Over the past week, the County has seen many changes under the State’s Resilience Roadmap. On Friday, May 29, the Board of Supervisors held a special meeting and unanimously approved our variance application to move the County into late Stage 2, allowing dine-in restaurants and barbershops/hair salons to open with modifications to protect the health and safety of staff and customers.

Thanks to the dedication and skill of staff in our Public Health Division, the variance was approved the following day. These operations are now allowed to resume, building on the work we have done to safely reopen other sectors of our economy. On May 26, Health Officer Dr. Gail Newel issued an order aligning Santa Cruz County with the Resilience Roadmap going forward. That has led to the reopening of office workspaces, outdoor museums, limited personal services, and in-store retail, which is slowly beginning to resume operations as our local small business owners determine how to proceed and what is safe for their operations.

If you are a local business looking for guidance on safely reopening, we have compiled sector-specific information here. https://www.santacruzhealth.org/HSAHome/HSADivisions/PublicHealth/CommunicableDiseaseControl/CoronavirusHome/PublicInformation/ReopeningGuidanceDocuments.aspx

Those changes have also allowed the County to resume offering critical public services to our residents. Many of our public counters have now reopened, though some will have limited public counter hours and all public areas will comply with the Health Officer’s Social Distancing Protocols, including requiring face coverings and physical distancing requirements. We suggest residents check for availability and services with departments by calling or visiting department websites at www.santacruzcounty.us.

We are in the third month of our Shelter-in-Place orders, and times have been difficult for all of us. Fortunately, our efforts are working. We have slowed the spread of the virus and minimized impacts to the community. I urge all residents to keep it up, particularly when it comes to gathering with friends and family. While our desire to be together after so long apart is understandable, we have already seen numerous clusters related to family gatherings.

Despite this, and despite Santa Cruz County being located next to one of the major U.S. hotspots for coronavirus, we have succeeded in keeping our case counts low. The credit for that goes to our residents, who have followed the science and made significant changes in their own routines in order to protect the most vulnerable among us. Thank you again for all you have done, and for all you continue to do.

Carlos J. Palacios
County Administrative Officer

  • May 18, 2020 update