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Laguna Beach COVID-19 community Update City of Laguna Beach, California

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1, 2020

Laguna Beach City Council Action: Tuesday, March 31

The Laguna Beach City Council met virtually on Tuesday, March 31 to conduct essential City business.

At its March 31 Regular Meeting, the City Council Took the Following Action:

  • Extension of Beach, Trailhead and Park Closures through the end of April;
  • Suspension of the Laguna Beach Farmer's Market through the end of April;
  • Selection of Jessica Gannon to the Design Review Board for a two-year term beginning April 1, 2020;
  • Adoption of an Ordinance to establish a streamline permitting process for the installation of electric vehicle charging stations;
  • Approval of the Summer 2020 Parking Management Plan recommendations, including no raise to parking meter and parking lot rates for the summer of 2020;
  • Directed staff to return with a draft letter to be sent to all residential and commercial landlords in the City of Laguna Beach urging them not to pursue eviction orders due to non-payment of rent through May 31, 2020, and a draft urgency ordinance due to the adverse financial impacts to tenants related to COVID-19.

We want to thank everyone who participated in last night’s meeting and extend our deepest apologies for the technical difficulties. Moving forward, we are researching changes to determine if virtual meetings can be reliably utilized in the future. Thank you for your patience as we explore new ways to operate in the current environment.

You may submit comments on any agenda item or on any item not on the agenda in writing via mail to the City Clerk at: 505 forest avenue, Laguna Beach, CA. 92651 or by email to cityclerk@lagunabeachcity.net (there is an interactive public communications form on the front page of the City’s website).

Please complete the form and email the completed form to the City Clerk no later than 3 p.m. on April 6, 2020 (the day before the City council meeting) in order for your comments to be submitted to the members of the City Council the day prior the meeting, which provides them sufficient time to review all the comments.

You may continue to provide written comments up to 12:00 p.m. on April 7, 2020 (the day of the meeting). Please note that while these comments will be provided to the City Council on 3 p.m. on April 7, 2020, the Council members may not have sufficient time to review them prior to the meeting.

You may view the meeting live on Cox cable channel 852 and online on the City of Laguna Beach website: www.lagunabeachcity.net.

You may submit comments via email during the meeting to cityclerk@lagunabeachcity.net. The City will attempt to briefly identify the author and their position during the City Council meeting. Unless an email is brief and to the point, it will not likely be read into the record and a summary may be provided.

The City will continue to experiment with systems to allow the public to call in or link into a meeting. Please check the City’s website on April 7, 2020 to see if new information is available about such a service.

To aid the City Council in the timely consideration and completion of its business, we are asking that all written comments be limited to 200 words or less.

All City offices remain closed to the public. Essential services are provided.

For questions call (949) 497-3311 during regular business hours.

A Message From the City Manager

Laguna Beach City Manager John Pietig has tested positive for COVID-19 and is self-isolated and working from home. “I am in good spirits, will continue to work from home and expect to make a full recovery,” Pietig said.

Laguna Beach Unified School District Announces Extension of Distance Learning

The Laguna Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) announced today the decision to extend distance learning until further notice, aligned with Governor Newsom’s expectation that school sites will not reopen this school year.

LBUSD will continue to implement distance teaching and learning for the duration of the closure, consistent with the Governor’s expectation.

The public’s health and safety are of the highest importance to LBUSD and all of its community and educational partners, as well as the continuity of education to the maximum extent possible for each student.

LBUSD Closes All District Facilities Including Track and Fields

The Laguna Beach Unified School District has closed District facilities until further notice, including the Laguna Beach High School track and field and all other district fields and playgrounds.

According to LBUSD, "While we understand the need for families to engage in physical activity during the Governor's stay-at-home order, the health and safety of our students, families, and community are of primary importance."

Questions and Answers About the Alternative Sleeping Location During COVID-19

By Friendship Shelter Executive Director Dawn Price

Q: Since the announcement that the ASL has now become a 24 hour/day shelter with current occupants sheltering in place to quarantine them - what new rules are in place?

First, it’s important to note that the ASL is not a quarantine site. Quarantine and Isolation are terms related to people who are ill (or presumed to be ill) with the virus and/or have had a known exposure to someone who is ill or presumed to be ill.

The ASL is now operating 24 hours in order to observe the same “stay at home” order that all California citizens are currently operating under. The change in rules for enrolled shelter guests are the same as for any other citizen – they are to stay at the ASL except to go to medical appointments, pharmacy, grocery store (for specific dietary needs not provided for at the ASL), bank and employment.

This change necessitated our temporary suspension of the ASL day program, which typically serves individuals who do not spend the night at the shelter, because continuing those day services would increase the number of people using the shelter and would make social distancing within the shelter impossible.

Q: Is the ASL really the best location for a quarantine site?

No, the ASL is not appropriate for quarantine or isolation, and that is why it is not being used for that purpose. The ASL is being used to help homeless individuals who are non-symptomatic and apparently well to practice social distancing and comply with the governor’s “stay at home” order.

Q: How many enrolled guests are there?

There are 38 enrolled guests at this time. We are not enrolling new guests under the “stay at home” order because it is challenging to achieve social distancing with the guests we do have.

Q: How does this comply with social distancing order issued by the Governor?

All of these changes that have been implemented have been intended to comply with the Governor’s “stay at home” order and to follow guidance, as fully as we can given the constraints of the facility, provided to us by other government entities (CDC, state health department, County healthcare agency).

Q: Are they being tested? Will the test results be released to the public? What if there’s a positive test?

We have not yet had an ASL guest exhibit symptoms, and thus to our knowledge none have been tested. Test results are being released to the public by the County in numbers but not for individual people. Under HIPPA, we would require an individual’s release in order for their test results to be released to us.

If we knew of a positive test result we would work with public health officials to determine who might have been in contact with the individual who is ill and we would ensure that those individuals were aware of that exposure and supported in taking appropriate steps to self-isolate and receive medical care.

Q: How many staff are on duty? Are staff coming and going? Who’s in charge?

There are usually 2-3 staff on site, except during the middle of the night when there is 1 staff. Staff are coming and going in order to work their regular shifts. All staff are subject to the same requirements as shelter guests as they re-enter the shelter, meaning they are screened for fever and respiratory symptoms.

Friendship Shelter continues to operate the shelter under its contract with the City of Laguna Beach. The shelter program is led by a manager who holds both a master’s in social work and a master’s in public health. Staff are supported by two contracted registered nurse practitioners.

Q: What safeguards are in place to prevent an infectious outbreak?

Our staff are following guidance provided to us by the CDC, the state health department, and the Orange County Health Care Agency. Surfaces are cleaned regularly with CDC-approved cleaning solutions.

Each person entering the shelter is screened for fever and respiratory symptoms, and would be isolated if such symptoms were present until they could be moved to a single off-site isolation unit (such as a hotel room). All regular activities within the shelter have been examined and changed, when possible, to achieve better social distancing. All guests and staff have been provided with masks.

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As the nation responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Orange County United Way is working to raise much-needed dollars for the creation of a Pandemic Relief Fund.

The Fund will support: low-income individuals and families at imminent risk of homelessness; the current OC population experiencing homelessness; low-income students; and our partner non-profits.

Laguna Beach Subway Delivering Subs to First Responders

The Laguna Beach Subway restaurant is now delivering grocery items to residents and also providing a way for residents to donate subs to working first responders.

Just add as many "First Responder Subs" as you'd like to your cart and the restaurant will deliver them to local Police, Fire, EMT's, doctors, and nurses in the area as a "thank you" for everything they are doing for us.

Remember:

Disinfectant wipes (e.g. Clorox wipes) and paper towels are important to keeping a sanitized home and business, especially now.

The City of Laguna Beach wants to remind the public that these items do not belong in the toilet and should be disposed of in the trash.

This also goes for baby and personal wipes or anything that’s not toilet paper. These items can harm wastewater treatment systems if flushed.

In times like these, it’s even more important to remember the three Ps of wastewater: flush only Pee, Poop and (toilet) Paper.

Watch the video from one of our neighboring Orange County agencies (below) for more.

Food, Financial, and Housing Assistance Hotlines Created

The Governor has announced the creation of a statewide hotline — 1 (833) 544-2374 — in coordination with the non-profit local 2-1-1 systems, so that Californians have a one-stop shop to answer their questions and get assistance during this crisis.

For example, the 2-1-1 system is able to help older Californians access grocery and medication delivery while staying at home.

Waiver Allows Parents to Pick Up School Meals for Children

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved a waiver to allow parents and guardians to pick up school meals on behalf of their children.

The flexibility, designed to support social distancing practices, applies to local grab-and-go school lunch programs that receive federal funding.

Grab & Go Meals and Resources Available for Seniors

Age Well is providing “Grab & Go” meals for seniors in need every Monday, Wednesday & Friday as needed. For more information call Age Well Senior Services at (949) 715-5462.

The County has announced the availability of resources and support for seniors over 60 who may be self-isolating during the COVID-19 outbreak in Orange County. For more information, call the Office on Aging Information Center at 1 (800) 510-2020.

Sally's Fund team members are shopping, running errands and providing transportation for seniors to doctor's appointments. For more information on Sally's Fund services, call (949) 499-4100.

"Stay Home. Save Lives. Check In." Campaign Launched

Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the “Stay Home. Save Lives. Check In.” campaign urging Californians to help combat social isolation and food insecurity among Californians who are over the age of 65 – a community that is uniquely vulnerable to COVID-19.

The campaign urges all Californians to check in on their older neighbors with a call, text or physically-distanced door knock to make sure they’re ok.

In addition, the state is urging local non-profits and faith-based organizations to call to check in on all of the older Californians in their networks.

Governor Newsom Signs Executive Order Providing Relief to California Small Businesses

Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order that will provide tax, regulatory and licensing extensions for businesses.

The executive order allows the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) to offer a 90-day extension for tax returns and tax payments for all businesses filing a return for less than $1 million in taxes. That means small businesses will have until the end of July to file their first-quarter returns.

Federal Economic Impact Payments: What You Need to Know

The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service announced that distribution of economic impact payments will begin in the next three weeks and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people.

Click the link below for details.

The City of Laguna Beach Arts Commission presents Friday Flicks... Online! Stream the film Play Serious (2018) any time this Friday, Saturday and Sunday from the comfort of your home.

Filmmaker T.M. Rives follows the trials and tribulations of Alexander Ekman’s process creating his ambitious new work, Play, for the Paris Opera Ballet. Click the link below to watch the film, starting on April 3, 2020.

This newsletter is texted out directly to residents registered for Laguna Beach’s Nixle Community Alert system.

Know someone or a senior who needs to sign up? Simply have them text 92651 to 888-777.

Laguna Beach Public Safety Departments are Ready for COVID-19

If You Have An Emergency,

Always Dial 9-1-1

The City of Laguna Beach is Committed to Bringing You COVID-19 Information

Stay Updated on the Latest COVID-19 Information

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