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This is the thirty-fourth COVID-19 update from San Jose Downtown Association, dating back to March 12. They are sent on Thursdays.
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Dear Members and Downtown Stakeholders:

We’re having a big election Tuesday.  Here’s where you can VOTE in the 95113 zip code, according to this website.
In this email: 
Pandemic Updates
Halloween and Día de los Muertos
Halloween and D
ía de los Muertos activities and celebrations may have to look a little different this year but they can still be fun and meaningful for your family.  For Halloween, consider new ways of celebrating, such as a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members. To honor and celebrate Día de los Muertos safely, you can make an ofrenda in your home with members of your household, play your loved ones’ favorite songs, or make that family recipe that has been passed down for generations. When planning your holiday, know the different levels of risk when doing different activities. Bay Area Health Officials have also provided joint guidance for how to safely celebrate this year.
 
The CDC chimes in with its guidance for handling holiday celebrations.

Important Covid thoughts from Health Officer Dr. Sarah Cody
On Oct. 20, Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody and other County leaders provided an update to the Board of Supervisors regarding COVID-19 trends and response efforts. Dr. Cody again shared some critical, basic principles about transmission for residents to keep in mind. These include the importance of ventilation (natural, outdoor ventilation is best), wearing face coverings, minimizing your contacts, limiting the number of people and duration of interactions, and keeping safe distance when those interactions do occur.  She explained that these and other key prevention measures are a bit like individual pieces of swiss cheese. No single prevention measure is good enough by itself, each has its holes.  However when you layer several of these prevention measures together, your odds of preventing transmission improve.  In other words, wearing a face covering alone doesn’t provide adequate protection.  But, if you wear a face covering while keeping your social distance in a well ventilated space with a small, stable cohort of people, you decrease your risk of contracting the virus.
 
Dr. Cody also shared what we know about transmission from the literature, other communities, and from our local experience. Locally, Public Health staff recently conducted a series of in-depth interviews with COVID-19 positive residents focused on how the resident may have been infected. Through these interviews a few themes emerged. First, transmission seemed to mainly be occurring within households, at work or via carpooling, and from social gatherings and visits. We also discovered that people often had the incorrect perception that the level of risk from relatives or friends is much lower than from strangers; transmission was often associated with people letting their guard down; some, but not all, precautions are being taken at social gatherings; and once introduced into a household, the virus tends to spread to other household members.
Week Three on the Orange Tier
Santa Clara County entered the Orange Tier of the State’s COVID-19 framework on Oct. 14. Hopefully you submitted your revised Social Distancing Protocols by Oct. 28.
 
Here are the key links to understand what the Orange Tier means in Santa Clara County:
Free PPE Available for San Jose Non-profits
San Jose-based nonprofit organizations or nonprofits that serve San José residents can now request free Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) directly from the Valley Medical Center Foundation through a partnership with the Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits and the City of San Jose. To request PPE, organizations must complete this survey. The survey can also be found through the VMC Foundation’s COVID-19 page.
 
FBI Fraud Warning
The FBI and other law enforcement agencies have received reports of scammers fraudulently soliciting donations for individuals, groups, and areas affected by COVID-19.  For more information and some precautions you can take, go here.
 
Fresh and healthful foods available through relief program
Off the Grid has partnered with the City of San Jose to launch San Jose COVID Food Relief Program. This is a temporary food program that delivers groceries once per week that includes fresh produce, whole grains, and nutritious sources of protein or meals to high-risk individuals for COVID-19, or those who have faced economic hardships due to COVID-19. The program is free and available for qualified participants until Dec. 30.
Click here for more info or check their Instagram.

Time to consider getting an influenza vaccine
The County offers free influenza vaccines every Saturday at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds from 9 am to 4 pm throughout the fall. Flu shots will be available across the street from the COVID-19 testing site also in operation every Saturday. The car entrance for general parking is Gate D, 2542 Monterey Road.

In addition to the Fairgrounds, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center also offers free flu shots at several flu clinics and fairs around the county.
SJDA Updates
Nomikai signs up for Dine Downtown – still three weeks to go
Still three weeks remain of Dine Downtown, and restaurants are still signing up to participate.  The latest is Nomikai social food + drinkery, which only reopened a couple weeks ago. Their food and wine pairing is not on the regular menu, so you only have until Nov. 15 to try a small bite and beer pairing of Crispy Pork Belly Bites with ginger jalapeno and Zapped on Zappa IPA from the Original Pattern Brewery of Oakland.  Priced at $18.
We instructed customers on social media yesterday:  “Bold pairings require bold decisions from Dine Downtowners.  Go not once, but three or four times to Dine Downtown San Jose.
 
If your dining establishment, café or coffee shop  wants to get in on the action, contact SJDA Marketing Director Julie Carlson (jcarlson@sjdowntown.com).
Good read Sunday morning
Set down your Sunday Mercury News or New York Times and spend a few minutes perusing the Downtown Dimension, the printed and digital monthly newsletter of the San Jose Downtown Association.
Each edition is posted online on the 1st of each month on our website.
 
This edition features Cubamex owner Jose Moreno’s struggle to keep his business alive.  The lead story reports the quiet but strong apartment boom of new residents moving into downtown’s newest rental properties.  You may be surprised how fast the properties are filling up.
 
The edition also includes information about SJDA’s plans for the holidays and information reported here last week that Al Fresco dining has been extended to midnight in public places.
 
This isn’t in the newsletter, but appropriate here:  Reminder – We’re falling back one hour Sunday morning with the end of Daylight Savings Time.  You get an extra hour of reading!
 
Every business and property owner in the downtown core should receive the Dimension by mail.  Employees and residents not receiving it can sign up for it here. The Dimension is free.
Meetings, Surveys and Events
hALLoWELLness event Oct. 30 seeks downtown swag for wellness kits
On Friday, Oct. 30, Project MORE will host hALLoWELLness, a pop-up, Halloween-themed clinic, providing a safe and affirming opportunity for LGBTQ+ people and their families to receive FREE wellness testing, vaccinations, and resources.  The event takes place 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at Local Color, 27 S. First St. No insurance needed.
Businesses, community organizations and government agencies are asked to provide items for the Wellness kits each participant will receive.  Donate items, coupons and discounts at the event website.
 
Project More is creating at-least 200 toolkits, so asking for 200-250 of one item or mixture of items. A few other ideas include:
  • Activities / Games: brain teasers, coloring book, word search, puzzles, game cards
  • Gifts / Swag: stress reliever, water bottle, hot/cold pack, bags, touch-free tool, pens, shirts.
What qualities should the next Police Chief have?
A message from Councilmember Raul Peralez:
 
The City of San Jose is beginning the search for our next Police Chief. This is a very important role and the City will be hosting a series of community meetings to ensure all interested residents have the opportunity to provide input and engage in an open dialog.
 
District 3 Meeting: Nov. 2, 7-9 p.m.. Register here.
 
VTA surveys downtown businesses along proposed BART alignment
VTA is asking for feedback and information from small businesses to help prepare for construction of the future BART Phase II alignment. While construction will not start until 2022, work is under way to plan for construction outreach, communications, access and to understand business needs.  Feedback from small businesses along the alignment is critical for VTA to best understand community needs and be a good neighbor during construction.
The survey is available in six languages here and will accept responses through  Nov. 10. 
 
VTA has created a map that shows the small businesses they would like to hear from. 
COVID-19 Links
Wildfire and Air Quality Resources
Wildfire Resources:
Air Quality Resources: Register for the Santa Clara County Emergency Alert System here
Heat and Power Outage Resources
Public Health Extreme Heat Resources: Fact Sheets from the CDC on those especially vulnerable to heat exhaustion and stroke.
More Local Resources for Businesses
If you are a business or property owner reaching out about vandalism, theft or property damage, you can submit an online police report here.

To report graffiti and things that need to be cleaned within the district, use the Groundwerx Everywhere app for iPhones or Android.
To report damage, graffiti or things that need to be cleaned in city parks/property or outside the district, use the San Jose 311 app for iPhone, visit sanjose.custhelp.com or call 311.

Businesses who would like a free graffiti removal tool kit can send an email to antigraffiti@sanjoseca.gov with their contact information and an address. A kit will be delivered to your place of business. 

SJDA staff can help.  Our list of staff and emails are here.
Let us know how else we can help by replying to this email. We’ll have another message next Thursday. We're in this together.
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