The city of Healdsburg declared a local emergency Thursday morning, March 12, in response to the spread of COVID-19, a novel strain of the corona family of viruses. Healdsburg City Council will consider the declaration for ratification at its regular meeting on Monday, March 16 at city hall.
An emergency declaration gives the city access to state and federal resources, mutual aid and other tools to help protect city facilities and the community according to a City of Healdsburg press release.
The city also announced that they are going to postpone all city-sponsored events, including the March 17 St. Patrick’s Day Parade, for the next few weeks.
“Our number-one goal is to keep the Healdsburg community safe and informed,” Healdsburg City Manager David Mickaelian said in a press release. “We are collaborating daily with the county’s health department to see what actions we and the community need to take going forward.”
City of Healdsburg public events that will not be held include the March 17 parade and the accompanying Celtic concert and the April 18 senior center bus trip to see “The Book of Mormon” in San Francisco.
The city’s decision to cancel events comes after direction from Gov. Gavin Newsom to postpone all non-essential gatherings of 250 or more through the end of March.
According to the press release, the California Department of Public Health finds the following:
• Large gatherings that include 250 people or more should be postponed or canceled. This includes concerts, conferences, and professional, college, and school sporting events.
• Smaller gatherings held in venues that do not allow social distancing of six feet per person should be postponed or canceled. This includes gatherings in crowded auditoriums, rooms or other venues.
• Gatherings of people at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should be limited to no more than 10 people. This includes gatherings at retirement facilities, assisted living facilities, developmental homes, and support groups for people with health conditions.
• A “gathering” is any event or convening that brings together people in a single room or single space at the same time, such as an auditorium, stadium, arena, large conference room, meeting hall, cafeteria, or any other indoor or outdoor space.”
The city will continue to work closely with the Sonoma County Department of Emergency Management and Department of Health Services to monitor the situation.
The city is also taking extra steps to clean and disinfect city facilities such as public bathrooms and frequently touched door handles, knobs, table tops and handrails. Hand sanitizer will also be placed at city facilities and good hygiene information will be posted in both English and Spanish.