From the Mayor's Desk: An update on Los Altos COVID preparedness

Los Altos held its inaugural virtual town hall April 7. More than 130 people called in or Zoomed in to the town hall. I want to recap the messages from this event.

As everyone no doubt knows, the shelter-in-place order has been extended to May 3. What is very important to know is that everything that everyone does makes a huge difference. And what should you do to stay healthy? Stay home!


Stay home, wash your hands and follow the new directive to cover your face (nose and mouth) when you are out for essential activities. Why? You could be a coronavirus carrier, even if you are asymptomatic, and these actions can help reduce virus “shed.” The only people who should go out are those performing an essential function.

When you go out to get some fresh air or take a walk around the block, make sure you practice social distancing by keeping at least 6 feet apart from others. As of April 3, essential businesses must post a social-distancing protocol for their businesses.

We are a community with a higher percentage of seniors than many other communities in Santa Clara County. I strongly suggest to our seniors, please stay home! There are others who can shop and run errands for you. Los Altos Community Foundation (losaltoscf.org) has a webpage where you can sign up to request help with shopping and errands. Our local Los Altos High School students want to shop for you.

If getting on the computer is not your thing, the city has set up phone lines, staffed by members of our recreation department, that can help:

• The Senior Connection, accessible to residents age 50 and older, runs 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays at 947-2797.

• The Community Connection, available to the entire community, runs 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at 947-2790.
The County of Santa Clara Public Health Department website (sccgov.org/sites/phd/Pages/phd.aspx) provides a wealth of information. It features a dashboard tracking the total number of cases by city and in the county, as well as new cases, deaths and other statistics.

What about our small businesses in Los Altos? The Los Altos Chamber of Commerce has initiated What’s Open Los Altos (whatsopenlosaltos.org), which went live April 7. Residents can visit the site to donate, purchase gift cards and order from their favorite Los Altos merchants.

And what about renters? The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors March 24 passed an urgency ordinance prohibiting evictions through the end of May, as long as tenants can show their income was affected by the coronavirus. The state of California adopted an emergency rule April 6 delaying all evictions and foreclosures until 90 days after the governor lifts the state of emergency related to the pandemic.

We will all get through this together.

Jan Pepper is mayor of Los Altos.

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