By Grace Leung, Newport Beach City Manager
The City of Newport Beach will host a vaccine clinic on Wednesday, April 28 at the Civic Center Community Room, 100 Civic Center Drive. The clinic for anyone 18 years and older, by appointment, who wants to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine (Moderna). Appointment times are available from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for up to 400 people.
If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, now is the time. Call (949) 644-3355 to schedule an appointment.
Orange County’s COVID-19 numbers appear to have stabilized over the past few weeks, which is good news considering that some parts of the country are experiencing renewed surges in cases and hospitalizations. California, in fact, now has the lowest case rate in the continental United States. As of this week, nearly 40 California counties have reached Orange Tier status, a handful are in the Yellow Tier, and none remain in the Purple Tier.
In Orange County, the seven-day average daily case number decreased slightly, from 3.0 to 2.8, while the test positivity rate (the percentage of positive tests among those tested) also went down a bit, from 1.6 percent to 1.4 percent. The health equity metric dropped from 1.8 percent to 1.7 percent. The latter two metrics qualify for the less restrictive Yellow Tier, if case numbers drop to 2.0 or less.
California and Orange County continue to distribute vaccinations at a strong, steady pace. Nearly 2.3 million people have been vaccinated in the County (first and second doses), and statewide, the number is up to nearly 27 million.
Here is additional vaccine information and resources as of April 23:
- Everyone aged 16 and older is now eligible to be vaccinated. You can make appointments for all eligible ages through Orange County’s Othena platform and the state’s My Turn registration platform, 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.
- 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.
COVID-19 Cases in Newport Beach
As of April 22, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Newport Beach was 3,853 and the total cases in Orange County was 253,275. The number of recovered COVID-19 patients countywide as of April 22 was 245,666. These figures are provided to Orange County by the California Department of Public Health.
City Accepting Applications for Community, Special Events Grants
The City is now accepting applications from organizations that provide community programs available to Newport Beach residents, and from qualified event organizers seeking financial support for Newport Beach-based events.
The application deadline for both grant programs is Thursday, May 13, at 5 p.m. To apply for the community grants, visit newportbeachca.gov/grants.
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
This is the last week to join Newport Beach Mayor Brad Avery and the Wyland Foundation in the 2021 Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation, which ends on April 30. By taking a short pledge at www.mywaterpledge.com (it takes less than a minute), you can save water and help Newport Beach win the title of the “Most Water Wise” city in the nation.
The March 2021 Treasury Report is available on the City’s website at: www.newportbeachca.gov/treasury.
As of March, the City’s portfolio totaled about $309.4 million. Approximately $80.4 million of the portfolio was invested in very liquid investments available for day-to-day operations and major construction expenditures.
The short-term portfolio ($216.8 million) had a weighted average effective maturity of 1.87 years. The trailing twelve months’ total return was 1.26 percent. Our benchmark for the same period, the ICE BofA 1-3 Year Treasury index, returned 0.24 percent. The income return on the portfolio, a better measure of income earned from the portfolio, was 1.98 percent.
The City of Costa Mesa is now moving clients into the new regional Bridge Shelter. 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.
In addition to engaging the Newport Beach’s homeless population, the City’s Rapid Response Team assists the community with cleanup of areas where trash and debris have been discarded by individuals experiencing homelessness. This week the response team assisted a local Little League team with removing abandoned property in their storage unit. The team’s coach reached out to City staff after discovering stored items that had been improperly placed in the storage unit. City staff removed the abandoned property, replaced the padlock, and cleaned up the area.
- City Net staff referred a pregnant woman to a shelter that specializes in serving pregnant women. Staff provided other resources for her long-term success.
- 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 4 years after becoming unemployed.
- 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.
- City Net staff enrolled a client into General Relief, Medi-Cal and CalFresh services. Staff prepared a housing navigation plan with the client. General Relief is a cash assistance program funded by the County of Orange; Medi-Cal provides health insurance for medical and dental care; and CalFresh issues monthly electronic benefits that can be used to buy food.
- City Net staff helped a client obtain a birth certificate and provided room rental options.
- 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.
Earth Day 2021
April 22, 2021 marked the 51st anniversary of Earth Day. In 1970, it was designated as a day to teach Americans about protecting the environment. By 1990, Earth Day had gone global, involving 141 countries and millions of people bringing attention to environmental issues. Although COVID-19 will make Earth Day celebrations look a little different, there are many options available to celebrate our planet. Newport Beach has parks, hiking trails, and of course, miles of beautiful coastline where families can enjoy some bonding time and exercise. A socially distanced stroll is a great way to learn about nature and there are many online resources that can make it extra fun for kids, such as this Outdoor Sensory Scavenger Hunt. It encourages kids to look at nature and then draw what they see.
Recycling plays a big part in helping the environment. Making art using materials like cardboard, plastic bottles and other materials can be a great way to teach children about recycling. Kids can learn that by repurposing things that might otherwise end up in a landfill, they can help the Earth and have fun while doing so:
- Make a Plantable Paper Earth
- Use compost to help your garden grow with a Composter for Kids
- Show your love for the planet by making an Earth Day Necklace
- Make your own forest filled with Egg Carton Trees
Everyday can be Earth Day through personal choices and with a little help from each other. From conserving water, to recycling right, to preventing pollution in your neighborhood, you’ll be doing your part to help.
Corporation Yard Fence Replacement Project Completed
The construction of the new high-security fencing system along Newport Beach Boulevard for the Corporation Yard Fence Replacement Project is complete. The new security fence measures 10 feet in height with 4-inch-high steel spikes at the top to deter climbing. The fence resists cutting and provides higher security than the previous fencing system. In addition, the new fence provides an aesthetic upgrade to better screen the working refuse transfer station and material storage areas. A green corrosion resistant material coats the fence and will blend in with the planned landscape screening/beautification improvement along the Newport Boulevard frontage. Planting and irrigation along this new fence will commence in the next month.