To say the last week was a tumultuous one would be an understatement. Last Friday, I signed a local emergency declaration in response to the coronavirus outbreak, which is a preparedness measure that allows for the city of Santa Clarita to access resources and recover costs. In addition, the city took the crucial step to shut down all non-essential city facilities.
You may have heard the term, “Flatten the Curve,” and that is just what we are striving to do. This so-called exponential curve shows the number of coronavirus cases continuing to double every three days. If nothing were done to stop it, there would be about a hundred million cases in the United States by May. The goal is to slow the spread of this virus through social distancing. This allows for the number of cases not to surpass the capacity of our local medical resources.
It is hard to address the current state of recommendations and orders, as they are ever-changing. By the time this article goes to print, new orders may already be in effect. As I write this article, the most current recommendation from Gov. Gavin Newsom is every Californian over the age of 65 should home-isolate for 14 days. This is a big ask and a significant population of our residents who are expected to stay at home. Fortunately, our Santa Clarita Valley senior center at Bella Vida has many options to provide these residents with meals. They offer a drive-through lunch pick-up as well as home-delivered meal services. For more information, please visit myscvcoa.org.
The second order, which came down on Monday, March 16, is all bars, gyms and theaters should close to increase social distancing. In addition, our local restaurants have been ordered to transition to take-out and delivery service only, no in-restaurant dining will be allowed. These sweeping measures are sure to disrupt many people’s day-to-day lives. Please keep in mind these restrictions are only temporary and necessary.
I encourage all of you to follow these new parameters for social distancing to ensure we do our best to protect our loved ones and those who are at risk. I also continue to encourage our residents to be responsible and considerate when shopping at our local stores. The stores will be restocked, the shelves will once again be full, and there is no need to hoard items. Please make sure that all of our friends and neighbors are able to get the food and supplies they need.
We are working with our local organizations and community partners to ensure our residents have the latest crucial information regarding the coronavirus pandemic. The information is updated regularly and available to the public at SantaClaritaEmergency.com. On this site, you will find links to our local organizations and their news updates, as well as important resources. I encourage all of you to be informed and take the necessary precautions to keep our community safe.
Mayor Cameron Smyth is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected].