Mountain View announces state of emergency over spread of coronavirus | News | Mountain View Online |


Mountain View announces state of emergency over spread of coronavirus

All city and performing arts center events canceled; City Council to vote on emergency declaration Tuesday, March 17

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The city of Mountain View proclaimed a state of emergency Thursday afternoon in response to the new coronavirus, clearing the way for swift action against the spread of the virus and easier access to state and federal funds.

The announcement was quickly followed by closures of the Mountain View Senior Center and recreation facilities through April 5.

Mountain View joins numerous cities and counties in California to make the emergency declaration as the proliferation of the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, has become a global pandemic. There have been 66 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Santa Clara County, according to public health officials.

In the proclamation, City Manager Kimbra McCarthy wrote that the spread of COVID-19 has imposed "extraordinary" requirements and expenses on the city, causing it to divert resources away from day-to-day operations. It also means the city may have to pursue "potential isolation and quarantines of residents, employees, businesses and public safety workers" affected or exposed to the coronavirus.

The emergency declaration is effective immediately, and will stay active for the next seven days. This gives time for the City Council to ratify the the city manager's proclamation and extend the state of emergency.

Precautionary measures include a blanket cancellation of all city events through the end of the month, including the cancellation and postponement of performances at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts. Hand sanitizer stations have been placed at city facilities throughout Mountain View, and city staff are recommending that all residents frequently wash their hands and commonly used surfaces.

"The city's foremost priority is to maintain the health and safety of the community and our employees," Mayor Margaret Abe-Koga said in a statement accompanying the declaration.

On Friday, city officials announced that several sports recreation facilities will be shut down starting this weekend. The Mountain View Sports Pavilion, Whisman Sports Center and the public pools at Eagle Park and Rengstorff Park will be closed from March 14 through April 5.

Winter classes hosted by the city through the recreation department will be canceled from March 14 through the end of the winter session. A pro-rated refund will be given to customers with canceled class dates.

Prior to the state of emergency, numerous city programs and services had already been canceled, scaled back or modified to safeguard against the spread of coronavirus. Library events through March 14 had already been canceled, and the Senior Nutrition Program -- run by the nonprofit Community Services Agency of Mountain View and Los Altos (CSA) out of the city's senior center -- had shifted its popular daily lunch program to take-out meals-only.

As of Friday, city officials say that the senior center will now only be open from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. for the Senior Nutrition Program -- effectively closing it for all other services through April 5. All evening rentals at the senior center from Monday through Thursday will be moved or canceled, while Friday and weekend evening rentals will be honored.

The city has also sought to use video conferencing or outright cancellations of in-person meetings deemed non-essential, and has modified any trainings and gatherings hosted by the city to include "social distancing" -- often described as a 6-foot buffer between individuals.

The proclamation shows escalating concerns about coronavirus, starting with the first reported county case on Jan. 31 and the first COVID-19 death in the county on March 9. That same day, county health officials had announced a ban on all mass gatherings of 1,000 people or more in Santa Clara County.

But the trigger for the city's emergency declaration was a pronouncement by the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring that COVID-19 had become a global pandemic -- the first such announcement since the swine flu in 2009.

The city has also announced the following events have been canceled as of Friday morning:

● April 3 Concert on the Plaza

● April 4 Volunteer Fair

● April 17 Concert on the Plaza

● April 18 Deer Hollow Farm Spring Tour

● April 25 Spring Parade

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4 people like this
Posted by Sandy
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2020 at 4:54 pm

Do WE need to move out in 6 months? Building project starts 22 October 2020

5 people like this
Posted by Eric Goldman
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Mar 12, 2020 at 8:23 pm

Yet our schools are still proceeding as if everything is normal

11 people like this
Posted by Ben Chavez
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 12, 2020 at 9:12 pm

How can the city recommends no gathering of 250-persons or more and yet I have to send my daughter to
MV high with 2000+ students ? What's the meaning of "state of emergency" if I have to put her at risk everyday ?

13 people like this
Posted by Kirk
a resident of Stierlin Estates
on Mar 13, 2020 at 3:28 pm

I would love to speak with one of your reporter's about the experience of unhoused people, particularly at risk seniors, who have nowhere to go now that services are shutting down everywhere. The hospitals and agencies are demonstrating a profound lack of concern for the welfare of the most vulnerable. Everything from food programs to shower programs are being closed for weeks. Public health safety includes good hygiene and nutrition and rest to make people less vulnerable to disease. Where is medical respite and a safe place for people without homes to be. I have been auditing the state of services here for over a year. I could have predicted the response to a major epidemic would be to act like the homeless don't exist and don't need services to get thru the horror of not having a home and life on the streets..please e mail me with a time to talk about these issues. Mark Noack knows me and interviewed me about my situation over a year ago. Thanks for reading

2 people like this
Posted by SRB
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Mar 14, 2020 at 9:20 am

Glad Mountain View declared a local emergency... but very hard to understand the first order of business at next City Council (03/17): Approving a development at 1555 W. Middlefield that will displace dozens of residents.

Instead the City should use emergency powers to do all it can to have zero displacement (moratorium on evictions, stop enforcing/banning RVs, rent freeze for mobile home....).

Any resident displaced is put at risk and puts our whole country at risk.

2 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Castro City
on Mar 14, 2020 at 1:09 pm

GIVEN that we have a NATIONAL state of emergency it looks like one situation might need to be addressed.

The SIGNIFICANT loss of EMPLOYMENT sure to occur or the simple inability for those with work not being able to have INCOME will require that other measures are going to be needed to protect the public.

England is in the course of invoking a “rent holiday” so that people are not required to pay their rent until the virus crisis is over.

That sounds logical but it also should apply to mortgages as well.

MAYBE we should get that established so that people can be safe in their current housing.

EVERYONES income is impacted by this event because just look at the losses in the stock market. Granted it looks better for the next couple of days, but the REAL problem is not yet under control, the VIRUS.

Thus the market is likely to start going down again shortly.

Given that the Nation, the State, the County, and the City have declared an emergency, it would only seem obvious that for the current time a HOUSING HOLIDAY be declared so that people will not lose their homes or apartments during this crisis.

Just thinking, otherwise the economic cost will explode even worse.

4 people like this
Posted by Andrea Gemmet
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2020 at 11:30 pm

@Kirk: We'd like to hear from you, please reach out to

Like this comment
Posted by Polomom
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 16, 2020 at 3:45 pm

@Kirk From our governor yesterday: "The spending bill frees up $500 million, to be increased by $50 million as needed until reaching $1 billion, to lease and activate two hospitals, help public health officials access necessary equipment and lend support to hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities.

The funds would also assist local governments in keeping the coronavirus disease, called COVID-19, out of homeless communities and would provide hotel beds for the unsheltered."
Our city should be able to help our unsheltered MV residents with a boost from the state. The logistics seem a hurdle since everything is slowly shutting down :(. Unless we are asking the MVPD to do yet another job and collect these unsheltered people. How fast can we respond and what local hotel would be available?

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