A nurse checks a clipboard at a COVID-19 testing facility in Santa Cruz County.
A nurse checks a clipboard at a COVID-19 testing facility in Santa Cruz County.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: 1,000+ cases of COVID-19 in county, vaccine developments and more

Good Morning, Santa Cruzans!

I hope y’all had a great holiday weekend. And, yes, we found some time to eat a little turkey, too!

But all in all, the weekend brought no shortage of news. Black Friday was very different this year, so we took to social media to ask Santa Cruzans how they spent the biggest shopping day of the year. Here’s what they said.

A 46-year-old man was stabbed in downtown Santa Cruz on Friday night, and police announced Saturday night the arrest of a 19-year-old woman for that crime.

Today’s forecast promises a mostly sunny day with a high of 64 and a low of 39. Now, to the biggest story to emerge out of this weekend, and one that will keep developing all week:

With more than 1,000 active cases, virus spread at all-time high in Santa Cruz County

Case spike

There are 1,076 active COVID-19 cases in Santa Cruz County as of this morning, with a total of 4,424 cases since the pandemic began. A Lookout analysis of the 14-day average of new cases being reported countywide shows that, as of Saturday, there was an average of 72.5 new cases per day. The state estimates that the county’s 14-day average positivity rate is at 7.8%. See more charts and analysis here.

Contact sports ban affects 49ers, NFL

Santa Clara County announced more stringent restrictions amid an uptick in cases, including a temporary ban on contact sports until Dec. 21 — meaning the San Francisco 49ers cannot play host to their home games at Levi’s Stadium scheduled for Dec. 7 and 13.

Quarantining after holiday travel

If you went out of state for Thanksgiving, California has issued a travel advisory recommending that you self-quarantine for 14 days. Our content partner LA Times provided us with this story on what you need to be doing to appropriately self-quarantine.

Latest on the vaccine

The Associated Press reports this morning that later today, Moderna will ask U.S. and European regulators to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine as new study results confirm that its shots offer strong protection. Moderna is just behind Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech, in seeking to begin vaccinations in the US in December. Read everything we know right now about how the vaccine will be distributed in California.

Presented by UC Santa Cruz

The University Library at UC Santa Cruz recently announced the online publication of the Santa Cruz County Historic...

For Santa Cruz Mountain winemakers, the 2020 vintage is all about resiliency

Bradley Brown of Big Basin Vineyards saw the most direct damage from the CZU Lightning Complex fire.
(Sara Gobets/For Lookout Santa Cruz)

The heroics of Ryan Beauregard and his fellow Bonny Doon fire warriors became the stuff of legend when the CZU Lightning Complex fire blazed through the Santa Cruz Mountains in August. He and a crew of locals dug in to help save numerous properties, including his own Beauregard Vineyards.

The winemaker mustered more bravado a month later when he decided to test some of his vineyard’s grapes that had endured the storm of smoke and ash — sadly a less fruitful rescue mission. “That (fermentation) definitely tasted like an ashtray,” Beauregard said of the small batch of Cabernet Franc that will go down the drain rather than into bottles. Read the full story here.

Where a bookstore is the soul of the community

A pro-unionization rally outside Bookshop Santa Cruz on Dec. 11 drew a crowd of about 50 people.
(Kevin Painchaud/Lookout Santa Cruz)

Over the weekend, our Wallace Baine wrote a column — an ode to the lifeblood of Santa Cruz literary lovers. Here’s an excerpt:

Bookshop is still, for many, Santa Cruz’s living room, a vital and irreplaceable downtown destination, still a place to connect with community through the joy of books.

But as so many other businesses have closed their doors — either permanently or temporarily — the pandemic of 2020’s hardest lesson has been to take nothing for granted, especially bookstores.

Read the whole thing here.

Hometown Heroes awards

2020 has been a year we can’t wait to forget, but first, we must celebrate those who stepped up to help. Lookout Santa Cruz is proud to co-host Santa Cruz Works New Tech Hometown Heroes 2020. So far, more than 50 community members have been nominated for the awards based on their personal sacrifices helping make our community stronger. Our Wallace Baine will be part of the judging process and will be introducing a winner on the night of the awards. You can register for the Wednesday, Dec. 2, event here.

Take this survey, improve our coverage

Lookout Santa Cruz is partnering with the University of Missouri School of Journalism to survey your information habits, wants and needs. The insights we receive will help us better serve you, our readers. Read more and take the survey here. And, yes, we’ll keep all your information anonymous.

Question of the day . . .

For today, I’d like to know, would you take the first dose of the vaccine when it becomes available and why?

To respond, send me a note at tulsi@lookoutlocal.com.

Around the county . . .

Watsonville mayor Rebecca Garcia reflects on the past year (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

CZU survivors camp out in Henry Cowell (Scotts Valley Press Banner)

POW/MIA flags to be flown at Pajaro Valley Unified School District buildings (The Pajaronian)

That’s it for this morning’s highlights. Check back later on LookoutSantaCruz.com for stories as they break throughout the day.

Tulsi Kamath
Managing Editor