COVID 2022

COVID PM: June 15 nears, mask mandates dissolve — will businesses be staffed?

Hey, everyone — there is much to unpack on the local and state scenes as we inch closer to next Tuesday and the grand June 15 reopening.

If you are a local restaurant or tourist business, excited for that big moment, it’s a complicated reality. Our Neil Strebig digs into the why on that one below.

Meanwhile, California rolled out plans Wednesday that confirm a post-tier gameplan we largely suspected.

To those headlines and more we go...

Business is back...workers however are not

Amanda Franks poses for a photo outside Rocky's Cafe in Felton on Monday, June 7.
(Neil Strebig / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Santa Cruz businesses navigate worker shortages ahead of June 15 reopening: “Help wanted” signs have become the unofficial calling card for businesses in 2021. Here’s how some local eateries and other outfits are managing the hiring shortage. More from Neil, who talked to business folks from around the county.

RELATED: ‘Our locals kept us alive’ — and so did outdoor dining: a push for Scotts Valley restaurants to stay outside

Californians get a June 15th greenlight

A woman roller-skates near the beach.

Those vaccinated for COVID-19 can largely shed masks: The long-promised change will take effect Tuesday, the same date as the state’s full economic reopening, and bring the state into alignment with the CDC’s COVID-19 guidelines. More from the LA Times here.

5 places vaccinated people still need to wear a mask in California after June 15 (SF Gate)
San Francisco is nearing coronavirus herd immunity, but L.A. still has months to go (LA Times)

Presented by Santa Cruz County Bank

With a goal to continue their mission to uplift the community through music and music education, Kuumbwa Jazz created...

‘Each one has a story’

Alyssa Fairchild
(Nick Morris)

Sixth-generation Santa Cruzan documents 2020’s unique class of high school grads: What started with Nick Morris taking “a couple snapshots” of an unreal COVID happening has morphed into an exhibit at the Santa Cruz Art League encompassing portraits, oral histories and artwork featuring the students who lived it. More from Mallory Pickett on that here.

COVID parents and their adult children

Melissa Anderson high-fives her dad David who custom made a dining table for her new L.A. apartment.

A pandemic love story you haven’t heard before: For some lucky families, the unexpected time together brought on by the pandemic often felt like a gift, a bonus year to bond with parents and siblings. More from the Times here.

Through internship projects that support Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP) initiatives and members, MBEP’s...

More from here & elsewhere

Why everything you need is getting more expensive (CNN)
The U.K. had a ‘vaccine-only strategy.’ It was working — until a new variant took hold (NBC News)
US vaccine pace needs to pick up before a dangerous variant can take hold, Fauci says (CNN)
‘This IS INSANE’: Africa desperately short of COVID vaccine (ABC News)
J&J is working to extend the shelf-life of its Covid vaccine so doses don’t expire (CNN)
Fully vaccinated Canadians can avoid border quarantine soon (ABC News)
Man accused of stealing vaccine cards from inoculation site (ABC News)
‘This was just ugly’: Anti-vaccine protesters cause chaos at Bay Area congressman’s town hall (SF Gate)

SC Insiders: An exclusive tour of Ventana Surfboards & Supplies workshop

Surfer carries Ventana surfboard
(Ventana Surfboards & Supplies)

Last month, we launched our Lookout membership perk, SC Insiders — a host of carefully curated experiences that you can only get through a Lookout membership. If you missed last month’s private concert by Santa Cruz’s own Taylor Rae, you can watch it here.

The next event, a tour of the Ventana Surfboard and Supplies workshop, will be held on Wednesday, June 16 at noon. We are reserving some seats for new members who sign up using the code VENTANA entered here. If you’re already a Lookout member and would like to join us for the event, you can email our Head of Events, Matthew Swinnerton at

See you all tomorrow!

Mark Conley
Deputy Managing Editor