Local response to the coronavirus pandemic


Kay Oken

A member of Claremont’s homeless population roams the streets in search of food and a place to rest.

After a month of staying home to decrease the spread of the novel Coronavirus, the city of Claremont has continued to assess the impacts of the virus in consultation with Los Angeles County Public Health Officials and local partners. The city staff continues to quickly respond to the rapidly evolving circumstances while prioritizing the safety and well being of community members.

On Thursday, Mar. 19, LA county announced the Safer at Home Order which required residents to stay home except for essential outings including grocery shopping, medical care, and basic services. By Monday, Mar. 23, city buildings were closed to the public. City facilities including all public meeting spaces, lobbies, and community buildings were also closed. Wilderness trails and parks have been closed to the public. Employees’ work and schedules were altered to ensure their safety and the public’s. The city continues to provide public-safety, sanitation, maintenance, and senior meal pick up services.

On Apr. 10, the Los Angeles County Public Health extended the Safer at Home Order to May 15. In addition to extending the original order’s timeline, the new directive required the public to wear protective masks when going out and visiting essential businesses. Furthermore, the order requires employees in essential businesses to wear face protection. It is essential for businesses to provide cloth face coverings for all of their employees to wear while performing duties involving contact with others.

The city has taken extra precautions for the safety and well-being of staff members of the Police and Sanitation services as well as the public. City management is working with service workers to accommodate personal circumstances while ensuring city operations continue.

The Department of Public Social Services has been aware of the financial impact that the Coronavirus is having on the health and financial well-being community members. With thousands filing for unemployed or underemployed, the department continues to take part in the CDBG program, a Federal Block Grant Program which provides funds to cities and counties to carry out programs and projects designed to benefit low-income people, to help those experiencing financial challenges due to the pandemic.

The City of Claremont continues to function as one while taking extra precautions for the safety and wellbeing of the community. City management continues to work with staff to accommodate personal circumstances while ensuring that city operations continue. While services may be reduced due to impacts on staffing, Claremont will continue to provide its best service to the public.