Covid-19: Notes from 3/19/2020 County Briefing

Here are the notes from today’s conference call. Please note that I wasn’t on the call. We’re rotating participation among Council members out of Brown Act concerns and will be shifting to a straightforward subcommittee after next Monday’s Council meeting for the same reason.

Report from John Beiers, County Counsel:

  • Board of Supervisors recommendation next Tuesday to adopt an emergency regulation establishing countywide moratorium on residential evictions base on non-payment of rent only that is directly related to COVID-19 issues.
  • Renters will have 180 days to pay back rent once order is lifted.  Working on a draft that should be ready tomorrow.

Report from Mike Callagy, County Manager:

  • Bay Club is going to allow first responders to use facility as a base camp
  • Volunteer desk is continuing to produce good results.  400 volunteers now.  Will need more
  • Samaritan House and Second Harvest are helping
  • 211 got 436 calls yesterday.  Average wait time is dropping to less than 3 minutes.
  • Public service messages coming.  Will be professionally done
  • Atria-Burlingame facility update: no one has died yet.  3 are positive for CV19
  • being redesigned. Is a work in progress
  • Call also 779-9937
  • PSA’s (Public Service Announcements) will correct narrative that this is a Chinese Virus.
  • Alternative care facility in Burlingame is ready to go.  Will start tomorrow. Residents will be notified
  • San Mateo Event Center has 18 vehicles there now.
  • No updates on relaxation of Brown Act
  • Governor has announced new measures.  Not yet understood
  • Big concern is financial sustainability of people in San Mateo County.  Could have 80% out of work.  People will need help. County will allocate $3m of funds to help small bus. & non-profits.  Will be opened up for additional contributions.
  • Still need medical donations: gloves, masks gowns
  • Food and grocery: stores say there is no supply issue.  Only a stocking issue.  Need to send message that don’t need to go to store every day. City Mgrs. Will be asked to liberalize truck routes to allow supply trucks to get in easier.


  • Will have place for medical donations by the end of the day.

Question from Jerry Hill:

  • Q: Small business with property tax bills due on April 10th.  Spoke with Gov. about this. What’s the status?
  • A: This is apparently a county issue.  If office is closed deadline will be extended until reopened.

Questions from Warren Liebermann:

  • Thank you for Zoom capability. 
  • Q: What will be the form of small business assistance.  Loans, grants, etc.?
  • A: Will continue to work on how that will work.  More information on how it will be set up available next week. 
  • Q: Regarding evictions. Am I correct in understanding that cities don’t need to take any actions?
  • A: John Beiers: The proposed County order covers the entire county, including the cities.  

Question from Robert Brownstone:

  • What’s the status of staffing locations for ill people?
  • A: Mike Callagy: People who get sick will be brought to hotels (like in Burlingame).  Concentrating resources at those locations.

Question from Carol Elliot:

  • How to help provide childcare?
  • A: Difficult. Hoping employers are flexible with more people staying at home. No easy answer there.

Statement from Dave Pine:

  • To Senator Scott Weiner: state action on tenant protection is best way to go. County is taking emergency action.  State tax collectors can give extensions.

Question from Cliff Lentz:

  • Q: I’ve heard in two weeks the situation will be like Italy. Does that apply to the entire U.S. or specific areas?
  • A: No one is sure how the situation will evolve, either nationally or regionally. We got started late but are working hard to make up lost time.
  • Q: Have we been corresponding w/ PG&E to ask forgiveness for people paying bills?
  • A: We’ll look into that
  • Q: I’ve heard the Archdiocese was unhappy about the scope of the protective order.
  • A: (from Mike Callagy) I’ve spoken with Archdiocese about not having services.

Question from Deborah Blanc:

  • Any information about school district closures from the Governor?
  • A: We’ll look into it.

Question from Madison Davis:

  • Q: How can we get banks to participate in helping financially?
  • A: We’ll look into it
  • Q: What about victims of domestic violence? Can the County publicize resources for these victims?
  • A: We’ll look into it.

Question from Scott Saywell:

  • Is county preparing for possibility that shelter in place will be extended beyond April 7th
  • A: Yes, they are working on it.

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