Message from the City Manager
(Updated 6/18/20 @ 11:30 am)
The County's COVID-19 Order
now aligns with the State's Resilience Roadmap
. The County issued the Order, effective today, bringing the County into alignment for reopening and pivoted from a Shelter-in-Place Order to a Health Order. There are still safety protocols to adhere to as well as State guidance and any local Orders, but the County is moving forward.
The new Health Order focuses on individual behavior and business practice and protocol. The Order limits gatherings to no more than 50 people, outlines social distancing and face covering requirements, allows for "social bubbles" - which are groups of 12 or less that agree to interact only with each other, and requires businesses to implement a social distancing protocol and written health and safety plans.
With the Order's immediate effect, the following businesses may now produce and post health and safety plans and resume operations:
- Dine-in restaurants
- Hair salons and barber shops
- Family entertainment centers
- Restaurants, wineries and bars
- Zoos and museums
- Gyms and fitness centers
- Hotels (for tourism and individual travel)
- Cardrooms and racetracks
- Campgrounds and outdoor recreation
- Nail salons, body waxing and tattoo parlors
Businesses are required to adhere to industry-specific guidelines from the State. These guidelines can be found here
. Additional information from the State can be found here
that provides some specific FAQs.
As the State continues to move forward with its Resiliency Roadmap, additional activities and businesses will automatically be allowed in San Mateo County, subject to behavioral restrictions designed to reduce the rate of transmission of COVID-19.
Face-coverings and social distancing requirements remain in place. Face-coverings are required inside or in line to enter businesses such as grocery stores, laundromats, hospitals, clinics, public transportation, and other office spaces. Wearing a face-covering is recommended but not required for outdoor recreation.
COVID-19 Testing - Project Baseline (updated 5/16/20)
The County is participating in Project Baseline for expanded COVID-19 testing. Project Baseline is an initiative designed to make it easy for the public to participate in at-large COVID-19 testing. If you are interested in getting tested for COVID-19, you can visit the Project's website. The testing is FREE and there are no qualifications required in order to obtain the test.
Locations for testing in San Mateo County will vary. At this time, the County anticipates locations in San Mateo, Daly City and East Palo Alto, each open on limited days per week.
Recreation and Activity at the Park
The Town has a Restart Subcommittee that reviews the State and County guidance for local application - specifically, to the Town's office operations and activity at the Park. At the June 17 Council meeting, the Council authorized the resumption of Dog Training at the Park. Other rental activities, from Day Use to Facility Rentals, will be considered for resumption, provided that social distancing protocols are followed. The Town will be reviewing its facilities for compliance and rental groups may be required to provide additional items within the social distancing protocols to ensure that their activity is consistent with the reopening guidelines.
Town Meetings (updated 5/16/20)
City Council, Commission and Committee Meetings have resumed normal operations. Meetings may be conducted in-person and/or virtually. Attendance at any meeting will be limited to 50, pursuant to the current State guidance.
Town Operations (updated 6/18/20)
— All Town Offices are OPEN, but with limited public in-person contact and with hours subject to short-notice modifications.
— Town operations are considered an essential service under the SIP Order and basic operations continue. Unlike larger agencies, the Town does not have a depth of staff that would allow for full rotation of staffing should a COVID-19 quarantine need arise. Should there be a need to quarantine staff, a full shut down of services could result. As such, the Town is limiting public in-person contact to allow staff to telecommute where possible, use an A-Team/B-Team approach when at the office, and make adjustments to public contact situations when they are necessary (increased separation, phone contact, electronic interaction, outside waiting areas, etc.).
— All field services will continue operations (police, public works, building inspection when needed and code enforcement), with the implementation of social distancing protocols and limitations. Use electronic communications to contact staff via email or phone. Phones will be forwarded to those staff telecommuting.
— Library services anticipate resumption of curbside services in early June. Online programs and services remain available.
Local and Regional Resources (Updated 5/16/20)
History of Actions
On March 13, I issued a Proclamation of Local Emergency. The Proclamation allows the Town to take the steps necessary to protect the safety of our community and Town staff in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. These steps range from a streamlined purchasing process to secure the resources necessary to respond in a timely manner to the immediate the implementation of rules or regulations necessary to protect life or property. These rules and regulations can be ramped up or down based on resources available.
On March 18, the City Council reviewed and approved the Declaration of Local Emergency. The City Council also provided specific feedback regarding a prohibition of residential construction activity. There are additional details below. All active sites have been contacted. Some activity will be allowed to finalize for health and safety reasons. This is mostly for occupied residences where portions of the construction need to be made safe for continued access. While sites are closed for physical construction, there will be occasional activity at sites for site security, checking in on equipment (such as flood pumps), checking or adjusting weather-proofing, or the retrieval of equipment. Emergency construction is allowed to continue on a case-by-case basis as determined by the Building Official. The SIP Order does allow for continued work on Essential Infrastructure, such as Town facilities, roads, drainage, and utility work. This includes necessary maintenance of such public infrastructure. There will be activity that occurs throughout Town in these areas by various vendors and agencies.
On March 19, the Governor issued a Statewide Shelter-in-Place Order. That order identified specific critical infrastructure that would remain operational during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During the COVID-19 Response and the State has an FAQ and details page.
On March 25, the City Council met and validated the continuing emergency and reviewed issues related to the various Rules and Regulations enacted pursuant to the Declaration of Emergency. Chief among these reviews was a review of local construction activity. The City Council reviewed some of the feedback from the Subcommittee of the Builder’s Roundtable and directed staff to continue efforts to refine the requirements that might allow projects to start up again; if and/or when the SIP Order is relaxed.
On March 31, the County issued an update to the SIP Order. This Order extends the Shelter-in-Place through May 4 and prohibits most construction activity, consistent with the Town’s earlier determination locally. In response, the Town revised some of its Shelter-in-Place Orders below. The only significant changes to the existing Order is that the Par Course, Picnic Areas, and Playground Areas will be closed to public access. The Park itself remains open but will be monitored to ensure social distancing is maintained. Portions of the parking in the Park will also be closed.
On April 1, the City Council met and validated the continuing emergency and approved the Rules and Regulations enacted pursuant to the Declaration of Emergency. The Council discussed the possible resumption of construction activity at the Town Center as essential infrastructure. The Council directed that staff work with SJ Amoroso to define a set of working protocols that would be used should the Council decide to allow the activity to continue in limited fashion. Those protocols would be reviewed by the City Council at their Special Meeting on April 8.
On April 8, the City Council met and validated the continuing emergency and approved the Rules and Regulations enacted pursuant to the Declaration of Emergency. The Council discussed and approved the resumption of limited construction activity at the Town Center subject to guidelines for operation.
On April 15, the City Council met and validated the continuing emergency and approved the Rules and Regulations enacted pursuant to the Declaration of Emergency. The Council discussed and directed that staff prepare a letter to the County of San Mateo Health Officer regarding identifying ways to move forward with landscaping and gardening activities under COVID-19. The Council also directed that staff add FAQs related to landscaping at the Park versus landscaping of private property and construction activity at the Town Center.
On April 17, the County issued an update to the County Health Order. The Order requires face coverings in certain situations.
On April 22, the City Council met and validated the continuing emergency and approved the Rules and Regulations enacted pursuant to the Declaration of Emergency.
On April 29, the City Council met and validated the continuing emergency and approved the Rules and Regulations enacted pursuant to the Declaration of Emergency. The Council also provided direction on the County of San Mateo's new Health Order, effective May 4.
On May 6, the City Council met and validated the continuing emergency and approved the Rules and Regulations enacted pursuant to the Declaration of Emergency.
On May 20, the City Council met and validated the continuing emergency and approved the Rules and Regulations enacted pursuant to the Declaration of Emergency. Council approved the rules related to and authorized the re-opening of Tennis at Holbrook-Palmer Park. Council also waived the lease obligation for Player Capital Tennis during the period of March 23 through May 20 subject to the restriction that any funding relief received for lease payments be remitted to the Town in payment for the lease.
On June 17, the City Council met and validated the continuing emergency and approved the Rules and Regulations enacted pursuant to the Declaration of Emergency. Council also approved rules related to and authorized the re-opening of Dog Training Services at the Park.