By Lookout Staff
April 15, 2020 -- The City Council on Tuesday extended a series of strict measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus through May 15, bringing the local orders in line with those imposed for Los Angeles County.
The unanimous vote extends the original emergency order issued by City Manager Rick Cole on March 13, as well as 11 subsequent orders.
The order placing a temporary moratorium on residential and commercial tenants impacted by the virus runs through May 31.
While the order is in place, City facilities, trails and the beach remain closed, as well as all non-essential businesses; workers and customers must wear face masks inside business establishments and residents must remain in their homes except to run essential errands.
“By extending these orders, we continue to take the County and State orders seriously and ask everyone to stay at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Cole, who is also the City's Emergency Director.
“While Santa Monica cases are not as high as in some communities, we are not out of the woods and must be vigilant by staying at home, staying at least 6 feet apart, and using face coverings during essential trips.”
As of Tuesday, there were 96 confirmed cases in Santa Monica, which has a population of about 93,000.
"In coordination with the State of California and County of LA, the City of Santa Monica anticipates that ending the safer at home order will happen in stages," City officials said.
That willl ensure that "proactive measures are in place to prioritize the community’s health and safety and eliminate the future spread of COVID-19," they said.
Six key health and scientific indicators will be considered before modifying the state stay-at-home order, officials said.
As part of the LA County Department of Public Health Stay at Home Order, essential businesses open to the public in Santa Monica -- excluding clinical settings within Healthcare Operations -- are now required to create and publicly post LA County Social Distancing Protocol by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.
The protocol asks essential businesses to address public health requirements, including:
- Facility capacity
- Physical distancing
- Cleaning and disinfection including providing hand sanitizer, soap and water, or disinfectant
- Restroom accessibility
- Directing the public to not enter if they are experiencing respiratory illness symptoms
- Use of face coverings by employees, contracted workers, and members of the public
- Communicable disease control recommendations
The County and State orders are effective in Santa Monica and are enforceable by the Santa Monica Police Department, City officials said.
For information on COVID-19 in Santa Monica, visit santamonica.gov/coronavirus or call the City of Santa Monica’s coronavirus hotline: (310) 458-8400.