By Grace Leung, Newport Beach City Manager
Expansion of COVID-19 vaccine eligibility reached a major milestone this week: As of Thursday April 15, everyone aged 16 and older is eligible to be vaccinated.
You can make appointments for all eligible ages through Orange County’s Othena platform at https://www.othena.com/ and the state’s My Turn registration platform at https://myturn.ca.gov/, as well as many hospitals and pharmacies. For a detailed list of options, please see Orange County’s vaccine resource page at https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/covid-19-vaccine-distribution-channels.
Parental consent is required for minors to receive the vaccine, and those under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian during their appointment.
Orange County’s COVID-19 metrics mostly held steady this week, keeping us in the Orange Tier of the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy for a while longer.
The 7-day average daily case number in OC stayed at 3.0, and the test positivity rate (the percentage of positive tests among those tested) also remained the same, at 1.6%. The health equity metric improved from 2.1% to 1.8%. The latter two metrics qualify for the less restrictive Yellow Tier, if case numbers drop to 2.0 or less.
The Blueprint tier system remains in place for now, but if current trends continue, all sectors of the economy may reopen and resume regular operations on June 15. For more information on “Beyond the Blueprint,” and what it will mean for activities and business operations, visit this page from the State Department of Public Health: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/beyond_memo.aspx.
Here is additional vaccine information and resources as of April 16:
- So far more than 1.9 million people in Orange County have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and the statewide number has exceeded 24 million. Vaccinations in lower-income communities are keeping pace with State targets.
- To help facilitate family vaccinations, Orange County has added a “Family” feature in Othena that allows all household members to register and coordinate scheduling their appointments.
- In alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation, the County has removed the Johnson & Johnson vaccine from all its vaccination POD sites until further notice. The County’s vaccination PODs will continue to dispense the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines to individuals with appointments.
- There are several vaccination options. Even if you are registered with the County’s Othena platform, you can also register with the state’s “My Turn” system, administered by Blue Shield. Orange County has developed a similar vaccine resource web page.
COVID-19 Cases in Newport Beach
As of April 15, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Newport Beach was 3,838 and the total cases in Orange County was 252,692. The number of recovered COVID-19 patients countywide as of April 15 was 245,006. These figures are provided to Orange County by the California Department of Public Health.
Notice of Vacancies
The City of Newport Beach City Clerk’s office welcomes and encourages residents to apply for the following upcoming vacancies on City Boards and Commissions:
- Board of Library Trustees (one seat)
- Building and Fire Board of Appeals (two seats)
- City Arts Commission (three seats)
- Civil Service Board (one seat)
- Harbor Commission (two seats)
- Parks, Beaches & Recreation Commission (two seats)
- Planning Commission (two seats)
All terms are for four years, expiring June 30, 2025. All applicants must be qualified electors of the City, none of whom shall hold any paid office or employment in City government (Section 702 of the City Charter).
The deadline for filing applications is noon on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. The application can be found at http://www.newportbeachca.gov/vacancy.
Information regarding the Boards and Commissions can be accessed at http://www.newportbeachca.gov/bcc.
Take the Pledge to Conserve Water
If you are looking for ways to be more environmentally sustainable during the month of April (Earth Month), please join Newport Beach Mayor Brad Avery and the Wyland Foundation and participate in the 2021 Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation. By taking a short pledge to save water (it takes less than a minute), you can help Newport Beach win the title of the “Most Water Wise” city in the nation. And, if Newport Beach wins, you will be eligible to win prizes. Take the pledge at www.mywaterpledge.com indicating how you would like to conserve water during the month of April.
Free Document Shredding and E-Waste Disposal Event
The Public Works Department and CR&R are sponsoring the next document shredding and e-waste collection event on Saturday, April 24. The event will take place at the Harbor Day School parking lot located at 3443 Pacific View Drive from 8 a.m. until noon. Please bring proof of Newport Beach residency, as residency will be verified at the event.
Residents can bring up to 10 standard file boxes for shredding. E-waste items accepted for disposal are computers, cell phones, televisions, printers, and other small electronic devices. No other household hazardous waste will be accepted. A list of acceptable materials for disposable are also available on the City’s website at https://www.newportbeachca.gov/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/66537/72.
With nearly 400 camps, Camp Newport is ready to help your kids find some fun in Newport Beach this summer! From surf, sailing, and body boarding to science, art, sports and more, Camp Newport will help campers find ways to enjoy the summer, make memories, and connect with others in a safe environment. Register today at www.campnewport.com. Sign up by May 31 and receive a 10 percent or more discount!
Native Plant App
The City of Newport Beach has launched a virtual, Native Plant Tour for the Civic Center Park. Through the MYNB app, discover wetland, coastal sage scrub, chaparral and grassland habitats throughout the 14-acre park. The app provides in-depth information about plant communities and identifies native species along the 1.23 miles of walking trails to enhance park visitor’s self-guided experience.
The City of Costa Mesa began moving clients into the new regional Bridge Shelter this week. The new shelter, located at 3175 Airway Avenue, provides up to 72 beds for individuals experiencing homelessness in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach. Through a partnership agreement, the City of Newport Beach has secured 20 beds to shelter and stabilize people in the Bridge Shelter beginning in May. The shelter is operated by Mercy House, which provides case management to locate appropriate permanent housing, assist with job searches, and provide other on-site services.
The City discourages panhandling in favor of targeted assistance through the Good Giving Program. Donations received through the program enable staff to purchase items such as bicycles, work boots, and small household items for newly housed people. All donations are tax deductible. If you would like more information, or to donate, please visit our Good Giving Program web page at https://newportbeachca.gov/trending/community-issues/homelessness/how-you-can-help.
City staff works closely with our contractor City Net, and our regional partners throughout the county and state, to address homelessness. 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
- City Net placed a 76-year-old woman into a permanent, supportive housing unit in Stanton. Staff visited with her to ensure she remains stable and secure in her new housing. The woman reported that she enjoys her new home, especially the kitchen and new television. The television was purchased with funds from community donations to the Good Giving Program. The woman had been sheltered in a motel since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously, she had stayed at the Newport Transportation Center for 3 years after her husband died and she could not afford rent. The renovated motel provides 60 units of housing for seniors and medically vulnerable people with on-site resident services.
- The County of Orange and the City of Stanton secured funding through Project Homekey to convert two motels into 132 units of permanent, supportive housing. The City of Newport Beach may place qualified people into the Stanton housing through the County’s system of care. Project Homekey, administered by the California Department of Housing and Community Development, provides $600 million in grants to local public entities to convert buildings into housing. American Family Housing, founded in Santa Ana in 1985, provides an array of on-site services at the two properties.
- City Net staff assisted a 62-year-old man with budgeting for an appropriate room rental. He now receives Social Security payments and works full-time. The man has been sheltered in a motel for several weeks as he visited potential housing options. Prior to staying in the motel, the man experienced homelessness in Newport Beach for four years after losing his job.
- County case managers continue to assist 16 people recently placed into the new Yale Transitional Center in Santa Ana. Many of those people had been staying by the Newport Pier. The Yale center provides shelter for as many as 425 people experiencing homelessness and provides case managers who locate appropriate housing, assist with job searches, and provide other on-site services.
- City Net staff continues to provide food gift cards, support, and case management to several people sheltering in motels while they await placement into permanent, supportive housing.
- City Net staff completed Vulnerability Index Intake Assessments for one person. 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 client to provide a housing assessment and prepare documentation for permanent, supportive housing.