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COVID-19 Response Plan
Last Update 6/11/2020
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.
Dealing With Cardboard While Sheltering-In-Place
With the Shelter-in-Place Order in effect, more residents are shopping from home than ever before. GreenWaste reports a significant increase in cardboard set out for pick-up. In order to ensure the prompt collection of your scrap cardboard, please follow instructions below:
April 29th - Virtual Town Hall on COVID-19
On April 29, 2020 Mayor Michelle Wu hosted the Town’s first Virtual Town Hall meeting to discuss questions that the residents of Los Altos Hills had regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the Video:
- Residents chatted with the Mayor regarding the current status of the COVID-19 pandemic;
- Learned what steps our Town is taking to make sure we can continue to serve; and
- Find out about resources available in the community for our residents
- Mayor Michelle Wu
- Senator Jerry Hill, California State Senator
- Hugo Yang, M.D., F.A.C.P., Palo Alto Medical Foundation
- City Manager Carl Cahill
- Sheriff Captain Rich Urena
- Planning Director Zach Dahl
- City Clerk Deborah Padovan
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.
Changes to Town Operations:
As the County of Santa Clara enters Phase 2 of reopening, Los Altos Hills has opened a public counter at Town Hall outdoors. The outdoor counter can be used for appointments, application submittal, and permit issuance. Click the hyperlink below to review procedures.
- 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.
- Permit issuance is by appointment only between the hours of 9-11 am and 2-4 pm, Monday through Friday, in the courtyard behind the main entrance to Town Hall. The Building Tech will call the contact person to schedule once a permit has been paid.
- Building inspections continue to be booked in the same manner as before: by calling the building tech at 650-947-2501 and leaving the following information: name, contact number, permit number, requested day, morning or afternoon preference, and type of inspection. The Building Tech will confirm or offer an alternate appointment window within 24 hours. Unconfirmed appointments do not guarantee an inspection. (online scheduling creates conflicts)
- Regular counter hours for face-to-face consults regarding permit submittals have resumed their regular hours: 9-11 am and 2-4 pm, Monday through Friday.
- Permit submittals may continue to be sent in by either emailing copies of all digital documents or dropping physical documents in the Drop Box outside the front door of Town Hall.
- All building and construction activity must adhere to the County’s Order as outlined in the Town’s Requirements for Building and Construction Activities (PDF).
- For Building questions or to schedule an inspection, please call: (650) 947-2501; Email the Building Department
- For Planning questions or to schedule an inspection, please call: (650) 941-7222; Email the Planning Department
- Counter hours to speak face-to-face with a planner have resumed: 9 to 11 am and 2 to 4 pm, Monday through Friday, in the courtyard behind the main entrance to Town Hall.
- All planning project submittals must be submitted in person and reviewed by a planner. No partial submittals are accepted. Payments must be made at the time of submittal.
- Queue up on the dots during the designated counter hours and a staff member will step outside to assist.
PUBLIC WORKS & ENGINEERING
- Counter hours to speak face-to-face with an engineer have resumed: 9 to 11 am and 2 to 4 pm, Monday through Friday, in the courtyard behind the main entrance to Town Hall
- Queue up on the dots during the designated counter hours and a staff member will step outside to assist.
- To allow staff to better assist you and to ensure staff availability, please complete the online appointment request form.
- 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.
- Greenwaste garbage service will continue as normal.
- At this time, the Town Neighborhood Clean-Up event at Foothill College has been postponed.
PARKS & RECREATION
- Visit the Virtual Recreation Resource page!
- The following events have been CANCELED: 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 suspended. Questions about your activity call: 650-947-2506.
- Westwind Community Barn is closed to the public. Victoria Dye Equestrian has limited hours for boarders 8 am to 6 pm.
- A Parking Closure has been instituted for Byrne Preserve. The paths are still open for the public to enjoy, however please do not drive and park at the preserve.
- Playgrounds, Dog Park, and public exercise equipment are closed.
FINANCE & ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES
- Finance is continuing to operate as normal including paying invoices among other daily finance duties.
- The code enforcement officer is on duty receiving and investigating municipal code violations.
- Animal control officers from the Palo Alto Animal Control will continue to provide service with altered procedures.
- No self-initiated activity from officers except for emergency aid situations
- No impounding of dead-on-arrival animals on private property unless resident moves animal to the curb
- 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:
- 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 (PDF)].
- We have kept employees informed of all updates from the County Health Department, California Department of Public Health, and the CDC.
- 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 Number 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 Human Resources 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
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. 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