In the midst of the COVID-19 public health crisis, California is doing what it so often does best – we are examining the possibilities, determining solutions, and taking to heart the needs of all Californians. As we continue to develop a path forward in managing and mitigating the impact of this moment, we will continue to assess risks and accommodate and safeguard the people of this state.
My office is working closely with the Governor and his administration, San Diego County, and local officials to ensure critical resources and support are available. I have compiled many of those resources below so everything you need is in one central location. We will be updating this page as the situation develops.
San Diego Area Resources
- The San Diego County COVID-19 Information Hub is updated regularly with new information and resources, including guidelines for health professionals, a map of hand washing stations, student meal distribution sites, and more.
- You can sign up for real time text alerts from San Diego County by texting "COSD COVID19" to 468-311.
- 2-1-1 San Diego has a list of community resources, including information about groceries, meal services, utilities, childcare, employment, healthcare, public benefits, transportation, and more.
- For information on finding food assistance during COVID-19, including information about CalFresh, the San Diego Food Bank, and Feeding San Diego, visit San Diego Hunger Coalition’s COVID-19 site.
- SDGE customers struggling to pay their utility bill can call the Customer Contact Center at 1-800-411-7343 or visit the Assistance page to find discount programs that they might now qualify for.
- To locate a local COVID-19 testing site and schedule a free test, visit the County of San Diego’s website. (If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, contact your healthcare provider. If you do not have a healthcare provider, call 2-1-1 San Diego. If you have serious symptoms, like difficulty breathing, call 9-1-1, immediately.)
- Live Well @ Home has an extensive collection of resources, tips, and suggestions on how to keep your mind and body healthy while staying home. The site includes information for children, adults, seniors, parents, and caregivers.
- San Diego County Aging and Independence Services has a toll-free hotline available to answer questions about COVID-19. Trained and authorized specialists are available to answer the phone Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm. Se habla español. Call (800) 339-4661 or visit aging.sandiegocounty.gov
- 2-1-1 San Diego has a list of grocery stores with special hours for seniors and high-risk individuals.
- Great Plates Delivered: Home Meals for Seniors is a no-cost meal delivery service for seniors and other adults at high risk of COVID-19 who cannot prepare or access meals at home, and who don’t receive federal nutrition benefits. Great Plates Delivered works with local businesses to deliver three nutritious meals a day. To determine eligibility, call (800) 339-4661, visit aging.sandiegocounty.gov, or contact 2-1-1 San Diego. Note: The program has been extended to September 30.
- The Institute on Aging's 24-hour toll-free Friendship Line is available for older adults and adults living with disabilities that are in need of emotional support. Call (800) 971-0016.
Resources for Families
- San Diego Unified School District is providing free breakfast and lunch Monday – Friday from 11 am to 1 pm at several schools around the city. The meals are packaged and ready to be taken home to eat. Thanks to a partnership with Feeding San Diego and San Diego Food Bank, families can also pick up fresh produce at these drive-thru and walk-up sites. To find meal locations near you, visit San Diego Unified’s COVID-19 webpage.
- 2-1-1 San Diego has a list of childcare referral resources.
Domestic and Family Violence
- The San Diego District Attorney’s Office has a list of 24/7 hotlines, and free and confidential services available for families experiencing domestic violence.
- The San Diego Family Justice Center is in service during the Stay Home order. If your family is facing violence, if you’re the victim of sex trafficking, or if you seek counseling or legal help, reach out to the Center by phone at 866-933-HOPE (or 888-DV-LINKS for help with domestic violence), by email InfoSDFJC@sandiego.gov, or on their website.
Small Business Assistance
- The San Diego & Imperial Valley Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network is available to any small businesses seeking assistance.
California COVID-19 Website
- California’s one-stop website for all information about the state’s COVID-19 response, resources, and updates can be found at COVID19.ca.gov.
- California has a new hotline set up to answer questions about COVID-19: 1-833-544-2374
- For those in need of a COVID-19 test, the state's website offers an easy-to-use testing site locator. Testing is free, even if you’re uninsured and regardless of immigration status. Personal information will not be shared.
- Interested in learning more about the state reopening? The Resilience Roadmap has detailed information on California's phased approach and how San Diego County compares to other counties.
COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act
- The COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act protects renters from evictions due to a COVID-related hardship until February 1, 2021, but still holds them responsible for paying unpaid amounts to landlords. It also provides additional legal and financial protections for tenants, provides statewide consistency on local ordinances, and protects small landlords by extending the Homeowners’ Bill of Rights’ anti-foreclosure protections.
- No tenant can be evicted before February 1, 2021 as a result of rent owed due to a COVID-19 related hardship accrued between March 4 - August 31, 2020, as long as the tenant provides a declaration of hardship.
- For a COVID-19 related hardship that accrues between September 1, 2020 - January 31, 2021, tenants must also pay at least 25 percent of the rent due to avoid eviction.
- Tenants are still responsible for paying unpaid amounts to landlords, but those unpaid amounts cannot be the basis for an eviction.
- Landlords may begin to recover this debt on March 1, 2021, and small claims court jurisdiction is temporarily expanded to allow landlords to recover these amounts.
- Detailed information and resources can be found on HousingIsKey.com.
Mental Health and Emotional Support
- 24-hour Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 or text 838255
- 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or chat online.
- Call 9-1-1 if you or the person you are helping is in immediate danger.
- COVID19.ca.gov has a section dedicated to mental health and emotional support. If you or someone you love if feeling anxious, stressed, depressed, or lonely, visit this site for resources and tips.
Small Businesses Resources
- The California State Treasurer’s Office list of small business resources
- The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-BIZ) has compiled helpful information for employees and employers in light of COVID-19.
Information for Workers
- If your job has been affected by Coronavirus, visit the California Employment Development Department’s list of COVID-19 worker’s resources.
- For those looking to apply for Unemployment Insurance, the California Employment Development Department has information on how to begin the process and what to expect.
- For information on what benefits and assistance are available to you, visit the California Labor & Workforce Development Agency's site.
- OnwardCA is a new job match site that pairs Californians who’ve lost work in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic with open roles around the state.
- The State of California is providing one-time state-funded disaster relief assistance to undocumented adults who are ineligible for other forms of assistance, including assistance under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and pandemic unemployment benefits, because of their immigration status.
- California is extending tax deadlines until July 15, 2020. Visit the CA Franchise Tax Board’s webpage for details. The Franchise Tax Board is postponing filing and payment deadlines for all individuals and businesses for 2019 tax returns, 2019 tax return payment, 2020 1st and 2nd quarter estimate payments, 2020 LLC taxes and fees, and 2020 non-wage withholding payments.
- The federal government also has extended deadlines for income taxes, giving filers an additional 90 days to pay 2019 income taxes due on July 15, 2020. For more information, go to the IRS’ Coronavirus information page.
- Local San Diego County taxes, which are used to fund critical services such as schools and local financial obligations, were still due on April 10th. If you would like to inquire about waived penalties, costs, or other charges resulting from tax delinquency due to COVID-19, please contact the local Treasurer-Tax Collector at 1-877-829-4732 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The California DMV’s physical offices are serving a limited number of customers at this time. Many DMV services, such as renewing vehicle registrations and driver’s licenses, can be safely completed on their Online Services portal.
- All drivers 70 years and older whose driver’s licenses expire between March 1st and December 31st have received an automatic one-year extension. No new documentation is needed and drivers don’t have to do anything to receive the extension.
- Most drivers 69 and under whose licenses expired starting in March can now renew through the Online Services portal.
- Learner’s permits that expire between March – November 2020 are extended either six months or 24 months from the application date (whichever comes first).
- Commercial learner’s permits and licenses that expire between March – September 2020 are extended to September 30, 2020. Commercial license renewals that do not require an in-person test can be renewed online.
- Refer to the chart included under the Q & A Section for a detailed chart of all Driver’s License Updates.
- The Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) has passed. It includes the Economic Impact Payment to individuals and their families, Unemployment Insurance benefit enhancements and eligibility expansions, food assistance, homeowner and renter protections, small business relief, energy assistance, student loan relief, and more. To learn more about the resources made available through this legislation, visit the Families First COVID-19 Constituent Service Resources Toolkit. Additional information about assistance in California is available at https://covid19.ca.gov/.
- In addition to traditional SBA funding programs, the CARES Act established several new temporary programs to address the COVID-19 outbreak, including the Paycheck Protection Program, EIDL Loan Advances, SBA Bridge Loans and SBA Debt Relief.
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) has been set up through the CARES Act to help those who are unemployed or partially unemployed due to COVID-19, but are not eligible for regular unemployment. If you are an independent contractor or self-employed, if you don’t have sufficient work history, or if you exhausted your regular and extended Unemployment Insurance benefits, you may be eligible. Claims can be backdated back to Feb. 1st so they will not forego any payments that are due to them.
- You can check the status of your COVID-19 Economic Impact Payment (also referred to as the stimulus check) and update your bank account information on the IRS’ website. Individuals who don’t file taxes can also use this site to provide information that will enable them to receive the payment.
- The Main Street Lending Program was established by the Federal Reserve, with equity provided by the Treasury Department from the CARES Act, to support lending to eligible small and medium-sized businesses and nonprofit organizations, such as educational institutions, hospitals, and social service organizations, that were in sound financial condition before the coronavirus pandemic but now need financing to maintain their operations. See the program’s website for details about loan options and terms, eligibility requirements, and how to apply.
- Any borrower with a federally backed mortgage (including FHA, VA, USDA, 184/184A or Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac) who is experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 is eligible upon request for mortgage payment forbearance of up to 180 days, with an extension if requested for up to an additional 180 days. No documentation is required to prove hardship. More information is available here.
Q & A
Do I need to wear a mask?
Yes! When you are in public and within six feet of other people, it is important that you wear a face mask or face covering. That includes when you’re in line in the grocery store, walking on busy side walk, in an elevator, or in any other public space where you’re in close physical contact. When you cover your nose and mouth, you protect people you come in contact with. When others wear a mask, they protect you. You could spread coronavirus even if you don’t have symptoms or don’t think you have it. Next time you leave home, remember to bring a mask with you!
What is “Social Distancing”?
Social distancing simply means keeping six feet of physical space between you and other people. The CDC and California Department of Public Health recommend that we all practice social distancing in order to slow the spread of COVID-19, and ultimately bend the curve. This also means avoiding social gatherings. It may seem excessive, but it’s vital to protecting your health, and the health of our community.
How can I protect my family from getting Coronavirus?
There are several simple, yet deeply important ways you can protect yourself from COVID-19. First and foremost, staying home is the best way to keep yourself healthy and help slow the spread of the virus. When you need to leave home for essentials reasons, you should wear a face covering and keep six feet of physical distance from others. It’s important to practice good hygiene, including washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, disinfecting frequently touched surfaces often, and covering your cough with a tissue or your elbow.
What if I think I have COVID-19?
If you think you may have COVID-19, because you’re experiencing symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath), have recently been in contact with someone who has it, or you recently traveled somewhere with apparent community spread, stay home and contact a medical provider or a local public health department for advice on what to do next. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Who is an “essential worker”?
Essential workers provide a service that protects the community and ensures continuity of functions necessary to public health and safety, and economic and national security. Essential workers include, but are not limited to, health care providers, law enforcement professionals, and grocery store workers. Click here for a detailed list of what is considered an essential job.
What is “contact tracing”?
California Connected is our state’s new contact tracing program. Contact tracing is the process by which health workers speak with individuals who have tested positive for coronavirus to determine who they might have exposed. Keeping this information entirely confidential, the health workers will then notify you if you have been in contact with an infected person and encourage you to get tested. Public health departments have used contact tracing for decades to fight infectious disease.
Contact tracing is an essential tool in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and an anonymous way to do your part. All you have to do is answer the phone. The more people answer the call, the more lives and jobs California saves. Your information is always kept confidential. Be wary of potential scammers taking advantage of the moment. Contact tracers will never ask for financial information or your social security number.
What extensions is the DMV granting?
As you can see in the chart, many services can be handled from home through the DMV’s Online Services Portal. And, of course, if you still have any questions, you can call my office at (619) 645-3133. We’re always here to help you.