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Posted on: March 16, 2020

COVID-19 (coronavirus) Information and Update

COVID

COVID-19 (coronavirus) Information and Updates

The City of Scotts Valley is closely working with the Santa Cruz County Public Health Officials to contain the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and preserve the health of our community. The number of confirmed cases in Santa Cruz County continues to rise and Scotts Valley is following the lead of our Public Health Officials to mitigate the impacts of the virus while also preserving essential services to the public. The COVID-19 outbreak is rapidly changing, sometimes daily, and we encourage the community to stay abreast of the latest advisements on social distancing.

The best source of information on COVID-19 is the County’s webpage: www.santacruzhealth.org/coronavirus
Or text “COVID19” to 211211 or call 2-1-1 for latest updates

To help asist the community in answering questions about the COVID-19 outbreak, the County of Santa Cruz has established a call center to help direct questions to the proper channels. If you have questions, please call (831) 454- 4242 between the hours of 8 a.m.6 p.m., Monday-Friday.

If you are receiving information elsewhere, please ensure it is trusted and reliable. Regrettably, misinformation is circulating.

Public Health Official Shelter-in-Place Order (March 17)

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.

Please read the Frequently Asked Questions to better understand this Order.

Statewide Executive Order to Shelter-in-Place (March 19)

On March 19, Governor Newsom issued an Executive Order requiring all Californians to stay home except for essential work and errands such as to get good, care for a relative and friend, get necessary health care. If you go out, keep at least 6 feet of distance. The Executive Order can be found here. The Executive Order is effective immediately and is in place until further notice. For more information please see the State’s COVID-19 webpage: www.covid19.ca.gov.

What Scotts Valley is Doing

Temporary Moratorium on Residential and Commercial Evictions: Effective Through May 31, 2020

On March 24, 2020, the Scotts Valley City Council approved a temporary moratorium on evictions of commercial and residential tenants due to non-payment of rent when the inability to pay rent is caused by income or business losses, or substantial medical expenses, related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The moratorium was passed to protect safety, welfare and public health by reducing further economic destabilization, loss of housing, businesses and jobs opportunities in Scotts Valley from COVID-19.

The City’s Urgency Ordinance No. 194, which established the moratorium, will prohibit evictions resulting from financial hardships from COVID-19 effective immediately through May 31, 2020.  The moratorium is not retroactive.

For this eviction prohibition to apply, a commercial or residential tenant must:

  • Suffer a substantial loss due to COVID-19 from at least one of the following: 
  • Job loss
  • Layoff
  • Reduction in the number of compensable hours of work
  • Store, office or business closure
  • Substantial decrease in business income cause by reduction of open hours or consumer demand
  • The need to miss work to care for a home-bound school-aged child or family member infected with the coronavirus
  • Other similarly caused loss of income that resulted from COVID-19
  • Substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses related to COVID-19; and
  • Notify the landlord in writing (includes email and text) before the rent is due that the tenant has an eligible reason for delayed or reduced payment; and
  • Provide the landlord with verifiable documentation to support the reason for the delayed or reduced payment; and
  • Pay the portion of rent that the tenant is able to pay.

Tenants who are afforded this eviction protection will have up to 120 days after the termination of this ordinance (termination is May 31, 2020) to pay their landlord all unpaid rent.

Landlords are not prohibited from evicting a tenant for reasons other than those outlined in the Ordinance.

The Urgency Ordinance No. 194 can be found here.

Declaration of Local Health Emergency
On March 18th, the Scotts Valley City Council declared a Local Health Emergency in the City of Scotts Valley by adopting Resolution No. 1974. The Declaration of a Local Emergency enables the City to obtain necessary resources to effectively respond to COVID-19, seek and use mutual aid and potentially obtain reimbursement. The Declaration does not mean that Scotts Valley has an extraordinary health concern.

City Operations Under the Shelter-in-Place Order
The City of Scotts Valley changed 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.

The City is operating with the following essential functions:

  • 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. For Building appointments, please email svbuildingdepartment@scottsvalley.org. For Planning information, please email bstevens@scottsvalley.org. 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 cityhall@scottsvalley.org. These comments will be checked throughout the meeting and provided to Council Members.

Social Distancing
The City is strictly following the social distancing guidelines issued by the State and County. The purpose of social distancing is to eliminate or minimize person-to-person contact and slow the spread of the virus. The social distancing guidelines are frequently updated to meet the evolution of the virus’ spread. In general, a social distance of 6 feet is strongly recommended.

To read more, please see the Social Distancing Guidance.

Workplace
The City has vigorous hygiene and personal health guidelines in place for City employees and public work sites. We have mandated regular cleaning and sanitizing and are strictly enforcing no tolerance of illness in the workplace.

The community is encouraged to use alternate means of contacting City Hall, by phone or email, rather than visiting in-person visits. City Department contact information can be found on the main page: www.scottsvalley.org. As a reminder we have limited, essential staff in City offices, in adherence to the Shelter-in-Place order.

What You Can Do

  • Stay up-to-date on the latest information and social distancing guidelines
  • Stay home if you feel sick, wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Practice social distancing (6’)
  • Prepare yourself and your family. Keep your pantry stocked for a two-week supply of essentials but don’t hoard large amounts of goods
  • If you think you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and may have had contact with someone with COVID-19, call your health care provider before seeking medical care so that appropriate precautions can be taken.
  • Know the symptoms: Fever of 100.4°, coughing and shortness of breath

The City of Scotts Valley encourages these best practices to stay well and slow the spread of COVID-19. Residents over 60 and those with chronic medical conditions are particularly vulnerable so we ask for your support to keep our entire community well.

Supporting Local Businesses and Workers 

During this unique time in our history, we want to support members of our community in every way possible. Here are some ways to stay safe, support the health of others while still meeting our needs, and keeping our local businesses and workers thriving.

OPEN BUSINESS LISTING

The Scotts Valley Chamber of Commerce maintains a resource page for community members and businesses at: https://scottsvalleychamber.com/coronavirus-updates/.  On this page you’ll find an comprehensive and verified list of businesses that remain open, restaurants that are open and supportive programs for businesses that were deemed non-essential in this public health crisis and ordered to close. 

The City encourages our residents to (safely) patronize our businesses to help them through this difficult period.  We want to emerge from this crisis strong.

GROCERY 

All three of our local grocery stores: Scotts Valley Market, Safeway and Nob Hill Foods offer delivery options. This is a service you can order for your own family or to assist others who may not be able to leave their homes.

In addition, Scotts Valley Safeway has designated shopping hours for seniors and those who are vulnerable to illness from 7-9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Scotts Valley Market offers these special hours 8-9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.  Please support the vulnerable members of our community by refraining from shopping during those hours.

Nob Hill Foods at 222 Mt. Hermon Rd. will begin offering Senior Essentials Bags that can be ordered online and picked up curbside or in store. Click here for more details about this program: https://www.raleys.com/senior-essentials-bag/

 RESTAURANTS

Since restaurants have been identified as an "Essential Business" during the "Shelter in Place" order, many of our great local businesses are open for take-out and/or delivery and are in need of our support.

  • If you’re one of the folks who has well-stocked shelves at home, consider buying a gift-certificate, they don’t expire and can give businesses the boost they need right now. For some more ideas on how to responsibly support local business here’s a quick link and some helpful tips:
  • If you are ordering food via UberEats or DoorDash, choose a local business! UberEats is waiving delivery fees for independent local businesses.
  • See the Scotts Valley Chamber of Commerce’s list of open restaurants with food available for delivery or take-out
  • When ordering takeout or delivery tip the same amount as you would dining in - Let’s support our local workers!
  • To limit physical interactions with others:
  • Pay by credit card over the phone INCLUDING your tip
  • Ask delivery drivers drop-off your food at your door and retrieve your food after they leave
  • Wash your hands before and after retrieving your delivery item
  • For an abundance of caution, empty the food in the delivery containers into your own dishes and dispose of the restaurant containers
  • Use your own utensils

RETAIL STORES

Many Scotts Valley businesses are locally owned and operated and rely on all of us to patronize their business. Here are some things you can do to help them stay afloat during this unprecedented time.

  • Shop online or via phone for delivery. Check your favorite stores websites or Facebook page for more information.
  • Think ahead - do you have any special occasions, or other gift-giving events planned in the year? Some businesses can handle large phone orders or have their stock available online, and would be happy to help you get that checked off the list.
  • If you typically order wholesale products with local retailers later in the year, place your orders now.
  • Think of the staples you’re planning to buy. Many of them are available in smaller, independent stores as well as the big box stores!
  • Consider buying a gift card to use in the future!
  •  Remember, if you visit any of our local businesses, please be diligent about following the public health guidelines regarding social distancing and health etiquette listed above.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance for Businesses

We recognize that our business community is particularly impacted by the Shelter in Place guidelines and are committed to providing ongoing resources and support to ease the burden of complying with the guidelines. There are a variety of programs in place to assist businesses in navigating these uncharted waters.

We want to encourage you to utilize the Santa Cruz County Office for Economic Development, the Workforce Development Board and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and have included links to their online resources below.

In addition to providing useful and up to date COVID-19 information and its potential impacts on businesses, the SBDC offers free, individualized and confidential advising for financing assistance and building a strategy to plan for or recover from impacts to your business. The SBDC is also available to help you understand the financial resources available and prepare applications for funding. 

We want to reiterate advice provided by the SBDC that businesses are strongly encouraged to carefully document the short and long-term financial impacts related to COVID-19 as the potential exists to use this information for future state or federal allocations of funding to support our economic recovery.

Please visit the links below for direct links to online documents, webinars with detailed information and a variety of other resources.

To watch a recently released webinar: County of Santa Cruz Guidelines and Resources for Santa Cruz County Business , please click  here.

To review the  Santa Cruz County Office of Economic Development list of resources for employers and employees, please click here

To continue to receive up-to-date information from the Santa Cruz County Office of Economic Development please follow them on Linked-In by clicking here.

Also, visit the Scotts Valley Chamber of Commerce webpage for resources.

Facebook announced $100M grant program for small businesses.
Applications aren’t open yet, but the company says this will include both credits and cash grants that can be spent on operational costs like paying workers and paying rent. It will available to up to 30,000 businesses in the 30-plus countries where Facebook operates.

Supporting Our Most Vulnerable 

Taking care of the most vulnerable members of our community is critical now more than ever. If you are a person in need, know someone who may be in need, or if you want to support those at highest risk, take a look at the links below:

FOOD PROGRAMS

Second Harvest Food Bank
In need: Call food hotline at 831-662-0991, weekdays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Volunteer: thefoodbank.org/volunteer/.
Donate: Monetary donations preferred, thefoodbank.org.

Grey Bears
In need: Ages 50 and up, greybears.org/get-involved/online-membership-form/.
Volunteer: Email grace@greybears.org.
Donate: Monetary donations at greybears.org. Anyone with shelf-stable food, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, isopropyl alcohol, disinfecting wet wipes, and unopened boxes of latex glove asked to email info@greybears.org.

Community Bridges - Meals on Wheels
In need: Ages 60 and up, communitybridges.org/mealsonwheels/
Volunteer: communitybridges.org/volunteer/.
Donate: Monetary donations at communitybridges.org/mealsonwheels/. Anyone with alcohol-based hand sanitizers, disinfecting wet wipes, and unopened boxes of latex glove asked to email MOWINFO@cbridges.org.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES AND WAYS TO HELP

Online: 211santacruzcounty.org/food/.
Phone: 211
Text: Text your zip code to 898-211

Keeping the Lights On

The CPUC and PG&E have reported that they will not disconnect any customer’s power for nonpayment during the health crisis. PG&E has also provided the following link to help customers explore options to reduce their expenses Learn about Budget Billing and lowering energy expenses.

If you or someone you know has special energy needs related to a medical condition you may be eligible for a Medical Baseline Allowance which is not based on income Learn about Medical Baseline Allowance.

Income qualified customers can save 20 percent or more on their bill by enrolling in the California Alternative Rates for Energy (CARE) Program Learn about CARE. If your household has three or more people you may be eligible for the Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) Program Learn about FERA here.

Property, State and Federal Taxes 

While property tax payment deadlines are set in state law and cannot be altered locally, the Santa Cruz County Treasurer-Tax Collector has the legal right to and will consider waiving penalties and interest charges for late payments when due to "circumstances beyond the taxpayer’s control." Each case is considered individually. For frequently asked questions (FAQs) on April property tax payments, go to the Santa Cruz County Treasurer-Tax Collector’s website at http://www.co.santa-cruz.ca.us/Departments/TaxCollector.aspx.

As tax-day approaches and both movement and finances may be limited, you may be concerned about your ability to file or pay taxes. The good news is that the federal government extended the tax filing deadline to July 15th.

In California, the Franchise Tax Board extended the deadline for filing state tax returns to July 15th, 90 days after the original April 15th deadline.

The Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County has set up a fund to protect the health of the public and give to the most vulnerable in Santa Cruz County. If you are interested in donating please click on this link: https://www.cfscc.org/donate/COVID

The American Red Cross is in great need of blood donations at this time. Many donors have stopped donating blood during the COVID-19 outbreak and as a result, many patients have not been able to receive lifesaving blood. Healthy individuals are encouraged to donate blood now as they are facing a severe blood shortage.

Blood drives have the highest standards of safety and infection control. These locations are by appointment only - You can help by contacting them to set up an appointment to donate.

Please contact the Santa Cruz office directly at (831) 624-6921 to make an appointment. The office is located at: 2960 Soquel Ave. Santa Cruz, CA 95062.

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This page will be updated as guidelines and conditions change.

Revised 3/25/20

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