The City of Santa Clarita is working closely with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) to monitor the novel coronavirus. Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a viral disease that produces symptoms similar to the flu or pneumonia.
On March 4, Los Angeles County declared a local emergency to ensure that it will have the authority to take measures necessary to protect and preserve public health and safety, including seeking aid from state and federal authorities as necessary. On March 13, the City of Santa Clarita issued a local emergency declaration in response to the coronavirus pandemic. This emergency declaration is a preparedness measure and allows the City to access resources and recover costs.
For important updates, visit the emergency blog at www.santaclaritaemergency.com.
Key preventative steps:
- Stay at home when sick.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Limit close contact, like kissing and sharing cups or utensils, with people who are sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (not your hands).
- Facemasks are most effective when used appropriately by health care workers and people who are sick.
- Get a flu shot to prevent influenza if you have not done so this season.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Below are answers to common questions regarding the City of Santa Clarita’s emergency preparedness efforts and local response to the coronavirus. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has FAQs available on their site along with resources for employers and schools in multiple languages.
1. What is the City doing to prepare for the Novel Coronavirus?
The City has plans and protocols for emerging infectious diseases. The City is working closely with the LA County Department of Public Health and nearby city jurisdictions to prepare for any potential impacts from the novel coronavirus. Finally, the City is closely coordinating with local Santa Clarita organizations in our community.
2. Who is responsible for providing direction to the City regarding an infectious disease protocol?
The LA County Department of Public Health is the lead agency responsible for coronavirus response countywide. The City of Santa Clarita works in partnership with the Department of Public Health and other local, state and federal health officials to receive guidance and coordinate response.
3. Will the City continue to operate normally if the novel coronavirus arrives here?
The City has plans in place to ensure all critical functions of City government remain operational during emergency events including infectious disease emergencies. Non-essential services will be curtailed in coordination with Countywide response measures.
4. What can I do to prevent contracting the novel coronavirus or any other viruses?
The best way to stay healthy is by practicing good hygiene such as frequently washing your hands and utilizing alcohol-based hand sanitizer, staying home when ill, avoiding contact with those who are coughing or sneezing, and avoiding touching the face.
5. How should I prepare for the spreading of the virus and the potential need to stay at home?
Residents are encouraged to be prepared for any emergency, including an infectious disease emergency. It is always recommended that all residents have food, water, sanitation items and other household necessities for at least 7 days. Residents should also continue to monitor City social media and trusted sources of information for updates.
6. Do I need to wear a facemask in public?
Facemasks should always be an item in your personal emergency kit, however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend routine use of a facemask or respirator. They are currently in short supply and are needed most by health professionals. Most often, spread of respiratory viruses from person-to-person happens during close contact, like sharing utensils/cups, caring for an infected person, kissing, or through the spread of droplets through coughing or sneezing.
7. Can I travel?
At this time, the CDC recommends that people avoid all nonessential travel to mainland China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran. Check the following webpages for updated recommendations before you travel.
8. Where can I find additional information about the Novel Coronavirus?
- LA County Department of Public Health or dial 2-1-1
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Coronavirus Information