COVID-19 Information and Resources
As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation in Santa Clara County and across the State of California remains fluid, our community is understandably anxious and looking to public health officials for guidance. The California State Legislature is working closely with the Governor's office to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and protect our most vulnerable community members.
Due to the rapidly evolving nature of this pandemic, we strongly recommend that you refer to the Santa Clara County Public Health Department, California Department of Public Health, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention webpages for the most up-to-date information from public health experts. To receive immediate assistance or ask questions about the COVID-19 crisis, call the statewide hotline at (833) 544-2374 or text "coronavirus" to 211211.
community is understandably anxious and looking to public health officials for guidance. The California State Legislature is working closely with the Governor's office to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and protect our most vulnerable community members.
Vaccines are safe and effective against preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death from the COVID-19 and our best tool against the novel coronavirus. As of April 15, 2021, all California residents 16 and older are eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine, and walk-in appointments are available in Santa Clara County.
For more information on COVID-19 vaccine availability and expanding eligibility as as well as COVID-19 vaccine safety and efficacy, visit www.sccfreevax.org or call (408) 970-2000.
It will take the active participation and compliance of all community members with local, state, and federal public health directives to end this pandemic, keep healthcare capacity available, and protect our most vulnerable community members and frontline workers. Visit https://covid19.sccgov.org for Santa Clara County's public health guidelines.
As always, do not hesitate to email Assemblymember.Low@assembly.ca.gov or call my office at (408) 446-2810 for assistance. For more information about California's current safety measures, visit: https://covid19.ca.gov/safely-reopening.
This content was last updated on October 11, 2021.
- Legislative Action
- COVID-19 Screening & Testing
- Prevention Methods to Minimize Risks
- Resources for Workers
- Assistance for Small Businesses
- Protections for Renters, Homeowners, and Ratepayers
- Fight Discrimination in Our Community
- Food Resources & Distribution Sites
- Golden State Stimulus Checks
- Scams, Payday Lenders, and Video Conferencing Security
- Support for Students
- How You Can Help
- Victims of Domestic Violence
- Community Offers & Resources
- Health Insurance & Medical Expenses
In 2021, the California State Legislature, in collaboration with the Governor's office, passed Assembly Bill 832, which extended the expiring eviction moratorium through Sept. 30, 2021. The law places limits on how property owners can proceed with eviction for non-payment until March 2022.
AB 832 also significantly increased cash assistance to low-income tenants and small landlords under California's historic $5.2 billion rental assistance program to cover 100% of past-due and prospective rent payments, including utility bills for income-qualified residents.
As of September 13, 2021, the California COVID-19 Rental Relief Program has paid and/or approved more than $1 billion in funding to assist tens of thousands of low-income California households.
Additional bills the Legislature passed in 2021 to protect and support Californians during the COVID-19 pandemic include:
- Assembly Bill 86: Provides $6.5 billion in funding to schools to offer in-person instruction and distance learning options and sets COVID-19 safety protocols and procedures in positive cases.
- Senate Bill 93: Requires employers in the hospitality and business services industries to offer new positions to qualified former employers who were laid off due to COVID-19 within 5 business days, through 2024.
- Senate Bill 95: Expanded supplemental paid sick leave for up to 80 hours for eligible employees, including those advised to quarantine or isolate or who are caring for COVID-impacted family members until September 30, 2021. The bill expanded the 2020 requirements to include companies with over 25 employees.
- Increase hospital bed capacity and purchase medical equipment to prepare for the coming surge in patients;
- Protect hospitals, nursing homes, and other facilities most vulnerable to COVID-19 spread;
- Provide lifesaving services to Californians isolating at home; and,
- Provide funding to clean childcare facilities that remain open.
To help local governments reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus in homeless populations and provide safe beds for people experiencing homelessness, the California Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council allocated over $7.4 million to the City of San Jose and Santa Clara County.
SB 117 provided $100 million to schools across California for personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies. It also allows our schools to maintain funding despite service and attendance disruptions.
COVID-19 Screening & Testing:
As always, patients who have severe symptoms, such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, should seek care immediately. Older patients and individuals who have underlying medical conditions or are immunocompromised should contact their physician early, even in the event of mild illness. Mildly ill patients are encouraged to stay home and contact their healthcare provider by phone for guidance about clinical management. Santa Clara County has a helpful tool to find free COVID-19 testing sites.
Prevention Methods to Minimize Risks
More than 1,800 Santa Clara County residents have lost their lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine when you are eligible remains our most effective public health tool to keep ourselves, our loved ones, and the community at large safe.
Santa Clara County's webpage on Home Isolation and Quarantine Guidance, will continue to be updated to include testing and travel guidance for those who are vaccinated.
To report concerns about a business, school, or healthcare provider please visit www.sccCOVIDconcerns.org.
Protecting Yourself and Others
- Get vaccinated, you can make an appointment by going to sccfreevax.org.
- Wear a face mask when you need to leave the house to reduce asymptomatic transmission.
- Wash your face mask after each use or daily.
- Wearing a disposable mask under a cloth mask is also advised.
- Please refer to the CDC guidelines on how to improve mask efficacy. The C.D.C. recommends tight-fit masks or double masking with cloth and surgical masks to increase protection.
- Maintain at least 6 feet of distance from people who are not from the same household.
- Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
- Clean your hands often and thoroughly soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily, such as:
- Doorknobs and handles
- Light switches
- Phones and keyboards
- Faucets and sinks
- Desks and countertops
- EPA-registered household disinfectants, diluted household bleach solutions, and alcohol solutions will all suffice. For more guidance on disinfecting, please refer to the CDC's recommendations.
Things to Avoid
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close proximity or contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid going to work or public spaces when you are sick.
- If you are around other people and are sick, wear a mask.
- Avoid attending events and gathering, according to County guidelines.
- Avoid non-essential travel until you are fully vaccinated, as travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19, according to County and CDC recommendations.
Resources for Workers:
The State of California is taking proactive steps to ensure that workers affected by COVID-19 are protected from discrimination and understand all the benefits available to them.
Please know the state Employment Development Department (EDD) is working to process an unprecedented volume of claims and issue payments to Californians as quickly as possible. We are grateful for your patience as EDD works to process tens of thousands of new claims each week.
The EDD call center is operating every day from 8:00am to 8:00pm to accommodate unprecedented demand. To speak with an EDD representative, call: 1-800-300-5616 (English); 1-800-326-8937 (Spanish); 1-800-547-3506 (Cantonese); 1-866-303-0706 (Mandarin); or 1-800-547-2058 (Vietnamese).
Asian Americans Advancing Justice and other legal nonprofits are offering multilingual EDD form assistance. Help is available in Tagalog, Ilocano, Cebuano, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, and Spanish. Their hotline is open from 9:00am to 9:00pm daily. Call (415) 484-2209 for more information.
Our office is also here to assist. If you need help with an EDD claim, submit your information at the following webpage:
Assistance for Small Businesses:
If your small business or private non-profit organization has been affected by COVID-19, you may be eligible for a low-interest federal loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act expanded resources and protections for small businesses during this crisis.
The State Controller's website has put together a list of state resources, which you can access here.
Please visit the SBA website to learn more about the options available to your small business. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has also compiled a helpful guide and checklist on coronavirus emergency loans for small businesses.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL):
The SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses, a nonprofit organization of any size, or a U.S. agricultural business with 500 or fewer employees that has suffered substantial economic injury because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The loan can be used for rent, utilities, and fixed debt payments. Starting the week of April 6, 2021, the SBA raised the loan limit for the COVID-19 EIDL program from six months of economic injury with a maximum loan amount of $150,000 to up to 24 months of economic injury with a maximum loan amount of $500,000. You must apply directly with the SBA here.
The COVID-19 Targeted EIDL Advance was signed into law on December 27, 2020, as part of the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act. The Targeted EIDL Advance provides businesses in low-income communities with additional funds to ensure small business continuity, adaptation, and resiliency.
Advance funds of up to $10,000 will be available to applicants in low-income communities who previously received an EIDL Advance for less than $10,000, or those who applied but received no funds due to lack of available program funding. Applicants do not need to take any action, as SBA will reach out directly to those who qualify.
California Capital Access Program (CalCAP)
CalCAP is a loan loss reserve program that can provide up to 100% coverage on losses because of certain loan defaults. The program encourages banks and other financial institutions to make loans to small businesses that have difficulty obtaining financing. Please visit the CalCAP website for the updated list of participating lending institutions.
California supports a network of small business technical assistance centers that provide free one-on-one consulting and no-cost or low-cost training to help businesses get funded, enter new markets, strengthen operations, build resiliency and more. Additionally, nonprofit lenders are working with the State of California to help you access state loan programs.
For small businesses that do not qualify for federal funds, California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank's (IBank) Small Business Finance Center offers a loan guarantee program that provides loan guarantees and direct loans to small businesses in California, which can be used for disaster relief. Through the 2020 fiscal year, California has allocated over $509.6 million in funding to this program.
Please refer to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration's Relief and Extensions for Filing Returns. Updated 2021 due dates are listed for Quarterly Filers, Calendar Year Annual Filers, Monthly Filers, and Requests for Relief for Larger Taxpayers. You can also apply online for Small Business Relief Payment Plans for Sales and Use Tax.
Northern California Small Business Development Centers (NorCal SBDC)
The Northern California Small Business Development Centers (NorCal SBDC) is a nonprofit network made up of 18 centers that are dedicated to helping small businesses with every aspect of business creation, growth, management, and operation. Find your local SBDC today to start receiving one-on-one advising and low-cost training.
Visit ASKSBDC.com to discover the most up-to-date, accurate information concerning COVID-19 and Cares Act resources for small businesses. Call the 833-ASK-SBDC (833-275-7232) toll-free hotline to speak with a dedicated call center staff ready to help your business get answers to questions and connected to the right resources.
Economic & Workforce Development
The Business & Entrepreneurship Center (BEC) Program is a network of Community College professionals working in strategic partnerships with businesses, industry, and community organizations to identify and meet California's economic development needs in the areas of business improvements and entrepreneurship training. Specific attention is given to providing small business assistance and encouraging youth entrepreneurship. For more information, call (916) 361-2964 or go here.
Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz)
GO-Biz is California's single point of contact for economic development and job creation efforts. GO-Biz offers a range of services to business owners that include attraction, retention and expansion services, site selection, permit streamlining, clearing of regulatory hurdles, small business assistance, international trade development, assistance with state government, and much more. For more information, call (916) 322-0694 or go here.
Small Business Administration (SBA)
SBA offers information on small business loans, grants, bonds and other financial assistance. For more information, call (916) 735-1700 or go here.
Protections for Renters, Homeowners, and Ratepayers:
While the eviction moratorium has ended as of October 1, 2021, renters remain protected from eviction due to non-payment until March 2022. Tenants and landlords can apply for rental assistance at HousingIsKey.com for 100% of the rent due during the time period between March 1, 2020 and March 31, 2022.
To check the status of their application or ask questions about the program, call the Call Center Help Line at (833) 430-2122. Make sure to have your application case number ready if you have already applied.
To schedule an appointment with a local partner in Santa Clara County, call (833) 687-0967.
For text/SMS assistance, text "Rent" to 211-211.
- To avoid eviction for unpaid rent, you must apply for rent relief at com.
- If you get a 'pay or quit' notice from your landlord demanding rent payment, apply for rent relief within 15 days.
- If you owe rent and applied for rent relief, your landlord cannot evict you. Your landlord must apply for rent relief before they can evict you for unpaid rent.
- If you want to convict their tenant through court, must apply for rental assistance
- Pay or quit notice requirements will depend on when unpaid rent came due
Learn more about COVID-19 relief from financial institutions at https://covid19.ca.gov/get-financial-help
Executive Order N-42-20 protects consumers who may not be able to pay for their water service from shutoffs during the COVID-19 pandemic. This order further restores water for occupied residences that may have had their water shut off as of March 4, 2020, and it prevents future shutoffs due to nonpayment for residences and essential businesses.
Importantly, this order does not eliminate the obligation of water customers to pay for water service, prevent a water system from charging a customer for such service, or reduce the amount a customer already may owe to a water system.
For additional assistance, contact San Jose Water Company at (408) 279-7900 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Gas & Electric
Although many investor-owned utilities, including PG&E, have ceased disconnections and established payment deferral plans for electric and natural gas services for customers experiencing economic hardships due to COVID-19 expired on September 30, 2021.
Existing energy-assistance programs offer additional support for qualified low-income customers and those with specific medical needs.
California's Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE): provides a 30-35% discount on a qualified customer's utility bill. To see if your family qualifies, visit https://www.cpuc.ca.gov/lowincomerates
Family Electric Rate Assistance Program (FERA): charges some of a qualified customer's electricity usage at a lower rate. Families whose household income slightly exceeds the CARE allowances will qualify to receive FERA discounts, which applies a 12% discount on their electricity bill. Click on this link to learn more.
Medical Baseline Program: an assistance program for residential customers who have special energy needs due to qualifying medical conditions. This program includes two kinds of assistance: 1) a lower rate on one's monthly energy bill, and 2) extra notifications in advance of Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS). Learn more at this link.
Low-Income Household Energy Assistance Programs (LIHEAP): a federally-funded program to assist low-income households that pay a high portion of their income to meet their energy needs. Learn more about the LIHEAP programs and income eligibility guidelines here.
For additional assistance, contact PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.
Fight Discrimination in Our Community:
As the novel coronavirus spreads in our state, I understand that community members are fearful for their health and safety. However, this does not make discrimination, hate crimes, or micro-aggressions against people of Asian descent acceptable in any situation.
The Asian Pacific Planning and Policy Council (A3PCON), Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA), and San Francisco Asian American Studies Department have launched a reporting center to collect and track incidents of anti-Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) hate violence, adult harassment, discrimination, shunning, and child bullying in California and throughout the country. If you have experienced or witnessed anti-AAPI hate, harassment, or discrimination, please share your story at http://bit.ly/Stop-AAPI-Hate.
I encourage the community to report incidents of hate crimes they have experienced or witnessed so law enforcement can monitor and address the issue. Our community will not tolerate this bigotry. During times of hardship, we must come together and unite against hate.
Food Resources and Distribution Sites:
The organizations below are offering free food to those in need. These resources are family-friendly, age-friendly, and immigrant-friendly.
Sacred Heart Community Services: 1381 S. First Street, San Jose, CA 95110
- Offering pre-packaged food boxes and financial assistance for low-income residents impacted by COVID-19. For more information, call (408) 278-2160.
Second Harvest of Silicon Valley: Text GETFOOD to (408) 455-5181 or call (800) 984-3663
- Offering healthy food items and groceries.
Meals on Wheels: Leave a message at (408) 350-3246
- Offering meal deliveries and to-go meals for seniors aged 60 and up.
- Offering financial assistance for food purchases. Immigrants can receive CalFresh if at least one member of the household has legal residency.
Golden State Stimulus Checks
Golden State Stimulus (GSS) checks are available to families and individuals who qualify. Californians who qualify do not need to do anything other than file their 2020 tax return.
The GSS-I will provide payments if you file your 2020 tax return and receive California Earned Income Tax Credit or file with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.
The GSS-II provides payments if you make less than $75,000 and file your 2020 tax return. To estimate your payment amount from the GSS II, visit GSS II Stimulus Amount.
Beware of Scams, Payday Lenders, and Video Conferencing Security:
As during any disaster situation, scammers attempt to target our most vulnerable neighbors. Help stop scams by sharing this information with your family and friends.
Vaccines are free and walk-in appointments are available in Santa Clara County. Do not pay for a vaccine and do not give out your personal information to strangers.
The CDC and other public health officials will never ask for your health insurance or financial information. Do not give out your Medicare number, Social Security number, or personal information in response to unsolicited calls, texts, emails, or home visits.
Beware of federal stimulus scams.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is anticipating a barrage of scams related to economic stimulus payments. Remember the following:
- The government will not ask you to pay anything up-front to receive an economic stimulus payment. No fees. No charges. No nothing.
- The government will not call to ask for your Social Security number, bank account, or credit card number.
Report all scams online at ftc.gov/complaint.
Consumers should also beware of payday lenders that charge customers exorbitant interest rates for small-dollar loans. Rather than turning to a payday lender in a moment of financial need, consumers should first contact their regular bank or credit union. Many credit unions and banks offer financial hardship plans, and regulators are encouraging institutions to offer small-dollar loans subject to federal regulation. Consumers should expect between 2.5% to 10% APR for small-dollar loans. Learn more from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Nerd Wallet.
Security lapses have left many users of online video conferencing platforms vulnerable to hacking and online trolls who invade meetings to display obscene images and spew hate. Users of any online video conferencing platform should take care to protect their meetings by adding passwords, reviewing the default security settings, and accounting for each person attending their meeting. Learn more about how to protect your meetings using the guides below:
Victims of teleconferencing hijacking, or any cyber-crime, should report it to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov. Additionally, if you receive a specific threat during a teleconference, please report it to the FBI at tips.fbi.gov.
Support for Students:
On March 20, 2020, the US Department of Education announced that all borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically have their interest rates set to 0% for a period of at least 60 days. In addition, each of these borrowers were given the option to suspend their payments for at least two months to allow them greater flexibility during the national emergency. A final extension of the student loan payment pause will last until January 31, 2022; payments will restart after that date. See more information here.
Californians interested in volunteering during the COVID-19 crisis should check with our local food banks and blood banks. The "California Volunteers" program has also created a helpful website for folks to learn how they can safely help their neighbors. Learn more at this link.
Donated blood has decreased dramatically. Healthy, eligible donors are urged to come out and give to ensure there's lifesaving blood on the shelves for those who need it most. To find a blood drive, visit this link or call 1-800-733-2767.
- Donate to or volunteer with a shelter or food bank.
Food banks are in need of volunteers to help pack and sort food. Our local food banks and homeless shelters are running low on essential items. Please call or visit your neighborhood nonprofit's webpage to learn what items are most in need.
- Second Harvest of Silicon Valley, (408) 266-8866.
- West Valley Community Services, (408) 255-8033.
- Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen, (408) 922-9085.
Valley Medical Center is accepting new supplies for use by hospital staff. These supplies include personal protective equipment (i.e. N95 masks, surgical masks, face shields, gowns), disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, and other items. View a complete list at this link.
Donations can be delivered to the Valley Medical Center office between Monday-Friday 8:30am to 5pm and Saturday-Sunday 10am to 3pm at 2400 Clove Drive, San Jose, CA. For questions, call (408) 885-5299 or email email@example.com.
Victims of Domestic Violence: Call 1-800-799-7233
According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, When survivors are forced to stay in the home or in close proximity to their abuser more frequently, an abuser can use any tool to exert control over their victim, including a national health concern such as COVID-19.
Victims and survivors who need support are encouraged to reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Call 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 for TTY, or if you're unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522. You are not alone.
Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence also offers local support and resources. Call their 24/7 crisis hotline at (408) 279-2962.
Community Offers & Resources
Disclaimer: The resources below are not actively monitored or controlled by the Office of Assemblymember Low. The State Assembly is not responsible for their content and their inclusion here does not imply an endorsement. As always, please refer to state and local governments for the most up-to-date information from public health experts.
Facebook Coronavirus Information Center
Facebook has launched a coronavirus information center where users can find people from your area requesting help and people offering help. As with any online social media network, fact check the information you read from unverified sources and be safe when interacting with strangers.
Heart of the Valley's Friendly Caller Program
Heart of the Valley, Services for Seniors is serving seniors aged 65 and over through their "friendly caller" program. Each week, seniors participating in the program receive a call from a volunteer who checks on them. To learn more about the program call (408) 241-1571.
Health Insurance & Medical Expenses
Health insurance is more important now than ever. Thanks to the recently passed American Rescue Plan, Covered California is now offering more money to help pay for their coverage. Most people who currently have a plan with Covered California will see a much lower bill, and people who may have earned too much to get financial help in the past will now be eligible for the first time. The health insurance exchange will be open through the end of 2021.
Visit CoveredCA.com or call 1-855-295-2023 to sign-up for coverage.
Medi-Cal offers free or low-cost health coverage for low-income California residents. Most people with Medi-Cal pay no premium or co-payments. You can apply for Medi-Cal at any time. If you are determined to be eligible for Medi-Cal, your coverage begins immediately, effective back the first day of the month in which the application was submitted.
Learn more about Medi-Cal at this link.
COVID-19 Medical Expenses
State agencies that regulate health care have mandated all full-service insurance plans, including Medi-Cal, waive co-payments, coinsurance, and deductibles for medically necessary screening and testing for COVID-19. This includes emergency room, urgent care, or provider office visits when the purpose of the visit is to be screened or tested for COVID-19.