GOLETA, CA, March 16, 2020 – The City of Goleta is taking action to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 (coronavirus). On March 14, City Manager Michelle Greene proclaimed a local emergency. The proclamation will enhance the City’s ability to access federal and state dollars for COVID-19 response. On March 15, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in Santa Barbara County and shared that five UCSB students are being quarantined/monitored in Isla Vista following exposure to a person with the virus in San Diego.
In order to help protect the health and safety of our community, the City is implementing enhanced measures to limit transmission between employees and between employees and the public. The actions include the following:
- City Hall reception is closed to the public but phone reception is still available by calling 805-961-7500 during normal business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday). Messages will be forwarded to the appropriate departments.
- Any requests from the public can be made by using our City Assist System. We monitor this system daily.
- The Planning and Building Counter is closed but the public can communicate with staff via email or phone. If electronic permit application submittal is not possible, you may leave paper materials in the drop-off bin provided outside the counter entrance. Additional information can be found here.
- The Finance Department has suspended counter service but is accepting e-mail submissions for items such as business applications.
- Public Works, Planning and Building Field Inspections are being prioritized and only the most urgent inspections related to health and safety are being conducted.
Public Works is monitoring incoming winter storms and creek levels.
- All non-urgent meetings have been cancelled and employees are transitioning to working from home.
- The Goleta Valley and Santa Ynez Valley libraries are closed. Staff is available by phone for assistance at (805) 964-7878. Community members are encouraged to take advantage of free online resources and e-materials, such as e-books, audio books, and movies. Learn about accessing library services remotely here.
- The Goleta Community Center is closed to programming with the exception of food distribution.
- Stow Grove Park reservations are cancelled with no new reservations through April 30th.
- Special Event Permits issued for the months of March and April are being cancelled and no new permits are being issued through April 30th.
The City Council meeting scheduled for tomorrow March 17, 2020 at 5:30 p.m. will go on as scheduled but with a limited agenda that includes only the most time-sensitive items. Community members are encouraged to watch the meeting from home either on Channel 19 or on our website at https://tinyurl.com/GoletaMeetings.
We know this is a stressful time. Review these important tips from the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department on how to take care of your mental health during this crisis.
- Practicing mindfulness and relaxation exercises
- Stay connected by phone and electronically
- Keep current connections strong
- Stay informed through reliable sources
- Limit your screen time
- Eat healthy and drink plenty of water
- Call elderly and house-bound friends and neighbors to see how they are feeling. Bring them meals and special treats, being mindful of their vulnerability and susceptibility.
- Play board games with your kids
- Read to your children and have them read to you
- Take on a home project, paint that wall that you have been thinking about
- Work in the garden
- Have push-up contests or do yoga together
- Make special meals and involve the whole family, eat healthy!
- Get outside – go for walks, runs, and hikes (maintain social distancing)
We are wired to be socially connected. Doing so safely requires diligence and creativity. Keeping a positive and informed perspective that we will get through this, together, is critical to reducing the emotional impacts and continuing to create resiliency.
City of Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte said, “It’s important that we stay connected and support one another. Call and check on people who are on your mind to let them know you are thinking of them. We are fortunate to live in a tight-knit community that looks out for each other.”
For the latest local information on COVID-19, please visit the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department portal.
To stay up to date on any additional news regarding City operations of facilities, we encourage you to go to our website at www.cityofgoleta.org. Also, please stay connected with us on our social media, platforms including Facebook (@CityofGoleta), Twitter (@GoletaPIO), and Instagram (@CityofGoleta). You can also sign up for email and/or text updates from the City here.