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Thursday, May 14, 2020

In This Edition:

I hope this finds you well.

COVID-19 is already the biggest health challenge of our lives, and now its effects could get even worse because the federal government refuses to update its clean air standards.

COVID-19 attacks the lungs, making breathing difficult, especially for people with preexisting conditions such as asthma and COPD. Dirty air filled with microscopic particles is already a concern for people with those types of conditions, adding COVID-19 on top of that can be a deadly combination.

That is why the Environmental Protection Agency’s refusal to update the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for fine particulate matter, known as PM 2.5, is so irresponsible and dangerous. The EPA’s own scientific assessment released in December includes a vast amount of studies that identify fine particulate matter as a significant public health threat.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District, where I serve as vice chair, is collecting public comment about the need for an updated PM 2.5 air quality standard to submit to the EPA. You can make your voice heard by emailing your comments to a-and-r-Docket@epa.gov and reference Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0072.

Comments should be sent before June 29.

More information about particulate matter, and what the district is doing to mitigate it, can be found here.
 
Reporting Shelter-in-Place Scofflaws
 
Recently, a member of our community contacted my office with a concern that an ice cream truck driving through one San Jose neighborhood was selling cones in violation of the shelter-in-place order. The resident reported that when the truck stops crowds would form as people lined up to buy ice cream.

Ice cream trucks, and other food trucks, are allowed to sell food under the shelter-in-place order, but the truck’s customers need to maintain proper social distancing, standing at least 6 feet apart, while in line. It is up to all of us to work together so everyone can stay safe and stay healthy while still being able to enjoy a frosty cone on a warm afternoon.

If you see a business that you believe is violating the shelter-in-place order, you can report to the District Attorney’s Office via email at PubHealthReferral@dao.sccgov.org.
One of the things that I have been most heartened about during the pandemic has been how many members of our community have stepped forward to help out those less fortunate than themselves.

The nonprofit group Helping Hands is one example of that. It was founded after the pandemic began by a group of tech industry veterans who wanted to help seniors and those with health conditions that make them especially vulnerable to COVID-19. Helping Hands connects them with volunteers who can provide free safe and contactless grocery deliveries, pharmacy pickups, and other types of errands.

More information about Helping Hands, including how to volunteer, can be found here.

If you need assistance, or know someone who does, you can call 415-NOW-HELP (669-4357).
Today, the Sports, Leadership, Arts & Media Youth Conference began. This is a three-week long virtual conference open to young people between the ages of 13 and 18.

During the SLAM conference, they can explore the sports industry, leadership development, and the arts & media world. This conference includes workshops on Thursdays along with performances by local Bay Area musicians on Fridays.

The SLAM Youth Conference is hosted by Asian Americans for Community Involvement's AMPLIFY program and Santa Clara County Friday Night Live.

You can find more information about the free conference, and register, here.
 
Be well,
 
Cindy
Santa Clara County COVID-19 Case Numbers, Hospital Capacity, and Testing Dashboards Can Be Found Here
Copyright © 2020 Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, All rights reserved.


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