To All of the Members of Our Community:
We thank you for all that you have done to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our cities and our county. We know this is hard, especially for those who have found themselves in difficult situations that last year would have been unimaginable. To those who have found yourselves classified as essential workers: We see you, and from all of us, we thank you with all that we have.
Reopening our community is a shared effort. The State of California has laid out criteria that all counties, including ours, must meet. Many of these requirements — testing, PPE for hospital workers, housing for the unsheltered, medical surge capacity — are measured at the county level, and the county health department is close to achieving those goals. But some of these criteria are reflections of our personal diligence: stable hospitalization rates coupled with either low positive test rates, or fewer than 25 new cases per 100,000 people in the last 14 days — about an average of eight cases per day for Monterey County.
It is our community’s collective actions that will determine when we reach those goals, and that we continue to reach them in the future. In order to lift the sheltering order, we need to follow the directions laid out by the Health Officer. We must all take personal responsibility for the collective good: wear face coverings when near others, postpone nonessential travel, and avoid gathering in groups. We must do everything we can to avoid creating situations in which one asymptomatic individual could infect dozens of people. This is behavior that ultimately saves lives.
To our regional leadership, of which we are a part: We need to work together to find ways of reopening that keep all of our residents and our essential workers safe. With increasing traffic to the beaches and parks, we hear residents voice their fear that the growing number of people makes us all less safe. With increasing traffic in our downtowns, we hear residents voice their concern that so many unmasked faces make it impossible to safely navigate our sidewalks. Elected leaders’ consistent message of “safety first” is not just a platitude but a commitment to others. Now more than ever, this message will reassure not only our residents but also the visitors who are already returning to our regional attractions. Heeding this message will save lives.
Dr. Edward Moreno, we know that you are doing what is required of someone in your position: keeping all of the residents of our community safe. We appreciate all of your efforts and know that you have a difficult job in a rural county that is dependent on agriculture and tourism, two industries that require close personal contact. We thank you for your commitment to making difficult decisions that will save many lives.
Jenny McAdams, Councilmember, City of Pacific Grove
Amy Tomlinson, Councilmember, City of Pacific Grove
Joe Amelio, Councilmember, City of Pacific Grove
Jeff Baron, Councilmember, City of Carmel-By-The-Sea
Ian Oglesby, Mayor, City of Seaside
Dave Pacheco, Mayor Pro Tem, City of Seaside
Jason Campbell, Councilmember, City of Seaside
Jon Wizard, Councilmember, City of Seaside
Alissa Kispersky, Councilmember, City of Seaside
Alison Kerr, Mayor, City of Del Rey Oaks
Bruce Delgado, Mayor, City of Marina
Gail Morton, Mayor Pro Tem, City of Marina
Adam Urrutia, Councilmember, City of Marina
Lisa Berkley, Councilmember, City of Marina
Frank O’Connell, Councilmember, City of Marina