(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
COVID 2022

LOOKOUT PM: Omicron surge brings county case rates to a record level

Happy Monday evening, friends.

Confirmation that we’re still cresting the Omicron hump came at both the state and county levels today. More on each of those details below — and thankfully there are no new details indicating a change in the disproportion between this variant’s contagiousness and its deadliness.

If you missed it in Morning Lookout, you’ll want to check in on the upcoming Murray Street Bridge project.

The headlines ...

Amid surging California numbers, Santa Cruz not immune

Vials containing COVID test swaps are prepared to be sent to a lab.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

County sees highest daily case counts yet: Over the last several days, Santa Cruz County has reported more daily cases than at any other time during the pandemic and public health experts predict it will continue increasing for the next several weeks. More from Hillary Ojeda here.

California surpasses astonishing 6 million COVID-19 infections as Omicron wave expands

Lines last week at the Cabrillo College COVID testing and at-home kit pickup site.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Unprecedented numbers: More than 6 million cumulative coronavirus cases have now been reported in California, according to data compiled by The Times — the latest milestone as the Omicron variant continues its record-smashing race across the state. On Monday, the state reported 308,820 new infections, a colossal figure that includes data from both Saturday and Sunday. Full details here.


How parents with kids too young to vaccinate can navigate Omicron

A child pumps out hand sanitizer in a kindergarten classroom.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

‘Don’t panic’: COVID case numbers are still going up. Kids under 5 won’t be eligible for vaccination for months. How can parents make smart decisions in the meantime? The LA Times with some answers here.

ICYMI: Santa Cruz County schools & Omicron: Leaders share early report cards on latest ‘survival mode’ (Hillary Ojeda)

Santa Cruz tells Food Not Bombs it’s time to go

One of the unhoused residents of Lot 27 prepares for her next move.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Lot 27 being cleared by city to make room for construction: Homelessness advocate Keith McHenry said “it’s an insane time” for the city to try to evict his group and the homeless campers who have used the parking lot as safe harbor. The city says a construction project will begin and it’s no longer safe. More from Grace Stetson here.

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Coming soon: 30-month construction project on Murray Street Bridge

A view of the Murray Street Bridge in January 2022.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz )

Get ready for the traffic: Local motorists will soon face a disruptive rehabilitation project on the Murray Street Bridge. The overhaul includes seismic upgrades and widening and, officials say, is a safety issue. But construction on the bridge that spans the harbor and connects Twin Lakes and beyond to downtown Santa Cruz is sure to be a headache. More on what to expect here.

COVID-19, children, climate change are focal points in Newsom’s budget plan

Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference in Los Angeles
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

What’s on tap: The governor’s plan lays out close to $10 billion in new spending on COVID, climate change, homelessness, inequality and ‘keeping our streets safe.’ More from the LA Times here.

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Judge pauses California luxury development over wildfire evacuation concerns

The Guenoc Valley Project is located outside of Middletown, northeast of Santa Rosa.
(Via Lotusland Investment Group)

Safety at issue: A court has ruled that Lake County failed to properly analyze how a Guenoc Valley development would affect evacuation routes in times of wildfire. More from the Times here.

More from here & elsewhere

Police investigate Santa Cruz woman’s death after hit-and-run collision on Highway 1 (Sentinel)
Plans for organic farm at Watsonville Airport nixed (Pajaronian)
Google buys Bay Area land, historic restaurant uproots and moves half a mile across town (SF Gate)
Man receives first-ever heart transplant from a gene-edited pig (USA Today)
Popular QAnon promoter dies of COVID in California (SF Gate)
No evidence of drugs or foul play in death of Bob Saget, medical examiner says (NBC News)

That is all for a Monday night. Be well and we’ll see you all tomorrow.

Mark Conley
Deputy Managing Editor

Supporting local Santa Cruz businesses continues to be more important than ever. When it comes to buying gifts this...