Santa Clarita Mayor Cameron Smyth urged the community to follow the new statewide order issued Thursday for residents to stay home in an effort to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
While Gov. Gavin Newsom’s directive for 40 million residents to remain at home has no deadline, the Los Angeles County’s “Safer at Home” order is set to remain in place through April 19.
“It is really important that we follow these directives,” said Smyth during a Friday Facebook live report from City Hall. “They are certainly an inconvenience to all of us, but it does pale in comparison to the safety of our residents and to help make sure that we have a health system in place throughout the state that can handle those who truly need it.”
The city of Santa Clarita falls under the county, meaning all orders Los Angeles County issues, residents within the city must follow.
Under the state and county directive, most businesses must close except for those deemed essential, such as:
- Groceries stores, including convenience stores.
- Restaurants for take-out, delivery and drive-thru only.
- Childcare providers.
- Financial institutions such as banks and credit unions.
- Transportation services, including public transits, car and bicycle repair shops, gas stations, and taxi and rideshare.
- Health care operations such as hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmacies, veterinary care providers and cannabis dispensaries.
- Hardware stores, such as hardware and building and supply shops.
- Media outlets, including newspaper, radio, television and other media services.
- Places that offer shelter, such as hotels and shared rental units.
Residents are reminded that gatherings of 10 or more people are banned and that all should keep a distance of at least 6 feet when outdoors.
Smyth and other government officials clarified that residents can still partake in outdoor activities, such as hiking, running and biking while considering the social distancing guidelines. Parks will remain open but not playgrounds, they added.
School districts and higher education institutions remain closed and have transitioned to online learning until further notice, though Newsom said this week he believes schools would likely remain closed for the remainder of the school year.
On enforcement, Smyth said law enforcement continues to operate at full capacity.
“I’ve been in touch with our chief of police and they are continually deployed throughout the city to make sure that people aren’t trying to take advantage of this new order and that people are safe in their homes and safe throughout the community.”
Those found in violation of the county order, such as a business still allowing people to dine in, could face fines or misdemeanor charges.
“It’s going to be tough, I don’t have any illusions about that, but again, Santa Clarita, unlike other communities, has been tested, and every time we’ve been tested, we’ve come through,” said Smyth.