City Announces Proactive Response to COVID-19
CITY OF WHITTIER NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 13, 2020
CONTACT: Shannon DeLong, Assistant City Manager, (562) 567-9301
CITY ANNOUNCES PROACTIVE RESPONSE TO COVID-19
WHITTIER, Calif. – The City of Whittier is dedicated to preserving the health and safety of our community members during the current novel (new) coronavirus outbreak, also referred to as COVID-19, which has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). No cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Whittier at the time of this press release. On March 11, Governor Newsom and the California Department of Public Health issued new statewide policy for public gatherings and calling for the modification or postponement of non-essential gatherings of 250 or more people through at least March 31, 2020 to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) across the state. Today, March 13, 2020, President Trump declared a National State of Emergency.
The Whittier City Council met in a special meeting on Friday, March 13, 2020 to consider mitigation measures in light of the rapidly evolving situation. Out of an abundance of caution and in the interest of public safety, the City will be canceling or postponing non-essential programs, meetings and recreation classes effective Friday, March 13 at 5:00 p.m. through the end of March. Community events, classes and programs, including the annual Eggxtravaganza, have also been cancelled. Additionally, City facilities, excluding City Hall, will be closed through the end of the month. Board, commission and committee meetings have also been postponed through the remainder of March.
The City is taking precautionary measures to ensure vital services remain available to protect the welfare of the community. Although an inconvenience, the decision to cancel City-sponsored events is consistent with what neighboring cities, along with other public and private institutions throughout the state, are doing in response to COVID-19 public health concerns. The present strategy is to limit the opportunity for people to come into contact with one another, so as to limit the extent of which the COVID-19 virus can spread, also referred to as social distancing.
“These are trying times that we have never experienced before, and that our people are feeling concern about this uncertainty,” stated Mayor Joe Vinatieri. “We care about you, and that is why we are taking these proactive measures. We will do our best to keep you informed, via the City’s social media channels, website, and Channel 3. We want to thank you for pitching in and weathering these disruptions while we work together to keep our community healthy. Together, we are Whittier STRONG!”
Residents are urged to visit www.cityofwhittier.org/COVID19 regularly for up-to-date facts on COVID-19, and to avoid misinformation. New information will continue to be provided and people are encouraged to follow @whittiercitygov on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for resources, tips and important notices regarding mitigation of community transmission. For new information and tips on how to protect your family from illness, visit the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites.
City facilities to be closed through March 31, 2020:
- Parnell Park Community and Senior Center
- Uptown Senior Center
- Community Center (Uptown)
- Whittier Community Theatre
- Palm Park Aquatics Center
- Central Library
- Whittwood Branch Library
- Transit Depot