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This is the twenty-second COVID-19 update from San Jose Downtown Association. They are sent on Thursdays.
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To our valued members:
 
From a county health perspective, we have another week of status quo -- no changes to the county order.
 
In fact, Dr, Sarah Cody, the county’s health expert, says that we have taken a step backward.  Data collection issues have us “back to feeling blind,” she said. "We don’t know where COVID-19 is heading or how it’s growing.”
 
Her other message from Wednesday:  “In Santa Clara County, we feel safer with family and friends, but COVID-19 doesn’t care.”  Even with family and friends, we need to be outdoors, six feet away and wearing our masks, she said.
 
Every time we are out, let’s reduce our risk.  Onward, we go.
SJDA Virtual Public Meeting
What’s Next for Downtown San Jose?  The survey says …
Over 1,250 people completed the What's Next for Downtown San Jose survey.  The information received helped to shape the Stabilization Plan for the San Jose Downtown Association.  You are invited to a public meeting on Aug. 14 via Facebook, where the results of the survey will be shared through a detailed presentation of the plan. 
 
The meeting details are below:
Friday, August 14, 2020
8:15 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. PDT
Facebook Event
City Updates
Viva Al Fresco
On Tuesday, the City Council formally approved the Al Fresco program in downtown and other parts of the city.  Technically, it had previously been allowed by the city manager, in his capacity as Director of Emergency Services.  The city has $900,000 in federal aid to put toward the program citywide.
 
The City Council made an important and positive enhancement to the program Tuesday:  allowing businesses to do al fresco seating in front of neighboring businesses as long as they have written permission.  The language from the Council memo says:  “Businesses already allowed to use sidewalks to expand outdoor dining and seating under the San Jose Al Fresco initiative to areas in front of neighboring businesses with the consent of the neighboring business or property owner.”
 
The reason this is a positive decision:  The more space, the more tables separated by six or more feet – the closer a business may get back to normal operations.  At least for the next few months before the weather turns.
 
The city, SJDA and the Council continue to look for ways to improve the Al Fresco program:
  • Downtown’s second Al Fresco area is opening this weekend along South First Street in SoFA District.  This means more employees back to work.  At San Pedro Square, restaurants are saying business is up 40 percent or more vs. pre-Al Fresco. We can anticipate similar numbers in SoFA.
Businesses expected to participate include Blue Chip, Culinary Corner, CubaMex, Miami Beach Club, and the following SoFA Market vendors: Umi Handroll Bar, Taqueria 3 Hermanos, Habana Cuba, Pizzetta 408, Sticks ‘n’ Greens, Vietnoms, Hawaiian Poke Bowl, Vero's Coffee
 
This is different from the San Pedro Street closure because this is "parklet-style" only encompassing the parking lane, and still allowing two-way traffic on the street.  
  • Post Street closure between South First and Market Street is still being considered.
  • A fourth emergency declaration under the Al Fresco initiative is in the works and could be ratified later this month.  The declaration would allow health and fitness businesses, day camps and recreational businesses, educational and cultural programs, and restaurants to expand their programs into downtown plazas and parks.
  • City staff is looking into the viability of expanding personal care services such as salons, barbershops and nail services to operate in parklets and on sidewalks.
  • Moving retail onto sidewalks is also being considered.
If any of these ideas appeal to you and your business, and you haven't already expressed your opinion, please be sure to contact Councilmember Raul Peralez, district3@sanjoseca.gov.

Take a survey to help plan for the future of San Fernando Street
The city is beginning to plan for the next evolution of San Fernando Street. In 2018, the street was redesigned with road paint and plastic posts. Learning from this interim design, the city has been awarded funding to add high-quality, permanent upgrades in a future project. This could mean raised curbs and other permanent fixtures separating the bike lanes from the general travel lanes. This project is expected to be constructed in 3 to 4 years.
Exercise Your Mind and Body
Five minutes of stress relief
The New York Times today had an article by Jenny Taitz, an assistant clinical professor in psychiatry at UCLA called “Five-Minute Coronavirus Stress Resets – how to get unstuck from your anxiety.”

Our condensed version:
  • Try music medicine – Listen to relaxing sounds
  • Cool off – Submerge your face in ice water for 15-30 seconds
  • Pace your breathing – Practice conscious inhaling and exhaling to bring your breathing down to six breaths per minute
  • Practice anchoring – instead of having “whirlybrain” where you are overthinking and it isn’t really helping you (this may happen at night), physically ground yourself by digging your heels into the floor and take a conscious moment to ask yourself? What am I thinking? Is it helping? Is it keeping me in the present? Or am I worried about the future? Then decide if you need to refocus.
  • Hyperventilate – Practice in quiet times feeling sensations associated with fear like muscle tension, dizziness and shortness of breath.  The actual practice may be worse than the anxiety you normally feel. It will remind you that you can cope with everything in your life.
Basketball and volleyball court reopenings
Park amenities are slowly reopening.  In the next few weeks, park employees in San Jose will put up volleyball nets and basketball hoops.  Anyone who uses them has to obey the rules:  No pick-up games or competitive uses – OK maybe for some HORSE – everyone must wear a face mask when not exercising, and keep that 6-foot distance.  For a current list of park and facility reopenings, visit here
Webinars
Commercial Linkage Fee Presentation
Today, Aug 6 | 5:30 p.m.
Details | Host: City of San Jose | Zoom

The City will host an informational presentation and Q&A session about the proposed Commercial Linkage Fee. This proposed fee would generate funding to use toward building more affordable housing in San José.

Rethinking Business Continuity in the Face of COVID‑19
On-demand webinar | Host: Adobe | Register
The COVID‑19 pandemic places a spotlight on business continuity efforts within organizations, where many are adapting theoretical plans to the ever‑changing reality society is facing today.  IDC Research Director Marci Maddox and executives from Novartis and Varian discuss how their organizations are transforming operations and enabling an increasingly remote workforce through greater flexibility, innovation, and use of digital technologies.

Join a PG&E wildfire safety webinar
PG&E is hosting a series of online webinars for anyone who is interested in learning more about its Community Wildfire Safety Program. These virtual gatherings will allow you to learn more about wildfire safety and emergency preparedness, meet with PG&E representatives, ask questions and share feedback.

Aug. 12, 5:30-7 p.m. | Join Webinar
Toll-Free Attendee Dial-In: 1 (866) 501-6088
Conference ID: 3624868

Aug. 19, 5:30-7 p.m. | Join Webinar
Toll-Free Attendee Dial-In: 1 (866) 501-6088
Conference ID: 3567527
(Links will work starting 30 minutes before program)
Opportunities
Be a part of SJSU Welcome Week starting Aug. 17
San Jose State University’s Welcome Week is coming up starting Aug. 17.  In preparation for the student’s return to real and virtual classrooms, the university is building several webpages of activities, one of which will include a link to sjdowntown.com, which is preparing a special landing page welcoming the students back.
 
Last Call!  A key feature of the page will be a list of special offers for the students from downtown businesses.  If you’d like to be included on the page, please send your offer to SJDA coordinator Jessica Vuong (jvuong@sjdowntown.com) by Aug. 12. 
 
Review SJSU’s Adapt Plan here.
 


 
Useful 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.
More COVID-19 Resources
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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