Information Last Updated: 4/1/20
As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Santa Cruz County continue to rise the City of Santa Cruz is taking necessary precautionary efforts to contain the spread of this virus and mitigate its impact.
Our goal is to work with our public health officials at the Santa Cruz County Health Department to control community spread of COVID-19; maintain essential City services, maintain fiscal accountability for COVID-19 response, and maintain open, transparent, and timely communication with the community.
IMPORTANT UPDATE TO ALL RESIDENTS: The Health Officer for the County of Santa Cruz directs all individuals living in the County to continue to shelter at their place of residence through May 3rd. Please refer to the full order for more details and information. The County has also prepared an updated FAQ document to answer questions related to the Shelter in place order.
Visit www.SantaCruzHealth.org/coronavirus for information and updates on COVID-19 and the County Health Department’s response.
Visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus for additional information and resources.
A message from Fire Chief Jason Hajduk on the Shelter in Place Order:
A message from Police Chief Andrew Mills on the Shelter in Place Order:
On Friday, March 13, 2020, City Manager Martin Bernal announced that the City will be closing select facilities starting Tuesday, March 17 to protect employees and the community. Essential operations that are critical to the health and safety of the community will remain operational, including police, fire, water, wastewater, building inspections, and trash collection. Specific information will be forthcoming and the following information will be updated on Monday, March 14 to reflect impacts from the facility closures.
Supporting Our Vulnerable Unsheltered Community Members: The City is working closely with the County to provide supportive services to our unsheltered community members. Temporary hygiene facilities are being deployed around the community to promote handwashing and provide increased restroom access. Health screening protocols are being developed to ensure those in shelters with limited access to healthcare are being monitored and supported. Encampments are being assessed and outreach conducted to provide alternative shelter options and limit the density of unsanctioned encampments. With rapidly evolving response needs, the City will ultimately be following guidelines set forth by the State and County health officials, which are currently outlined in the Guidance for Homeless Assistance Providers on Novel Coronavirus. Additional information can be found in County's April 1st, 2020 County Press Release.
Public City Meetings and Public Records Act Requests
For more information, please refer to to the March 16th City Press Release for more information.
City Operational Changes (as of March 17, 2020)
The following updates are provided to keep the community informed of changes in service delivery during the Covid-19 outbreak.
- The City Manager's Office will remain open with a modified main reception and reduced staffing.
- Plans for maintaining staffing to provide the most critical of our public safety missions are in place.
- All public education programs are suspended, including public fire station visits.
- Fire Prevention inspections will continue with enhanced measures to minimize exposure.
- Fire Administration will be closed to walk in service but will remain open to phone calls and email to coordinate service.
- Should you have any questions please contact Chief Hajduk at (831) 420-5280. A joint statement has been provided by City Police and Fire, which may also be viewed in the City Newsroom.
- Plans for maintaining staffing to provide the most critical of our public safety missions are in place.
- Police Services remain open for business with enhanced measures to minimize exposure. However, the front office will be closed for a week in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus.
- All public education programs, including Police Department tours, are cancelled.
- Should you have any questions please contact Chief Mills at (831) 420-5816. A statement from Police and Fire has been provided.
- Business assistance services will be maintained to respond to the current public health emergency including business outreach and compiling of resources. Current list of business resources, guidance, and business-related information available at choosesantacruz.com/coronavirus. The site will be updated frequently as new information is available.
- Property Management services for City-owned property and tenants will be maintain as needed.
- Housing Division will be monitoring emails and conducting essential business remotely.
- Public Arts activities and Arts Commission meetings will be suspended.
- ED Offices will be closed to the public, however, emails to staff and the Department will be monitored remotely.
- Main Office: Offices at 323 Church St will be closed to the public through April 10, 2020. Limited service will be offered via phone (831-420-5270) and email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Facilities: In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, several facilities are closed through at least April 10, 2020. Please visit the Parks Response to COVID-19 webpage for a full list of affected facilities. The Santa Cruz Wharf is open 7am to 7pm for walking, jogging, etc. as permitted by County order.
- Parks: Parks, open spaces and beaches are open. Community members are encouraged to use these areas for walking, jogging, and other activities, but not to congregate.
- Classes & Programming: All P&R classes, activities, and programs will be cancelled through May 8, 2020. Summer registration may be affected - please visit the P&R Webpage for updates
- Events: All scheduled P&R events are being cancelled through May 8, 2020.
- Private Reservations: All private reservations for City of Santa Cruz parks or facilities are being canceled through May 8, 2020. For questions about rescheduling or refunds, please contact the admin office at (831) 420-5270 or email email@example.com.
- Further COVID-19 Updates: Please visit the Parks Response to COVID-19 webpage for additional updates.
- Public counters are currently closed for all divisions - Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement.
- Limited Building Inspections will be available. Please be aware that lead times for scheduling inspections may increase.
- Rental inspection and code inspections are currently canceled.
- For all payments, submittals, inquiries, and the latest information on the Department’s services, see the Department’s website www.cityofsantacruz.com/pcd. Emails and phone messages will be monitored, as noted on the webpage.
- The Santa Cruz Public Libraries (SCPL) have suspended the use of its public facilities until 4/10/20. Critical information services will continue to be provided from 10am to 5pm via email and text.
- To access reference services text (831) 264 - 0647 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- SCPL’s Virtual Library is open and provides free access to thousands of ebooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, News, Movies, and Music 24/7 from home with your library card and pin/password.
- Research collections and other eLearning options are also available free 24/7 from home from the library research page. Educators and homeschool leaders without access to online teaching platforms are invited to try Brainfuse Help Now’s MEET.
- The library is exploring more options to support the educational needs of the community. Visit www.SantacruzPL.org for updates.
- The library has waived fees and is asking the public to hold their books until the public facilities have reopened.
- In light of the coronavirus and need to reduce contamination, the City of Santa Cruz advises residents that they may place an extra bag of trash on top of, or next to, their garbage bins for pick up at no extra cost through April 10. The blue and green carts should only be used for recycling and yard waste.
- Refuse, recycling, green waste pickups and street sweeping will remain in effect.
- Resource recovery facility will operate during normal business hours
- The Public Works Engineering counter is closed but permits can be issued over the phone/email. Customers are encouraged to contact Public Works through alternative means to in-person service. Please call (831) 420-5160 for more information.
- Parking Services Division: Parking services will be monitoring call for services. Please contact (831) 420-5185, and someone will get back to you as soon as possible. Please note response times may be longer than anticipated due to staff shortages.
- Parking Enforcement: There will be no enforcement of City controlled parking meters and paid parking lots. Time limits, loading zone restrictions, no parking areas, and other safety notices will be enforced as needed. Be mindful of posted signage.
- Lots and garages: garage exits will be raised to allow for exit and entrance. Gates will remain down and active, no payment will be required during the closure.
- All Downtown Parking District permit holders and other City Permit Program permit holders: please be advised that current permits are now extended through the end of April with no payment required. Those who have pre-paid this month will receive a credit. For any concerns, please call (831) 420-5185. Thank you.
- Parking office service window will be closed to the public. Parking citations can be accessed/paid online here.
- Parking maintenance: sidewalks, garage restrooms, and parking facilities will continue to be cleaned and maintained.
- Click here to view a list of restroom facilities and hygiene stations.
- SCMU has suspended face to face interactions with customers related to billing and customer service questions or issues and development service reviews. Department staff are available online and over the phone to conduct necessary business and operating staff will be reporting for duty to provide for ongoing production and deliver of safe drinking water.
- Please visit the Water Department homepage for alternative means of service to pay bills, start or stop utility service, and for all other utility questions.
- If the Coronavirus outbreak has seriously disrupted your ability to pay your bills, including the SCMU utility bill, please declare this to us along with some basic contact information on the hardship declaration form.
- Due to the ever-evolving situation surrounding COVID-19, the City of Santa Cruz Finance Department offices will be closed through the shelter in place order.
- Payments can be made online (www.cityofsantacruz.com), by mail (877 Cedar Street, Suite 100, Santa Cruz, CA 95060) or by dropping payment in the drop box outside of the Planning Department Counter (809 Center Street, Room 101).
- Office are closed through March 31st, 2020.
- All recruitments are currently postponed.
- Trainings are cancelled for the next 3 weeks.
- IT continued to be open with reduced staffing.
Best Practices to Slow the Spread and Support Our Community:
- Stay home if you are sick, wash your hands, and give each other space when out in public.
- Take steps to prepare. Keep your pantry stocked with a two week supply of essentials, but don't hoard massive amounts of goods because you may prevent others from accessing the essentials they need.
- Always look for information from reliable sources and think twice before you share something on social media that you are not sure is factual.
- Keep your spending local! Our local businesses are often the most impacted by events like this and we can all do our part to continue to support business owners and employees.
What to Do if You Think You're Sick:Call ahead: If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and may have had contact with a person with COVID-19, or recently traveled to countries with apparent community spread, call your health care provider or local public health department first before seeking medical care so that appropriate precautions can be taken.
Remember that our community has faced major challenges and impacts before. It is important to stay calm, but take the necessary steps to prepare and protect yourself and our community.