FROM THE CITY OF MONTEREY
News Release, Friday, March 13, 2020
CITY MANAGER ISSUES LOCAL EMERGENCY PROCLAMATION
TO SLOW THE SPREAD OF COVID-19
City Facility Closures, Programs and Events Postponed

City Manager Hans Uslar issued a local emergency proclamation today to help slow the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). The proclamation will come before the Monterey City Council for ratification at its meeting on Tuesday, March 17. The emergency proclamation coincides with the State’s recent executive orders that provide cities more ability and resources to help contain the new virus. Despite having no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Monterey County to date, scientists and medical experts report that slowing the spread (also known as “flattening the curve”) of COVID-19 by reducing opportunities for transmission will save lives by giving police and fire personnel, hospitals, doctors, and vaccine-manufacturers time to respond and prepare for the outbreak. 

First on the list of new protocols are city facility closures, and city programs and event cancellations or postponements beginning Saturday, March 14 through at least March 31, 2020. 

“Our priority, first and foremost, is the health and welfare of the Monterey community. While our community centers, library, museums, and sports center are valued by residents, visitors, and the public, we know that social distancing works and that these closures will help slow the spread of coronavirus in our community,” said City Manager Hans Uslar. “The Monterey community is compassionate, caring, and resilient. Together, the City of Monterey and its residents, businesses and neighbors, will persevere through this epidemic and protect our community.” 

The City’s decisions are based on the Cal OES (California Office of Emergency Services) directive of three criteria for closures or cancellations: 1) if the gathering involves over 250 people; 2) if the event allows people to maintain a six foot distance from one another; and 3) if the event attracts people in the high-risk category. The City also considered whether the service or event is essential.

The following facility closures and/or program changes will take effect on Saturday, March 14, 2020 through at least March 31, 2020: 

MONTEREY SPORTS CENTER
  • Facility closed and all classes, camps and aquatics programs are cancelled.
  • Monterey Sports Center will be streaming free fitness classes to the public on the Internet, starting in late March.

MONTEREY RECREATION
  • Monterey Recreation Office at 546 Dutra Street will close to the public. Please call 831.646.3866, montereyrecreation@monterey.org for more information. 
  • Monterey Recreation Preschool Programs offered by the City, located at Hilltop, Casanova Oak Knoll and El Estero Park Centers will close. 
  • Scholze Park Center - Facility closed. All classes and rentals cancelled. The Meals on Wheels Senior Lunch Program will offer to-go boxes or home delivery only. 
  • Hilltop Park Center - Facility closed. Preschool, all classes and rentals are cancelled. 
  • Casanova Oak Knoll Park Center - Facility closed. Preschool, all classes and rentals are cancelled. The Stay-N-Play Afterschool Program may reopen on Monday, March 30 only if MPUSD is back in session. 
  • El Estero Park Center - Facility closed and Preschool, all classes and rentals are cancelled. 
  • Field Sports - All Monterey Recreation Sports Leagues, Camps and Programs for youth and adults are cancelled.
  • over 250 people; 2) if the event allows people to maintain a six foot distance from one another; and 3) if the event attracts people in the high-risk category. The City also considered whether the service or event is essential.
  • Community Center Facility Rentals, Athletic Field, Outdoor BBQ/Picnic and Group Beach Permit Reservations: All indoor facility rentals are cancelled at the four Monterey Community Centers; Athletic Field Reservations with less than 250 people are allowed; Group BBQ/Picnic Permit reservations with less than 250 people are allowed; Beach Permit Reservations from private and corporate groups with less than 250 people are allowed. This does not include the Monterey Beach House, which is privately operated.

MONTEREY PARKS
  • Monterey Parks will remain open at least for now, including the Dennis the Menace Playground.
  • Veteran’s Memorial Park Campground will remain open with additional cleaning and hygiene measures.

MONTEREY PUBLIC LIBRARY
  • The Library, Bookmobile, and Library Community Room will be closed.  
  • Ask a Librarian service is available via e-mail, phone, and Twitter. Provides information about City services, insights on research help, and information about Library collections and services. Questions can be sent to refdesk@monterey.org , (831) 646-3933, or direct message on Twitter to @montereylibrary.
  • In-person inquiries for general City business or reference questions can be taken to a Library staff member who will be stationed at the Monterey Police Department, 351 Madison Street, during regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. starting on Monday, March 16.
  • The Library’s Giant Book Sale, scheduled for March 27 & 28, is cancelled.

MUSEUMS
  • All City museums, including Colton Hall Museum, will be closed.
  • Colton Hall Music Series concerts are cancelled.

MONTEREY CONFERENCE CENTER
  • All conferences and meetings with over 250 attendees have voluntarily cancelled through March 31 by the event organizers.
  • The City is encouraging conferences and rentals to comply with State guidelines.

MONTEREY FIRE DEPARTMENT
  • Fire services will continue in Monterey and other communities served by the Monterey Fire Department, including Pacific Grove, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Sand City, Presidio of Monterey, Naval Postgraduate School, La Mesa Village, and Monterey Regional Airport.
  • All public education programs suspended, including public fire station visits and participation in the City of Pacific Grove’s Good Old Days Event.
  • Fire Prevention Inspections will continue with enhanced measures to minimize exposure.

MONTEREY POLICE DEPARTMENT
  • Police Services remain open for business with enhanced measures to minimize exposure.
  • All public education programs suspended, including Police Department tours.

CITY OFFICES
  • The following Departments and Divisions remain open for business with enhanced measures to minimize exposure to staff and the community: City Manager’s Office, Planning Office, Housing Office, Building Inspection Office, Engineering Division, Harbor Division, Parking Division, Finance Department, and Human Resources Department.

PUBLIC CITY MEETINGS
  • The frequency and length of public meetings, including the City Council, boards and commissions, will be minimized. Non-urgent and non-essential City business with expected public feedback will be postponed. 
  • Individuals attending public meetings in person will be required to maintain appropriate social distancing, (i.e., maintain a 6-foot distance) and free of symptoms related to COVID-19.
  • Members of the public strongly encouraged to observe the live stream of the City Council and other Boards and Commission meetings at https://monterey.org/tv
  • If you choose not to attend a City Council meeting but wish to make a comment on a specific agenda item, please submit your comment via email by 5:00 p.m. on the Monday prior to the meeting. Please submit your comment to the City Clerk at cityclerk@monterey.org. Your comment will be placed into the record at the meeting.
  • Meetings streamed live and rebroadcast include the Monterey City Council, Planning Commission, Architectural Review Board, Historic Preservation Commission, Parks and Recreation Commission, and the Neighborhood Community Improvement Program (https://www.monterey.org/City-Hall/Boards-Commissions-and-Committees)

EVENTS CANCELLED
  • Transportation Adaptation Plan Workshop, March 18
  • Cutting Day and Horticulture Faire, March 21
  • Monterey Public Library Giant Book Sale, March 27 & 28
  • Spring Egg Hunt, April 11

A frequently asked questions and answers document outlines details regarding the closures. It will continue to be updated as needed at monterey.org/coronavirus

Updates on the status of the details above will be provided at least weekly and shared on the web and on all social media channels. The City of Monterey thanks the community for understanding why the City put these important measures in place, and we encourage all residents to continue to take precautions during this peak potential outbreak of coronavirus locally. Please see http://www.monterey.org/coronavirus for updated information and resources.

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