Los Al City declares “local emergency,” quarantines for council meeting

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The City of Los Alamitos has declared a proclamation of local emergency due to potential public health impacts of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The emergency declaration supports measures to be taken to protect public health, safety and welfare within the City.
While there are currently no reported cases of COVID-19 in Los Alamitos, the actions taken this afternoon by the City Manager and Director of Emergency Services, Chet Simmons, provides access to additional emergency resources in the event that they are needed, as well as provides a mechanism for accessing Federal and State funding to assist in addressing this pandemic.

The actions by the City are in line with what other local and regional agencies are considering or have enacted as a preventative measure to decrease the risk of community spread of Coronavirus in their communities.

“Currently there are no reported cases of Coronavirus in the City of Los Alamitos.  However, we feel it is our responsibility to help keep our community and employees safe. Please be reassured that Council and I have the utmost confidence in our Leadership Staff and Emergency Preparedness Team to mitigate the coronavirus situation” said Mayor Murphy.

As a precaution to reduce community spread of COV-19 virus, the City is implementing temporary changes to City operations effective 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 13, 2020. The changes to operations will be in place through March 31 or until further notice. These are in addition to the steps that have already been taken to be compliant with the guidance that has been received from the state.

At this time, the state recommendations include postponing or canceling large gatherings of 250 people or more, postponing or canceling smaller gatherings in venues that do not allow social distancing and limiting gatherings of high-risk individuals to no more than 10 people.

We are sympathetic to the concerns of the public and we are constantly assessing the evolving circumstances and evaluating how we will provide government services. Our goal is to remain responsive to the community’s needs and to ensure the safety, security, health, and well-being for all in Los Alamitos.

The temporary changes to City operations are as follows:
City Facilities

  • All City facilities, including City Hall, the Los Alamitos Recreation and Community Services Center, and Los Alamitos Museum will be closed to the public. However, City operations will continue to operate with staff available to provide services and answer questions by phone and email.

City Services

  • All services requiring in-person visits or public counter assistance will be handled by phone, email and in certain circumstances in-person (appointment only).

City Events and Recreation Classes

  • All City of Los Alamitos recreation classes and programs scheduled for the remainder of March will be canceled. Classes that are in mid-session will be prorated. Upcoming classes will be fully refunded.
  • Private events scheduled for indoor and outdoor City facilities (sports leagues, picnic shelter rentals, Community Center rentals) will be canceled.

The following special events will be postponed TBD- Weekend of Art (March 20 & 21) and Teen Expo (April 4). Spring Carnival scheduled for April 11 is canceled.

City Meetings

  • City Council meeting scheduled in March will take place as planned. If you wish to attend the City Council meeting in person, the City Council Chamber located at 3191 Katella Ave, California 90720, will be open for this meeting and the public shall have the right to observe and offer public comment at this location.
  • While you may attend this meeting in person, given the health risks associated with COVID-19, please be advised that you may submit comments on any agenda item or on any item not on the agenda by email to wquintanar@cityoflosalamitos.org. You may also view the meeting live on local cable channel 3 and online at Los Al TV and agendas will be available at https://cityoflosalamitos.org/your-government/city-council/agendas-and-minutes/.
  • Please consider carefully before attending this meeting in person and keep a six foot distance from others as much as possible. Please do not attend this meeting in person if you have traveled internationally, particularly to China, Italy, Iran, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and/or you have had direct contact with someone who has traveled to those places or tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19), or you are experiencing symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, fever, difficulty breathing or other flu-like symptoms.
  • The remaining Commission meetings for the month of March will be cancelled.
    Note that the City of Los Alamitos Police Department will continue to maintain a 24/7 operation responding to all calls for service as usual with some minor exceptions regarding medical aides that they will follow the Orange County Fire Authority suggested protocols for law enforcement and non-paramedic firefighting personnel.

The City of Los Alamitos Police Department will continue to incorporate the Universal Precautions as outlined in their department policy (1016) detailing the police response and reporting requirements with regard to all communicable diseases to include COVID 19 (Coronavirus).

As a means to limit any unnecessary contact or exposure to COVID 19 to police employees and the community they serve, the police department is requesting whatever business that can be handled over the phone versus in person be considered by the public.

For more information and the latest status of City services, visit the City website at www.cityoflosalamitos.org. Updates will be shared regularly through the City’s website and available by calling the City Hall’s main phone line at (562) 431-3538.
We encourage community members to help protect yourself as you would during any cold or flu season:

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds
  • When unable to wash your hands, use an alcohol-based sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others
  • Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing\
  • City officials are in close contact with public health officials at the Orange County Health Care Agency, the California Department of Public Health, surrounding public safety officials and will continue to adjust practices as federal, state, and county official guidelines are updated in the coming days and weeks. The City will continue
    to keep residents informed with updates to the City website at www.cityoflosalamitos.org as information becomes available.

Public Information Contacts:

Emergency Services Coordinator Robert Acosta 562-431-3538 x445
email:  racosta@cityoflosalamitos.org
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Additionally, we have cancelled all presentations for Monday’s meeting. We will be revising the agenda to reflect this and to add a safety warning requesting citizens participate from home and outlining how they can still provide public comment. Seating will still be provided should citizens wish to come to the meeting. Logistics for seating and safety are still being worked out.

The meeting will still be televised on Los Al TV and available for live streaming via our website.

 

Author: Los Al TV

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