Yesterday evening, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an unprecedented Executive Order (Order)
directing 40 million Californians to “Stay-at-Home” in order to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Given the unprecedented nature of this situation, there has been widespread concern and confusion regarding what the Stay-at-Home Order actually means, and the City has been assessing details related to the new Statewide directive.
While the Governor’s announcement has certainly added a heightened sense of awareness that each of us must do our part to slow the community spread of COVID-19, it is important to note that the Order did not institute martial law. Instead, the pronouncement by the State that all Californians should stay at home was developed to institute enhanced social distancing procedures in an attempt to slow the transmission rate of the coronavirus.
In fact, under the Order, a number of activities and services will continue to be permitted. Californians will be allowed to leave their residence to exercise and engage in certain recreational activities. To that end, the City’s beaches and parks will remain open for you to use. Additionally, other essential services will remain accessible, including:
- Convenience stores
- Grocery stores
- Farmers markets
- Restaurants, as long as they provide food on a take-out or delivery basis
- Laundromats / laundry services
- Essential State and local government functions
Please keep in mind, though, that when you do leave your home, it is vitally important that you follow social distancing rules. This means that when you do leave your home, you should always keep at least 6-feet of distance between yourself and another person. Furthermore, if you do need to go outside, ensure that you do not gather in groups other than with those in your immediate household.
Of note, per the State’s Order, there will be a number of other normal services that will be closed,
- Dine-in restaurants
- Bars and nightclubs
- Entertainment venues
- Gyms and fitness studios
- Public events and gatherings
- Convention centers
Please keep in mind that these are extraordinary measures that the State has instituted in order to address a historically significant pandemic event. In light of these new rules, the City continues to urge that the entire community remain calm and stand together as One HB. We all need to support the Stay-at-Home Order, and it is important that all members of the community take personal responsibility to follow the updated guidelines.
Also of note, the City wanted to reassure the public that under the Order, the City will continue to
operate all essential City services.
- Police and fire services will continue to operate uninterrupted.
- The City’s public works operation will continue to maintain utility services, along with all park, beach, and public restroom maintenance activities.
- The community development operation will maintain plan check, permitting, and inspection services through both appointment and virtual mechanisms.
- Essential senior care services will continue to operate.
With regard to public safety services, the Huntington Beach Police Department will be proactively addressing social gatherings with an educational approach and will enforce the State’s Order when they encounter aggravated situations.
In addition, essential senior care services operated by the City remain in effect, including care calls and transit services. The City also recognizes that given the new Order, our seniors need additional support. To that end, the City has continued to operate our Senior Lunch Program at the Senior Center. The Program provides Meals on Wheels to adults 60 years and older, and frozen meals will be available for pickup at the Senior Center every Tuesday from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. (while supplies last). The lunch program is only available to Huntington Beach seniors who register and qualify with Meals on Wheels OC. Registration will be available on site and a suggested donation of $3 per meal is appreciated, but not required.
In addition to the Senior Lunch Program, the City recognizes that there are other seniors in Huntington Beach who may not qualify for the Senior Lunch Program, or who need additional meals or supplies. Furthermore, we recognize that there are multiple individuals in Huntington Beach who would want to volunteer to help our senior community. Given these factors, the City is currently working with various local community groups to create a comprehensive and centralized program to address additional needs of our seniors. Details regarding the program are being developed and will be announced in the coming days.
The City of Huntington Beach encourages its One HB community to remain united and follow the Stay-at-Home Order. Doing so will help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and that will help save lives.
If you would like more information about the current situation, please visit the City’s website at
http://www.HBready.com for updated COVID-19 information. If you have any questions and would like to speak with a City employee, call our help center at (714) 536-5511.