With the majority of schools in San Mateo County continuing with
online learning due to COVID-19, students have fewer
opportunities to interact with their friends and classmates. This
isolation can be difficult for children and their families and
the toll on mental health continues to grow. While schools are
implementing remote learning, they can look to Restorative
Practices as a tool to increase students’ connectedness.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had far reaching impacts on many
aspects of our life. Our economy has been extremely hard hit,
with unemployment rising due to business closures. As
unemployment has risen, so has food insecurity. While food
insecurity can be difficult to measure in real-time, one
indicator is fairly certain, the number of people accessing
emergency food resources. Second Harvest of Silicon Valley has
seen a steady increase in demand for food in San Mateo and Santa
Clara Counties since the beginning of the pandemic in March.
Greetings, GHSMC partners! I write my final post with deep
gratitude and optimism during one of the more challenging years
in recent memory. As I wrap up my transition this month working
for the County of San Mateo, I am encouraged by all the great
health equity work that I was fortunate to be a part of during my
three years with the Health Policy and Planning team. We
were able to advance policy efforts such as Daly City being the
first city in the county to adopt a Vision Zero Action Plan to
eliminate traffic deaths, which disproportionately affect our
most vulnerable communities.
Public Health, Policy and Planning (PHPP), BHRS’ Office of
Diversity and Equity (ODE), and County Health’s Governmental
Alliance for Racial Equity (GARE) team hosted its second racial
equity web forum to deepen our understanding of the key gaps,
opportunities, and priority areas for advancing racial equity in
Our recent report on
Youth Civic Engagement and Health highlights the positive
health outcomes that civic engagement has on the health of youth.
The more young people engage in civic activities, the higher
their social connection and sense of belonging to a community,
which ultimately translates into better physical and mental
health outcomes. Yet, younger voters vote at much lower rates
than older voters. So it is important for all qualified voters to
register and cast their vote.
County Health is part of the Healthcare Anchor Network
(HAN), a national collaboration of leading healthcare systems,
which published the
“Racism is a Public Health Crisis” statement in which 39
health systems signed on to. HAN’s members employ over
half-million employees across 45 states and Washington, DC. and
have committed to take concrete action to address the impact of
structural racism in our communities.
Poverty and overcrowding go hand in hand and both are local
drivers of the
spread of COVID-19. As unemployment and income loss continue
to rise, the Board of Supervisors extended the moratorium on
residential evictions through the end of August 31, and residents
impacted by COVID-19 that need rental assistance or tenants’
rights legal advice can call Legal Aid Foundation 650-558-8911 or
Childcare providers across San Mateo County and beyond have been
severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. On Tuesday, July
21st the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors voted
to provide $2 million to support local childcare providers. The
funds will establish a new Child Care Relief Fund. The purpose of
the Fund is to help providers remain open, particularly those in
areas of the county serving low-income families and to ensure
working families have access to quality child care.
San Mateo County Health is preparing to release an RFP for the
Network Manager Services for the San Mateo County Food System
Alliance on August 1st. Learn more about the San Mateo
County Food System Alliance at their website.
Check the Get Healthy SMC website
after August 1st for the RFP.
Fast and reliable internet is critical to accessing information
and staying connected to people. Broadband internet is a type of
fast internet that runs through cables versus dial-up internet
that typically uses phone lines. Households with access to
broadband internet can quickly utilize online services such as
telehealth, teleworking, and education – which are critical to
most people’s daily lives these days. You can now see the latest
local indicator for broadband internet access in the Health
Erika will be supporting Get Healthy SMC Healthy Economy
efforts and the Community Collaboration for Children’s Success
(CCCS) initiative. With a focus in workforce development and
transportation justice, Erika brings over 10 years of experience
working to advance equity and access to opportunity for
low-income people of color in California. She holds
wide-ranging experience in coalition and capacity building,
policy advocacy, community-based planning, education outreach,
technical assistance, and research.
At the June 23rd County Board of Supervisor meeting,
the supervisors unanimously voted on a resolution supporting the
Black Lives Matter movement and reaffirming the County’s
commitment to racial equity. The most important part of the Board
meeting was how many people turned out to express their deep
commitment to racial justice.
Community engagement is a critical component to planning for
health and advancing equity. Check out our latest update to our Planning for
Health Toolkit to learn more about inclusive public engagement
that respects community leadership and expertise, and the
importance of youth civic empowerment. We will soon add a virtual
community engagement section to the toolkit. Stay tuned! To learn
more, please contact HPP staff Heather Eastwood.
As a community of families and community based leaders, the CCCS
network is an important place to share resources and information
that our families could use during this difficult time. We are
emailing resources to our network weekly and any new
opportunities would be appreciated. If you have services or
resources you are aware of that are relevant to our CCCS
families, please contact Shireen Malekafzali at email@example.com.
Testing for COVID-19 is now available in Daly City and East Palo
Alto as well as San Mateo. Testing is available Monday
through Saturday on a rotating basis through the three cities and
free to any resident without the requirement of a doctor’s note,
symptom screening or medical insurance. See all three
locations and how to schedule an appointment at https://www.smcgov.org/covid-19-testing.
Our Board of Supervisors have been taking leadership to support
our communities. They have passed a moratorium on evictions for
rental units across the county. They have passed a moratorium on
small business evictions in our unincorporated communities. More
information on the moratoriums and housing and small business
resources can be found in our Healthy Housing and Healthy Economy
Schools and their staff have responded to the COVID-19 public
health emergency by shifting from classroom-based learning to
virtual platforms almost overnight. This shift along with the
stresses of dealing with the shelter-in-place orders can be
stressful for everyone, teachers, students, and families
included. In response to the need of San Mateo County educators
and administrators, the San Mateo County School Wellness Alliance
has created a weekly series of Restorative Practices workshops.
Renaissance Mid-Peninsula continues to offer online classes
and workshops to small and disadvantaged business owners such as
on how to build your business online now that the
shelter-in-place order is in place. They are also supporting
disadvantaged business that have been impacted by COVID-19. You
can access their support form
in English and Spanish.