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This is the thirty-third 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:

Beginning Friday, the City’s parks department will start reopening more than 290 playgrounds and exercise equipment.
 
Parents are responsible for their kids following the protocol. Signs surrounding the playgrounds have to be followed, as well as County Public Health Orders. We can recite the basic rules:  wash or sanitize your hands before and after playing; wear face coverings the entire time; keep six-foot social distance; stay home if anyone in the family is sick; don’t share personal items brought to the park and sanitize equipment before and after use with EPA approved disinfectants.
 
For some time to come, this is the new normal in almost everything we want to do outside besides just taking a walk and touching absolutely nothing or getting close to absolutely no one.
 
The timeline for park reopenings is here.  How many children do you think will be on the playgrounds?  And how many parents will be out there watching??? 

Definitely a reminder for businesses:  What can you do to make your customers and employees at ease, and to simplify this very complex situation?
In this email: 
COVID Updates
Al Fresco extended to midnight
Restaurants serving outside on San Pedro Square and Post Street complained after police closed down Al Fresco dining activities at 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17 per the existing city ordinance.  Their complaints were heard at the Oct. 20 City Council meeting and today the City Manager issued a notice amending the ordinance and extending the Al Fresco closing time to midnight.
 
Following the Oct. 17 closure, SJDA and SVO sent a letter urging the city to take “immediate action to allow local restaurants to serve customers now before the winter season arrives and we lose this opportunity to save our local small businesses.”

At the San Pedro Square district business meeting Oct. 21, Blage Zelalich, the city’s downtown manager, told businesses that winterization of the Al Fresco areas is already set with maximum 400-square-foot tents with two sides open or 700-square-foot canopies with two sides open, and didn’t expect that to change.
 
Businesses wanting larger tents or canopies would require Fire Department approval, she said.
 
Heaters under the tents or canopies will need to be electric, she said.  Propane heaters are not allowed under tents and canopies, but will be allowed if there is no top and out in the open air.  She reminded businesses that ADA compliance is still necessary when winterizing.
 
Offering a personal preference, Zelalich requested clear tents that provide coverage, but also visibility to downtown’s aesthetically pleasing Al Fresco streets.
Week Two on the Orange Tier
Santa Clara County entered the Orange Tier of the State’s COVID-19 framework on Oct. 14. Please submit 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 José 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.
 
State Allows Small Outdoor Social Gatherings
The State issued new guidance allowing a narrow exception to their restrictive definition of “gatherings.”  As a reminder, while the County has a broader definition, the State generally allows gatherings only for the purpose of worship services, cultural ceremonies, and protest or political activities.  Social gatherings have not been allowed at all by the State in recent months.  However, as of Oct. 9, the State now allows up to three households to gather for any purpose as long as it occurs outdoors, lasts no longer than 2 hours, and other social distancing guidelines are followed.  
 
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.
Bill Gates on COVID
Wednesday at Stanford, Microsoft founder Bill Gates discusses what went wrong and offers strategies for U.S. health recovery. Part of the fascinating discussion is in today’s Mercury News.
Meetings 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.
Dine Downtown, through Nov. 15
Dine Downtown continues through Nov. 15.  Check SJDA’s Dine Downtown page to see who's open and who's offering.  Restaurants can still sign up to participate.   

Contact SJDA Marketing Director Julie Carlson, jcarlson@sjdowntown.com.
Up on the Roof -- Dinner and a Movie, through Nov. 1
Dining and two films are shown nightly from now until Nov. 1 Up on the Roof of the Second and San Carlos Garage, above 3Below Theaters.
 
Guggenheim is partnering with San Jose Downtown Association, City of San Jose and San Jose Department of Transportation.  Sponsored by First Tech Credit Union and Airfield Supply Co. Movie schedule.
Other Messages to Businesses
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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