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. On March 31, 2020, Public Health issued another order superseding and extending the shelter at home requirement through May 3, as well as clarifying and strengthening certain terms of the prior shelter order. The entire March 31st order can be viewed here.
On April 29, 2020, County Public Health extended the Shelter In Place Order through May 31, 2020 with some eased restrictions while efforts to strengthen containment of COVID-19 are put into place. All construction activities, certain businesses that operate primarily outdoors, and some outdoor activities will be allowed to resume with specific conditions. The entire updated order can be viewed here. The Bay Area Health Officers’ indicators for assessing progress on containing COVID-19 can be viewed here.
As a result, all Town Departments (excluding public safety and certain development services) are closed until further notice.
On May 18, 2020, County Public Health announced amendments to the current Shelter in Place Order to allow some businesses to resume operating, with modifications based on significant progress in controlling the spread of COVID-19. Under the new order, retailers in the County will be allowed to open for curbside/outdoor pickup, and the supply chain for those retail establishments will also be allowed to reopen. The amended order also allows additional outdoor activities to resume, including car parades, outdoor museums, historical sites, and publicly accessible gardens. These businesses and activities will be allowed to resume operation on Friday, May 22, 2020, with social distancing protocols in place to ensure the safety of workers and customers.
On June 1, 2020, County Public Health announced additional amendments to the Shelter in Place Order, effective June 5, 2020. The new order allow multiple sectors and activities to resume, including outdoor dining at restaurants and in-store shopping at retail locations, subject to limitations and social distancing guidelines. The order permits children to take part in childcare, summer camps, summer school, or other educational and recreational programs, so long as groups are limited to 12 or fewer. It allows outdoor gatherings of up to 25 for religious services and cultural ceremonies. Any outdoor recreational activities that do not involve physical contact and adhere to social distancing protocols, such as swimming pools, will be allowed to resume under the new order. Also, car-based gatherings will be permitted, including drive-in theaters. No-contact in-home services like house cleaning, and other low-contact service businesses such as shoe repair will also be allowed to reopen. For a one-page summary of new businesses allowed under the order, please click here.
For more information on Public Health guidance 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.
A Message from the Mayor - June 1, 2020
Good morning Los Gatos. It is difficult to know what to write. We are living through an extraordinary time. As June begins, and almost half a year has been lost to a virulent and relentless pandemic, we now face an even greater challenge as the nation is rocked by economic and racial divides that have long been with us, but too often ignored. Further divisiveness will not serve us now.
I have often observed in this space that our Town is unique – that it is innovative, resilient, and possessed of a cohesive community spirit. It is more important now than ever that we demonstrate those qualities to support, respect, and appreciate all that we are privileged to enjoy. Please support local retailers and restaurants by taking advantage of curbside pickup; please respect your neighbors by wearing a mask and keeping your distance to protect not only their health and safety, but yours; please appreciate that through forward-thinking and conservative fiscal stewardship the Town was able to keep all of its workers employed and providing essential services while at the same time passing a balanced budget; and finally, please support the efforts and results created through collaborative leadership that allowed the Town Council to set aside funds and public property to help our local businesses bridge the gap to a better time – which may begin to arrive as soon as this week with further gradual easing of the County Health Order.
The true essence of Los Gatos is founded in community, and in the values that community adopts and practices. The Town does not succeed or fail on its own, but rather through our collective action. It is my hope that over the next few weeks, Los Gatos will come together to support, respect, and appreciate the contribution each one of us makes to our extraordinary town, and in so doing, move us forward toward a common goal of not only sustaining our community as we now know it, but creating a better one.
It takes a Town.
Los Gatos Mayor
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 May 19, 2020, the Town Council moved forward 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.
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 ordinance 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.