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April 8, 2020
Thank you for following the orders to practice social distancing. Yesterday, the original Shelter-At-Home order was set to expire. As you know, that didn’t happen. County and State officials have now extended that period until May 3. The good news is that we know this disruption delays the surge of the virus in our community – it is essential to “flatten the curve” of infection over the next weeks and months. This buys us time to prepare, and makes the best use of our limited health care resources. Please click here to view the most recent Health Order and other pertinent information.
Your cooperation is critical to saving lives. This means avoiding any type of physical gathering, and discouraging teens and kids from congregating in groups, as difficult as that is to do. Anyone can easily contract the virus, and asymptomatic people, who do not know they are carrying the virus, may unwittingly spread it to others. For a limited amount of time, we still need to remain vigilant. The day will come when we will be proud of our collective efforts to save lives and protect our community.
We want you to know that beneath the quiet surface, your Mayor and City Council, first responders, City Manager and staff are all working to put plans in place, bolster our neighborhood networks, educate the community to the importance of these procedures, and enforce the orders as required by law. In other words, even in the face of uncertainties, we are doing as much as possible to keep you safe. Check out information and resources, frequently updated on our city website. www.cityofbelvedere.org
City Hall continues to function with staff on a rotating in-person basis, allowing other employees to work remotely. Our police department is fully staffed. We have upgraded our IT systems to enable us to hold meetings by Zoom.
Last week, we called a Special City Council meeting to test these new capabilities, and to update the Council and public on the work going on behind the scenes. Reports from staff included presentations by Fire Chief Rich Pearce and Police Chief Jason Wu. These leaders are planning for a COVID-19 surge while not losing sight of the need for sustained disaster preparedness for fire, earthquakes and other potential events. The City has obtained additional personal protective equipment needed to function effectively during the pandemic.
The Council also heard from Public Works Director Robert Zadnik about the uplifting work of the Block Captain program. Cheers to every one of you - incredible volunteers! This is a team effort headed by Tom Cromwell, Adam Gavzer, Claire McAuliffe, and many others. Block Captain leaders and key staff are in regular contact during this difficult time, and through its newly-generated “lead” layer of volunteers, continue to reach out to every member of the community. If you have not registered yourself and your household, please do so right now (click here).
The new order to shelter in place is even stricter than the prior one, and the City has taken steps necessary to comply. That means we have shut down most construction sites and have closed areas in public parks where people are likely to gather in groups (playground, basketball and tennis courts, dog park).
Every spring the Belvedere Lagoon Property Owners Association (BLPOA) raises the level of the lagoon. This recognizes the end of the winter rainy season and protects the fragile lagoon ecology by reducing the spread of water plants and algae. This year, in light of COVID-19, we cannot stress enough the importance of avoiding the temptation to gather – on docks or floating devices – as the weather warms. Congregating outside of your family group would violate the letter and spirit of county and state orders aimed at protecting us all. The Shelter-at-Home orders apply equally to all of Belvedere.
We know that many households may soon be caring for someone who is ill or, out of caution, may be choosing to isolate at home. Please support these families, as well. Stay in touch without touching. Pick up the phone. Call anyone who you think might be ill or alone.
We know the extended Shelter-At-Home order may turn an inconvenience into a hardship for the housebound. If you need food or medicine, or a friendly phone call, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for volunteer assistance.
This pandemic is unprecedented in our lifetimes. Here in Belvedere, we are neighbors helping neighbors. We can come through this together with resolve, compassion and fortitude. Thank you for all you are doing to protect yourselves and our community.
Remember this: taking care of yourself is a public service. Stay well. Stay safe. Stay home.
Nancy Kemnitzer, Mayor
Craig Middleton, City Manager