Backpacks hang outside a classroom at Main Street Elementary in Soquel.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Latest News

Morning Lookout: Parents navigating Omicron surge and more construction ahead

A chilly good morning, all! It’s Wednesday, Jan. 12, and we’re in for another nice one, with plenty of sunshine and highs nearing 70 around Santa Cruz County.

Lots to get to this morning:

So let’s dive in:

‘Doing our best’

Teacher Mary Flynn answering question at Main Street Elementary School in Soquel.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz )

Parents of students in K-12 schools are struggling to make decisions about what is best for their children as COVID-19 cases surge across the county and among students. Read what they’ve been telling Lookout’s Hillary Ojeda.

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

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With purpose-driven and persistent effort, UCSC sought to advance justice, push the envelope of knowledge, and advocate...

More construction coming

Construction along Soquel Drive.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Works is set to begin this summer on a 5.6-mile stretch of Soquel Drive between Santa Cruz and Aptos, and there are community workshops planned tonight and next week. Get the details here from Lookout’s Grace Stetson.

ANOTHER TRAFFIC HEADACHE: Coming soon: 30-month construction project on Murray Street Bridge (Lookout)

Santa Cruz County vaccine update

Alameda County health workers prepare different sized syringes with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
(Anne Wernikoff / CalMatters)

Amid the Omicron surge, we update you on vaccination rates and where to find a COVID shot or test, plus wait, cost and turnaround times. Find the latest here.

MORE ON THE VARIANT: Omicron can make you contagious before you test positive, allowing for rapid spread (Los Angeles Times)

With hospitals reeling, California tells COVID-positive medical workers to stay on the job

A nurse gives an interview outside a hospital
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

Experts say it’s a necessary solution to staffing shortages amid the ongoing surge of the Omicron variant, yet many workers say the policy could be dangerous. More here from our partners at the Los Angeles Times.

LOCALLY: Amid surging California numbers, Santa Cruz not immune: County sees highest daily case counts yet (Lookout)

Newsom announces plan to deal with extreme heat

Felisa Benitez, 86, takes a break on the porch of her home on a 99-degree day
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

The governor has released guidelines following a Los Angeles Times investigation into California’s failure to address heat-related deaths. Find the details here.

MORE EXTREMES: No, California’s drought isn’t over — here’s why (CalMatters)

As the community continues its efforts to enhance & expand the county’s public library facilities, Friends of the Santa...

Around the county ...

Mandatory cup charge coming to Santa Cruz County this summer (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
Homegrown officer takes over as Watsonville police chief (The Pajaronian)
Identity of woman in bizarre crash, ocean recovery in Santa Cruz County released (KSBW-TV)
Sheriff’s Office oversight advanced by Santa Cruz County supervisors (Santa Cruz Local)

And that’s it for right now, but keep tabs throughout the day by bookmarking our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can also sign up for breaking news alerts and our other newsletters by visiting the Lookout Newsletter & Text Center.

And if you’re not a member already, or know someone who’s a fan of local journalism, please consider a Lookout membership. Our content isn’t possible without community support.

Be good, stay safe and enjoy another beautiful day — I’ll see everyone back here Thursday a.m.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz