COVID-19 Response Plan

Last Update 4/1/2020

covid19

The Town of Los Altos Hills continues to monitor developments around the spread of COVID-19. We have taken precautions based on guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure the safety of our staff, their families and the community.


The safety of our staff and the public has led us to take the actions noted below. These actions are focused on ensuring the ongoing safety of the aforementioned groups and with the hope that an ongoing dialogue will allow us to be best positioned to quickly respond to a rapidly developing set of circumstances and help contain the COVID-19 outbreak. Our goal is to help our staff and community navigate the known and potential circumstances related to COVID-19.


Regarding the Shelter-In-Place Order:

Residents may continue to employ qualified businesses or workers to perform brush and vegetative growth clearance from their properties and along abutting roadways consistent with the Town’s Fire Prevention Code, Section 4-2.116 


The Governor’s shelter in place order (N-33-20) specifically exempts fire mitigation activities and services necessary to maintain the safety of residences.


Messages from Mayor Wu:

Please read Mayor Wu’s COVID-19 Letter to the Public, dated March 19, 2020. 


"I wish all our residents be safe and be well. Hang in there and try to relax. The tough time will pass, sooner or later. Mayor’s office hours open as usual. The only change is that it is by phone only. I won’t come into the office due to the shelter-in-place order."

- Michelle Wu


In order to set up a teleconference appointment with the mayor, please email Deborah Padovan, City Clerk at dpadovan@losaltoshills.ca.gov 


Changes to Town Operations:

In response to the Santa Clara County Health Officer’s Order of March 31th regarding COVID-19, TOWN HALL HAS BEEN CLOSED. However, the following services remain available:


PUBLIC SAFETY

  • Law enforcement services from the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office will continue as normal. Emergency number 911; Non-emergency number: (408) 299-2311. Sheriff patrols have been increased during the emergency

PLANNING & BUILDING

PUBLIC WORKS & ENGINEERING

  • Counter questions by phone call only 
  • Public Works and Engineering applications are still being accepted. Please call (650) 947-2516 to schedule an appointment to submit.
  • Permits are still being issued. Please call (650) 947-2516 to schedule an appointment.
  • Public works and engineering inspections will continue as normal. Please call (650) 947-2516 to schedule.
  • All essential public works related construction is exempt from the shelter in place order.

PUBLIC WORKS MAINTENANCE

  • The Town crew will continue to respond to Town maintenance requests. 

GARBAGE SERVICE

  • Greenwaste garbage service will continue as normal.
  • At this time, the Town Neighborhood Clean-Up event at Foothill College has been postponed for April. 

PARKS & RECREATION

  • The following events have been CANCELLED: Hoppin’ Hounds (4/11), Earth Day Celebration (4/19), Pathways Run/Walk (5/9) and Town Picnic (6/7). 
  • All in person activities and classes have been cancelled until the current shelter in place order.
  • Westwind Community Barn is closed to the public. Victoria Dye Equestrian has limited hours for boarders 8am - 6pm
  • Playgrounds, Dog Park, and public exercise equipment is closed. 

FINANCE & ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES

  • Finance is continuing to operate as normal including paying invoices among other daily finance duties.

CODE ENFORCEMENT

  • The code enforcement officer is on duty receiving and investigating municipal code violations. 

ANIMAL CONTROL

  • Animal control officers from the Palo Alto Animal Control will continue to provide service with altered procedures. 
    • 1) No self-initiated activity from officers except for emergency aid situations
    • 2) No impounding of dead-on-arrival animals on private property unless resident moves animal to the curb
    • 3) Dispatch will  request that any reporting party bring any found animals directly to shelter if possible. 


If you have any special requests or needs, please let Town Staff know. We will try our best to get the assistance that you need to the extent possible. Please call the main line at (650) 941-7222


Additional Actions the Town is Taking:

Ongoing Actions

  • For the past month the Town has participated in daily conference calls with the Santa Clara County Office of Emergency Management, as well as attended the White House Briefing Call earlier this week.
  • The Town’s website has information for the public from the County Health Department, California Department of Public Health, and the CDC.
  • Public information was sent out to all subscribed users of the Town’s website sharing up-to-date information regarding the virus and what the public can do to stay healthy. [View messaging here].
  • We have kept employees informed of all updates from the County Health Department, California Department of Public Health, and the CDC.

Management Actions

  • The City Manager/Emergency Services Director has signed a Proclamation of Local Emergency for the Town of Los Altos Hill
  • Public records requests may need additional time to complete as they are not an essential function.
  • Per the Governor’s Executive Order No. N-25-200, the Town is assisting the Standing Committees in setting up teleconferencing for their monthly meetings. Committee meetings not using teleconference capabilities have been cancelled through end of March.
  • We have prepared a local emergency proclamation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and have placed the item on the March 19 City Council meeting agenda. [View Council Meeting Agenda].
  • The administrative staff is in the process of ensuring the network can enable some staff to work remotely.
  • We encouraged our staff to bring any COVID-19 related concerns to their manager and HR so that we can quickly address these concerns.
  • We are on top of this situation to ensure our staff and our residents are our top priorities. We are positioned to assess the ongoing environment and rapidly respond and modify our procedures as events continue to unfold.
  • We will continue to monitor the situation and will keep the public and employees informed about any changes.

Meetings and Travel

  • We encouraged all staff that do not feel well to stay home and report their situation to their medical provider.
  • We asked our staff to work with customers to mutually determine which in-person meetings are essential and to consider using teleconferencing when possible. We realize this may not be ideal, however, we know that many members of the public are already dealing with similar situations and this decision is a precautionary measure that we believe is in the best interest of everyone.
  • We instituted a 14-day self-quarantine period where recommended by the CDC for Town employees during which the employee will work from home.


A Message from the Santa Clara County Public Health Department

The County would like to acknowledge that as new directives and updates are being provided by our health officials about COVID-19, a natural reaction may be to worry, which may leave us feeling vulnerable and helpless. In addition to following the advice and orders of our Public Health Officer, here are some tips to help you practice self-care during this time:


  • Healthy habits. While this may seem simple, any health care provider will tell you that getting good sleep, eating healthy, drinking plenty of water and exercising regularly can help boost your immune system. Consider our Public Health Officer’s guidance and practice social distancing while taking care of your physical and mental health.
  • Digital detox. Continuous watching or listening to media reports, reading online news or social media can lead to unintended fear and anxiety. Try to limit your intake of news to a couple of key reliable sources and remember to check our Public Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites for key COVID-19 updates.
  • Mindfulness. Being present and living in the moment can help you reduce anxiety. If you need help calming your mind, try listening to mindfulness apps or listening to visualization resources. And, remember to access your health plan’s mental health and behavioral health services if you start to feel overwhelmed. Mental health and behavioral health providers are essential services.
  • Hand awareness. In addition to frequent proper handwashing, be aware of what you touch, and  clean and disinfect throughout the day since your hands are a key way germs get into our body.
  • Normalize new salutations. Elbow bumps, a head nod, a virtual high five or a nice smile are the new ways to greet others without having to shake hands. Give it a try and others will appreciate your thoughtfulness.


While this is not meant to be an all-inclusive list, these tips will hopefully provide some actions you can control during this time.


California’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response

https://covid19.ca.gov/

State Response


Santa Clara County Department of Public Health:

County staff have fielded hundreds of questions about the County Health Officer Order. Based on those questions, a very thorough FAQ has been crafted and is available using this link: https://www.sccgov.org/sites/phd/DiseaseInformation/novel-coronavirus/Pages/frequently-asked-questions.aspx This FAQ continues to be updated. Individuals and businesses with questions about the Order should be directed first to the above FAQ page. For questions that are not covered and for which additional clarification is required, please use this new web intake form: https://www.sccgov.org/sites/phd/DiseaseInformation/novel-coronavirus/Pages/ask-question-share-concern.aspx