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December 2020 Newsletter
Reflections on 2020


Items to include in this newsletter


Re-Capping the 3rd Race & COVID-19 Town Hall

San Mateo County Health Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, Bay Area Community Health Advisory Council, Star Vista, and Get Healthy San Mateo County hosted the third virtual Race & COVID-19 Community Town Hall on November 13th, 2020.  County staff presented on the status of the communitywide recovery effort in San Mateo County and the most pressing needs facing vulnerable families who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, including widespread housing, food, and job insecurity.

Staff Perspective Shireen Malekafzali

A Year of Change

The start of a new decade hit us with a pandemic that no one saw coming. An abrupt economic crisis followed, along with anxiety, isolation, and uncertainty. The pandemic highlighted and exacerbated the existing inequities within our county and country. To say that it’s been a challenge is an understatement. Families have lost so much – from loved ones, to jobs, financial security, and their normal family and community connections.

Health by Numbers

COVID-19 Testing in the Community

San Mateo County is working to increase testing in communities most impacted by COVID-19. In October, the County worked with partners to host 31 testing events. In November, we increased the amount of community testing events to 81!


Boards and Commissions Vacancies

County of San Mateo: The new Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention Commission is recruiting new adult and youth (14-21 years old) commissioners to advocate for programs and services that prevent youth entry into the juvenile justice system. Apply today! Deadline: n/a 


Update on State Eviction Moratorium

In August, Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation protecting renters from eviction due to inability to pay for COVID related reasons. This legislation stipulates that no tenant can be evicted before February 1, 2021, due to rent owed or unpaid between March 4, 020 and August 31, 2020.


We Congratulate Lucia Liu on Being Accepted into the Next EMS Corps Cohort!

We are excited to announce that Lucia Liu of South San Francisco will be joining the Spring 2021 cohort of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Corps training program academy! The EMS Corps is a 5-month rigorous training program supporting diverse members of the community to become certified Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), while also receiving life coaching, mentorship, and a student grant.  We wish you all a successful program!


Local School Districts Continue to Feed the Community

School district nutrition programs have been working hard to ensure young people receive meals while distance learning continues for most students. The Child Nutrition Education teams at Ravenswood City School Districts recently received the Big Apple Award by Second Harvest of Silicon Valley. The program has provided over 500,000 meals to children throughout the community and provided 12,000 during Thanksgiving break.


Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day Students in San Mateo County

Schools celebrated Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day on November 18, 2020.  This was a great day to celebrate and teach students about the civil rights movement.  In lieu of a walk that normally takes place with students, school staff, and city officials.  This year with several schools doing distance learning they were gifted Ruby Bridges bookmarkers and were encouraged to take a mindful walk with their families to realize the power they have as children and honor Ruby’s courage.


School Connectedness and Student Mental Health

As most students in San Mateo County continue learning from home, we need to ensure that there are adequate supports for them and their families to support mental health. While there is limited research regarding how students are faring during the pandemic, it is safe to say that school connectedness among students is declining. Research highlighted in shows that prior to the pandemic students with low connectedness had higher rates of suicidal ideation.