Mountain View city officials are taking a cheery approach to an upcoming State of the City event this week, calling the future hopeful amid a steady recovery from the COVID-19 surge that ravaged the region through the winter.
The City Annual Update, co-hosted by the city and the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce, will give residents an inside look into the city's response to the pandemic, along with a public health update from Dr. Mark Adams, El Camino Hospital's chief medical officer. Though past versions of the event have been in-person luncheons, this year it will be free and accessible to the public over Zoom.
With the theme "hope in view," city leaders are seeking to paint a rosy picture of Mountain View's future as COVID-19 subsides. Now under the orange tier, most businesses have been permitted to reopen and residents are again permitted to dine indoors at restaurants, go to movies and visit amusement parks.
The number of new COVID-19 cases in the city have plummeted. As of March 29, 103 residents in Mountain View contracted COVID-19 this month, down from 232 in February and significantly below the new cases reported in January (764) and December (776). The worst of the winter surge packed ICUs across the Bay Area and triggered strict public health restrictions that shut down businesses.
Now aiding in the recovery effort, Mountain View has a mass vaccination site at the Mountain View Community Center, which has provided tens of thousands of vaccine doses since it opened in late January.
In a statement, city officials say speakers will tout the "strong city leadership" Mountain View has shown in response to COVID-19 during the last year, including "aggressive" future plans to support businesses bruised by the pandemic. City Manager Kimbra McCarthy is also expected to promote Mountain View's effort to provide city services remotely rather than in-person.
"These past 12 months, we've been there for the community through our COVID-19 relief efforts, virtual programming and essential services," McCarthy said. "Now, we are ready to serve up hope in 2021"
The annual update will focus heavily on business recovery, with Mayor Ellen Kamei vowing to provide "continued support" for local businesses throughout the public health emergency. Past initiatives included loans and financial relief for small businesses, along with an online mall to encourage people to shop locally.
As for the city's own financial health, Mountain View is facing shallow deficit spending this year and into the future. The projected $1.5 million in annual deficit spending comes after numerous cost-saving measures, but the city still has a better financial outlook than some of its neighbors.
The City Annual Update begins at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 1. More information can be found online.