Coronavirus has spread around the globe, and efforts to slow its transmission and minimize its damage have caused significant impacts. Though no cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) have been identified in Carpinteria, we realize that the daily lives of most Carpinteria residents have been seriously affected already. Measures to slow its spread have disrupted residents’ ability to work, go to school, play sports, and interact with friends.

These critical steps to maintain distance from one another are uncomfortable, but experts at the state and national levels have determined that they are our best means of mitigating the spread of the disease and protecting our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed. We appreciate everyone’s commitment to working together as a City, and we assure you that your City leadership is committed to doing everything in our power to maintain the health and safety of residents and to minimize the potential arrival and spread of the coronavirus in our community.

While this creates major challenges for us, we strive to continue to serve you as best we can by keeping our doors open for you and always being available to serve you as detailed in our City update below.

County & State Update

A case of COVID-19 was identified last weekend in a Santa Barbara County resident, and the number of cases statewide has risen to 335. The County declared an emergency on March 12, at which time the Public Health Officer issued an order mandating social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19 and prevent medical facilities from being overwhelmed. On March 15, California Governor Gavin Newsom called for all bars, wineries, nightclubs and brewpubs to close, and for restaurants to reduce their capacity by 50 percent. He also urged seniors and people with chronic conditions to isolate themselves at home. We will notify the public if the Governor’s guidance is incorporated into new mandatory orders at the County level.

City of Carpinteria Update

City leaders have been meeting regularly to review the situation and respond in coordination with county, state and federal mandates and advice. At this point, the City will continue to operate and provide essential services to the Carpinteria community; however, some non-essential services could be modified or suspended in the future. We will keep you posted should a change be warranted.

At its next regular meeting, on March 23, the City Council will consider declaring a local emergency. This designation would help ensure the City benefits from state and federal emergency response resources that may become available.

City Hall will continue to be open and hold regular business hours. We ask that residents only visit City Hall with essential business at this time. Visitors are asked to limit their contact with counter surfaces and other individuals. Door handles and other surfaces will be disinfected regularly. We are coordinating with our janitorial contractor to increase frequency and adjust cleaning techniques at public restroom facilities. Similar measures will be taken at the Community Pool and the Veterans Hall.

Veterans Hall rentals have been suspended, and we are working with the organizations that operate regular programs out of the facility to modify or suspend services as appropriate.

City meetings that are considered essential will continue to be held, and those that are not will be postponed or canceled. Seating adjustments have already been made in the Council Chambers so that members of the public who attend meetings of the City Council, Planning Commission and other bodies can maintain minimum 6-foot separation.

Members of the public are encouraged to participate in public meetings without attending in person. Many meetings are live-streamed through the City website, http://www.carpinteria.ca.us/videos/streaming.shtml, and video recordings are available after meetings. Public comments can be submitted in advance to the City Clerk at PublicComment@ci.carpinteria.ca.us.

For breaking news, status reports, and information about the coronavirus and its spread, residents are advised to use the public information portal (https://publichealthsbc.org/) operated by the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.

Again, we thank everyone for taking this matter seriously and being part of the effort to reduce the impact of the virus. Please stay safe and healthy. This is a dynamic situation, and we will continue to keep residents informed as circumstances evolve.

— Wade Nomura, Mayor