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Find out what's happening in the blog. Below is a list of blog items.

Jun 14

As California reopens, vaccinations remain key to ending the pandemic

Posted to Menlo Park COVID-19 Updates by Clay Curtin

As California lifts most COVID-19 restrictions Tuesday, June 15, the all eligible individuals are encouraged to take advantage of free vaccination clinics.

As of 12:01 a.m., Tuesday, June 15, 2021, California moves “Beyond the Blueprint,” which ends the color-coded reopening tier systems and lifts most restrictions on businesses. The County of San Mateo fully aligns with all state COVID-19 health and safety guidelines and has no plans to impose separate guidance. 

As of June 15, 2021, there are no longer capacity or distancing requirements for most businesses or public settings.

Fully vaccinated people can stop wearing face coverings outdoors and indoors – with the following exceptions:
  • On public transit (buses, ride-shares, taxis, airplanes, trains, ferries)
  • Indoors in K-12 schools, child care and other youth settings
  • Health care settings and long-term care facilities
  • Correctional facilities and detention centers
  • Homeless shelters, emergency shelters, cooling centers
Businesses, public agencies and other organizations may still require face coverings, for both employees and members of the public. Most public agency employees are currently required to wear facial coverings in alignment with Cal-OSHA’s workplace safety requirements. Cal-OSHA is expected to provide an update to guidance later this week.

Vaccination availability
Anyone age 12 and older can be vaccinated free in San Mateo County. Vaccines are widely available at health care providers as well as certain pharmacies and other locations.

San Mateo County Health operates or supports numerous clinics with a focus on areas with low vaccination rates. To find a vaccine site near you, view the county’s vaccine clinic calendar

The county is also collaborating with local groups to bring targeted vaccine pop up events to groups of 25 or more. You can request an event at least two weeks in advance.
 
The state’s MyTurn website provides a list of vaccine clinics and appointments are now optional. Visit MyTurn.ca.gov for more information.  

COVID-19 testing
Testing remains an important strategy in continuing to reduce the spread of the disease and to protect individuals who have not been vaccinated. Testing is available for all ages, including young children and infants, and all testing sites now use more comfortable testing methods by swabbing the front part of the nose or mouth.

People who are vaccinated or unvaccinated should be tested if they have symptoms of COVID-19. Unvaccinated persons should be tested if they have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 or have concerns about being infected or exposed.

View the county’s testing website for more information about locations and schedules. In addition to these sites, testing is also available from health care providers and other community organizations.

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Jun 16

Residents urged to conserve water

Posted to Menlo Park Sustainability News by Clay Curtin

With California experiencing its second consecutive dry year, Menlo Park Municipal Water (MPMW) is reminding its customers that now is the time to prioritize drought planning and water conservation.

Sustained preparation and planning are critical. Most of California’s water systems were able to manage drought impacts during the last drought by taking actions early.

Following guidance from the State Water Resources Control Board, Menlo Park Municipal Water will prioritize three actions: 
  1. Closely evaluate our water supply
  2. Develop a contingency plan to mitigate any water supply problems that might result from current and future conditions
  3. Encourage customers to conserve water voluntarily
All water customers are encouraged do their part by conserving water and using these tips:
Menlo Park Municipal Water collaborates with the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency (BAWSCA) to offer water conservation rebates, incentives and free water-saving fixtures to residents and businesses that are Menlo Park Municipal Water customers. 

For more information on the drought and water conservation, please visit
You can also get the latest updates and a link to the U.S. Drought Monitor on the city's drought webpage.

Thank you for doing your part to conserve water. Together, we can make every drop count!

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Jun 14

Community meetings June 15-16 on biking/walking safety near schools

Posted to Menlo Park Transportation News by Clay Curtin

Menlo Park has collected 173 responses to its survey on walking and biking safety near schools. 

During April and May, the Menlo Park community was invited to participate in a survey on safety near the schools. The participants were able to provide feedback on pedestrian and bicycle infrastructures by choosing from five categories of issues: sidewalks, street crossings and intersections, comfort, driver behavior and safety. The survey also included an interactive map where respondents could locate the issue. 

The three top problems mentioned in the survey were regarding driver behavior (29%), sidewalks (27%) and street crossings and intersections (25%). The Safe Routes to School team has analyzed the data collected through the survey and identified “corridors” where issues are concentrated and which jurisdiction is in charge. Among those corridors are Santa Cruz Avenue, Encinal Avenue, Laurel Street, Valparaiso Avenue, Ringwood Avenue, Middlefield Avenue, Bay Road and Coleman Avenue. 

The survey will be complemented by two virtual community meetings scheduled at 4 p.m., June 15, and 6 p.m., June 16. During the meetings, the Safe Routes to School team will show the data collected through the survey and participants will be able to discuss the issues and potential community-led solutions in breakout sessions. 
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