Latest COVID-19 NEWS
Governor and CDPH have announced that MASKS WILL BE MANDATED FOR ALL INDOOR ACTIVITIES – starting Wednesday, December 15th through January 15th, vaccinated or not.
This includes churches, offices, schools etc…the only time you can remove mask indoors is if you work ALONE, in a private office. This is a consistent rule for all types of operations – so there is no violation for faith-based organizations under the SCOTUS ruling since all are treated the same in the state.
With the very busy liturgical season upon us, and often times closer than normal seating, masks are critical.
COVID cases have risen 50% in California during the past two weeks and this is BEFORE the Christmas and New Year holidays.
Research on the COVID Omicron variant is still in process – but, it appears to be contributing to this rise in cases.
Hospitalizations are increasing in both Riv and SB Counties….nearly more than 60% of their levels at this time last year.
BE OBSERVANT – and watch for cold-like symptoms, especially cough and runny noses…most cases with this new variant are with children 11 yrs. and younger – or those 60 yrs and older.
Boosters are STRONGLY urged for those who have taken the vaccines as European cases are reporting that the new variant overrides the efficacy of the three major vaccines if they have been given more than six months back.
El governador del Estado de California y el CDHPH (Centro de Salud), ha reglamentado el uso de cubre bocas ante toda actividad al interior de inmuebles, diciembre 15 – enero 15, no importe el estado de vacunación. Esto incluye iglesias, oficinas, escuelas. EL USO DE CUBRE BOCAS SE HA HECHO MÁS CRÍTICO QUE NUNCA. Casos Covid han surgido 50% en el Estado de California las últimas dos semanas. El nuevo variante Omicron, parece influir en la transmisión. Se encuentra en 47 de los 50 estados. Hospitalización ha incrementado en los condados de Riverside y San Bernardino a un 60% en comparación con hace un año.
No se recomienda viajar fuera del estado y/o país.
UPCOMING COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics
Information on the NEW Omicron Variant
Here is more information from CDC and California Department of Health on the new Omicorn Variant https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Omicron-Variant-Fact-Sheet.aspx and https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/s1126-B11-529-omicron.html
COVID-19 Vaccine Benefits and Risks (Johnson & Johnson Fact Sheet)
Bishop McElroy on Vaccinations
COVID Testing – Expanded for Low Desert Vicariate/Riverside Residents
American Lung Association COVID Vaccine Information
Hope On The Horizon
The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines is a turning point for all of us as we look to a brighter, healthier future. But our road to ending the pandemic hinges on most people getting vaccinated.
We are launching a new video that makes the case for getting vaccinated and going back to enjoying what you love. Watch and share the video with your friends and family, along with our vaccine resources and FAQs, to encourage them to get vaccinated. Together, we can all make a difference.
Click here for more information
COVID News – URGENT (shared by the Emergency Operations Collaborative (EOC) of Diocese of San Bernardino)
Cedars-Sinai Hospital research staff in Los Angeles – which has NOW been designated as the mega-center of the virus in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University, the major medical institution tracking this virus in the US.
New Virus Strain, unique at this point, to Southern California. California has had more than 3 million cases of COVID, more than 1 million of which have occurred since Thanksgiving. This is one-third more than the state of Texas; twice that of Florida; and two- and one-half times that of New York! (For those who are interested in data and statistics, please visit John Hopkins University website for COVID 19 by Googling the same.)
It is important to note that the increase of cases in So California – while initially projected to have been a result of ‘holiday social gatherings’ – is now ALSO seen as a result of the rapid spread of this new virus mutation – spreading nearly 70% faster than the original COVID 19 virus itself.
During the past 30 days – basically since Christmas – the new strain accounts for one out of every four NEW cases of COVID in the So Cal counties – and that number is twice that in Los Angeles County alone.
We share this with you so you are cognizant of the risk of shared ‘live-work-play activities between Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire – particularly the west end of San Bernardino County, which has seamless interaction with East LA.
Both Riv and SB Counties reported that increased vaccination supplies should be received within the next two weeks – making the registration much less stressful and frustrating. We pray that is
the case – as so many of those 65 and older have been stymied by the inability to respond quickly to the registration links and the complex process.
Please continue to practice COVID protocols every day…at home, work, and permissible recreation.
New CDC and Federal COVID mandates/guidelines will be forthcoming very soon, as you are aware…they will be shared when finally, approved and available for distribution.
Farmworker Financial Assistance / Asistencia Monetaria Para Trabajadores del Campo
Talleres Virtuales informativos de ansiedad y depresion
Tips to cope with the spread of COVID-19
Consejos para sobrellevar el contagio de COVID-19
The Community Action Partnership of Riverside County
The Community Action Partnership of Riverside County has a “Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program” available for residents. CAP Riverside can now help residents who qualify with heating and cooling bills, as well as water, sewer, trash, telephone, and Internet bills.
CAP Riverside is currently accepting applications for assistance by mail, email, or in one of its four drop boxes (Blythe, Desert Hot Springs, Hemet, and Riverside).
Residents can find the application online or by calling CAP Riverside at 951-955-4900 to request an application be mailed to them
For electric and gas utility assistance, customers should fill out the application at https://www.capriverside.org/program/utilityassistanceprogram
- English application – https://www.capriverside.org/Portals/2/PDF/HomePageRotatorLinks/CARES_application_12_10_20.pdf
- Spanish application – https://www.capriverside.org/Portals/2/PDF/HomePageRotatorLinks/Spanish_CARES_Application_12_10_20.pdf
Over $3 Mil available for utility assistance for Riverside County households.
10 Things you can do to manage your COVID-19 symptoms at home
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Preliminary statement on financial assistance for funeral expenses for those who have passed away due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
Recovery assistance will include reimbursement for funeral expenses to families who have experienced the death of loved ones due to the COVID 19 virus, since January 2020. Details will be released in April.
- In anticipation of the April filing period, here are the important points to share with those impacted:
- The application process will open in April 2021, which will require some documentation and have eligibility requirements.
- Death must have occurred in the United States.
- The death certificate must indicate that the passing was attributed to COVID-19.
- The applicant must be the person who incurred funeral expenses. There is no requirement that the actual deceased person be a U.S. citizen.
- Documentation of funeral expenses such as receipts from funeral home contracts, cemetery costs, burial expenses, cemetery plots/mausoleums etc. will be required.
- Documentation, when submitted, should include the applicant’s name, the deceased’s name, the amount of funeral expenses, and the dates the funeral expenses were incurred.
- Funds will be transmitted via check by mail or direct deposit, once an application is received and approved.
Further details will be available when the formal process begins; but, it is wise for anyone eligible to begin gathering the necessary information, receipts, death certificates now so as to be prepared to file promptly when the program itself is actually launched.
- For any senior issues, call Riverside County Senior Hotline at 800-510-2020
- Great Plates Delivered: Home Meals for Seniors
- Program overview: OOA Growing List of Food Resources for Homebound Seniors
- English/Spanish flyer: Great Plates_Eng_Span
- Participant application https://riversideihss.org/IntakeAppSenior
Housing for the Harvest
This is a program that offers temporary hotel housing to agricultural workers who need to isolate themselves due to COVID-19. It helps positive or exposed workers protect their loved ones and coworkers by giving them space to self-isolate. Farm and food processing workers play an essential role in maintaining our food supply. But some who need to self-isolate are finding it difficult due to their housing situation.
For more information: covid19.ca.gov/housing-for-agricultural-workers/
Immigrant Families Fund
Millions of immigrants are working on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, risking their health and well-being every day to keep our society going. And yet, many immigrants were left out of the CARES Act relief. The COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund is providing financial support to immigrant families who have been left out of the federal government’s relief efforts. Immigrants may be eligible to receive a $500 grant to help cover whatever is most pressing in their lives.
- Not eligible to receive a CARES Recovery Rebate (coronavirus stimulus check) from the Federal government.
- Earned less than $99,000 or total household income below $198,000 in 2019.
- Experienced an income disruption due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
- Step 1: PRE-APPLY – Submit a pre-application today.
- Step 2: APPLY – Depending on eligibility, equity, and available funding, we may invite you to submit a full grant application. If you are invited, you will receive an email from MAF inviting you to submit your full application in our secure portal.
- Step 3: APPROVAL – If we approve your application, we will deposit a $500 grant directly into your bank account within 2-5 business days.
Click here to pre-apply
Importance of wearing a mask and wearing it properly
Please follow the YouTube link. It will visually demonstrate how the coronavirus travels from person to person. Notice how social distance becomes important and how the risk has increased as we spend more time indoors because of the cold weather. Notice too, how the risk is reduced (not eliminated) when the face mask is used and even more so when the mask is properly fitted. On an additional note, an easy way to tell if you have a good mask is simply to try to blow out a candle. If you are able to blow it out, it has failed the test. Let us use extra care, please.
Lift to Rise
Vaccinate to Protect Health of Yourself and Your Community
In partnership with the Catholic health systems and Catholic Charities throughout the Golden State, the Catholic Bishops of California urge all Californians to receive a vaccination to prevent the continued spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than two million people worldwide.
As the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has said, the vaccines are now available and offered (Pfizer and Moderna) and those currently in the testing approval/process (AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson) are morally permissible and can be used in good conscience.
Beyond simply protecting their own health and safety, Catholics also have an obligation to protect their family, friends, and community by vaccinating as soon as feasible in accordance with public health guidelines and protocols in their area.