Newport Beach City Manager Week in Review for August 15, 2021

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City Manager Grace Leung

By Grace Leung, Newport Beach City Manager

As the Delta variant continues to spread, the OC Health Care Agency (HCA) is continuing to urge county residents to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The County reports that unvaccinated people account for about 90 percent of hospitalized cases in Orange County, and that our residents who are not vaccinated are almost six times more likely to get infected than those who are fully vaccinated.

COVID-19 cases have continued to rise in Orange County. Between August 3 and August 10, Orange County experienced an increase in the seven-day average case rate from 15.7 per 100,000 people to 19 per 100,000, with the average number of daily COVID-19 cases rising from 507 to 612.

The positivity rate also increased, from 6.9 percent to 8.3 percent. Orange County COVID-19 case counts and testing figures are updated daily, Monday through Friday, at https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/coronavirus-in-oc.

In addition to getting vaccinated, the HCA encourages all residents to continue taking the following precautions to limit the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19, and to protect those who are most at risk of contracting COVID-19, particularly the elderly and those with underlying health conditions:

  • Regardless of your vaccination status, wear a mask if you’re indoors, around someone at risk, with people whose vaccination status is unknown, or have unvaccinated children or other loved ones at home. Additionally, masks are required indoors for unvaccinated individuals in accordance with mask guidance from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).
  • Avoid crowded areas and events, especially those that are indoors.
  • Maintain physical distancing in poorly ventilated areas.
  • Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer regularly.
  • Get tested if you are exposed to or experience symptoms of COVID-19 (you can order a self- collection, at-home kit at https://oc.care.ambrygen.com/#/cit/landing.

The County continues to advise all residents to refer to the CDPH’s recent Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings at https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/guidance-for-face-coverings.aspx and State Public Health Officer Order at https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Order-of-the-State-Public-Health-Officer-Unvaccinated-Workers-In-High-Risk-Settings.aspx regarding requirements for high-risk health care facilities.

Those who have not yet been vaccinated or need to complete their second vaccine dose can schedule a vaccination appointment by visiting www.Othena.com or calling the OC COVID-19 Hotline at (714) 834-2000. For a list of all vaccination options, please visit the HCA page at https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/covid-19-vaccine-distribution-channels.

COVID-19 Cases in Newport Beach

As of August 13, the total cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Newport Beach was 4,392, an increase of 131 from August 6. The total number of cases in Orange County as of August 13 was 272,914, an increase of 5,012 from August 6. The number of recovered COVID-19 patients countywide as of August 13 was 254,007. These figures are provided to Orange County by the California Department of Public Health.

Housing and Circulation Elements Update EIR Scoping Meeting August 16 at 5 p.m.

The City has been working alongside the community to prepare draft updates to the General Plan Housing Element and Circulation Element. The public is invited to participate in a meeting that will determine the scope and content of a draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for these updates.

The meeting will be on Monday, August 16 at 5 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 100 Civic Center Drive.

Scoping meetings are specific in their purpose. The public will be asked to comment on what environmental impacts should be studied in the draft EIR.

Can’t make the meeting? Written comments on the scope will also be accepted until 5 p.m. on September 9, 2021. For more information or to provide your comments, please email Senior Planner Benjamin Zdeba at [email protected]

To view the Notice of Preparation (NOP) for the draft EIR, please visit www.newportbeachca.gov/gpupdate or check out www.NewportTogether.com.

Updated Draft Housing Element Submitted to HCD for Mandatory Review and Now Available Online

City staff and its consultant team have been working with the Housing Element Update Advisory Committee (HEUAC), Planning Commission, City Council, and the community over the past 20 months to prepare a draft of the updated General Plan Housing Element.

As a reminder, this effort is required by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) in response to the 6th Cycle Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) allocation of 4,845 new housing units for Newport Beach.

As part of the preparation process, the City must submit a draft to HCD for a 60-day preliminary review. The City submitted its latest draft to HCD today (Friday, August 13).

This updated draft has been made available online. Please visit https://www.newportbeachca.gov/government/departments/community-development/planning-division/general-plan-codes-and-regulations/general-plan-update/housing-element-screencheck-draft-march-10-2020 to download and view it!

This is still a draft document. There will be additional opportunities to help shape it before it is adopted. The entire community is encouraged to participate in its review.

If you have any questions or to submit comments, please reach out to City staff by emailing [email protected]

The City greatly appreciates the community’s continued participation and engagement in this challenging and unprecedented update process.

CDD Second Quarter Activity Report

The Community Development Department Second Quarter Activity Report is now available at www.newportbeachca.gov/cdd. The report compiles operational statistics to illustrate the volume of business activity that the department handles on a quarterly basis.

The Café at the Central Library is Back!

We’re happy to announce that Bistro Express, the café located on the second floor of the Central Library, has reopened. The business was temporarily closed during the pandemic. Bistro Express is currently operating Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and there are plans to expand the hours and menu in the coming months.

Homelessness Update

  • The Homeless Liaison Officer delivered a new bicycle to a recently housed man for commuting to his new job. The man experienced homelessness for 12 years before entering the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter this summer. The shelter staff prepared a housing plan for the man and he now resides in his own apartment in Tustin. The bicycle was purchased with generous donations to the City’s Good Giving program.
  • 14 people who had been experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach are now sheltered in the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter.
  • Four people experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach were enrolled into City Net services. City Net case managers ordered identifying documents for them, such as birth certificates and Social Security cards.
  • City Net transported a man to his mental health and medical appointments at Share Our Selves. Share Our Selves, established in Costa Mesa in 1970, provides medical and dental care, access to a food pantry, postal service, and other social services for low-income individuals and families in Orange County.
  • City Net enrolled a person into Grandma’s House of Hope and Telecare. Grandma’s House of Hope is a Santa Ana-based provider of transitional housing for women in crisis. Telecare provides several programs to assist people with serious mental health conditions.

For a comprehensive look at the City’s ongoing efforts to address homelessness, please visit our web site at https://www.newportbeachca.gov/trending/community-issues/homelessness.

To donate, please visit our Good Giving Program web page at https://newportbeachca.gov/trending/community-issues/homelessness/how-you-can-help.

Next City Council Meeting on August 24

As a reminder, there is only one City Council meeting in August so the next meeting will be on August 24, 2021.

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