Category Archives: COVID-19 Pandemic (2020)

Volunteers distribute PPE to healthcare providers supporting agricultural workers

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These Central Coast Chapter volunteers worked at the one-day event in Salinas in support of the healthcare providers who treat our agricultural workers. Full-size photos of this event can be viewed here. (All photos: Virginia and Albert Becker)
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During this lethal pandemic, the shortage of PPE — personal protective equipment — has been an ongoing challenge for physicians, other healthcare workers, and medical groups in communities, counties, and states in our country.

In the Central Coast area of California, one of the most fertile areas in our agriculture-rich state, that need has been acutely felt by the often-small medical teams that care for the people whose fieldwork is the epitome of an essential service: our agricultural workers.

That’s why the support that more than two dozen volunteers from the Central Coast Chapter of the American Red Cross provided last week at a one-day PPE giveaway was also so essential.

At the event, which took place on July 27 at the Salinas Municipal Airport, 25 volunteers from the Red Cross chapter distributed close to $300,000 worth of medical-grade personal protective equipment — including N95 and surgical masks, gowns, gloves and face shields — to Monterey County practitioners who provide healthcare to local fieldworkers. Read more

How to get ready for wildfire season during coronavirus outbreak

Disasters won’t stop during the coronavirus outbreak. It is predicted that this year’s wildfire season is going to be more difficult than last due to the lack of late-season rain and snow. And because of COVID-19, getting prepared for wildfires will look a little different than in other years. With that thinking in mind, the American Red Cross has tips to help you. Read more

COVID-19: Regional stories, messages, and other related content

covid-19-site_420x279Updated August 04, 2020 — This post was created to provide an index of Northern California Coastal Region stories, local messages, and other resources that shed light on how the American Red Cross is responding to the COVID-19 crisis. The content includes information on important work that is continuing, engagement opportunities, and (most importantly) tips on staying safe. Read more

A helping of hope: Red Cross joins community partners at local food distribution event

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Red Cross volunteers load bags of groceries into the trunk of a car occupied by a San Benito County family in need of food assistance.
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As California endures a third month of the COVID-19 outbreak and its many associated challenges, the American Red Cross has stepped up to provide hope and help wherever possible — including lending a hand to its community partners.

On Friday, May 22, workers from the Central Coast Chapter joined First 5 San Benito County to support a food distribution event in Hollister. During the COVID-19 shutdown, many families have struggled with a lack of income due to record unemployment; the food provided at these events is a vital resource for many who can no longer afford a trip to the grocery store. The day was a successful one, but tough, and required a lot of effort and coordination. Thanks to decades of experience in disaster response, the Red Cross was able to jump in and do what it does best: serve others. Read more

Project Roomkey – Red Cross leads the way to help most vulnerable fight COVID-19

By Debbi Behrman

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Marianna Thomas
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In March, Marianna Thomas of the Red Cross Northern California Coastal Region, received a call from Luke Beckman, Division Disaster State Relations Director for California. Luke needed someone with Mass Care expertise to develop hotel shelter training for state and local government partners to better manage isolation and quarantine for people experiencing homelessness. The non-congregate shelter sites, which are part of California’s Project Roomkey, include hotels, motels, and trailers. California was the first in the nation to receive FEMA funding to secure thousands of isolation rooms in hotels for our most vulnerable people experiencing homelessness with the intention to protect them from COVID.

Marianna is the Mass Care Co-lead (along with Laura Hovden) for the Northern California Coastal Region, as well as the lead for the National Mass Care Webinars, and the perfect choice. “My first reaction,” Marianna recounts, “was our expertise is with helping people in disasters, not helping people experiencing homelessness and putting them in hotels.”  American Red Cross is known for congregate sheltering (like in a high school gymnasium-style shelter), not non-congregate (one person per room) sheltering. Then she realized that the Red Cross is an expert in developing and delivering training and knows more about sheltering than just about any other organization. That’s how she came to lead the team who developed the non-congregate shelter training for partners.

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Our region’s Int. Srvs. classes, discussions now offered online

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To see more regional stories and other content related to the Red Cross response to the coronavirus pandemic, please see this blog post.
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Like many other American Red Cross activities, the classes and discussion groups that have been hosted in our region by our International Services program are a service that has been re-engineered because of COVID-19 social-distancing requirements.

“When it became clear that this pandemic would be with us for a while, we started to rethink the way we were making our classes and other educational opportunities available,” says Go Funai, Director of the Service to the Armed Forces and International Services programs for the Northern California Coastal Region (NCCR).

So, beginning late last month, with an introductory course that is part of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) series, Funai’s International Services (IS) team has begun to deliver its educational offerings virtually.

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