The Santa Clarita City Council declared a local emergency Friday in response to developments of the novel coronavirus, following local health officials’ confirmation of the first case in the city.
The announcement was made Friday afternoon after a closed session meeting with council members and city staff at City Hall.
“Santa Clarita is going to approach our response in a measured way with public health and safety as our top priority,” said Santa Clarita Mayor Cameron Smyth. “And that is why the council will declare a state of emergency. That will allow the city to access federal funds that have recently been made available by the president’s actions.”
The order, which took effect immediately, is expected to last “until its termination is proclaimed by the City Council of the city of Santa Clarita, California,” the proclamation read. “Such determination shall be revisited by the City Council no less frequently than every 60 days until deemed no longer necessary.”
Starting Saturday and for a period of 14 days, the city will suspend all nonessential city services, and close city facilities, such as in-person services at City Hall, libraries and youth and adult sports programming. There will be no impact on essential public safety services including from law enforcement, as well as public transportation, street crews and building and safety.
All city events scheduled through April are canceled, including the Sister Cities Hike event that was scheduled Sunday, the Senses Block parties on Main Street, the Cowboy Festival (April 18-19) and Earth Arbor Day (April 25).
The March 24 City Council meeting has also been canceled and council members expect to reconvene in April.
The local emergency came just hours after President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency as the nation continues to fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus. Last week, Los Angeles County proclaimed a local emergency.
On Friday, health officials with Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in Santa Clarita after a patient tested positive.
As it has in the past, due to the city not having its own department of public health, Santa Clarita will continue to follow guidelines throughout the local emergency as prescribed by the state and county.
“The city will continue to push out critical information as well as share resources through our emergency website at santaclaritaemergency.com,” said Smyth.
Residents can also call 661-259-2489 between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
To view all coronavirus-related stories, click here.