In San Joaquin County, a lot of working class people—from retail, service and gig economy workers—have lost their jobs or experienced decreased hours and wages as a result of COVID-19. And we know that thousands of essential factory, warehouse and farm workers are having to work in environments that leave them susceptible to contracting the virus. You might be worried about how to pay your rent during this crisis or whether you’ll be able to afford the essentials once the crisis is over. If you’re in this situation, we understand. Here are some resources that can help you and others in our community.
Who is eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Anyone working or living in San Joaquin County who is 12 or older can get the COVID-19 vaccine. Children aged 12 to 17 are only approved for the Pfizer vaccine. The Moderna vaccine is for people 18 and older. Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine is for people 18 and older. Vaccinations for people younger than 12 will start as soon as the COVID-19 vaccines are approved for them.
How do I know if the COVID-19 vaccine is safe?
The Federal Drug and Administration (FDA) works to make sure that all vaccines are as safe as possible through careful testing. So far, the FDA has provided emergency use authorization for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines and full approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Although the vaccines are new, the process for ensuring vaccine safety is not new. All vaccines must meet strict safety standards before being released to the public. Many thousands of adults of different ages and races volunteered for clinical trials to test the COVID-19 vaccines, and more than 170 million Americans are fully vaccinated. The FDA and others continue to track side effects and watch for any safety concerns.
Do I need to be a California resident to get COVID-19 vaccine?
No. Vaccine distribution is based on eligibility, not residency or immigration status.
I'm ready to get vaccinated. When and where can I make an appointment?
You can book an appointment for yourself or your child (must be 12 or older) through My Turn or by calling California’s COVID-19 Hotline at 1-833-422-4255. You can also call your family doctor, local community health clinic or public health office for more information.
I need a COVID-19 test. Where can I get one?
The county maintains an updated list of testing sites on its Office of Emergency Services website. Most of the testing sites don’t require an appointment and they are first come, first serve. Rapid antigen tests will be offered, as well as PCR tests and vaccines. All sites require you to wear your mask and practice social distancing.
If you have health insurance, you will be required to provide your health insurance information to be tested. Most health insurance plans cover the full cost of testing, so there should be no charge. If you don’t have insurance, you will not be charged for the services provided.
Update on the coronavirus stimulus payments
The IRS has begun sending payments to taxpayers nationwide. Most people won’t need to take any action if they are eligible for payment. To check your payment status, visit their site.
I'm worried about losing my income. What should I do?
Has your employment status changed, or are you working fewer hours because of COVID-19? Check out these resources:
If you have lost your job or your employer has reduced your hours because of COVID-19, file for Unemployment Insurance (UI). UI provides partial wage replacement benefit payments to workers who lose their job or have their hours reduced, through no fault of their own (including because of COVID-19). Eligible individuals can receive benefits that range from $40-$450 per week.
If you are an entrepreneur or independent contractor who needs support, you can apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). The PUA benefits are payable if an individual doesn’t qualify for regular UI benefits in California or another state and also does not qualify for State Disability Insurance or Paid Family Leave benefits.
If you are looking for a new job now:
Dollar Tree, a Stockton Chamber of Commerce member, is hiring nationwide at their stores and distribution centers.
Amazon is hiring in Stockton. To apply, text STOCKTONNOW to 77088 for job alerts or visit amazon.com/centralvalleyjobs.
Onwardca.org is a new site that will match out-of-work Californians with critical jobs statewide. More jobs will be added on a regular basis.
Stockton Unified (SUSD) is hiring. Take a look at their open roles on the SUSD website.
If you are unable to work due to having or being exposed to COVID-19, file for Disability Insurance (DI). DI provides short-term benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy. Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income) and range from $50-$1,300 a week.
If you are unable to work because you are caring for an ill or quarantined family member, file for Paid Family Leave (PFL). PFL provides up to six weeks of benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages because they need time off work to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child. Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income) and range from $50-$1,300 a week. For more information, visit the California Employment Development Department.
I've heard rumors about scams during COVID-19. What should I do?
If you are concerned about COVID-19 financial scams, CRC (California Reinvestment Coalition) has developed a helpful infographic in English and Spanish to alert people on how they can protect themselves and their loved ones from scammers and bad actors. Vulnerable communities are disproportionately targeted by financial predators.
I'm a farmer. What resources are available for me?
If you are a farmer, rancher, producer, or you have a rural-based business, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has created a COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide that be can be used to provide immediate and long-term assistance to rural communities affected by COVID-19.
Meals and food support
Are there free meal services available for students?
As COVID-19 unfolds in San Joaquin County and throughout the Valley, we know that it may impact your ability to feed yourself and your family. Many community resources are still open, some of which are summarized below:
- Stockton Unified School District: Beginning Monday, March 23 and while classes are canceled, Stockton Unified School District will be providing breakfast and lunch meal pick-up for any child 18 and under. The meals will be offered as a drive-thru service. Families and children should remain in their vehicles and follow direction from school staff on site. Meals will also be available to families who walk to their nearest site for meal pickup; however, there will not be any space available to eat the meals at the school, and families should plan to eat the meals at home. Meals will be available Monday–Friday between 11:30am-12:30pm at the sites listed on the school district’s website.
- Lincoln Unified School District: Lincoln Unified is providing meal pickup Monday-Friday at various locations. Meals include breakfast and lunch. Meals are available to any child 18 years and under, and students with disabilities, age 18-22. Children must be present to receive the meal. Locations and serving times are subject to change. Please check the district website for up-to-date information.
- Lodi Unified School District: Beginning March 23, Lodi Unified will be provide meal pickup Monday-Friday at various locations. Meals include lunch for the current day and breakfast for the following day. Meals are available to any child 18 years and under—regardless of what school they attend. Children must be present to receive the meal. Meals are for pick-up only and will not be consumed on-site. Locations and serving times are subject to change. Please check the district website for up-to-date information.
- Other San Joaquin County School Districts: In addition, school districts throughout San Joaquin County continue serving critical meal resources. Beginning March 18 and until classes are back in session, programs will provide meal pickup Monday-Friday from 11am–12:30pm at various sites in Manteca, Lathrop, Lodi and Stockton. Meals include lunch for the current day and breakfast for the following day. Meals are available to any child 18 years and under. Children must be present to receive the meals.
- California Department of Public Education: The California Department of Public Education has developed a mobile phone app for families to find the closest school lunch pickup locations while schools are closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Learn how to download the app on the department’s website.
Are there any community organizations giving out food for free?
For those unable to buy groceries, you can still access food at one of the following organizations or programs.
- HSA Food for You Program
- Senior Lunch Program (must be 60+ to participate)
- Victory in Praise Church
- Other Food Banks
Please visit San Joaquin 211, dial 211 or text 898211 for more information.
What should I do if I need my groceries delivered?
Nourish Stockton: On April 2, Mayor Michael Tubbs announced a partnership with Chef Alice Waters and the Edible Schoolyard Project to deliver thousands of pounds to locally grown food from area farms to local food banks. The Stockton Strong coalition is working with the Mayor’s Office to get much-needed nourishment to our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Each week, local farmers will deliver over 2,000 pounds of fresh produce (fruits and vegetables) to support families in need during the coronavirus crisis.
- Food deliveries will continue throughout April and May to places such as the Emergency Food Bank, Saint Mary’s Dining Hall and Van Buskirk Community Center.
- Nourish Stockton services will start in the first week of April, and will serve seniors (65+) who are disproportionately at risk of COVID-19. This program will officially launch on April 9th, with invitations to participate; this service will expand as resources allow.
- To express need for emergency food access in vulnerable communities, you can fill out the food survey on the Stockton Strong website.
- If you have any general questions during COVID-19, call 211 or email [email protected]
Bread of Life: If you or someone you know needs food assistance, you can go to breadoflifeca.org and request a food delivery to your home from Bread of Life. While San Joaquin County is under a stay-in-place order, they are delivering food three days a week.
Special Grocery Store Hours for the Elderly & Other Vulnerable Residents: Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes are at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19. If you’re a senior citizen or have other chronic medical conditions, please protect yourself by staying at home. If you need to purchase groceries in person, there are a number of stores that have established shopping dedicated hours for particular groups. This includes:
- Albertsons: From 7 to 9 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursday, the company is reserving time for “those vulnerable shoppers who must leave home to obtain their groceries, unless otherwise locally mandated.” Find the full list of Albertsons companies stores here.
- Dollar General: The Goodlettsville, Tennessee-based discount chain announced it is dedicating the first hour in its more than 16,000 stores in 44 states to help senior shoppers “avoid busier and more crowded shopping periods.” The retailer said in a tweet that there wasn’t “qualifying a specific age” for the set-aside time.
Safeway: From 7 to 9 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday, the company is reserving time for “those vulnerable shoppers who must leave home to obtain their groceries, unless otherwise locally mandated.”
- Target: The retailer will “reserve the first hour of shopping each Wednesday at stores nationwide for vulnerable guests,” Target said, adding it is “encouraging other guests to plan their shopping trips around this time frame.”
- Save Mart: Save Mart will be setting aside every Tuesday and Thursday from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. for higher risk populations to shop. This includes seniors and other vulnerable populations, like pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems.
- Food Maxx: Food Maxx is part of the Save Mart Company, and they’ll also be setting aside every Tuesday and Thursday from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. for higher risk populations to shop.
- Smart & Final: The store is opening 30 minutes early from 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. to accommodate shoppers who have disabilities, who are pregnant, and who are 65 and older. To participate, you need your ID.
- Walmart: Walmart U.S. stores will adjust operating hours to 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Stores that open later than 7 a.m. will continue their regular starting hours. Walmart is offering special shopping hours for seniors. From March 24 through April 28, Walmart stores will host an hour-long senior shopping event every Tuesday for customers aged 60 and older. This will start one hour before the store opens. Pharmacies and Vision Centers will also be open during this time.
Grocery Delivery Services: If you are unable to leave your home, there are delivery services like InstaCart can shop for your groceries and deliver them to your door. Please reach out to [email protected] or fill out the survey above if you need support in accessing these services.
What local restaurants are offering takeout?
On March 16, Visit Stockton launched Dine Stockton in order to support local restaurant employees and their families. The intention was to keep those individuals on the job and be a resource for the community as they searched for delivery and take-out options across the city. The information is continually collected and updated (daily) and features a growing number of restaurants, some of which are offering curbside pickup during these difficult times.
Health care and mental health
I'm worried about my or a loved one's mental health. What should I do?
With physical distancing, job, housing, and food insecurity, illness and losses in our community, it is common to have feelings of anxiety and depression. Support and self-care are essential during this time. Please take time to care for your own mental wellness so that you can better care for your family and keep your immune system strong.
Local Behavioral Health Resources
Stockton Unified is proud to offer a new Student Support Services Helpline for families and students during the COVID-19 school closure. The helpline will be available Monday through Friday from 8am-3:30pm. If you have a medical or psychiatric emergency, please call 911. Stakeholders who contact the helpline at (209) 933-7111 will have access to speak directly to or leave a message for District Nurses, Elementary and High School Counselors, Mental Health Clinicians, and Child Welfare and Attendance staff. Any messages left will be returned as soon as possible.
Stockton Trauma Recovery Center: Fathers and Families of San Joaquin is continuing to operate and provide services during this time. You can reach them at (209) 941-0701.
San Joaquin County Mental Health Crisis Line: Call (209) 468-8686. The Crisis Intervention Line is staffed by psychiatric technicians and mental health physicians. 24/7 response.
Hospice of San Joaquin: Call (209) 957-3888 for grief support telehealth services or go to their website.
Beacon Health Strategies is a behavioral health benefit for those with Health Plan of San Joaquin. Call to set up services.
St. Joseph’s Behavioral Health provides behavioral health services for those with Medicare or commercial insurance. Please call for eligibility.
Community Medical Centers is available to provide behavioral health and recovery services for those in need. Please call (209) 940-5662 to speak to a representative, Monday-Saturday, 7:30am-7pm.
This California Surgeon General’s guide has mental and physical health tips to help you manage your stress during this time.
National Behavioral Health Resources
NAMI’s COVID-19 Resource and Information Guide provides helpful advice and a number of resources to support you and your family members. The guide also answers frequently asked questions about how and when to seek help.
The Mental Health First Aid program (MHFA), created by the National Council for Behavioral Health, offers guidance on how to care for yourself while practicing physical distancing. MHFA is an international program addressing mental health and reducing stigma around getting mental health services.
Talkspace launched a free therapist-led Facebook support group to address anxiety as it relates to COVID-19 a number of subgroups around specific issues. They’ve also created a Coronavirus Resource Hub, which addresses COVID-19 concerns from a mental health perspective.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call (800) 273-8255
NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Health) Helpline: Call (800) 950-6264
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Disaster Distress Helpline: Call (800) 985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.
Veterans Suicide Prevention Line: Call (800) 273-8255 or send a text message to 838255 to talk to a VA responder.
What mental health resources are available for children and young adults?
Check out the following resources specifically for young people:
- CDC resource for talking to children about COVID-19: As COVID-19 continues to impact their families and loved ones, children may be confused or concerned by what they are hearing and seeing. For general tips on how to talk to your children, please visit this CDC page.
- San Joaquin County Behavioral Health Services Warm Line: This is a non-emergency resource for any youth seeking emotional support. A clinician will staff this newly established warm line seven days a week from 11:30am to 8pm (holidays excluded). Call 209-468-3685 for support.
- The Child Abuse Prevention Council is providing free connections to community resources, parent coaching, and support on how to build a supportive home. Call (209) 644-5371 for more information.
- Victory in Praise Church is offering teen and children’s counseling as well as counseling for those dealing with domestic abuse. For more information, visit the church website.
Are there any apps available for mental wellness and online therapy?
The following apps are available for free:
- Smiling Mind is a not-for-profit app that provides mindfulness and meditation for adults and children.
- The Mindfulness App aims to provide meditation for everyone.
- Liberate Meditation offers meditation services geared towards people of color.
- Be Okay provides panic and anxiety relief.
- Headspace created a free collection called Weathering the Storm for its app users. It’s a collection of sleep and movement exercises.
- Ten Percent Happier has a free collection of guided meditations and resources. Also, healthcare workers get free access to their app at this time.
Are there any online workouts available to help me stay mentally and physically fit?
Yes. Check out the following resources:
- Planet Fitness is live-streaming free at-home workout classes at 4pm PT daily on their Facebook page.
- Barry’s Bootcamp is offering free, daily strength training workouts live at 9am. If you miss it at the schedule time, you can still watch it for 24 hours after.
- Corepower Yoga is offering an online collection of free yoga classes each week on their website.
I need support from a healthcare professional but I don’t have regular health insurance or a regular doctor. What should I do?
If you need support from a healthcare professional but don’t have regular health insurance or a regular doctor, you can do the following:
- Enroll in health insurance: All health care plans offered through healthcare.gov must cover mental health and substance use services.
- Go to the emergency department if you need help immediately: In an emergency, all health departments that participate in Medicare (which is most U.S. hospitals) must see you, regardless of your ability to pay.
- Federally funded health centers provide care regardless of insurance coverage or income. Many of these centers include mental health services. Find a federally funded health center near you at findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov.
- National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics: Offers a Find A Clinic function on its website.
What schools are closed in our area?
Gov. Newsom recently announced that communities should not expect to return to school before the summer break. During this time, Stockton school districts and universities are providing regular updates to their students:
- The San Joaquin County Office of Education is keeping an updated list of local school closures.
- The Lincoln Unified School District closed down its school sites on March 16. Find more updates on the school district website.
- The Manteca Unified School District is keeping families updated on its website.
- The Lodi Unified School District is keeping families updated on its website.
I’m worried about how to take care of my kids' education on my own. What should I do?
COVID-19 has impacted students in both the K-12 sector and higher education in multiple ways, as schools pivot to online or distance learning or completely close campuses. Gov. Newsom recently announced that, while the situation is changing quickly, communities should not expect to return to school before the summer break. If you’ve experienced any of these changes either for your child(ren) and or yourself, please review the following resources:
- Family Resource and Referral Center: If you are a health care worker, first responders, or any essential service worker and are in need of child care, licensed family child care is a great option—especially as family child care homes are a smaller setting and are good options for social distancing. Many child care providers are accepting new children. Family Resource & Referral Center provides free, professional referrals (not recommendations) to licensed child care providers in the county. You can call (209) 461-2908 or visit www.frrcsj.org to look for a referral.
- Transitional Age Youth (TAY) Online Support: TAY now offers FREE online video conferencing and mentoring services for youths age 16-25. Youth can receive support and guidance on matters ranging from emotional wellbeing to education to employment.
- Child Abuse Prevention Services During COVID-19: CAPC is providing early childhood education services, including free preschool/daycare services for children of essential workers (0-12 years). CAPC is also offering free virtual home visits with trained professionals who will provide support to you and your children (specifically children 0-3). Support includes: getting kids ready to succeed in school, connecting parents with community resources, and more. For more information, visit nochildabuse.org. CAPC has information for you about Parent Cafés, which are parent groups designed to share information & ideas that help parents take care of themselves, build positive relationships with their children, and build lasting relationships in their community. Parent Cafés are meeting virtually during C-19.
What online learning resources are available for students?
The following resources are available in our area:
- Wide Open School: A new remote learning resource for families and educators. WideOpenSchool.org is a source of quality content that will provide educators and caregivers with the support they need to shift to remote teaching and serve as a one-stop, trusted place for families to engage kids who are now learning from home. Wide Open School features the very best resources from publishers, nonprofits, and education companies, including the American Federation of Teachers, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Head Start, Khan Academy and PBS.
- Sesame Street in Communities: This is a resource for parents and caregivers that contains guidance on talking to children about COVID-19, comfort strategies and tips on managing uncertainty.
- Edible Schoolyard Education for the Home Classroom: If you are looking for education lessons that students can complete at home, you’ve come to the right place! Here you’ll find educational resources—created specifically for this time of distance learning—that engage students in understanding how food is deeply connected to so many parts of our lives.
- Updates from the Stockton San Joaquin County Public Library: If you wish to access the library’s electronic resources but do not have a library card, you can call (209) 937-8221 in Stockton or (866) 805-7323 from San Joaquin County.
They are available to help the community 10am-5pm. The Stockton San Joaquin County Public Library is also posting wellness tips, daily adventures, and story time for kids and teens on their Facebook page.
- San Joaquin Virtual Peer-Tutoring Network: The San Joaquin County Education Initiative is a group where students can sign up to either be tutors (for community service hours or just out of their desire to support peers), or sign up to get support with virtual assignments. Visit the Education Initiative website or call (209) 244-0721 if you’d like to follow up for additional info.
- San Joaquin Delta College has launched online lecture classes. All hands-on labs that must occur in person have resumed. Please contact [email protected] for questions regarding campus closure and upcoming announcements.
- The University of Pacific has created a centralized email address to send questions and inquiries about COVID-19 related issues: [email protected]
Is there student aid available for college students?
Yes. Check out the following resources:
- Stockton Scholars is assessing college student needs in the community to inform the potential launch of an emergency fund for eligible students. We know that students will face unexpected expenses and a likely loss of wages during this time due to the lack of paid family and medical leave. Some may need plane fare to get home, while others need money to pay their rent. Please complete this survey if you are a college student to help us understand the impact on our current college students.
- UOP has created a COVID-19 Relief Grant Fund, which will provide new and returning undergraduate students who are enrolled in full-time degree programs $1,450 each year to put toward their tuition for up to eight consecutive semesters. The number of grants allowed will be based on students’ class year.
Protections for renters and homeowners
I’m worried about paying my rent or mortgage. What should I do?
If you are a tenant concerned about potential eviction:
- The Stockton City Council has put a moratorium on evictions for tenants who have a higher risk of contracting coronavirus and those whose incomes have been affected due to reduced hours, school closures, or job loss. Important to note: The moratorium does not eliminate a resident’s obligation to pay the unpaid rent. When the local/state emergency expires, renters are obligated to be current on past due rent. Contact your landlord to suggest a repayment plan (in writing). If you’re served with a notice, you must respond. Call California Rural Legal Assistance (209) 946-0605 for help with legal aid right away. You can also get assistance from the San Joaquin Fair Housing Association by calling (209) 451-3471.
- For more information on the City of Stockton’s recent action, including criteria on how to qualify for the moratorium, please view this document online.
- For a comprehensive FAQ on Stockton’s eviction moratorium from Faith in the Valley and California Rural Legal Assistance, view this document online.
If you are a homeowner, the federal government is taking the following actions to address housing insecurity during COVID-19:
- Homeowners in need may receive forbearance on their mortgage payments for six months, with an additional six months possible, for a total of one year of forbearance. Homeowners must have a loan backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, or a mortgage guaranteed or insured by the federal government.
- Home foreclosures and related evictions have ceased for 60 days, as of March 18, on all federally backed mortgages.
- Californians who are struggling with the COVID-19 crisis may be eligible for the following relief:
- 90-Day Grace Period for Mortgage Payments: Consistent with applicable guidelines, financial institutions will offer mortgage payment forbearances of up to 90 days to borrowers economically impacted by COVID-19.
- No Negative Credit Impacts Resulting from Relief: Consistent with applicable guidelines, financial institutions will not report derogatory tradelines (e.g., late payments) to credit reporting agencies for borrowers taking advantage of COVID-19-related relief.
- Moratorium on Initiating Foreclosure Sales or Evictions: For at least 60 days, financial institutions will not initiate foreclosure sales or evictions, consistent with applicable guidelines. For more information on California’s actions, visit the California Governor’s website.
Victory in Praise Church is also offering assistance with rent and other bills. For more information, visit the church website.
I'm experiencing homelessness. What help is available?
If you are currently experiencing homelessness, Stockton-area homeless shelters and services remain open and they can link you with supportive resources:
- Stockton Shelter for the Homeless: Call (209) 466-2605
- San Joaquin Fair Housing Association: Call (209) 451-3471
- Women’s Center of San Joaquin County: Call (209) 941-2611
- San Joaquin Public Health Services created a COVID-19 brochure for the homeless. Download the brochure online.
What services are available for veterans?
As COVID-19 alters the daily life of every resident in San Joaquin County, we want to make sure veterans have access to the resources they need to stay safe, thrive and live with honor. The following resources are available in our area:
- If you are a veteran with symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, you should immediately contact your local VA facility. Alternatively, you can sign into My HealtheVet to send secure messages to your VA providers or use telehealth options to explain your condition and receive a prompt diagnosis. Visit the VA website to check out more frequently asked questions about accessing your VA benefits.
- Resources for Military Caregivers and Families:
- Mental Health Resources for Veterans: Check out VA Mental Health Services. You can call the Veterans Suicide Prevention Line at (800) 273-8255 or send a text message to 838255 to talk to a VA responder.
I want to volunteer. How can I help?
As the COVID-19 situation continues, there is an emerging need for volunteers to safely support critical community needs and to donate specific supplies. Please complete this survey to be connected with a volunteer opportunity.
Support for congregations
I'm worried about my congregation. What should I do?
With event cancellations, reduced foot traffic, self-quarantining and work-from-home policies, we know that the coronavirus crisis is affecting congregations all over the place. Use this spreadsheet to find guidance on what your congregation can do to best respond during the COVID-19 pandemic.