Below is a recap of our most recent tele town hall as well as updated coronavirus information and resources that may be helpful to you.
Town Hall Recap
If you missed our most recent town hall about managing your mental health during this coronavirus pandemic, you can listen to a livestream, read notes, and view a list of resources at my website.
As part of a state initiative to expand COVID-19 testing, a number of new testing sites have opened in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
Santa Barbara County residents can visit https://lhi.care/covidtesting or call 888-634-1123 between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. to make an appointment to be screened and subsequently tested. More information is available at publichealthsbc.org.
Ventura County residents who have symptoms of COVID-19 or been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 may schedule an appointment for testing by calling 1-888-634-1123 for essential workers, or 805-652-7660 for the County's Ambulatory Urgent Care-sponsored testing sites. More information is available at vcemergency.com
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Now Live
The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program is now available to self-employed individuals, independent contractors, and gig workers who are not eligible for traditional unemployment insurance or other state paid leave programs. You can apply for PUA benefits now on the California Employment Development Department (EDD) website.
The best way to apply for unemployment or PUA benefits is online through the EDD website. There are two EDD call centers for those who experience difficulty with the EDD's online tool. NOTE: these call centers operate at different times, and are for specific purposes.
- If you have a general question, call this EDD number: 833-978-2511. It operates from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
- If you have already filed a claim and have a specific question about your claim, call this EDD number: 800-300-5616. It operates from 8 a.m. to noon weekdays.
Please keep in mind that EDD is processing an unprecedented number of claims at this time.
Pandemic Emergency Response Committee Hearing
As a member of the Senate Special Committee on Emergency Response, I will join my fellow committee members this Wednesday, May 6 at 1:30 p.m. for our first hearing. We will discuss COVID-19 testing and contact tracing, critical steps towards safely reopening. You can watch the hearing live at senate.ca.gov
From delivering groceries and checking in on neighbors to supporting food shelters and donating blood, there are many ways you can safely volunteer during this time. Visit the links below to see what opportunities are available near you.
United Way Santa Barbara
United Way Ventura
Support for Older Adults
Older adults are particularly vulnerable during this time. If you or someone you know needs help with groceries or meals, dial 211, if you are feeling lonely and need to talk, call the Friendship Line at 1-888-670-1360, and if you suspect elder abuse, call Adult Protective Services at 1-833-401-0832.
If you have questions or need additional assistance, please contact my office at (805) 965-0862 in Santa Barbara or (805) 988-1940 in Ventura or visit my website.
Senator, 19th District