—Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian

All trails, parks and beaches in the county remain closed due to COVID-19. A Santa Cruz County Sheriff deputy was keeping watch on a bicycle/pedestrian path in the Santa Cruz Harbor in Live Oak Sunday.

A man and a woman died in a solo-vehicle crash Saturday in Corralitos. California Highway Patrol officer Julieta Trenado said a 64-year-old man and a 24-year woman, both of Corralitos, were traveling southbound on Eureka Canyon Road at 3:15 p.m. south of Geronimo Way. For unknown reasons their convertible Corvette shot off the pavement and collided with a tree. Trenando said both of them were pronounced dead at the scene. Trenado said both victims were wearing four-point, harness style seat belts. The incident is still under investigation.


A string of tornadoes have killed at least 19 people and left over one million people without power in Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee.


California Grey Bears will add new items to their regular bag of groceries for area seniors: face masks. The masks, which are donations from Cyclists for Cultural Change, will be distributed at 50 sites in Santa Cruz County Thursday and Friday. Also, thanks to the City of Santa Cruz Public Works, Grey Bears has also been able to distribute rolls of toilet paper to around 1,000 homebound seniors. For information call 479-1055 ext. 223 or visit graybeards.or/food.


Monday through Thursday will be warmer, with mostly sunny conditions, interrupted by a few clouds. Forecasters at the national Weather Service of Monterey said more rain could wander into the Central Coast later Friday.


Here are a few COVID-19 facts I’ve found over the past few days:

• The death rate is expected to peak this week and deaths across the nation appear to be leveling off. Said California Governor Gavin Newsom: “Let’s continue to hold the line and let’s do this together.”

• A UC Santa Cruz shuttle bus driver has been diagnosed with the virus. 

• CNN has picked up on a story of seven teen boys from Fremont that came to Santa Cruz the other day and visited the 7-Eleven store on Ocean Street to buy some beverages. They got stopped by Santa Cruz Police and each of them were issued a $1,000 citation for violating social distancing and stay-at-home issues orders. “Everyone should know by now that this is not the time to meetup and party,” SCPD said. “If you are not from Santa Cruz and you put our community at risk, you will get a ticket.”

• Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said that as soon as the virus was “community spread… then it became clear that we were in real trouble…that was towards the middle to end of January. If you had started mitigation earlier you could have saved lives, if right from the beginning, we had shut everything down.”

• President Trump has come under increasing criticism for “poor planning” and by “going by gut feeling.” Trump brushed aside numerous stern warnings from health officials and his administration in January, often claiming it was “fake opposition news” and saying that the virus would just go away.

• Deaths in New York now nears 10,000.

• At least 36 grocery store workers have reportedly died from the virus, including one at Trader Joe’s in New York and a Safeway worker in Chicago.

• Health officials in Santa Cruz County are offering optimistic words about the shelter in place and social distancing orders and how it seems to be working. 


Last week Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District (METRO) started sweeping changes to further comply with the shelter-in-place order. Since mass transit is an essential service METRO will provide fixed-route and paratransit service as long as possible during the  COVID-19 pandemic, said METRO CEO Alex Clifford.

Besides switching their entire weekly route schedule over to weekend times, other changes now include:

•Highway 17 commuter service will be further reduced from its current weekend schedule to a new modified weekend schedule. 

•In an effort to ensure social distance for all customers, all buses will be capacity restricted, offering between 5 – 12 seats maximum (ambulatory – plus two ADA wheelchair) depending on the size of the bus. Limitations will be enforced by the bus operator and security personnel. 

• For the protection of METRO customers, numerous seats within the bus will be blocked and no standees will be allowed.

•Effective immediately, and in concert with recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, all customers boarding a METRO bus are strongly encouraged to cover their face with a face mask/cloth or bandana.

Previous articlePajaro’s Casa de la Cultura producing face masks for community
Next articleStandoff ends peacefully
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. More recently Good Times & Press Banner. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here