COVID-19

Angel Russell

The San Luis Obispo County Health Department has put out a call asking for donations of cloth masks.

Join host Fred Munroe as he speaks with Joel Peterson, executive director with the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance; Jason Haas, partner and general manager of Tablas Creek Vineyard; and Adrienne Ferarra, co-owner of Clesi Wines and professor in the Department of Wine & Viticulture at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, as they discuss how the Central Coast wine industry is coping with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. 

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, and organizations that help survivors of domestic violence on the Central Coast report an uptick in calls, believed to be directly related to the pandemic.

Angel Russell

Regal Cinemas, the country's second largest movie chain, temporarily closed last week due to coronavirus-caused economic woes. But smaller, independent movie theaters like Park Cinemas in Paso Robles are trying to stay open.

David Rodriguez, The Salinas Californian

A CalMatters analysis shows that Cal/OSHA dispatches inspectors in just 5% of COVID complaint cases. Non-COVID complaints were more than twice as likely to result in on-site inspections — but that’s still far below the pre-pandemic share.

Angel Russell

With four weeks left until election day, over five million voters across the country have already cast their ballots. Some are voting by mail, while others are doing so in-person at early voting centers.

Melissa Hill

Stores like Vons, Albertsons and Pavilions—including ten locations throughout the Central Coast—are now selling at-home COVID-19 tests. 

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer reports from the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport. County airport director Kevin Bumen shares information about COVID-19 sanitation initiatives within airport terminals and aboard aircraft. Bumen also talks about dealing with reduced daily flights (down fifty percent from 2019), a marked reduction of income from ancillary revenue streams such as long-term parking, and Bumen's new position as the first chief commercial officer at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), with his last day at San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport set on October 9.

Angel Russell

As an outdoor activity, Central Coast pumpkin patches are able to welcome visitors over the next month. 

Jennifer Bennett, an Atascadero mother of two, was one of the first customers at Avila Valley Barn Monday morning. 

“I’m a stay-at-home mom," Bennett said. "Being home with these two all the time has been really hard without being able to take them to do anything.”

She’s excited the pumpkin patch—along with the goats, cows and chickens to visit and feed—are open.  

Angel M Russell

It’s been six months since Oceano Dunes State Park has allowed vehicular recreation on its beach and dune complex. While many are calling to keep it closed now for the pandemic—and for a variety of reasons, into the future—others are advocating for its immediate reopening.

 

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed and intensified systematic racism in many of our institutions. In August the National Urban League reported that Black Americans are infected with COVID-19 at nearly three times the rate of white Americans.  Research suggests that Black Americans, and other communities of color, appear to be at greater risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19 due to a history of racism that creates differences in health and access to care and other resources needed for good health. 

Angel Russell

San Luis Obispo County advanced to a less-restrictive phase in California’s COVID-19 blueprint Tuesday, and businesses are yet again adjusting to the new changes. 

Downtown SLO

After 44 years, the organization Downtown SLO is canceling the city’s annual holiday parade due to COVID-19 concerns. But the group has some other ideas on keeping the holiday spirit alive.

More businesses can reopen effective immediately in San Luis Obispo County. On Tuesday the county’s public health officer said the county has qualified to move into the less-restrictive ‘red tier,’ according to the state’s framework for reducing the number of coronavirus cases.

Angel Russell

In Paso Robles, some students with disabilities returned to campus Monday, and the school district is hoping to serve more students with in-person learning assistance this school year. 

Undocumented workers in California are now eligible for certain tax credits under a bill Governor Gavin Newsom signed Friday

Issues & Ideas: Wildfire smoke on wine grapes, downtown vitality and SLO's first cannabis store

Sep 17, 2020

California voters will decide this fall on a dozen ballot measures, including one measure that would exempt gig companies from a law that makes it harder to classify workers as contractors. A black box theater in Santa Barbara that was almost exclusively a rental venue before the pandemic is now producing its own shows. We’ll hear from a Central Coast grape grower, who talks about the possible effects of smoke particles on wine grapes. The cities of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara are responding to COVID-19 and imagining new ways for the respective downtowns to operate as spaces for people to live, work, and play. Finally, we’ll hear from the owner of San Luis Obispo's first cannabis retail store. 

Angel Russell

Los Angeles County has banned haunted house attractions and festivals this Halloween, and the LA County health department is also recommending parents not take their kids trick-or-treating due to COVID-19.

While Halloween traditions are up in the air in the Central Coast due to the pandemic, that’s not stopping people from coming into the Santa Maria Spirit Halloween store. 

Courtesy of Center Stage

Center Stage Theater in Santa Barbara was almost exclusively a rental venue before the pandemic. But since the shutdown, the theater has been pushed into producing its own shows, including a virtual series of story readings from local authors and performers.

Angel Russell

Despite an ongoing pandemic and wildfires causing smoky skies, people are still visiting the Central Coast—but overall tourism is sharply down compared to years' past.

Courtesy of Partners in Education video

Schools have moved to online education and that means every student needs a computer and internet access to participate. A program called Computers for Families provides refurbished equipment and technical support to families throughout Santa Barbara County.

Depression and anxiety continue to rise as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the virus continues across the U.S. it has created a level of isolation not previously seen before. Fear for our health, and that of family and friends, financial strain, food shortages, and much more brought on by the pandemic, can bring extraordinary stress into our daily lives. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll conducted in July 2020 found more than half of U.S. adults reported their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the coronavirus, an increase of 20% from when the same question was asked in March 2020. 

A4MC

Instead of a hand-written “no-mask, no-service” sign in business windows—in Monterey County, people will see graphic posters reminding customers to wear masks. The Arts Council for Monterey County commissioned local artists to create posters that are free for anyone to download and print.

In response to the pandemic shutdown, some Central Coast cities are focused on providing financial support to small businesses. Other cities are directing support to residents. September 4 is the deadline to apply for an emergency rental assistance program in Santa Maria and Goleta.

Valley View Adventist Academy

While most local students started the 2020/2021 school year with online learning, 13 private elementary schools around San Luis Obispo County have been granted waivers to allow in-person instruction.

More than 173,000 people have died of the coronavirus in the United States. We learn more about one of those who died of COVID-19 in July—Su Thao, a Hmong businessman and filmmaker who had a profound impact on thousands of others. Also on the program, Smart Share Housing Solutions helps people in San Luis Obispo County by matching homeowners who have extra bedrooms with those looking for an affordable place to live. Chuck Davison of Visit SLO CAL discusses the state of tourism on the Central Coast.

David Rodriguez/Bay City News Foundation

Eleazar Sosa, a vineyard manager in Greenfield, oversees a crew of about 20 who monitor the vines for disease, control irrigation and harvest the wine grapes in late summer. This year, he and his coworkers are also confronting a new challenge: the growing threat of coronavirus.

SLO County YMCA

The cities of San Luis Obispo and Grover Beach are launching programs to help working parents with child care and schooling during the pandemic.

Smoky skies are hard on health and businesses

Aug 20, 2020
Angel M Russell

Smoky skies continue to blanket the Central Coast, creating unhealthy air quality in San Luis Obispo, Monterey and Santa Barbara counties that is affecting health and business.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected day-to-day life for nearly everyone around the world, and negatively affected many people’s mental health. For people already suffering from mental illness and substance use disorders, it has created new barriers to care and treatment. Behavioral health clinicians have found and are continuing to look for new ways to access and work with these individuals during this time of social distancing, and many of have found that this creative hard work is beginning to pay off, evidenced by client buy-in to treatment and anecdotal stories of personal success, improved relationships, etc.

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