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Ways to help others in Sonoma County during the coronavirus pandemic

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How To Reduce Your Risk

Local health officials urge practicing good hygiene to reduce the risk of becoming infected with a respiratory virus, such as the flu or coronavirus. This includes:

• Washing hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
• Avoid touching your eyes and face
• Cough or sneeze into your sleeved elbow
• Stay home when ill
• Get a flu shot, and it’s not too late this season

Source: Sonoma County Department of Health Services

For more information, go to sonomacounty.ca.gov/Health/Information-About-Coronavirus.

Questions or concerns can be directed to the county’s 24-hour information hotline at 211 or 800-325-9604. You can also text "COVID19" to 211211 for coronavirus information.

For more stories about the coronavirus, go here.

If you want to help people affected by the coronavirus pandemic but aren't sure how, here is a list of ways to help while social distancing. We will continue to update this list, so reach out to onlineideas@pressdemocrat.com with any additions.

Donate

Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels, which provides seniors with food, asks for a small monetary donation from its participants, but also does not turn anyone away. The program is seeking monetary donations to help cover the cost of food. To donate, click here.

Redwood Empire Food Bank

Redwood Empire Food Bank is seeking both food and monetary donations to help those in need, including people who have become unemployed during the pandemic. Food donations can be dropped off at the food bank at 3990 Brickway Blvd. in Santa Rosa on weekdays between 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. They also can be dropped off at one of the food bank's barrel locations, which can be found here. The most needed items are: tuna and canned meat, peanut butter, canned soups, stews and chili, rice, dry beans, cereal, canned fruits and vegetables, high protein granola bars, trail mix and nuts.

If you want to help without leaving your house, the food bank accepts monetary donations here.

Food For Thought

Food For Thought provides food to about 850 Sonoma County residents who are facing serious illness. The Forestville-based nonprofit, which is seeking food and monetary donations, has launched a virtual food drive here.

Sonoma Valley Education Foundation

The Sonoma Valley Education Foundation is seeking monetary donations to provide grocery gift cards to Sonoma Valley Unified School District students and their families. The gift cards will be distributed to families in need so they can purchase necessities weekly during the pandemic. The organization also is seeking donations to purchase wifi hotspots for students who do not have internet at home. For more information or to donate, click here.

La Luz Crisis Fund

The La Luz Crisis Fund has been reactivated to assist Sonoma Valley residents. "We’ll offer emergency relief funds on a case-by-case basis to the most vulnerable. Those funds might include rental payments, food distribution, and registration assistance for unemployment benefits and food stamps," executive director Juan Hernandez wrote on the organization's website. Go here for more information and go here to donate.

UndocuFund

UndocuFund is requesting monetary donations to assist undocumented families who don't have access to sick leave, cannot work remotely or who have lost wages during the pandemic. Click here to donate to UndocuFund.

PEP Housing

PEP Housing is a Petaluma-based nonprofit that provides low-income seniors access to housing, supportive services and other resources. The organization is seeking monetary donations to cover food services, grocery cards and other expenses for seniors who may become ill and quarantined. Click here for more information and to donate.

Ceres Community Project

Ceres Community Project, which provides food assistance and meals to Sonoma and Marin County residents, is seeking monetary donations to cover the cost of meals for clients who follow special diets because of their health conditions. Click here to donate or mail a check to: Ceres Community Project, 7351 Bodega Ave., Sebastopol, 95472.

The organization also is seeking volunteers to deliver meals to its clients in Sonoma County. Email volunteer@ceresproject.org for more information.

How To Reduce Your Risk

Local health officials urge practicing good hygiene to reduce the risk of becoming infected with a respiratory virus, such as the flu or coronavirus. This includes:

• Washing hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
• Avoid touching your eyes and face
• Cough or sneeze into your sleeved elbow
• Stay home when ill
• Get a flu shot, and it’s not too late this season

Source: Sonoma County Department of Health Services

For more information, go to sonomacounty.ca.gov/Health/Information-About-Coronavirus.

Questions or concerns can be directed to the county’s 24-hour information hotline at 211 or 800-325-9604. You can also text "COVID19" to 211211 for coronavirus information.

For more stories about the coronavirus, go here.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma-Marin

Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma-Marin are distributing lunches for West County children at Guerneville Elementary School and are also providing groceries to low-income families. To donate, click here.

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Support local businesses and workers

The shelter-in-place order bans Sonoma County residents from using non-essential services, which includes movie theaters, bars and gyms. Grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, hardware stores and other services that are essential to daily life will remain open.

Restaurants can still provide takeout, delivery and drive-thru services, so ordering out is one way to support them. Another option to support local businesses is to purchase online gift cards to use at a later date. Click here for an updated list of restaurants offering curbside pick-up and delivery.

North Bay Jobs With Justice suggests continuing to pay house cleaners, caregivers and other domestic workers, even if you've decided to cancel. Many of these people are without a steady source of income to pay rent during this time and do not have access to health insurance. For more information about North Bay Jobs with Justice, click here.

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Donate blood

Blood donation centers are facing a deficit after blood drives across the Bay Area were canceled due to the coronavirus.

Vitalant, a nonprofit community blood service provider, will remain open throughout the shelter-in-place order because it's considered an essential service. The center is accepting donations from people who are 16 years and older, as long as they haven't been exposed to the coronavirus and haven't recently traveled to one of the countries on this list. Call 877-258-4825 or make an appointment here. There are six Vitalant locations in the Bay Area, including one in Santa Rosa (3505 Industrial Road).

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Donate masks

Jesse Rael, a radiologist at Sutter, is accepting face masks to use during the shortage. All masks should be brand new. Anyone looking to donate masks should email him at jesserael@mac.com.

Salvation Army is collecting unopened boxes of masks, gowns, goggles and gloves that will be distributed to local hospitals. Donations can be dropped off at the parking lot of the Corps Community Center (93 Stony Circle, Santa Rosa) Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

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The Press Democrat wants to know what stories you see emerging and what you're experiencing locally during the shelter-in-place order. Reach out to us at coronavirus@pressdemocrat.com.

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