Santa Cruz Works + MERGE4: Don't Kill Grandma

Check out the recording from the "Don't Kill Grandma" event MERGE4 took part in last week! The SCCBC - Santa Cruz County Business Council partnered with Santa Cruz Works and the Small Business Development Center at Cabrillo College to host a special, virtual town hall aimed specifically at 18-34 year olds with our County Health Officer, Dr. Gail Newel, and UC Santa Cruz Professor Marm Kilpatrick , who is an expert on infectious diseases. It featured a current update on COVID in Santa Cruz, an overview of how you can still have fun with your friends SAFELY, and a question and answer session from the front line experts.

Snapshot of recording

We highly recommend you watch the entire video below. It contains the most current information about COVID 19, the surge in our counties, and what you need to do to protect others.

  • There were only 10 infections a day until July 14. Infections have surged 3x; mostly in south county among 17 to 35 year olds.

  • 80%+ transmission occurred in housing not at work, nor in a medical facility

  • Infected persons got COVID from a friend or person within 6’ not wearing a facemark

  • A large number of new cases are Hispanic/ Latino

  • Data indicates that new cases are NOT due to increased testing

  • Data shows that virus was transmitted: by 2 people in enclosed space (poor ventilation) having contact within 6’ without using masks

  • Very low risk of virus infection from touching surfaces 

  • Low risk: outdoor activities with space & masks

  • Young people have lower fatality risk, but can still have long term illness (months)

  • Ages 60+ have 2-8x higher fatality rate

  • Men are 1.5-3x higher risk for fatality

  • People are most infectious when they don’t feel sick!

  • 20-40% infected people don’t have symptoms

  • Reason to wear masks is primarily to protect others

  • Ocean sports: virus does not survive in the water / ocean (go surf!)

  • Good to be outdoors, on the beach, exercising



As young people we sometimes feel invincible, and it's true that COVID is hitting older people much harder–but even if you don't wind up in the hospital reliant on a ventilator to breath, you can still spread the virus to the most vulnerable in our community. It's time for us to step up and take responsibility for stopping the spread. You can still have fun (!), and you can still see your friends (!!), but just stay outdoors and keep six feet away from each other. If you have to get close or go inside, wear a mask and limit that time as much as possible.