By Grace Leung | Newport Beach City Manager
This week’s COVID-19 case numbers showed some improvement in Orange County over last week, but not enough to allow an expansion of business activities or increased indoor capacities under State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Orange County remains in the red tier.
The Blueprint system tracks three COVID-19 metrics: average daily case rates per 100,000 population, the percentage of positive tests, known as the positivity rate, and the recently introduced health equity metric. As of last week, Orange County recorded 4.6 average daily cases (down from 5.3 last week) and a 3.5 percent positivity rate, slightly higher than last week. The health equity metric is 6.5 percent this week.
To reach the orange tier, County cases must be below 3.9 percent, the positivity rate below 4.9 percent and the health equity metric below 5.2 percent for two weeks.
For more on the status of Orange County and others, visit http://www.COVID19.ca.gov. COVID-19 Cases in Newport Beach
As of October 16, the number of COVID-19 cases in Newport Beach is 1,182 and the total cases in Orange County is 56,436. The number of recovered COVID-19 patients countywide as of October 16 is 50,459. These figures are provided to Orange County by the California Department of Public Health.
The Blueprint for a Safer Economy is the state’s four- tiered, color- coded system for re-opening California’s businesses. Counties move through each of the four tiers based on two key metrics: case rates and the percentage of positive tests.
Moving from tier to tier requires a 21-day wait time and counties will be required to meet the metrics for the next tier for two weeks in a row.
The County of Orange COVID-19 data and information can be found at https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/coronavirus-in-oc.
The County of Orange Healthcare Agency’s COVID-19 Hotline can be reached at (714) 834-2000, or by email at [email protected] County staff monitors the hotline and email box and answers questions about industry reopening and activity resumption, current guidance and more.
The County maintains a list of FDA-approved testing sites for County residents at https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/covid-19-testing-and-screening for testing information. The SOS Health Center in Newport Beach is an approved community testing site. Call (949) 270-2100 for an appointment.
Community Invited to Oct. 19 Online Zoning Amendment Workshop
The City will be seeking input from the community on a proposed zoning amendment in the Industrial (IG) Zoning District at an interactive, virtual workshop on Monday, October 19, 2020, from 6-7:30 p.m.
The proposed zoning amendment would allow wine tasting with limited food service to operate in the IG Zoning District, with some limitations. These types of uses are not currently allowed in that area. The IG Zoning District is located in the West Newport Mesa area of Newport Beach.
Participants can register for the virtual workshop, hosted on Zoom, at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_kHf1cXYTToS97XiYY3YxRQ.
Community Invited to Oct. 20 Online Housing Workshop
The City will be seeking input from the community on the future of housing in Newport Beach at an interactive, virtual workshop on October 20, 2020 from 6-7:30 p.m.
The workshop, “Envisioning the Future of Housing,” is the first in a series of community forums that will help update the housing and the circulation (transportation and mobility) portions of Newport Beach’s General Plan.
Participants can register for the virtual workshop, hosted on Zoom, at https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYqc-yuqTMiG9MoS5A5lv7Euvax2q6c2SyP.
The entire community is invited and encouraged to attend. If you are unable to make it, the workshop will be recorded and made available on www.newporttogether.com. Check it out and sign up to stay informed!
City-wide Facilities Condition Assessment
Work has begun on a City-wide Facilities Condition Assessment. The City owns and maintains over 90 facilities including the libraries, fire stations, police station, recreation centers, and public restrooms. The facilities consultant will be visiting each facility and assessing both the overall condition of the building as well as the condition of the various components operating within that building. The previous condition assessment occurred in 2014 and was used to forecast yearly maintenance requirements and budgets. The updated assessment will support maintaining the City’s world-class public facilities for the enjoyment of residents and visitors.
Addressing homelessness continues to be a priority in the City’s ongoing COVID-19 response, working closely with contractor City Net and regional partners throughout the county and state. For the past several months, people in Newport Beach experiencing homelessness have been placed in motels through Project Roomkey, a state initiative to provide shelter during COVID-19. Although Project Roomkey is winding down, Newport Beach staff and City Net staff continue to collaborate with the Illumination Foundation, a local non-profit agency working with the state to facilitate Project Roomkey.
- A man who entered Project Roomkey several weeks ago after staying by Marina Park moved back to Anaheim. He has applied to work in several warehouses and plans to enter a sober living program.
- City Net case managers helped obtain a birth certificate from Tennessee that will allow a woman to access housing through a voucher system. The woman, who has experienced homelessness in Newport Beach for 15 years, received a housing voucher through the Orange County Housing Authority’s Mainstream Voucher Program. City Net staff is providing housing navigation services to locate and certify an apartment for her to utilize the voucher. The Orange County Housing Authority, in partnership with the Orange County Healthcare Agency, was awarded funding through the Housing and Urban Development department (HUD) to provide rental assistance to non-elderly people experiencing homelessness with disabilities.
- Two people in Newport Beach experiencing homelessness were enrolled into City Net services. City Net staff completed Vulnerability Index Intake Assessments for each. The assessments are used to screen clients to determine proper placement in the County’s Continuum of Care system. Some assessment factors include age, health issues, and length of time being unsheltered. Case managers will follow up with the clients to provide housing assessments and prepare documentation for housing.
- The City’s Homeless Liaison Officer, Homeless Coordinator, and City Net staff are assisting a previously homeless elderly woman who was recently placed in a motel. This week, City Net staff completed the woman’s enrollment into the Medi-Cal program. Medi-Cal provides health insurance to access medical and dental care. The woman has also received a new photo ID, an Electronic Transfer Benefit (EBT) card, a health screening and postal services.
- City Net staff continues to provide support and case management to several elderly people sheltering in motels while they await placement into permanent, supportive housing.
The City Net hotline number is (714) 451-6198. Those who call the hotline may leave a detailed voicemail message for themselves or others in need and City Net staff will respond within 48 hours. For immediate assistance call the County’s Crisis Prevention Hotline at (877) 7-CRISIS or (877) 727- 4747.