By Grace Leung, Newport Beach City Manager
COVID-19 metrics in Orange County and throughout the state continued to improve this week as California prepares to fully reopen all business sectors and activities on Tuesday, June 15.
This will be the last week of the state’s tiered, color-coded system that has guided the phased reopening approach of the past year. In the final tally, 24 counties (including Orange County) are in the Yellow Tier, 31 are in the Orange Tier, three remain in the Red Tier and none are in the Purple Tier.
As of June 15, the State will lift capacity restrictions and social distancing requirements in all business sectors. However, face coverings will still be required (for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people) on public transportation, in healthcare and child-care settings, K-12 schools and in homeless shelters.
According to the updated guidelines, masks will still be required for unvaccinated people indoors, and individual businesses may choose to continue requiring masks regardless of vaccination status. More information on the use of face coverings after June 15 is available at the California Department of Public Health website at https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/guidance-for-face-coverings.aspx#June15guidance.
Some public health measures will remain in place for “mega events,” defined as 5,000 or more people indoors or 10,000 or more people outdoors. Indoor mega events will require proof of vaccination status or a recent, negative COVID test, and these steps are strongly encouraged, though not mandated, for outdoor mega events.
Domestic travel will follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
As previously announced, the County of Orange closed its Super POD vaccination sites on June 5 and is shifting resources to a network of local and mobile vaccination clinics for all residents ages 12 and older. The County will continue to use the Othena.com platform for appointment scheduling, along with the OC COVID-19 Hotline at (714) 834-2000. Walk-ins are also welcomed at any County vaccination site.
COVID-19 Cases in Newport Beach
As of June 10, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Newport Beach was 3,925 and the total cases in Orange County was 255,570. The number of recovered COVID-19 patients countywide as of June 10 was 249,521. These figures are provided to Orange County by the California Department of Public Health.
Join our Summer Reading Program
The Newport Beach Public Library’s Summer Reading Program runs from June 12 through July 31, 2021 with the theme “Reading Colors Your World.” We hope you’ll join us for seven weeks of reading fun for Adults, Teens, and Kids. Be sure to check back June 12 for more details.
New in 2021: Sign up for a free Beanstack account at https://newportbeachlibrary.beanstack.com/reader365 and participate in your age group’s online Summer Reading Program. Participants will log reading and activities to earn digital badges and complete the program to be entered into a grand prize drawing. Online registration via Beanstack will be available beginning June 12.
Adult Summer Reading Program
Adults are invited to participate in the Adult Summer Reading Program at https://www.newportbeachlibrary.org/calendar/summer-reading-program/summer-reading-program.
Interested participants may register online with Beanstack and are eligible to receive a prize book upon submission of their third review (while supplies last). Once registered on Beanstack, begin earning digital badges by reading or listening to books and completing activities. Each badge earned will count as an entry into the Grand Prize drawing. Participants may only receive one prize book but may continue to submit book reviews for additional prize drawing entries. Those not participating through Beanstack will be able to submit paper book reviews, available for pick up at your preferred library location.
Teen Summer Reading Program
Current or incoming 7th-12th graders are welcome to participate in the Teen Summer Reading Program at https://www.newportbeachlibrary.org/calendar/summer-reading-program/summer-reading-program.
Earn a prize paperback book for registering on Beanstack and signing up for the Teen Summer Reading Program Challenge. Collect your prize book at the Central or Mariners Reference Desk. Prize books can also be delivered to Balboa and Corona del Mar upon request (while supplies last). After you register, submit book reviews on Beanstack each week to enter our weekly prize drawings. For entry into the Grand Prize Drawing, complete the Teen SRP Challenge by writing a minimum of three book reviews. Email [email protected] with any questions.
Children’s Summer Reading Program
Children through 6th grade can participate in the Children’s Summer Reading Program at https://www.newportbeachlibrary.org/calendar/summer-reading-program-for-kids.
Participants register via Beanstack and keep track of their reading time and activities to earn digital badges. Once registered, readers can pick up a Welcome Kit at any NBPL location and a free paperback book (Limit one book per child, while supplies last). Readers can also write (or draw) book reviews for additional prize drawing entries. Be sure to check out exciting craft activities and virtual programs for everyone throughout the summer.
Funding for Summer Reading programs is generously donated by the Friends of the Library.
People experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach can now find temporary shelter and support services in the new Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter. Through a partnership agreement with Costa Mesa, the new shelter at 3175 Airway Avenue provides up to 72 beds for individuals experiencing homelessness in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach. 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 of Newport Beach 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 helpline 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.
- The City’s Homeless Liaison Officer and City Net staff placed an honorably discharged Army veteran into permanent, supportive housing in Potter’s Lane, a Midway City facility for veterans. The man has been experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach for more than four years after leaving the military. Potter’s Lane is operated by American Family Housing, which provides on-site services such as Veterans Administration benefits and medical care through the Illumination Foundation. The City of Newport Beach may place qualified people into Potter’s Lane housing through the County’s system of care.
- 13 people who had been experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach are now sheltered in the new Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter, as they work with case managers to transition into permanent housing.
- City Net staff worked with a 62-year-old woman experiencing homelessness by the Balboa Pier to obtain a new photo ID, schedule a medical appointment and enroll her into a disability benefit program and Social Security.
- City Net staff referred a man experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach to an in-patient mental health treatment facility.
- A person experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach was enrolled into City Net services following a Vulnerability Index Intake Assessment. The assessment is 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, prepare documentation for housing, and obtain access to benefits.
- 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.