Since the threat of COVID-19 (coronavirus) first emerged in Santa Cruz County, the City of Scotts Valley has been closely monitoring and coordinating with our county’s top officials. We are meeting this quickly escalating threat to our community’s health with swift action under the advice of the County’s Public Health Official, the California Department of Public Health and the CDC.
First, we urge our residents and businesses to closely follow the latest information and to make sure it’s from a reliable, trusted source. The best place for up-to-date information continues to be directly from County Public Health. Please visit: www.santacruzhealth.org/coronavirus. Or call 2-1-1, or text “COVID19” to 211211 for regular updates.
Next, we encourage our community to exercise strong hygiene and social distancing habits. Please handwash frequently (for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or use at least 60% alcohol hand sanitizer) and keep a six-foot social distance from persons not in your household or living unit.
COVID-19 presents a serious health risk to our entire community and especially to vulnerable populations: people over 60 and those with underlying medical conditions. With a long incubation period of up to 14 days, person-to-person or community spread is especially a threat, as people may not know they are carrying the virus. Slowing the spread of the virus is important to reduce the number of people who get sick and also to avoid spikes in cases that exceed our existing medical capacity. If we are overwhelmed with new cases, such as what happened in other places around the world, some people may not be able to access the care they need.
On March 16, the County’s Public Health Official issued a Public Health Order to Shelter-in-Place. This order, effective 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, March 17 through 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7, was deemed necessary to protect public health and contain the virus. This order is available on the County’s website: www.santacruzhealth.org/coronavirus.
This Order requires residents to self-isolate and for non-essential business and governmental operations to cease. Residents are still able to obtain the medical services and supplies, food and goods they need. Residents also may go outside to walk, run and recreate so long as social distancing of at least six feet between people outside the residence is followed. All public and private gatherings outside of household or living unit are prohibited. Bars are closed but restaurants may remain open for take-out or delivery only; there is no “for here” dining. Several categories of essential businesses may remain open such as grocery stores, gas stations, banks, hardware stores and laundromats. See Section 10 of the Order for full details of these businesses.
The City of Scotts Valley is changing operations to meet the requirements of the Order. By ceasing non-essential activities, we are meeting our duty to slow the spread of the virus.
Through April 7th, the City will operate as follows:
- Police Dispatch and Patrol Services will operate as normal. The Police have special protocols in place to protect themselves and others such as the use of personal protective equipment. The Police and the Scotts Valley Fire Protection District have strong operational mutual aid protocols.
- Wastewater Treatment Facility will operate as normal
- Essential City Maintenance crew will be on duty for response
- Outdoor parks, open space, playground and skate/dog parks will be open as normal, with requirements for social distancing (6 feet) and frequent handwashing. The City is increasing its cleaning schedule for public bathrooms and playground equipment.
- Closure of all public counters (City Hall, Police Department, Planning and Building, Public Works and Recreation) with limited essential services provided by appointment only. Call (831) 440-5600 for more information about making essential appointments.
- Closure of the Senior Center
- Closure of the Community Center
- Postponement of all event and facility rentals
- Postponing all City Commission/Committee meetings
- Providing alternative means of participation at City Council meetings. Members of the public are encouraged to view the meeting on Community TV or online (www.communityTV.org) and email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. These comments will be checked throughout the meeting and provided to Council Members.
- The City also implemented vigorous cleaning, sanitizing and social distancing protocols with City staff and facilities
These operational changes will no doubt impact our community but we are embracing them for the essential purpose of doing our part to protect community health and safety. We urge everyone to review the Public Health Order and adhere to its requirements. Our hope is that by this strong action, we can halt the spread of the virus and keep our community safe.
The City published a webpage on its COVID-19 response which details the City’s operational changes: www.scottsvalley.org/covid19.
Thank you for joining us in a united and responsible effort to stop COVID-19.