COVID-19 UPDATE | The City is coordinating closely with our public health officials at the Santa Cruz County Health Department to prevent the further spread COVID-19. In an effort to protect you and our community, changes and measures have been adopted in daily operations and activities. For further details please click here for the City’s Response to COVID-19

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Elizabeth Smith, City Communications Manager, (831) 420-5016
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City of Santa Cruz Providing Available Resources to Business During Shelter in Place Order

Post Date:03/16/2020 7:42 PM

For Immediate Release

March 16, 2020

Contact: Rebecca Unitt


As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to rise throughout the world, the United States, and in our region, the City of Santa Cruz is increasing its response by utilizing mitigation strategies consistent with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency guidelines to slow the transmission of disease and protect individuals at increased risk for severe illness, healthcare workers, and critical infrastructure workforces.

The County of Santa Cruz Health Officer has issued a Shelter in Place order effective 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, and continuing until 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7, 2020, ordering residents to shelter in place and limit public activities to essential services and is intended to help restrict the spread of COVID-19 in the community. The Health Officer’s order defines essential services and activities to include exceptions necessary to limit negative public health impact. They include law and safety operations, essential government services, health care operations, pharmacies, child care facilities, food production including farming, food businesses including groceries and other food retailers, telecommunications, restaurants operating at reduced capacity, shelter including hotels, social services, establishments and agencies serving economically disadvantaged populations, gas stations, banks, laundry businesses and safety and sanitation businesses. The full list is included below.

In response to this order the Economic Development Department recommends businesses review the information resources provided on our business support landing page ( for resources related to strategies to support your employees and customers, and financial programs available from State and Federal agencies for businesses and workers financially impacted by this public health emergency. The SBA has issued funding through the Disaster Loan program and applications will be accepted soon for impacted businesses in Santa Cruz County. You can learn more about the application program here: Businesses will also be able to begin applying for FEMA Disaster Assistance once a disaster declaration is made to release these funds. Information about the program and how to apply can be found here:

We encourage all businesses to closely document your short and long term financial impacts related to COVID-19 as this could be the basis for future allocations if funding is identified or awarded to our community from the state or federal level.

The community can continue to support our local businesses while complying with the Shelter In Place Order by purchasing goods online or by phone for delivery, attending virtual classes and services provided online, purchasing gift cards for future use by phone or online, ordering take out or delivery food service, and participating in social media to continue to promote and support our local business community.  

 Essential Services:

  • Healthcare Operations and Essential Infrastructure
  • Grocery stores, certified farmer's markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products (such as cleaning and personal care products).  This includes stores that sell groceries and also sell other non-grocery products, and products necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences
  • Food cultivation, including farming, livestock, and fishing
  • Businesses that provide food, shelter and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals
  • Newspapers, television, radio and other media services
  • Gas stations, and auto-supply, auto repair, and related facilities
  • Banks and related financial institutions
  • Hardware stores
  • Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences, Essential Activities and Essential Business
  • Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes
  • Educational institutions- including public and private K-12 schools, colleges and universities - for purposes of facilitating remote learning or performing essential functions, provided that social distancing of six feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible
  • Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers
  • Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for delivery or carry out.  Schools and other entities that typically provide free food services to students or members of the public may continue to do so under this Order on the condition that the food is provided to students or members of the public on a pick-up and take-away basis only.  Schools and other entities that provide food services under this exemption shall not permit the food to be eaten at the site where it is provided, or at any other gathering site
  • Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home
  • Businesses that supply other essential businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate
  • Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences
  • Airlines, taxies, and other private transportation providers providing transportation services necessary for Essential Activities and other purposes expressly authorized in this Order
  • Home-based care for seniors, adults or children
  • Residential facilities and shelters for seniors, adults and children
  • Professional services such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities
  • Childcare facilities providing services that enable employees exempted in this Order to work as permitted.  

Visit to view the full Shelter in Place Order and for information and updates on COVID-19 and the County Health Department’s response.

Visit for additional information and resources.

Visit for updated information on changes in City operations in response to COVID-19.

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