Proclamation of Local Emergency and 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 and July 2, 2020.
The July 2, 2020 Order allows additional activities to resume, including hair and nail services, gyms, and small gatherings, but only with strict social distancing protocols in place, consistent use of face coverings, and significant capacity limits. It also requires all employers to immediately report cases of COVID-19 tied to their work places to local public health officials. The order continues to stress that we are all safest when we stay home, and that people over age 70 and those with serious underlying medical conditions should continue to leave home only for essential needs. A summary of the Order is available here.
The order will go into effect on July 13, or as soon as State approval is granted, whichever is later. Until that time, the current shelter-in-place Order remains in effect. This timeline provides businesses that are not currently open time to prepare to operate safely, train employees to comply with the strict social distancing protocols, and submit to the County the detailed social distancing protocol the Order requires all businesses to have in place.
Requirements for all businesses under the new Order can be viewed here and information about what customers should expect to see in every business can be viewed here.
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.
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. Visit downtown restaurants and shops to see how some of our local businesses are expanding into temporary parklets on Santa Cruz and Main. 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.
CHECK for Your Safety!
Santa Clara County requires ALL businesses to post and implement a Social Distancing Protocol. The “COVID-19 Prepared” Checkmark Sign and Visitor Information Sheet should be posted at the business entrance. The Social Distancing Protocol provides important information about hand-washing, hand-sanitizing, cleaning, social distancing, signage, training, control measures, how to report a complaint, and other safety measures. For more information, visit the Santa Clara County Public Health website.
If you have concerns about a business not following Social Distancing Protocol, please visit www.santaclara-da.org and submit the COVID-19 Shelter-In-Place Order Public Health Complaint (for Non-Emergencies) or email email@example.com with questions.
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.
The County has a handy interactive map that makes it easy to find a testing location nearest to where you live or work.
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.
Shelter in Place FAQs from Santa Clara County Public Health
Santa Clara County Public Health has provided a comprehensive COVID-19 FAQ document, available in multiple languages, providing detailed guidance on the Order to Shelter at Home.
It will continue to be updated as guidance evolves. You can access it here.
Help Keep Parks and Trails Open
At this time, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District preserve access for the Jones and Flume Trail (which run through St Joseph’s Hill and Novitiate Park in Los Gatos), is for hiking and walking only, Please do not access the Midpen portion of the trail with bikes or horses. Midpen asks for your cooperation, as at this time they do not have the resources to post this as a closure.
Walking, hiking, and running is still permitted in Town parks and trails while practicing social distancing. Please note that Town sports fields, including soccer and baseball, remain closed to ensure the health and safety of the public in accordance with the County order.
Town of Los Gatos tennis courts are open as of May 15, 2020 with the following COVID-19 guidelines in place per Santa Clara County Health Department orders:
- Maintain social distancing at all times - keep at least 6 feet between all participants.
- Sports or activities that include use of shared equipment or physical contact between participants may only be engaged in by members of the same household or living unit.
- Avoid gathering in groups while waiting for a court.
You can help keep Los Gatos parks and trails open 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
Music in the Park 2020 Update
Due to the unprecedented events of the COVID-19 pandemic, the anticipated continuation of restrictions on large gatherings, and to maintain the health and safety of our community, the Town of Los Gatos has made the decision to postpone the 2020 Music in the Park Summer Concert Series. We look forward to continuing this beloved family friendly tradition in 2021.