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March 28, 2020

Counting matters

The staff at the Santa Cruz County Clerk’s office were busy late last night and early today hauling in the ballots from Tuesday’s voting across the county. Evelyn Jones, who has been Clerk III since 1990, said she enjoys the work and recalls, in earlier times when votes were counted by hand. County Clerk Gail Pellerin said it was too early to tell how voter turnout was.

Due to an imminent threat to public health and welfare from novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Santa Cruz County Health Officer Dr. Gail Newel issued a Declaration of Local Health Emergency Wednesday.

County Administrative Office Carlos Palacios will also formally ask the Board of Supervisors to declare a local emergency over COVID-19, said Jason Hoppin, Communications Manager for the County of Santa Cruz

Additionally, the Board of Supervisors will be asked to ratify the declarations at its Monday meeting.

“In a short period of time, coronavirus has been found throughout the Bay Area, including several of our neighboring counties. We have been coordinating our preparation efforts for COVID-19, and the time has come to elevate our preparedness efforts to the next step,” Palacios said.

While the risk to the public remains low, the number of reported worldwide cases of COVID-19 has escalated dramatically over a short period of time; there are more than 90,000 confirmed cases and more than 3,000 deaths.

China has now reduced their coronavirus cases to 125 and said it has made “huge progress” in battling the virus, the New York Times reported. In Iran the government released 54,000 prison inmates in hopes of slowing the spread of the disease. On one TV news show after another, thousands of crews, garbed in moon suits and goggles, wander the landscape now in China and Korea spraying some chemical on sidewalks, buildings, trees, trails, buses, streets and subways. Wearing masks appears to be the way of life. 

While today will be sunny and warm, clouds will start to build Thursday and Friday with showers coming Saturday morning. Colder temps are in the program starting this weekend. There is also a chance of rain later Sunday and into Monday, the National Weather Service said.

Quote of the day: “I write to discover what I know.”  ― Flannery O’Connor