Proclamation of Local Emergency and
Santa Clara County Shelter In Place Directive
On March 12, 2020, Town Manager and Director of Emergency Services, Laurel Prevetti, issued a Proclamation of Local Emergency in response to the global Coronavirus pandemic and its spread in the Santa Clara County community. On March 17, 2020, the Town Council ratified the Proclamation of Local Emergency (see the enabling Resolution here). On May 5, 2020, the Council discussed the continuation of the Emergency Proclamation.
These are important steps in the Town’s efforts to prepare and coordinate emergency resources for the Los Gatos community.
On March 16, 2020, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department ordered all individuals living in the County to shelter in place with allowances for food shopping, medical care, and other basic needs. Subsequent additional Orders were issued on March 31, 2020, April 29, 2020, May 18, 2020, June 1, 2020, July 2, 2020, October 5, 2020, November 28, 2020, and December 4, 2020. As of March 3, 2021, the October 5, 2020 Risk Reduction Order is currently in effect once again.
Social Distancing Protocols apply to all businesses in the County that are operating in any capacity and may be submitted or revised through the County Public Health website. The County Health Officer urges residents to continue taking precautions, including staying home when possible, minimizing interaction with people outside one’s household, maintaining social distance, wearing face coverings, and moving as many activities outdoors as possible. For more information on local guidance, visit the Santa Clara County Public Health website.
As a result of the continuing Shelter-in-Place Order, all Town Departments (excluding public safety and certain development services) are closed for in-person services until further notice. Please see the Town Department Updates page for details on Town services.
For more information on Public Health guidance, past Orders, and other important information regarding COVID-19, please visit the County Public Health website, which is updated daily and allows the public to ask questions and receive responses. A person’s risk for COVID-19 is not related to race, ethnicity, or culture.
State of California and County of Santa Clara COVID-19 Guidelines
On August 28, 2020, Governor Newsom announced the Blueprint for a Safe Economy, which uses a Color Tier System to slow the spread of COVID-19. The colors (Purple/Widespread, Red/Substantial, Orange/Moderate, and Yellow/Minimal) reflect the number of new COVID-19 cases and how the disease is spreading locally. They also provide a framework for a safe progression of opening more businesses and activities. Visit the State's COVID-19 website to view the status of activities within each County.
Following the March 23, 2021 State of California’s announcement that Santa Clara County has met the requirements to move into the Orange Tier of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, the County of Santa Clara Health Officer announced that the County will align with the State’s framework and allow activities open in Orange Tier counties to resume, effective March 24, 2021.
Quarantining after travel is no longer mandatory but is strongly recommended, in alignment with the State’s Travel Advisory.
The County’s October 5th Risk Reduction Order, which requires everyone to follow all State orders and guidance, maintain distance, and wear face coverings as much as possible, will remain in effect. The Order also requires all businesses and other entities to maximize telework, post a Social Distancing Protocol outlining specific COVID-19 safety plans, and promptly report any cases to the Public Health Department. The State’s website includes information regarding the Orange Tier and its impact on businesses and activities.
All businesses must have a Social Distancing Protocol on file with the County and displayed. See the Santa Clara County Health website for more information on local guidance that all businesses in Santa Clara County must follow.
State reopening metrics are based on cases per 100,000 residents and positive COVID-19 test results per 100,000 tests. Each County must meet the following requirements in order to advance to the next colored tier:
- 21 day mandatory wait time between moves, and
- meet metrics for the next tier for two straight weeks
Counties are only permitted to advance one tier at a time. If a County’s metrics worsen for two consecutive weeks, it will move backwards and be assigned a more restrictive tier. The State will calculate seven-day averages every Tuesday; the averages will be based on data from a full week earlier to provide counties time to report up-to-date information.
Please remember that when there are discrepancies between State and County guidelines, the stricter Order controls.
Masks Required Signage
Keep an eye out for the new “Masks Required” signs around Town! The signage is intended to be a simple visual message supporting existing State and County mandates regarding mask wearing. The October 5, 2020 County Health Order makes mask wearing in public required within certain guidelines and is in alignment with State guidance. Section 10 (page 6 of 9) from that Order addresses face coverings:
Face Coverings. Face coverings must be worn at all times and by all individuals as specified in the California Department of Public Health’s mandatory Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings (“Face Covering Guidance”) and in accordance with any specific directives issued by the County Health Officer. Further, even where not required under State or local guidance and orders, face coverings should be worn to the maximum extent possible (1) when indoors and not in one’s own residence and (2) whenever outdoors and within six feet of anyone outside one’s own household.
In addition, the November 16, 2020, California Department of Public Health face covering guidance states “Persons who are outdoors and maintaining at least 6 feet of social distancing from others not in their household. Such persons must have a face covering with them at all times and must put it on if they are within 6 feet of others who are not in their household.”
The signs are purposely distributed in core commercial areas since per the above a mask is required whenever we cannot maintain a 6-foot social distance from people outside our households. This requirement makes it virtually impossible to walk on any sidewalk downtown without having a mask on. Which, in general, means our residents and guests should be prepared to wear a face covering any time when not at home. In regards to the ability to fine, the Town continues to prefer an educational approach to mask wearing and the regulatory framework is clear in the event a citation is warranted.
1. The County Urgency Ordinance NS-9.291 (Section 3) makes all County health orders regulations.
2. The Urgency Ordinance does not call out the fine for non-compliance, but identifies it as a public nuisance. A public nuisance may be fined up to $1000.
We can all work together to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Los Gatos, reduce the number of people infected, and help save our business community by remembering to wear our masks!
Los Gatos Strong
Over the years, the Town’s conservative budgeting practices have resulted in healthy reserves and frequent annual budgetary surplus. Those reserves and surpluses are now paying the Town huge dividends.
On May 26, 2020, the Town Council reallocated $1,900,000 in prior surpluses reserved for downtown streetscape revitalization toward COVID-19 economic stimulus recovery efforts. This is one of the single largest economic recovery packages ever proposed in the Town’s history.
In addition, on June 2, 2020, the Town Council approved a balanced Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2020-2021 with no reductions to service, despite significant revenue and other economic impacts from sheltering-in-place.
Santa Clara County Vaccine Information
COVID-19 vaccination is a critical tool to bring the pandemic under control. For information on Santa Clara County’s plans regarding vaccines, visit www.sccfreevax.org.
CHECK for Your Safety!
Santa Clara County Searchable Business Database
Curious about which businesses are COVID-19 prepared? You can now search the Santa Clara County business database to see which businesses are following Social Distancing Protocols. Search by name, type or location: https://sdp.sccgov.org/.
Businesses must require the following for employees and customers:
☑️ Face coverings (exceptions for medical reasons)
☑️ Social distancing
☑️ Handwashing or provide hand sanitizer stations
Concerns About Not Following County COVID-19 Guidelines
If you have concerns about a business, school, or healthcare provider not following Santa Clara County COVID-19 Guidelines, visit the County Health website to report a concern.
Testing for COVID-19 is accessible and widely available in Santa Clara County. Testing is 100% covered by health insurance, safe, confidential, and free. Testing does not affect immigration status, require a doctor’s note, or require insurance.
If you are in the following groups, County Public Health highly encourages you to get tested once a month: healthcare workers, first responders, other frontline workers, anyone who is notified that they were exposed to someone who was confirmed to have COVID-19, anyone who is 60 years of age and older, and anyone with chronic medical conditions.
Town Council Unanimously Votes to Donate Additional Funds to
Local Organizations Assisting Town Residents with Services Due to COVID-19
The Town’s existing community grant program includes awards to several human services organizations that provide direct services to Los Gatos residents. At the April 7, 2020 Town Council meeting, the Council unanimously voted to authorize the Town Manager to amend the existing human services grant agreements with West Valley Community Services, Counseling and Support Services for Youth, Next Door Solutions, and Live Oak Senior Nutrition to donate an additional $10,000 to each organization, for a total of $40,000, to assist Town residents with needed services due to COVID-19 and related Public Health Orders.
West Valley Community Services provides food assistance, supplies, and rental assistance. Counseling and Support Services for Youth (CASSY) is providing mental health telehealth services to youth. Next Door Solutions is helping those who have experienced domestic violence. Live Oak Senior Nutrition is serving take out meals to the Los Gatos senior community. The donation is being paid with existing funds in the Operating Budget for FY 2019/20 that can be used at the Council’s discretion.
Town Council Unanimously Adopts Urgency Ordinance to Place a Moratorium on Residential Evictions
Pursuant to the Town of Los Gatos Municipal Code, California Government Code, Governor of California, and Santa Clara County Public Health Officer, on March 24, 2020, the Town Council unanimously voted to adopt a temporary moratorium on evictions related to income loss due to COVID-19 mitigation measures in order to ensure that individuals can continue to self-isolate. The Council extended the timeframe for the ordinance on May 5, 2020 and it can be viewed here.
County of Santa Clara Eviction Moratorium Includes Small Businesses
Los Gatos Parks and Trails
You can help keep Los Gatos parks and trails safe by following these simple guidelines:
- Stay close to home and avoid crowded areas.
- Share the trail and yield to others to maintain a safe distance.
- Choose less frequented parks and trails.
- Do not park in a crowded parking lot or use a crowded trail.
- Hike single file to maximize distance when passing others.
- Leave no trace: pack out what you pack in.
- Look for nearby nature to enjoy, look for the hidden nature in your own neighborhood.
- Do not hold social gatherings (do not mix with other households) at parks or anywhere.
Los Gatos Farmers’ Market COVID-19 Response
As you may know, Farmers’ Markets are exempt from the Shelter in Place order issued by the County, as they are places the community can acquire food. The Los Gatos Market staff, farmers and producers are dedicated to adhering to health and safety standards, and providing safe and reliable access to nutritious foods. Here are some of the additional measures being taken to keep everyone healthy and safe at the market during COVID-19.
- Center aisle has been widened by over 5 feet
- Increased hand washing stations and sanitizer availability
- Chalk markings 6 ft. apart on the ground for customers to stand on while waiting for vendors
- Increased signage regarding social distancing and other safety measures
- Requiring face coverings
- Vendors offering many pre-packaged servings
- Limit on number of people per stall
- Enforcing "only touch what you plan to purchase" rule
- Asking healthy people under age 65 to come after 10 a.m. to prioritize seniors and limit crowds
- Asking only one healthy member per family to shop
- Frequent cleaning of market equipment
- Emailing weekly updates to customers on email list
- Following all Public Health guidelines