The city of Galt has expanded its measures to protect the local community against the spreading of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) by closing its offices, the Galt Market, Parks and Recreation programs and park facilities through April 5.
“City staff will continue to work from the facilities, and the public may call or email for services,” said Interim City Manager Thomas Haglund in a March 16 press release. “In limited circumstances, special appointments will be allowed.”
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the city proclaimed a local state of emergency on March 13. This proclamation ensures that the city has uninterrupted access to federal and state funding necessary to keep the community as safe and supported as possible.
The funding could also provide for additional emergency operations, coordination and planning protocols on a local and regional level, as well as possible assistance to some businesses and residents seeking help through disaster relief programs.
Galt’s proclamation was issued the week after President Donald Trump proclaimed a national emergency, Governor Newsom announced a statewide emergency and Sacramento County declared a public health emergency.
The city of Galt press release issued on March 16 also listed additional events that have been either postponed or canceled, including the Earth Day Celebration, the Shred-It Event, Meals on Wheels and the 11th annual Eggstravaganza, as well as the Tequila Festival that was scheduled for May 30.
Council meetings will still be held, but staff has limited the number of people who may attend, in response to President Trump’s announcement Monday recommending keeping attendees at meetings and events to 10; and those in attendance should still maintain a 6-foot distance.
“Both a special and regular City Council meeting will each be held on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, beginning at 5:45 p.m. but public participation will be limited based on social distancing guidance issued by federal authorities and the state of California,” Haglund said. “A total of 10 persons will be authorized to occupy the Council Chambers, including council members, staff and public.”
If the regular number of staff and council members attend, no members of the public will be allowed in.
Meetings will be live streamed at http://pbtech.org/clients/galt/galtlive600.php.
The public is encouraged to watch the meeting on live stream and provide public comment and comment on agenda items by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Public comments will be read and entered into the record.
County Supervisor Don Nottoli said the county has activated the Emergency Operations Center, which is located at the Galt Police Department. He said the public is very aware of what is happening in other countries so the government is trying to limit exposure by canceling events. As of midnight on March 16, only 33 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed in Sacramento County and two deaths due to the virus.
“So many public agencies are ramping up … trying to give good guidance,” Nottoli said. “With only 20 test kits for the county each day, it makes it hard. We’re hoping to get a lot more kits soon.”
Nottoli said it would be a challenge for everyone, including small business owners, parents who work and now have children at home.
“We just have to follow the guidelines as well as we can,” Nottoli said. “This is uncharted times.”
Lance Armstrong contributed to this story.