Data as of 2/22
(Santa Cruz County public health)
Lookout PM Archive

LOOKOUT PM: COVID updates; new Eaters Digest

Happy Friday evening, everybody. Your dedicated Lookout crew hopes that the week has been a productive and pleasant one. As we head into the weekend, look for slightly increased temperatures, with highs in the low to mid 60s.

If you’re casting about for things to do, check out our BOLO Best Bets, which includes a wealth of varied activities, both indoors and out.

But before we get to your headlines, a bit of news from the university up on the hill:

Vasili’s closing, new venture for Hanloh chef and chowder cook-off returns

Vasili's Greek Restaurant to close after 31 years.
(Via Facebook)

Eaters Digest: A Mission Street staple is shuttering this weekend, though the spot might not be vacant long. Lily Belli also checks in on the next move for chef Lalita Kaewsawang and runs down foodie events you don’t want to miss in her latest Eaters Digest. Check it all out here.

More Lily: Check out all of her recent columns here

Infections, hospitalizations, deaths and demographic data

Two nurses at a COVID-19 testing facility in Santa Cruz County
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

COVID updates: Santa Cruz County’s COVID-19 positivity rate continues to slow down. As of this week, the change in the 14-day average was minus-68%. According to county data, there were a total of 2,473 active COVID-19 cases as of the most recent update Tuesday, a number on a steady decline from previous weeks. More data available here.

➤ PROMOTING HEALTH THROUGH JOBS: See all the most recent listings here.


Biden names Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to Supreme Court in historic pick

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.
(Via Rose Lincoln / Creative Commons)

Hearing coming: President Joe Biden has selected Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to fill a Supreme Court vacancy, a history-making choice that would make her the first Black woman to ascend to the high court. See more from our partners at the Los Angeles Times here.

ICYMI: The struggle for families is real — and for one family, tragedy followed triumph

Mirella, Leticia, Jared and Marina, saying goodbye to Adrian.
(Via Leticia Sandoval)

Unhoused Part II: The number of families experiencing homelessness in Santa Cruz County continues to increase despite the efforts by local leaders to prioritize them. Lookout learned that the number hit a two-year high in January after spiking by 27% over the past six months. One family saw the hard work needed to get rehoused finally pay off. During their day of celebration, tragedy struck. Mark Conley has the story here.

Part I: Three universal truths about why this county remains among the capitals of homelessness


California agriculture takes $1.2 billion hit during drought, losing 8,700 farm jobs, researchers find

Farmworker Alma Guedea packs up freshly harvested grapes
Farmworker Alma Guedea packs up freshly harvested grapes in Delano.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Climate impacts: Severe drought last year caused the California agriculture industry to shrink by 8,745 jobs and shoulder $1.2 billion in direct costs as water cutbacks forced growers to fallow farmland and pump more groundwater from wells, according to new research. More details here.

Presented by Sol Property Advisors

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak unprecedented impacts on the housing market, there are several indications...

CDC: Masks can come off in schools unless COVID metrics are high

Third-grade students wear masks during class
Third grade dual-language students wear masks during class at Montara Avenue Elementary School in August.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Policy change: Though the state of California isn’t aiming to revisit its guidance on masks in schools until next week, the federal government on Friday gave most schools the OK to go without. More details from our partners at Chalkbeat here.

More from here & elsewhere

Aptos edges Santa Cruz in grudge match, advances to D-III championship (Sentinel)
Sen. Padilla bill would increase federal funding for housing — in one case by more than 6,500% (San Francisco Chronicle)
South Bay church fined $2.8 million for COVID violations hasn’t paid a cent as lawsuit drags on (Mercury News)
Gonzales police officer arrested after stealing dozens of guns (KSBW)

And that’s the way it was on this Friday night. Have a good one and we’ll see you Monday.

Dan Evans
Executive Editor