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The COVID-19 pandemic continues to grip our nation, state and county—and the Scotts Valley community.  Following up on the March 16 Santa Cruz County Public Health Order to Shelter-in-Place, as of March 19 we are living under a statewide Stay-in-Place Executive Order too, which is very similar to the County Order.  These Orders are a strong attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19 transmission.  To understand the Executive Order, its exemptions for essential activities, and what the State is doing to address COVID-19, please visit the State’s new website:  http://www.covid19.ca.gov/

The aim to flatten the COVID-19 transmission curve not only prevents new infections but it also ensures that the volume of new cases can be met within our local health system’s capacity to treat sick individuals.  You may have heard about the hospital bed and equipment shortages across the State as communities build out surge capacity for the expected rise in infections. Our Public Health Officials and private health care providers are working in a coordinated effort to bring additional hospital beds online and get medical and protective equipment distributed.

To learn more about the official public health response, please visit: www.santacruzhealth.org/coronavirus where you will see the latest updates and press releases. The County issues new information daily.

We all can take a part in flattening the curve by staying at home as much as possible, going out only for essential errands, essential work or recreation, so long as it is practiced at a safe social distance (6 feet from non-family member).  And when you are out in grocery stores and in queues for essential business, please maintain that 6-foot distance and take care with what you touch. Please continue to wash your hands frequently.  Our community has been very responsive and we need to continue to take care in all of our interactions.

We also recognize that our business community is particularly impacted by the Stay-at-Home Order.  While many businesses closed under the order, many essential businesses are open and are offering delivery and curbside pick-up and food delivery/take-out.  The Scotts Valley Chamber of Commerce compiled a comprehensive and verified listing of open, essential businesses.  This list, in addition to other vital business information including business supports, can be found on their new, dedicated webpage: https://scottsvalleychamber.com/coronavirus-updates/

We encourage our community to support our local businesses! Please give your patronage to open businesses and for the closed businesses, please consider purchasing a gift card or shopping online to help them weather this unprecedented time. We want to come through this crisis as strong as we can.

Also, there are a number of other avenues to support those most in need in our community.  Local food banks and food delivery programs are being overwhelmed with requests for aid.  If you are able, consider a gift to the Second Harvest Food Bank (www.thefoodbank.org) or Community Bridges Meals on Wheels (www.communitybridges.org/mealsonwheels/). For more general support, the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County set up a fund to protect the health of the public and assist the most vulnerable in Santa Cruz County (https://www.cfscc.org/donate/COVID).

There is no doubt the steps to contain COVID-19 and preserve health and life in our county is tremendously disruptive. The wellness and lives of others hang in the balance and we thank you for your adherence to the Orders.  If there is collective commitment to the Stay-at-Home Order and social distancing protocols, it will make a difference to more quickly end the COVID-19 outbreak.

Thank you for keeping Scotts Valley safe and committed to stopping COVID-19. The City of Scotts Valley is working every day to coordinate and plan while this crisis continues.  For the latest update on City operations, what you can do, resources for community members and businesses, please visit our dedicated webpage:  www.scottsvalley.org/covid19.

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