Press ReleasePress ReleaseCity of Laguna Beach
John Pietig, City Manager

505 Forest Avenue
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Phone: (949) 497-0704
Fax: (949) 497-0771

3/15/2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS RELEASE 03152020
 
Subject :City of Laguna Beach Declares Local Emergency in Response to COVID-19
Contact :John Pietig    (949) 497-0704
    

Laguna Beach, CA — Following Governor Gavin Newsom’s guidance this afternoon regarding measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) to citizens, and especially those age 65 or above, or with compromised immune systems, the City of Laguna has declared a Local Emergency. This proclamation allows the City to promptly take the actions necessary to protect public health, safety and welfare within the City and also allows for future reimbursement by the county, state and federal governments.  The emergency declaration must be ratified by the City Council within seven days.

The City is also taking the following actions, effective immediately: 

Emergency Services

  • Police, Fire and Marine Safety services will continue and 9-1-1 will be operating as usual.

City Facilities 

  • City Hall and the Community and Susi Q Senior Center will be closed to the public through March 27; however, City operations will continue to operate with available staff.  For questions please call (949) 497-3311 during regular business hours. 
  • All City events and all recreation classes and programs planned for the remainder of March are cancelled. AgeWell lunches are cancelled; Meals-on-Wheels will assist those in need.

City Meetings 

  • The March 17 City Council meeting agenda will be pared down to minimal business items. The following items are removed from the agenda by the City Manager: 
  1. Interviews of candidates for the Design Review Board (Item #1); 
  2. Award of a contract to study possible future parking structures in and around the downtown (Item #7); 
  3. A presentation regarding Lean Six Sigma efforts (although recommendations to purchase software may still be considered) (Item #20); 
  4. Extraordinary Business Items regarding the Orange County Human Relations Commission and Department of Motor Vehicles/Donate Life Month proclamations.
  • The public is strongly advised not to attend the City Council meeting and may email public comments regarding agenda items to cityclerk@lagunabeachcity.net.  The Laguna Beach City Council meeting is available to view live on the City’s website at www.lagunabeachcity.net or live on Cox cable channel 852.  
  • The March 24th Special Meeting of the City Council regarding the Downtown Specific Plan is cancelled
  • All City Commission, Committee, and Board meetings are cancelled through the end of March. This includes Planning Commission and Design Review Board meetings 
  • The March 31 City Council meeting will be limited to minimal items or cancelled

“The City is closely following recommendations from the federal, state and County level to ensure that we take all prudent steps to minimize, as best we can, possible impacts to Laguna Beach residents and visitors from COVID-19,” said Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen.  "Today the Governor requested that all persons age 65 or over self-isolate at home and I encourage everyone to comply with this request to the maximum extent possible.  All of us need to take actions to contribute to the safety, security, health and well-being of everyone in Laguna Beach and I am confident that our residents will do just that.”

“These actions are necessary to help keep our community and our employees safe,” said Laguna Beach City Manager John Pietig. “The decision to make these changes was made after much deliberation and in response to local, county, state and federal agencies guidance to slow the spread of the virus.” 

Additional Resources

  • The City is constantly communicating with our community partners, and also regularly updating additional information on COVID-19 prevention on our website at www.lagunabeachcity.net/coronavirus
  • The Orange County Public Health Care Agency COVID-19 Health Referral Hotline: 1 (800) 564-8448.

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