, so student volunteers will be given materials for free to make sewing masks while also garnering volunteer hours. More information can be found at https://maskingadifference.wixsite.com/home.

Also run by student volunteers, Write to Change is founded by several high school students across the district. Their main goal is to spread awareness of the impact of COVID -19 on the dedicated essential workers through delivering vibrant hand-written cards. More information can be found at https://tinyurl.com/y7bjczl8.

CHS Sophomore Dhruv Kerai plans to donate student-built computers to schools in low-income communities, which have been struck economically by the lockdown. Through @pcsforstudents, he has partnered with Aspire Public Schools in Oakland and aims to raise $3000 for his project. Learn more about his initiative here: https://www.instagram.com/pcsforstudents/?hl=en

If you have any additional information, concerns, or updates, please email [email protected]

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