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. 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.
COUNTY HEALTH OFFICER UPDATES:
- June 25, 2020: Order Removing Beach Restrictions and Updated Order to Wear Face Coverings
- June 9, 2020: Order Removing Lodging Restrictions
- May 1, 2020: Shelter in Place Extension Order and Press Release
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.
Reminder to Wear Your Masks:
Recordatorio para usar tu máscara:
Santa Cruz Police Warn the Public to be Aware of COVID-19 Scams:
La policía de Santa Cruz advierte al público que esté al tanto de las estafas de COVID-19:
A message from the City Economic Development Team, who is here to help businesses navigate this challenging time:
Additional City PSAs and Videos are located below in the side navigation bar.
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.
April 1st, 2020: County of Santa Cruz Press Release.
May 13th, 2020: COVID-19 Related Homelessness Update
May 13th, 2020: COVID-19 Homeless Resources FAQ
Public City Meetings and Public Records Act Request:
For more information, please refer to to the March 16th City Press Release for more information.
COVID Executive Orders from City Manager Martin Bernal:
Executive Order #2020-10 Installation of Temporary Tents and Related Temporary Improvements at Medical Facilities
Executive Order #2020-09 Order to abate nuisance conditions on Coral St. and establish a nearby encampment that complies with CDC Guidance
Executive Order #2020-08 - Addressing parking on the Santa Cruz municipal wharf
Executive Order #2020-07 - Order to Implement CDC Guidance re: Encampments at the Benchlands
Executive Order #2020-06 - Establishing a temporary limit of 15% on Commissions charged by third-party food delivery companies to support Santa Cruz restaurants during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Executive Order #2020-05 - Authorization to Issue Misdemeanor and Infraction Citations
Executive Order #2020-04 - Emergency Declaration
Executive Order #2020-03 - Emergency Declaration
Executive Order #2020-02 - Emergency Declaration
Executive Order #2020-01 - Emergency Declaration
City Operational Changes:
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. More details available below.
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.
- Public access to fire stations is limited with screening per Public Health Officer orders. Public education and station visits requiring gatherings are suspended until further notice.
- Fire Prevention inspections and permits are available. All Fire Prevention activities require social distancing and screening per Public Health Officer orders.
- Fire Administration will be open. However screening, limited number people allowed in at once, and adhering to Public Health Officer directives will be instituted. Inquiries that can be done via email or phone are encouraged.
- Should you have any questions please contact Fire Administration at (831) 420-5280. More information regarding the impacts of COVID-19 can be found 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 are currently closed to the public. Limited service will be offered via phone (831-420-5270) and email (firstname.lastname@example.org) Monday through Friday 9am - 12pm and 1pm - 4pm
- Facilities: In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, several facilities are currently closed. Please visit the Parks & Recreation 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. Wharf parking is limited to 20 minute parking for to go and curbside pick-up.
- Parks: Parks, open spaces and beaches are open with restrictions - click here for more details. Community members are encouraged to use these areas for walking, jogging, and other activities, but not to congregate.
- Classes & Programming: Summer registration begins Wednesday, May 20 - please visit Parks &Recreation for updates
- Events: All scheduled P&R events are currently cancelled thru September 7, 2020
- Private Reservations: All private reservations for City of Santa Cruz parks or facilities are currently canceled. 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 & Recreation Response to COVID-19 webpage for additional updates.
- Most of the Department’s public services are being provided in alternative ways. Public counters are currently closed for all divisions - Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement - to minimize in-person contact.
- Building inspections are available. Please be aware that lead times for scheduling inspections may increase.
- Rental inspection and code inspections are currently canceled, but some inspections can be provided upon request.
- 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 are being monitored, as noted on the webpage.
- The Santa Cruz Public Libraries (SCPL) have suspended the use of its public facilities. Curbside pick-up of materials on hold is available at the Aptos, Downtown and Scotts Valley Branches. Library staff will call patrons with materials on hold.
- The library has waived fees and is asking the public to hold their books until further notice.
- Critical information services will continue to be provided from 10am to 5pm via phone, email, and text. To access reference services call (831) 427-7713, 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. To get a card online visit bit.ly/SCPL-NewAccount.
- 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 and to sign up for our Teacher Newsletter for weekly updates.
- Library Programs have gone virtual. For children, interactive and pre-recorded storytimes, STEAM activities, and crafts are held weekly. For adults, Evening Reads, Conversations for Change, virtual book groups, are regularly scheduled, with more programs being added for both adults and children. Visit our calendar at santacruzpl.org/calendar for schedules.
- Our annual Summer Reading Program goes virtual! Imagine Your Story is the 2020 Santa Cruz Public Libraries Summer Reading Program. Kids, teens, and adults are invited to read, do activities, and attend virtual library programs to earn a book and chances to win prizes. The program runs June 1 to July 31. Register at santacruzpl.org/srp after June 1st.
- The library is exploring more options to support the educational needs of the community. Visit www.SantacruzPL.org for updates.
- Refuse, recycling, green waste pickups and street sweeping remain in effect with normal schedules.
- Resource recovery facility will operate during normal business hours. Any City customers needing additional pick-ups of trash or recyclables, or collection of bulky items, may contact customer service at (831) 420-5220.
- As of Monday, June 29, the Public Works public counter will be open to the public M-Th from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. and by appointment 1-3:30 p.m. On Fridays these same hours, it is only open by phone and by appointment for in-person service. 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: We return to normal parking operations at downtown garages and lots on June 15. This is in response to the Santa Cruz County extended Phase 2 reopening of businesses with outdoor expansion accommodations per City executive order. Parking garages and lots will resume fees at the normal rate of $1.25 per hour, however, there will be a temporary reduction to $3.75 for the daily maximum charge. Also, the July 1 quarterly deficiency fee for businesses operating in the Downtown Parking District has been waived. Read more.
As of June 1, the Parking Office, 124 Locust Street, resumes normal hours Mon-Fri. Call (831) 420-5185 with any parking related questions. Parking citations can be accessed/paid online here.
- Beginning Saturday, May 23, Municipal Wharf parking gates are operational with attendants on site, however, the Wharf continues to be closed to vehicles EXCEPT for designated 20 minute curbside pick-up. Wharf parking, other than curbside pick-up, is closed with physical barriers in place. The public is advised to pay attention to posted signage to avoid citations and parking fees.
- Parking Enforcement: Parking meter enforcement is resumed as of Monday, May. 8. Previously, enforcement had been suspended in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- We have resumed enforcement of beach area parking meters as of Friday, April 24. Previously, beach area meter enforcement had been suspended in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, yet increased traffic with nicer spring weather has prompted enforcement to restart. Time limits, loading zone restrictions, no parking areas, and other safety notices will be enforced as needed. Be mindful of posted signage
- 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 June with no payment required. Those who have pre-paid this month will receive a credit.Regular monthly permit parking fees will be reinstated as of July 1. For any concerns, please call (831) 420-5185.
- 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 are returning phone calls 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).
- Public lobby is closed, available by appointment.
- All recruitments are currently postponed.
- All trainings are online - look for monthly emails from HR on upcoming training
- COVID-19 Resources for City employees
- 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.