In San Mateo County, 80 people have tested positive for COVID-19 and one person died from the disease as of Wednesday, March 18.
Go to tinyurl.com/covid-mv1 to access the Voice's most recent reporting on coronavirus.
As of 12:01 a.m., Tuesday, March 17, residents of six Bay Area counties, including Santa Clara and San Mateo, have been ordered to stay at home for all but "essential reasons" for the next three weeks as the cases of COVID-19 continue to rise. The order makes exceptions for people to leave their homes for work related to health care, infrastructure and "essential activities," such as gathering necessary supplies (canned foods, dry goods and pet supplies).
Online screening tool
Verily, a subsidiary of Alphabet, has launched an online tool to help screen patients for COVID-19 testing. The tool, called Project Baseline, triages people who are concerned about their COVID-19 risk and sends them to testing sites if they fit criteria based on their symptoms, according to an announcement by the company. The pilot program is available to residents of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties who can take the screener survey starting Monday, March 16.
Go to projectbaseline.com to use the screening tool.
Open space OK, playgrounds are not
While parks and open space areas remain open for recreation with social distancing measures in effect, Midpeninsula cities have advised families to keep children away from playgrounds, reinforcing a public health order issued by local leaders to prevent COVID-19 from spreading to other community members.
Jewish Family and Children's Services, which runs a center in Palo Alto, is offering services for seniors, adults, families and parents during the COVID-19 crisis through its action alert program. Emergency counseling is available for people who need help coping with the crisis. Online workshops are available to help parents understand how to help their children with the added anxiety that they may be experiencing.
Parents can also find tips on supporting children at tinyurl.com/advice-kids and how to help children manage stress at tinyurl.com/advice-stress.
Farmers market stays open
The Mountain View Farmers Market is still open, according to Gail Hayden, director of the California Farmers' Markets Association, an organization that operates 17 farmers markets throughout the Bay Area, including ones in Los Gatos and Saratoga. Food markets are considered "essential services" during the shelter-in-place order.
The Mountain View Farmers Market operates on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and has around 70 or 80 vendor stalls weekly. It is located at the downtown Mountain View Caltrain station parking lot at 600 West Evelyn Ave.
Hayden said that by purchasing produce directly from farmers, shoppers minimize the likelihood that the food they buy has come into contact with the coronavirus as compared to supermarkets and other food systems that put more people into contact with produce on its way to consumers. At the market, people are advised to stay apart while shopping, wash what they purchase and only touch what they're going to buy. People who are sick should stay home, she said.
"People should feel very secure in getting their food this way," she said.
—Mountain View Voice and Embarcadero Media staff
This story contains 597 words.
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