The City Council and staff of the city of Redlands are concerned for the well-being of all our residents, visitors, businesses and city staff. The city has been actively involved for several weeks in planning, prevention, preparation and response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
“We want our residents and all visitors to the city of Redlands to know that we are doing all we can to protect your health and safety,” said Mayor Paul Foster. “Our Emergency Management staff within the Redlands Fire Department began planning last month for the potential spread of the novel coronavirus and to create emergency plans. The city’s department directors and executive staff are meeting regularly, consulting public health authorities and other stakeholders and examining all possible actions the city can take to contribute to slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus and protect residents and visitors, especially the most vulnerable populations.”
Staff will continue to monitor the progress of the virus and will review and evaluate all steps the city has taken and may take in the days, weeks and months to come, through the end of the current pandemic.
As of Monday morning, March 16, the City has taken the following steps:
- On Monday, City Manager Charlie Duggan declared a state of emergency in Redlands and activated the Emergency Operations Center to a Level 3. The Redlands City Council will take action Tuesday, March 17, to ratify the state of emergency. Declaration of a local emergency provides additional tools to the city in responding to the public health emergency and allows the city to purchase supplies, materials and equipment without going through the normal bidding requirements.
- The council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, March 17, will go on as planned. However, measures have been taken to limit the number of people in attendance and increase social distancing among residents, staff and elected officials in attendance. Chairs have been removed from the Council Chambers, including the dais, to maintain appropriate social distancing. We encourage residents who do not have business before the council to view the meetings live at home through Redlands TV on Channel 3 for Spectrum cable customers or Channel 35 for Frontier cable customers, or view the meeting online at https://www.cityofredlands.org/meeting-agendas-minutes.
- The A.K. Smiley Public Library will be closed through the end of April.
- All facility reservations for the city of Redlands, including all parks and sports fields, as well as the Redlands Community Center, Redlands Community Senior Center, Joslyn Senior Center, A.K. Smiley Public Library and the Contemporary Club have been canceled through the end of April.
- All independent classes at Redlands facilities have been canceled through the end of April.
- The Redlands Police Department has suspended LiveScan (fingerprinting) service to the general public until further notice.
- The Animal Shelter will see visitors by appointment only. Potential adoptions and lost pets can be viewed online at Pet Harbor at http://petharbor.com/.
- The city is encouraging the closure of all bars within the city and that all restaurants reduce their capacity by half and encourage the use of curbside food service and at-home delivery, in keeping with the recommendations of Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health.
- The city is discouraging any private gathering of more than 50 people, including service club meetings, church services and other events, in keeping with the recommendations of Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health.
- On Thursday, the City discontinued its Thursday night Market Night and Saturday Morning Farmers Market through the end of April. In addition, the Downtown Art Walk, scheduled for March 29, has been postponed to an indefinite date.
- The Redlands Fire Department has reviewed and updated their protocols for use of Personal Protective Equipment for all firefighter/paramedics.
- The Redlands Police Department has reviewed its protocols for in-person contact with individuals reporting crime. When appropriate, officers will contact individuals via telephone or practice social distancing for in-person contact. Those wishing to file police reports are also encouraged to make use of the department’s on-line reporting system, available on the department’s web page at https://www.cityofredlands.org/report-crime.
To date there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the city of Redlands. On Sunday, the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health confirmed its first case of COVID-19 in the county.
“The health and well-being of all Redlands residents, employees and visitors to the City are of paramount importance to us,” said Mayor Foster. “In preparation for a potential local outbreak, over the past few weeks the City had already been in active communication with the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health and we will continue to respond based on the best advice of public health authorities and medical experts.”
City staff are in proactive communication with local organizations with large public reach, including the Redlands Unified School District, Redlands Community Hospital, the University of Redlands, Esri, the city’s largest private employer; and skilled nursing facilities, to share information on the coronavirus and coordinate responses.
“All available City employees will be deployed to ensure that core City functions, including essential public health and safety, are maintained,” said Mayor Foster.
The most effective protection against the virus remains education, good health hygiene habits and social distancing.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.