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.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us by phone at (619) 645-3133, on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram), or by sending us a message online.
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. If you do not have access to a computer or internet and you are 75 years of age or older, you can call 2-1-1 to make an appointment for a vaccine.
- 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.
- SDG&E 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.
- 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 (888) 670-1360.
Resources for Families
- San Diego Unified School District is providing free meals to students participating in distance learning and hybrid onsite learning. Students participating in onsite learning can access their meals on campus on the days they attend in person. Students participating in distance learning can pick up their meals at drive-thru or walk-up sites Monday - Friday from 12pm - 2pm. There are several locations throughout the city. Families can also pick up fresh produce and groceries at select 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 available through scheduled in-person meetings, video conference, or phone calls. 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.
*COVID-19 Travel Guidance (NEW)
The California Department of Public Health recommends delaying travel until travelers are fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated travelers are not required to test for COVID-19 or quarantine before or after their trip unless they have symptoms linked to the virus. If you choose to travel unvaccinated, get tested before and after, and follow the CDC's guidelines for unvaccinated travelers, which can be found here. These guidelines are in line with CDC recommendations. All travelers are advised to wear a mask when indoors on public transportation or in a transportation hub, regardless of vaccination status. For more information, read the CDPH's Travel Guidelines.
*CA COVID-I9 Rent Relief Program (NEW)
The CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program is available to help renters and small landlords who are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID, and have past due rent or utilities. If you meet those criteria, you may be eligible to receive assistance to pay past due rent or future rent and utilities. The program also helps eligible landlords get reimbursed for unpaid rents.
To see if you or your tenant is eligible, you can call (833) 430-2122. You can also check eligibility, learn more about the program, and apply by visiting housing.ca.gov.
COVID Vaccine Information
Information on California's distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, and information on county-level vaccine distribution, can be found on the covid19.ca.gov website here. The California Department of Public Health is staffing a phone hotline and email account to answer the public’s questions about COVID 19 and vaccines. You can contact them here:
- Phone: 833-422-4255
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Internet and Phone Access (NEW)
If you’re struggling to pay your phone or internet bill due to COVID-19, there are resources available to help:
- Federal Emergency Broadband Benefit
- List of internet providers offering assistance during COVID
- California Lifeline – eligibility for discounted home and mobile phone services
The CA Notify App
The CA Notify App is a new voluntary, free, and secure mobile exposure notification app developed by UC San Diego Health, CDPH, and the CA Department of Technology. It alerts people who may have been be exposed to the virus, giving them the chance to get tested and avoid potentially exposing others. Learn how to add it to your phone for free by visiting canotify.ca.gov.
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.
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 California DMV’s physical offices are open but many DMV services, such as renewing vehicle registrations and driver’s licenses, can be completed on their Online Services portal.
- All drivers 70 years and older whose driver’s licenses expired as of March 1st and throughout the pandemic can renew their licenses online through the Online Services portal, including REAL IDs.
- 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 – May 31, 2021 are extended either six months or 24 months from the application date (whichever comes first).
- 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 Small Business Administration funding programs, the CARES Act established several new temporary programs to address the COVID-19 outbreak, including the Paycheck Protection Program and EIDL Loan Advances. Additional assistance from SBA can be found here.
- 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.
- 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
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, 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. 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.
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 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 diseases.
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.
Is help available for renters who can’t make rent or landlords who have past due rents?
Yes! The CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program is available to help renters experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 and small landlords who have lost income because of unpaid rent. To see if you’re eligible and apply, visit HousingIsKey.com or call (833) 430-2122.