Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Contra Costa COVID-19 Update: Now 305 cases, two more deaths

Friday, April 3rd, 2020

ases and deaths from COVID-19 in Contra Costa County from the CCHS dashboard.

As of Friday, April 3, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) is reporting 31 more cases of COVID-19/coronavirus for a total of 305, and two more deaths in the county. There are 32 people diagnosed with the virus currently hospitalized, an increase of just one from Thursday’s update.

27 of the new cases are from the senior care home in Orinda. (See related article)

To see the all the statistics provided by CCHS, click here.

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Google releases Mobility Reports collected from cell phone data on social distancing, activities

Friday, April 3rd, 2020

By Allen Payton

Google released a treasure trove of information, Friday labeled Mobility Reports, based on cell phone users’ movements, during the coronavirus pandemic, that includes statistics showing activities such as shopping, use of parks, and going to work.

“Each Community Mobility Report is broken down by location and displays the change in visits to places like grocery stores and parks. This is an early release and reports will be updated regularly”, Google shared on their website.

In California, from February 16 through March 29, the data show a 50% drop in retail and recreation, a 24% decrease in grocery shopping and pharmacy visits, a 38% drop in visits to parks, a 54% decrease in use of public transit, but only a 39% drop in going to work. An even more interesting statistic is the data show only a 15% increase in going to places of residence.

The stats for Contra Costa County were similar, with a 48% drop in retail and recreation, a 21% decrease in grocery shopping and pharmacy visits, a 49% drop in using public transit, a 41% decrease in going to work, as well as the same 15% increase in visits to home. But there was only a 15% decrease in visits to parks.

Under the title “Helping public health officials combat COVID-19”,  Jen Fitzpatrick, SVP, Geo and Google Health’s Chief Health Officer, Karen DeSalvo, MD, M.P.H. issued the following statement, today, Friday, April 3:

“As global communities respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increasing emphasis on public health strategies, like social distancing measures, to slow the rate of transmission. In Google Maps, we use aggregated, anonymized data showing how busy certain types of places are—helping identify when a local business tends to be the most crowded. We have heard from public health officials that this same type of aggregated, anonymized data could be helpful as they make critical decisions to combat COVID-19.

Starting today we’re publishing an early release of our COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports to provide insights into what has changed in response to work from home, shelter in place, and other policies aimed at flattening the curve of this pandemic. These reports have been developed to be helpful while adhering to our stringent privacy protocols and policies.

The reports use aggregated, anonymized data to chart movement trends over time by geography, across different high-level categories of places such as retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residential. We’ll show trends over several weeks, with the most recent information representing 48-to-72 hours prior. While we display a percentage point increase or decrease in visits, we do not share the absolute number of visits. To protect people’s privacy, no personally identifiable information, like an individual’s location, contacts or movement, is made available at any point.

We will release these reports globally, initially covering 131 countries and regions. Given the urgent need for this information, where possible we will also provide insights at the regional level. In the coming weeks, we will work to add additional countries and regions to ensure these reports remain helpful to public health officials across the globe looking to protect people from the spread of COVID-19.”

Google also provided additional information about their reports, how they gathered the data and what they’re doing with it:

Preserving privacy

The Community Mobility Reports were developed to be helpful while adhering to our stringent privacy protocols and protecting people’s privacy. No personally identifiable information, such as an individual’s location, contacts or movement, will be made available at any point.

Insights in these reports are created with aggregated, anonymized sets of data from users who have turned on the Location History setting, which is off by default. People who have Location History turned on can choose to turn it off at any time from their Google Account and can always delete Location History data directly from their Timeline.

We also use the same world-class anonymization technology used in our products every day to keep your activity data private and secure. This includes differential privacy, which adds artificial noise to our datasets, enabling us to generate insights while preventing the identification of any individual person.

Visit Google’s Privacy Policy to learn more about how we keep your data private, safe and secure.

How long will these reports be available?

These reports will be available for a limited time, so long as public health officials find them useful in their work to stop the spread of COVID-19.

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American Legion Post 161 to hold blood drive in Antioch Saturday, April 11

Friday, April 3rd, 2020

 

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Contra Costa Health Services adds more statistics, data to their coronavirus webpage

Thursday, April 2nd, 2020

Only 31 currently hospitalized out of 276 confirmed cases in the county

By Allen Payton

After requests by the public and the Herald, on readers’ behalf, the Contra Costa Health Services updated their webpage, today and are now reporting more statistics and information on what they refer to as the “dashboard.”

The only statistic not included that the public has been requesting, is the number of people diagnosed with the virus who have recovered.

“We’re working to get additional information to the public, as much as possible,” said Will Harper, Contra Costa Health Services spokesperson.

One bright spot in the additional statistics is that out of 276 confirmed cases in Contra Costa County, only 31 are currently hospitalized, which is a little over 11%, as of 1:00 a.m. Thursday morning, April 2. That’s out of 4,083 people who have been tested.

While the statistics show a greater number of people age 41-60 that have been diagnosed with COVID-19 than those age 61-100, which goes against international statistics, “What it doesn’t show is the severity of the cases,” Harper explained.

“We’re trying to prepare people for the fact that we haven’t seen the worst of it, yet,” he added.

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Gov. Newsom launches campaign to protect health of older Californians during COVID-19 pandemic

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020

To combat social isolation, ‘Stay Home. Save Lives. Check In.’ campaign urges all Californians to check in on vulnerable neighbors with a call, text or physically-distanced door knock.

In coordination with non-profit local 2-1-1 systems, California also launches hotline to help Californians answer questions.

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the “Stay Home. Save Lives. Check In.” campaign urging Californians to help combat social isolation and food insecurity among Californians who are over the age of 65 – a community that is uniquely vulnerable to COVID-19.

During California’s stay at home order, older Californians may need friends and neighbors to help them obtain basic necessities like groceries and prescriptions.

“The most important way for older Californians to stay safe is to stay at home,” said Governor Newsom. “No older Californian should be forced to go outside to get groceries or their medication. It’s on all of us across the state to check in on the older adults in our lives – our friends, family and neighbors – to help them during this outbreak. Each and every one of us must reach out in a safe way to make sure our older neighbors have someone to talk to and have enough food to eat during these difficult times.”

The campaign urges all Californians to check in on their older neighbors with a call, text or physically-distanced door knock to make sure they’re ok. In addition, the state is urging local non-profits and faith-based organizations to call to check in on all of the older Californians in their networks.

The Governor also announced the creation of a statewide hotline — 833-544-2374 — in coordination with the non-profit local 2-1-1 systems, so that Californians have a one-stop shop to answer their questions and get assistance during this crisis. For example, the 2-1-1 system is able to help older Californians access grocery and medication delivery while staying at home.

The state, in partnership with AARP, will also send a mailer to older residents, 65 and older, with useful resources and information to help adapt to the stay at home order.

“Social isolation can be difficult for older Californians even in the best of times,” said Kim McCoy Wade, director of the California Department of Aging. “We have to help aging Californians feel connected – and we must ensure we all have access to any needed services right now. This work will save lives.”

The campaign builds on existing efforts by California Volunteers and Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) to help older Californians and those who need food assistance.

California Volunteers has launched their Neighbor-to-Neighbor campaign, which calls on neighbors to be the first line of support for California’s most vulnerable residents who have been advised to stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Neighbor-to-Neighbor campaign is focused on older adults and promotes ways to safely check on your neighbors, family and friends.

To make the most vulnerable Californians more resilient to disasters, Listos California has pivoted to helping these communities stay safe during the pandemic. Leading the charge statewide are Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) comprised of volunteers with at least 20 hours of FEMA preparedness training. These teams are conducting welfare checks on seniors, as well as distributing essential food and supplies in Sacramento, San Diego, San Bernardino, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Napa counties to help them through the pandemic. Listos California has also partnered with trusted community-based organizations across the state and programs like Meals on Wheels and other local senior-serving non-profits to deliver services and preparedness resources.

 

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County braces for jump in COVID-19 cases, big deficit expected for 2020-2021 budget

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020

A county staff member addresses the members of the Board of Supervisors during their now, virtual weekly meeting, on Tuesday, March 31, 2020. Video screenshot.

Three deaths in county from 212 cases, so far

By Daniel Borsuk

Since the last time the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors met two weeks ago, the number of Contra Costa residents with COVID-19 symptoms have tripled, Contra Costa County Health Services Director Anna Roth told Supervisors during a live-streamed meeting Tuesday.

Roth told supervisors the county had 212 cases of patients with COVID-19 symptoms and there had been three deaths. Two weeks ago, there 70 patients had COVID-19 symptoms and one patient had died from the virus.

In the meantime, county medical professionals are barely treading water in providing life-saving ventilators for COVID-19 stricken patients. County Health Officer Dr. Christopher Farnitano said hospitals have 76 ventilators in use and 100 more ventilators are on order, but over time additional equipment will be need.

“We are not going to save most of our patients who will need to be on ventilators. We will have 1,000 patients or more who will need to be on ventilators. Most will die. We need to reduce the number of people coming down with COVID-19 symptoms,” said Dr. Farnitano.

Dr. Farnitano said an alternate health care site is scheduled to open at the Antioch Fair Grounds next week to help accommodate additional COVID-19 patients.

County Administrator David Twa, who will retire at the end of the year, said rising health costs stemming from COVID-19 will force the county to plug up funding holes totaling $43 million a year for the next three years. The rising medical costs stem from recently signed labor agreements for hospital professionals and in-home care attendant workers.

Twa projected an 11 percent decline in property values will trigger a $27 million decrease in property tax revenue at least for the upcoming 2020/2021 fiscal year.

That projection from Twa caused District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff of Pleasant Hill to warn her colleagues, “We may need to reduce the work force. We could be facing difficult times.”

Supervisors will get a better picture of the proposed 2020-2021 budget on April 21 when it is presented publicly. The budget will be formally adopted on May 12.

County Treasurer-Tax Collector Russell Watts said his office anticipates an increase in the number of property owners to file online penalty cancellation requests on April 10 because of COVID-19. Watts told supervisors he would inform property owners if any of the hundreds of financial institutions holding $450 million in impound escrow funds miss depositing funds in the county treasury the financial institutions will be held accountable. He also will report to the board of supervisors if any financial institutions fail to submit impound funds to the county.

“This revenue is essential for keeping the county, our cities and schools, and other local government agencies running and providing vital services that the public relies on, especially in times like these,” said Watts in a press release.

Under the current stay-at-home orders, the county’s more than 177,000 K-12 public school students are coping under while the stringent shelter-in-place mandate stays in place, Contra Costa County Office of Education Superintendent Lynn Mackey told supervisors.

Students are learning via distance learning although students in some school districts fall through the technology gaps more than others, said Mackey. Noting that 42 percent of the county’s students qualify for the free lunch program, the county superintendent said, “We are making sure that students don’t fall through the cracks in providing the computers and resources for distance learning.”

District 1 Supervisor John Gioia of Richmond succeeded in getting Supervisors’ support to have Deputy County Counsel Mary Ann Mason prepare a comprehensive report on the feasibility of the Board adopting a moratorium on evictions, a ban that Alameda, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara Counties have already adopted.

The proposed imposition of an eviction moratorium was one of major topics supervisors heard from 120 emailed letters from residents. Other issues citizens wrote about connected to the COVID-19 pandemic were: Imposition of a moratorium on rent, Depopulating the county jails, and Protecting county social workers.

Temporary Emergency Worker Classification Created

Citing the possibility, the County might need temporary emergency workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, Supervisors unanimously approved County Administrator David Twa’s request to establish the classification with a salary range of $12 an hour to $35 an hour.

Supervisors approved County Administrator Twa’s request on a   5-0 vote even though Twa said he did not have the time to consult with labor representatives about the creation of the classification.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the county will need to hire additional workers to be able to continue providing current essential services to county residents, as well as services to provide information, protect health and save lives,” Twa’s request stated. “The County Administrator is recommending establishing the hourly classification of Temporary Emergency Worker.”

In other business, Supervisors appointed Walnut Creek-based commercial and residential developer Ross Hillesheim to fill the At-Large 2 seat on the Contra Costa County Planning Commission. Other applicants for the position, a four-year appointment, recommended by the Internal Operations Committee were former City of Concord planning commissioner LaMar Anderson, journalist Daniel Borsuk of Pittsburg, and North Richmond Residential Leadership team member Johana Gurdian.

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Antioch Council adopts moratorium on evictions in Antioch, gives renters 90 days to reimburse landlord for each month of non-payment

Tuesday, March 31st, 2020

Applies to both residential and commercial properties

By Allen Payton

In response to the shelther in place due to the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, during their special meeting on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, the Antioch City Council adopted a moratorium banning evictions for residential and business property through May 31, 2020 and giving tenants who are unable to pay 90 days to catch up on their rent for each month they’re in arrears. ACC2020.03.31 – URGENCY ORDINANCE – Moratorium on Evictions

According to City Attorney Thomas Smith, the difference between this ordinance and the governor’s executive order is that the city’s gives renters six months to reimburse their landlord.

Following public comments, Councilman Lamar Thorpe was the first council member to share his thoughts.

“I just want to ask the city attorney what differentiates what we’re doing versus what the state has done,” he said.

“This is also addressing business,” said City Attorney Thomas Smith. “This pandemic is having an impact beyond residents.”

“There is a loss of demand out there because everyone is staying home,” he continued. “Only people who are providing essential things…people are going to online entities. This also addresses the commercial impact. Employees need someplace to go back to when this pandemic is over.”

“The governor gave seven days after the person can’t pay rent to inform the landlord,” Smith continued. “This gives 14 days.”

“It’s overall a broader ordinance…including six months in order to pay back their rent,” he concluded.

“We’re including commercial, we’re thinking about the small business owner, and we’re extending to 14 days,” Thorpe said.

“And giving six months to pay their rent.” Smith added.

“Can you give the rationale…this time period after your rent is due,” Thorpe asked.

“One of the things we know is, COVID-19 is potentially a killer,” Smith responded. “If you’re sick with it, it can and will completely, in some cases, shut you down. If you’re in need of intensive care, it’s safe to assume you’re not focused on ‘oh, I missed my rent.’ So, it gives people some breaks. There literally is some grace periods…is something we’re offering recognizing the seriousness, if it’s a COVID-related impact.”

“The only final thought I’ll add is, the way we framed this urgency ordinance…as we think about, I think the scope to me is still too narrow,” Thorpe stated. “I strongly urge we consider focus on moratorium on evictions during the coronavirus/COVID-19 emergency.”

Councilwoman Monica Wilson asked that an email from a resident was read.

“In regards to the unpaid rent, can we…change the line to ‘120-day grace period per month’,” she asked.

“The 14-day grace period is the front end, and then on the back end is the six months after the expiration of the ordinance,” Smith said. “Six months is longer than 120 days.”

“Per month of missed rent,” Wilson reiterated.

“What this says, the tenant must pay within six months,” Smith explained.

“It’s giving them up to a year for repayment,” Wilson said.

“What Councilmember Wilson is saying, if it’s two months, it would be 240 days, which would be eight months,” Mayor Sean Wright explained.

“Hmmm. That’s interesting,” Smith said.

“I believe other cities are doing this,” Wilson said.

“Concord has a 90-day grace period,” Smith responded.

“If it ends May 31, it would be two months,” Wright said.

“Ours doesn’t necessarily end May 31st,” Smith responded. “It’s within your discretion…”

“I’m adding this and wondering if members on this council…” Wilson started to say.

“Councilwoman Wilson’s idea, I like that idea,” Thorpe stated.

“The 90 days kind of mirrors Concord’s,” Wright said.

Mayor Pro Tem Motts then said, “I think it’s kind of absurd that people who are going to be without income for two or three months, they’re going to be able to repay in two or three months. I think we’re setting them up for failure. I understand what the landlord is saying.”

“Nothing in here prohibits landlords or tenants from making other arrangements,” she said. “I like, Monica what you had to say, here.”

“I agree with Councilman Thorpe’s comments…the language should be ‘during the COVID-19 emergency’,” she stated. “I want our businesses to be comfortable that they scan stay in business.”

Councilmember Lori Ogorchock asked what the other council members meant by their comments.

Wright explained that the ordinance includes six months from May 31st but the other councilmembers are suggesting 120 days per month for renters to pay their back rent.

“I don’t know if I’m in agreement with that,” Ogorchock said. “I have received calls. Some of these rentals are the only income some of these people have. You’re taking salaries and income away from other people who rely on these funds. If you’re going to give them a year to repay, it will make it hard for them.”

“Some landlords have sent out letters to their tenants, including commercial tenants, giving them time to repay,” she continued. “I think going beyond these timeframes would make it difficult for these landlords.”

“Landlords are free to work out whatever they want,” Thorpe said. “This just sets a framework…a process that says this is the way it will work out.”

“Part of what it does is strengthen the bargaining position of the tenant,” Smith said. “It gives a baseline, as you said. At a minimum what we saying to businesses is we’re supporting them.”

“These are unprecedented times,” Wright said. “Never before has government told the public 80% of them can’t go to work. So, government, I believe should stay out of these kinds of things. Over 50% of our residents are paycheck to paycheck. I think this is something we have to do. The moratorium, I’m fine with it being until May 31st or until this ends.”

“The problem is the landlord, I spoke to my bank, they give me three months of forebearance,” he continued. “But at the end of those 90 days I owe every bit of it.”

“I think the 90 days, it gives the tenant six months if it goes a third month, it extends another 90 days. I know it’s hard for the landlords,” Wright continued. “But they’re going to have to work with their mortgage holder.”

Change the moratorium to urgency for COVID-19

“Going back to what I was saying about the owners of these properties, it’s not going to do the renters any good if the owners lose their properties,” Ogorchock stated. “We have to be very careful what we’re doing.”

Wright reopened public comment.

Several comments asked the council to also consider a moratorium on rent increases, as well.

Others requested that no late fees be added to rents that can’t be paid on time.

Another comment asked the council to reduce the requirements for paystubs, etc. to prove the hardship.

Motts then asked that language be include for tenants who can’t provide documentation, that they provide written notification to the landlord, instead.

“So, the words that are used, they tend to be specific to align the ordinance with the executive order,” Smith explained. “When you look at the Concord ordinance, they use the word documentation. These words are aligned legally with the words in the executive orders. Notification is different than documentation. It’s not the standard if you have to go to court.”

“Being in line with other cities as a group…is important for us as a city…as a legal defense strategy,” he explained. “And to stay under the umbrella of the state executive order.”

“Other form of objective proof is included in the language,” he continued.

“In relation to the period of time, we do either what Concord did and go with the 90 days or go with the six months,” Smith stated. “I rarely jump in and urge you to do something.”

“What I don’t want to be is in a position that is legally hard to defend,” he said.

Thorpe reiterated his concern from earlier, that the ordinance was too narrowly written and that the language should be more broad to include anyone affected by the COVID-19

“We can pass this as is,” but I’d really like to time to look into the wording to expand the scope,” Smith said. “There has to be a causal relationship in my mind. Can we show that there is a causal relationship in the definition that you’re proposing?

“It is not a presumption. We’ve asked people to stay home,” Thorpe responded.

“Certain people,” Smith interjected.

“We are telling people to stay home,” Thorpe said. “It would just be an urgency ordinance…during the coronavirus/COVID-19 emergency. Right now, we’re limiting it to rent and loss of income.

“Some people are still working. So the connection between loss of income and inability to pay rent..if you’re income is not affected then you should pay your rent,” Smith said.

“Whether you’re essential or non-essential, if you’re the worst tenant in the world, this is not the time to evict someone. It would be contrary to evict someone during the shelter in place order,”

“So, you want no landlord to evict anyone during the coronavirus,” Smith asked.

“Why would we want anyone to move when we’re asking people to shelter in place?” Thorpe asked.

“We are under the shelter of the state order,” Smith responded. “When we say no one can evict anyone during this time, that is no under the shelter of the state order. That is not under our police power. If we’re going to do something like that, we better be sure.”

“If you need to do more work, that’s fine,” Thorpe said. “We don’t want more people in shelters.”

“I just want to look whether or not we can do that,” Smith responded.

“I hear you,” Thorpe concluded.

“Right now evictions are on a stay, there can be no evictions, the courts are closed,” Ogorchock stated. “There’s a stay on foreclosures. Again, talking to Realtors…they’re unable to any evictions, right now. There is a stay on foreclosures at this time.”

“The fact the courts are closed is operational,” Smith pointed out. “When the courts open back up, if we make the change, then we would be under our authority on that.”

“I understand and see where Councilman Thorpe is coming from,” Wilson said. “I just want to make sure people have time to make up their rent.”

“I’m comfortable with either one of them. The 90 days like Concord,” Smith reiterated.

“I just wanted to reiterate what Councilmember Wilson said,” Motts stated. “I think if we’re expecting people to immediately pay back their rent we’re setting them up for failure. We don’t want more homeless.”

“Can we make these changes, tonight?” she asked.

“You can make the changes tonight, but this is an urgency ordinance which requires a 4/5ths vote,” Smith said. “It will go into effect, tonight.”

“I’m just in a position that we don’t go outside of

“A landlord can still file an eviction…yes, it can, Lori, you can shake your head all you want,” Thorpe said. “It can sit in a pile and when the courts open up…their processes are their processes.

“Roll your eyes all you want, Lori,” he added with a laugh.

“This ordinance has to do with during the emergency of the COVID-19,” Motts said. “So, I’m comfortable with that language.”

Smith said he would go back and look at additional language at Thorpe’s request.

Thorpe agreed and made the motion to adopt, with the change to the language to include a 90-day grace period per month of arrears after the expiration or termination of this ordinance, using the language from the Concord ordinance.

Wilson seconded the motion.

Ogorchock, “When Lamar was saying his motion, Smith was striking something out, so can you please read the entire language?”

Smith re-read the proposed language for the ordinance with the requested changes.

The motion passed on a 5-0 vote.

Moratorium On Rent Increases and Fees

The council members then discussed a moratorium on rent increases and fees asking the City Attorney to return with an ordinance for them to vote on at their next meeting

City Manage Ron Bernal explained that the item was in response to a request by Thorpe at the previous council meeting. There was no staff report included with the agenda.

“I’m happy to encourage our city attorney to go back and develop language for an ordinance,” Thorpe said.

Wright shared that a landlord is requiring tenants to pay a $46 fee for using their debit card to pay their rent, even though he won’t allow payment by check. “That’s wrong,” he said.

“I, too got that same email about the $46 fee,” Wilson said. She was in agreement.

“The last thing we want to do is make the situation worse,” Motts stated. “It makes no sense to have all these increases or additional fees. I’m in support for Thomas to look into this.”

“I see this as the exact opposite, in talking with brokers, today,” Ogorchock said. “They’re offering a reduction in rent. I did not see the $46 email. I’m seeing the exact opposite.”

“If there’s something we can do…we should help,” Wright said. “I’m seeing a consensus to bring this back.”

With that the council voted to adjourn the meeting.

ORDINANCE FINAL ADOPTED LANGUAGE

Following is the actual language in the ordinance adopted Tuesday night:

Section 3. Moratorium on Eviction for Nonpayment of Rent during the COVID-19 Emergency.

  1. During the term of this Ordinance, no landlord shall endeavor to evict a residential or commercial tenant for nonpayment of rent, including but not limited to any such action under Civil Code sections 1940 et seq. or 1954.25 et seq., if the tenant provides written documentation or other objectively verifiable proof evidencing the following:
  2. The tenant’s inability to pay rent is was caused by, or arises out of, a substantial decrease in household or business income (including but not limited to the circumstances described in subsections B or C) or substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses; and
  3. The decrease in household income, or out-of-pocket medical expenses, was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, or by any local, state, or federal government response to COVID-19.
  4. Substantial decrease in household income” includes but is not limited to loss of income caused by COVID-19 illness or caring for a household or family member with COVID-19 illness, work closures, layoffs, job loss, a reduction in the number of compensable hours or other economic or employer impacts of COVID-19, including missing work due to a minor child’s school closure, compliance with government health authority orders, or a similarly-caused reason resulting in loss of household income due to COVID-19, that is substantiated with written documentation.
  5. Substantial decrease in business income” includes, but is not limited to, loss of income caused by work closures, reduction in staff reporting to work, reduction in opening hours, or reduction in consumer demand, compliance with government health authority orders, or other similarly caused reason resulting in loss of business income due to COVID-19, substantiated with written documentation or other objectively verifiable proof of same.
  6. A landlord that knows that a tenant cannot pay some or all of the rent temporarily for the reasons set forth above shall not serve a notice pursuant to Civil Code of Procedure section 1161, file or prosecute an unlawful detainer action based on a three-day pay or quit notice, or otherwise seek to evict for nonpayment of rent.
  7. The City encourages tenants to inform landlords in writing of their inability to pay full rent as soon as practicable after they become aware of a substantial decrease in household income or business income or out-of-pocket medical expenses that would prevent them from paying full rent. A landlord knows of a tenant’s inability to pay rent within the meaning of this Ordinance if the tenant, within 14 days after the date that rent is due, notifies the landlord in writing of the tenant’s inability to pay the full rent because a substantial decrease in household or business income or the need to pay out-of-pocket medical expenses was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, or by any local, state, or federal government response to COVID-19, and provides documentation to support the claim. Any medical or financial information provided to the landlord shall be held in confidence, and only used for evaluating the tenant’s claim. For purposes of this Ordinance, “in writing” includes email or text communications to a landlord or the landlord’s representative with whom the tenant has previously corresponded by email or text.
  8. Nothing in this Ordinance relieves the tenant of liability for the unpaid rent, which the landlord may seek after the expiration of this Ordinance, affected residential and affected commercial tenants shall receive a ninety (90) day grace period per month of arrears after expiration or other termination of the term of this Ordinance during which to repay any monies due to a landlord for failure to pay rent or utilities, unless a state law or order is amended or adopted providing for a longer repayment period, in which case the payment period provided by the state law or order shall apply under this Ordinance.
  9. A landlord may not charge or collect a late fee or any other new fees for rent that is delayed for the reasons stated in this Ordinance, nor may a landlord seek rent that is delayed for the reasons stated in this Ordinance through the eviction process.
  10. This Ordinance may be asserted as an affirmative defense in any unlawful detainer action or other action brought by an owner or landlord to recover possession. A tenant may bring a civil suit seeking owner or landlord compliance with any provisions of this Ordinance.
  11. This Ordinance applies to nonpayment eviction notices and unlawful detainer actions based on such notices, served or filed on or after March 16, 2020 and until the expiration of this Ordinance, as set forth in Section 7, below.
  12. Courts shall have the sole discretion to determine in an unlawful detainer action or other eviction action whether the tenant’s written notice and documentation are sufficient to show a “substantial decrease in household” or “substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses.”

Section 4. Moratorium on Judicial Foreclosures during the COVID-19 Emergency.

As provided for in Executive Order N-28-20 and consistent with the other provisions in this Ordinance, the statutory cause of action for judicial foreclosure, Code of Civil Procedure section 725a et seq.; the statutory cause of action for unlawful detainer, Code of Civil Procedure section 1161 et seq.; and any other statutory cause of action that could be used to evict or otherwise eject a residential or commercial tenant or occupant of residential real property after foreclosure is hereby suspended as applied to any tenancy, or residential real property and any occupation thereof, to which a limitation on eviction is imposed pursuant to this Ordinance.

Section 5.     Compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act.

The City Council hereby finds approval of this Ordinance is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (Public Resources Code §§ 21000et seq., “CEQA,” and 14 Cal. Code Reg. §§ 15000 et seq., “CEQA Guidelines”) under Section 15061(b)(3) of the CEQA Guidelines.

Section 6. Severability.

If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase of this chapter is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a decision of any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this chapter. The City Council hereby declares that it would have passed the ordinance codified in this chapter, and each and every section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase not declared invalid or unconstitutional without regard to whether any portion of this chapter would be subsequently declared invalid or unconstitutional.

Section 7. Effective Date and Publication.

This Urgency Ordinance shall become effective immediately upon its adoption by not less than a four-fifths vote of the Antioch City Council pursuant to California Government Code Section 36937 and shall remain in effect until May 31, 2020 or the expiration of the local emergency or the Governor’s proclamation of a state of emergency, whichever is later. Prior to the expiration of fifteen days from the passage thereof, the ordinance or a summary thereof shall be posted or published as may be required by law.

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Gov. Newsom signs Executive Order providing relief to California small businesses

Tuesday, March 31st, 2020

Order provides 90-day extension in state and local taxes, including sales tax; extends licensing deadlines and requirements for a number of industries

SACRAMENTO – On Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order that will provide tax, regulatory and licensing extensions for businesses.

The executive order allows the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) to offer a 90-day extension for tax returns and tax payments for all businesses filing a return for less than $1 million in taxes. That means small businesses will have until the end of July to file their first-quarter returns.

Additionally, the order extends the statute of limitations to file a claim for refund by 60 days to accommodate tax and fee payers.

The executive order also includes extensions that impact state government workers, as well as consumers. For instance, the Department of Motor Vehicles will limit in-person transactions for the next 60 days, allowing instead for mail-in renewals. Additionally, the Department of Consumer Affairs will waive continuing education requirements for several professions, also for the next 60 days.

Further, the order will extend the Office of Administrative Law’s deadlines to review regular department proposed regulations. The order also extends by 60 days the time period to complete investigation of public safety officers based on allegations of misconduct. Finally, deadlines for trainings, investigations, and adverse actions for state workers will also be extended.

A copy of the Governor’s executive order can be found here, and the text of the order can be found here.

For the latest on the state’s COVID-19 response, visit covid19.ca.gov.

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