UCSC Classes to Continue Online Through Summer 2021
Well it looks like we’ll be seeing a lot fewer UCSC students for the foreseeable future. This week, UCSC officials announced plans to continue with an online learning model at least through the summer of 2021. They announced students can expect to continue with online instruction through spring and summer 2021, with exceptions for some laboratory, studio, field research and field study courses. Those who have a safe place to live and learn are also encouraged to avoid finding off-campus housing in Santa Cruz. The university said it can house about 2,500 students during the winter quarter. Students living on campus will mainly be in single rooms and will be required to take COVID-19 tests twice a week. In addition to COVID-19 tests, everyone who lives or works on campus will be required to get a flu shot. When students and employees are on campus, they will be required to wear face coverings, practice physical distancing, increase sanitization and conduct daily symptom checks.
COVID-19 Outbreak Hits Live Oak Senior Living Facility
Santa Cruz County officials report that there is a COVID-19 outbreak at an assisted living facility for seniors in Live Oak. County officials say the outbreak is at The Maple House II, and there are 20 confirmed cases. Nine of the cases are among staff members and 11 are residents. The outbreak started when a staff member began showing symptoms on Oct. 30. One of the staff members have since been hospitalized, and nobody has died. The center is a long-term care facility, but it is not considered a skilled nursing facility. It is licensed for 40 residents, but county officials did not know how many people are currently there. Coronavirus spread rapidly through the skilled nursing facility Watsonville Post Acute in late September. More than half of the residents contracted the virus and 16 have died. The health officer says that facility is now two testing cycles free of COVID-19. The California Department of Public Health has gotten involved, and the county is reviewing plans to make sure facilities are following them carefully.
You Don’t Have to Put on the Red Light
It was announced earlier this week that Santa Cruz has regressed in the state’s coronavirus measurement model. Two weeks ago, Santa Cruz county improved from the red tier to orange tier and now we are back in the red again. One step forward two steps back! We can’t get out of our own way.
COVID-19 Updates for Santa Cruz County
There have been 3,227 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Santa Cruz County, according to the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency. 26 people have died. 2,782 people have recovered from the disease. A total of 64,319 people have tested negative. 200 have been hospitalized in total. According to a state count, people are currently hospitalized, and three people are in the ICU.
Santa Cruz County is in the red tier of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, meaning some non-essential indoor business operations are open. Its adjusted case rate is at 5.9, and it needs to be below 4 to move up. It also has a 2.0% positivity rate, and that needs to be below 5% to move up. The county needs to meet the criteria for three weeks before moving to the orange tier.
Hit and Run Kills Pedestrian on Mission Street
Thursday night around 6:30PM, a 45 year old man was crossing Mission Street near Kind Street in a marked crosswalk when he was hit by a vehicle heading north. First responders rendered aid to the victim at the scene but he died of his injuries at Dominican. His identity has not been released. Police are still searching for the suspected vehicle and no arrests have been made.
Running His Mouth Straight to Jail
Wednesday afternoon around 1PM, SCPD responded to the area of Dakota and Soquel where they arrested a 28 year old male for having an outstanding felony warrant for making criminal threats. He also resisted arrest, so he’s still in jail with his bail set at $50k.
Turnstiler of the Week
Last Thursday around 3PM, SCPD responded to the 200 block of Market Street where they arrested a 27 year old male for a “fresh” probation violation. As opposed to a “stale” probation violation? Last check he’s still in jail on a no bail hold. I’m sure that won’t last long. He’s been arrested 15 times since 2015, so we might as well make him our “turnstiler of the week”.
The Gift That Keeps on Giving
Last Thursday morning around 3:30AM, SCPD responded to the area of East Cliff and Alhambra Avenue where they arrested a 50 year old male and charged him with numerous weapons, narcotics, and parole violations. He’d be out of jail if not for the parole violation. He’s on a no bail hold right now.
Sunday in the Park With Bumfires
The Santa Cruz Fire Department responded to a report of smoke around 2PM on Sunday in the Pogonip. When crews arrived on scene, they found a significant amount of smoke but had difficulty locating the actual fire. After locating the blaze, which was burning rapidly through the brush, fire crews were able to extend a hose line to the fire and eventually contain it. Both Scotts Valley Fire and Cal Fire assisted with putting out the fire. The fire department believes it was started by a “warming fire” in a 55 gallon drum, and they are still investigating who may have been involved.
Bigfoot Found in Scotts Valley
This week, officers with the Scotts Valley Police Department were able to track down at locate Bigfoot! The 4 foot 200 pound wooden statue had been stolen from the Bigfoot Discovery Museum in Felton sometime between 11:30AM and 1PM on Monday. The museum has been closed due to the pandemic. On Thursday, Scotts Valley police responded to a “suspicious figure” in the roadway near Glen Canyon and Green Hills roads where they found Bigfoot. He was returned to the museum, slightly battered and bruised but it takes more than that to kill Bigfoot.
Santa Cruz County Moves the Public Defender In-House
This past week, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to eliminating outsourcing public defenders and move the position in-house. Board chair Greg Caput was the lone dissenting vote. This will be the first time in 45 years that the public defense operations were an official part of county departmental operations.
Head of Santa Cruz Elections Retiring
Gail Pellerin, the long time County Clerk/Registrar of Voters for Santa Cruz County, announced plans to retire at the end of the year. With more than 30 years in public service, she has been in her current position since she was appointed in 2004. She previously served as the county’s election manager for 11 years. She also served as President of the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials from 2010 to 2012. She’s been one of the hardest working employees for the county, and she’ll be missed. Enjoy the retirement!
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