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This is the twenty-fourth COVID-19 update from San Jose Downtown Association. They are sent on Thursdays.
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Dear members:

Unfortunately, we face a quadruple threat this week:  COVID-19, extreme heat, rolling power outages and blackouts, and fire and smoke.

It’s a day-to-day struggle.  We need to take care of ourselves first.  Then, our families and homes.  Then, our employees and businesses.

CalFire says that everyone in the state should prepare for evacuation. Take the time to make a plan -- pack a bag, put family essentials and some food and water boxes ready to move and have your vehicle ready to go.

Contact the Downtown Association if you need help.  Staff emails are here.

Tough times, for sure.  We’re in this together.
New Enforcement Ordinance for Public Health Orders
On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors adopted an urgency ordinance related to the enforcement of Public Health Orders and other laws associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
The new Ordinance provides additional tools for addressing violations of the Health Officer Orders and the County’s Eviction Moratorium by establishing a civil enforcement program, including authority to issue administrative fines. To date, the primary means of enforcement has been via law enforcement, often coordinated through the District Attorney’s Office.  
 
Civil enforcement will allow for a more efficient, less punitive process that is more flexible for those seeking to comply with the order.  Under the Ordinance, Enforcement Officers—including any sworn peace officer, County employee, or other individual designated by the Health Officer—will enforce the Public Health Orders by issuing Notices of Violation (NOV) and imposing administrative fines if there is a failure to abate violations within a grace period of up to 72 hours. Civil penalties for non-commercial violations (not associated with a business or business transaction) are between $25 and $500. For violations involving commercial activities, penalties are between $250 and $5,000.
 
The grace period provision will allow most entities to avoid any fines by providing evidence of promptly correcting the violation, similar to a “fix it” ticket approach. A grace period would be the default and is consistent with County’s broader efforts focusing on education and outreach related to the Orders. The Ordinance also establishes an administrative appeals process before a neutral hearing officer that allows an individual or business to contest a violation or fine amount. 

The full ordinance is here
Aug. 28, Save the Date -- Q&A with SJDA
Due to technical difficulties, more than 150 people were shut out of last Friday's What's Next for Downtown San Jose public meeting.  To make up for it, SJDA will have a "Redux" meeting that gives those left out and those new to the initiative a chance to ask questions and comment on the Downtown Association's "Stabilization Plan."  The live Q&A will be Friday, Aug. 28, 8:30-9:30 a.m. on Zoom.  To receive an invitation, please email your contact information sjdarsvp@sjdowntown.com. Follow our Facebook and Instagram for updates. Click here for a copy of the full plan, presentation slides and the recording of the Aug. 14 meeting
CDBG Microenterprise Grant Program Extended
The San Jose CDGB Microenterprise Grant Program will accept applications through 11:59 pm, Friday, Aug. 28, an extension of 10 days.

This program will provide $15,000 grants to eligible microenterprises (5 employees or less) located in San Jose. Grant proceeds may be used for working capital support including rent, utilities, and payroll. The CDBG Microenterprise Grant Program is anticipated to make a total of 145 grants.

Businesses who received financial assistance from the Paycheck Protection Program or the Economic Injury Disaster Loans program are NOT eligible to apply.
Opportunity Fund, a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution, will administer the grant fund.

Businesses must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible:
  • For-profit business must have five or fewer employees (full-time equivalent).
  • Physically located in the city of San Jose.
  • Business owner must live in Santa Clara County.
  • Priority will be given to an essential business as defined by the Santa Clara County public health order.
  • Business owner’s total household income must be low- or moderate-income.
  • Business must have existed prior to March 1, 2019.
Applicants must have a DUNS number to receive the grant. Apply here. It’s free but can take up to two days to confirm. Businesses that are franchises, chains, or limited to those with customers over the age of 18 are not eligible.

This is an online application process only. All the info is here.

Please email at businessgrants@opportunityfund.org if you have additional questions.

 
COVID-19 Testing at County Fairgrounds
The County of Santa Clara is opening a new COVID-19 testing site, run by Valley Medical Center, at Santa Clara County Fairgrounds. Testing capabilities at the site will be up to 1,000 people daily by week’s end, with the ability to expand to up to 5,000 people per day, more than any other site in the Bay Area.

The location has also been identified for large scale flu shots in the fall and as a future COVID-19 vaccine location if vaccines become available.

The Santa Clara County Fairgrounds testing center offers language services, including Spanish-speaking staff and dedicated lanes for those who may need language assistance.

“Testing continues to be one of the most important tools we have to protect our community from COVID-19 and to identify the harder hit sectors of our society,” said Santa Clara County Health Officer and Director of Public Health Dr. Sara Cody.

There will be 10 lanes to facilitate large numbers of patients – a number that is expected to increase. The bulk of the lanes are to be used for vehicle traffic, although there are also lines to accommodate walk-up and bicycle traffic.

The County is offering testing free of charge to people with and without insurance. People wanting to be tested can register in advance on line.
Wildfires and smoke
Kaiser Permanente advises:

Follow basic precautions for wildfire smoke and poor air quality:

  • Check air quality reports and use common sense. Air quality can change quickly. If it's smoky, avoid outside activities.
  • Stay indoors as much as possible. Close doors and windows.
  • Set your car air conditioner to recirculate air instead of drawing in outside air.
  • Consider going somewhere with better air quality if you have symptoms from smoke that aren't getting better.
  • Have a plan for where you'll get care if needed, if you evacuate or leave the area. Video and phone appointments are a convenient and effective option for many care needs. Learn more about video visits.

There are some important differences between masks that protect you from smoke (N95 masks) and those that protect you and others from COVID-19.

  • Adults may benefit from using an N95 mask if they have one and must be outdoors. This helps protect you from unhealthy air. Masks must be fitted properly. Masks and cloth face coverings that help slow the spread of COVID-19 aren't effective for smoke.
  • We don't recommend children wear N95 masks. They aren't made for children and may not fit properly. They won't protect them from smoke. Masks and cloth face coverings can also obstruct breathing in babies and young children. It's best to keep children indoors to reduce smoke exposure.
PG&E webinars

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. 26, 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)
Resources
Heat and Power Outages
Public Safety Power Shutoff Season is here:  To better prepare for a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) event, PG&E will notify its customers and non-customers who have signed up to receive alerts two days before power is turned off. Make sure to have enough supplies that will last a whole week when you receive this alert. Learn more about PSPS events here and start preparing today.
Resources Public Health Extreme Heat Resources: Fact Sheets from the CDC on those especially vulnerable to heat exhaustion and stroke.
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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