Smyth, Diez provide coronavirus update for SCV

Santa Clarita Mayor Cameron Smyth provided a coronavirus update via Facebook Live on Monday, April 20, 2020. Courtesy

Santa Clarita Mayor Cameron Smyth discussed what the future will look like in reopening the city, during a Monday morning coronavirus update via Facebook Live.

In order to continue to reopen and ease restrictions, the city is expected to follow certain benchmark requirements, such as flattening the curve, as well as a drop-off of reported cases, hospitalizations and deaths, according to Smyth.

“Over the weekend, we have seen reports of other states that are starting to institute opening plans, even here in California, you’ve seen separate counties starting to make decisions about opening, (but) the only way you’re going to see that, again, is if those numbers continue to to flatten or decline for an extended period of time,” Smyth said. “I think it’s important to share that here in Los Angeles County, I do not expect that there will be any changes to the current restrictions anytime before May 15.”

While Santa Clarita City Hall will remain closed, the city of Santa Clarita has begun to bring back some of the city staff who were on paid administrative leave or had been working remotely.

“The time has come, (and) we feel that the city is able to manage the increase in staff here at City Hall and other facilities, while still maintaining all of our social distancing and (personal protective equipment) requirements to ensure that our city employees are continually protected, but they’re able to come back to work and provide the services that you have come to expect from us here in Santa Clarita,” Smyth said. “This is a step in the right direction.”

While city parks and trails remain open, Smyth went on to remind residents to practice physical distancing and that it is mandatory to wear a face covering to enter any essential business, while those businesses are also required to provide employees with PPE.

“Just because you have been deemed an essential business, you are not absolved from following the protocols and guidelines,” he added.

SCV Sheriff’s Station Capt. Justin Diez was also in attendance to provide an update on law enforcement during this time.

“Crime is trending downwards since the beginning of the year,” Diez said. “However, it is slightly up from this point last year, but, again, we are continuing to hit those crimes with all of our proactive law enforcement efforts, not only from our patrol and our special teams and also our detective bureau.”

Diez also wanted to encourage residents “if you see something, say something,” and to call the station or 911 depending on the type of incident.

“Our enforcement is not predicated around the public health order, it’s predicated around business as usual (and) normal police enforcement, which mostly deals with criminal and certainly traffic-related issues,” he added.

The SCV Sheriff’s Station is continuing to work 24/7 and taking all precautions in giving personnel the personal protective equipment necessary to do their work, Diez said.

“I’m very happy to say and very excited to say that we do not have any positive cases of COVID-19 amongst our personnel at our station … out of 230 personnel,” Diez added. “We’ve been very fortunate with that, And I think, all in all, the station is doing really well. Morale is doing very well, arrests are up, deputies and professional staff are all coming to work. It’s business normal.”

Both Smyth and Diez concluded by thanking SCV residents for following the “Safer at Home” directive and doing their part in flattening the curve.

“Believe me, I share everybody’s desire to open up our community (and) our country as quickly as possible, and the best way for us to do that is to … continue to follow these guidelines,” Smyth said. “I know how tough it is for everybody in this community, so let’s work together to try to get ourselves open as quickly as possible … Santa Clarita, we’ve been through many challenges before, and I have no doubt we’ll get through this one together.”

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