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City Declares Local Emergency Due to COVID-19 Pandemic; Allows Access to Funds and Streamlines Processes for Resources to Support Community

Post Date:03/18/2020 7:55 AM

DATE:            March 18, 2020         


CONTACT:    James Blattler, PIO

                      Fire Department

                       (805) 781-7382



San Luis Obispo, CA – On March 17, 2020, the City Council adopted a resolution proclaiming a local emergency within the City of San Luis Obispo related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This declaration will allow the City to access state and federal funds related to the pandemic should they be made available and streamlines processes to allow the City Manager, acting as the Emergency Services Director, to ensure the necessary resources are available to support the community during this emergency.

The City’s local emergency declaration follows the National Emergency declaration on March 13th, the Governor’s Proclamation of a State of Emergency on March 4th, and San Luis Obispo County’s Proclamation of Local Emergency on March 12th.

 The City has already taken several actions, in addition to declaring an emergency, to reduce the impacts and limit the spread of COVID-19 including:

  1. Developed a Continuity of Operations Plan to ensure essential City services such as public safety, water and wastewater will remain in place
  2. Provided regular updates to the public
  3. Postponed or cancelled special events and gatherings
  4. Canceled non-essential public meetings
  5. Implemented safety guidelines for City employees and supporting employees to work from home
  6. Temporarily closed City facilities
  7. Temporarily prohibited alcohol sales at on-site alcohol-serving establishments in the City during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday 
  8. Adjusted City bus routes to reflect local school closures and enacted measures for employee and rider safety
  9. Placed handwashing stations outside of City Hall

In addition, the City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated on March 16, 2020. The EOC, will serve as a central point for coordinating services and resources to protect the community in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

City Manager Derek Johnson stated “the City of San Luis Obispo has been communicating and coordinating emergency response with the seven other cities and the County of San Luis Obispo.  We continue to monitor the latest information from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and County of San Luis Obispo Public Health Department and are committed to reducing the impacts of COVID-19 in our community.”

The City is also committed to keeping our community informed. To receive updates from the City regarding COVID-19, please register City News e-notifications on the City’s website ( 

 Everyone should take simple steps to reduce the spread of respiratory illnesses including COVID-19:

  • Remain calm;
  • Wash your hands with liquid soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using alcohol-based sanitizer if soap and water are not available;
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
  • Regularly clean surfaces touched by many people;
  • Stay home if you are sick;
  • Avoid others who are sick;
  • Avoid large gatherings of people; and
  • People over the age of 65 and those with health conditions such as lung or heart disease, diabetes, and a compromised immune system should stay home.

Please visit for the latest public health updates and recommendations or call the Public Health information line at (805) 788-2903.

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