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Coronavirus Information

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shortcut to this webpage is www.cityofsantamaria.org/coronavirus

Please check this webpage often for updates and share this link with your friends and neighbors so everyone has access to timely, accurate information. City of Santa Maria employees are working  to maintain all essential city services. To keep our community safe, we also need your help. Follow the guidance from public health officials, remain calm and look out for each other. Wear masks, maintain social distancing at home and at work, sanitize high-touch surfaces, and frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

For the latest City information, visit the City's Twitter page and News Releases.

Quick Links:

County Health Officer Orders 


Latest News
Reopening Plan
Essential Services
Business Resources
Coronavirus Resources (via the Public Library)
Paying Bills
Evictions 
City Services
Mayor's Message to the community
Business Resources

Businesses may reopen only while adhering to social distancing protocols provided by the Governor and the Health Officer and after completing the County's attestation process. Business owners can find resources, information, and the process to complete the attestation at https://recoverysbc.org/.

Emergency face covering directive took effect at 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 26 per County Health Order.

wearfacemasks

 

 

 

 

 

 

Santa Barbara County (and cities) are currently in Reopening Stage 3. 

Stage 1: Safety & Preparedness
Stage 2: Lower Risk Workplaces
Stage 3: Higher Risk Workplaces
Stage 4: End of Stay-at-Home Order

The City and the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce are assisting local businesses with the process of safely and successfully reopening. The Chamber offers numerous resources online. Mayor Patino and City Manager Jason Stilwell have so far participated in dozens of discussions with State, County, and local business leaders. The City also is working toward safely reopening its facilities, some with modifications, to the public. The City’s Utilities Department reminds building owners and operators that all facilities that have been dormant should have their plumbing properly flushed to bring fresh water into the system. 

Before any business can reopen, it is required to review State guidance and local guidance, complete a COVID-19 Prevention Plan, and self-certify that it can put into place specific health care, sanitation, and spacing rules to keep customers and workers safe during the ongoing pandemic. Read the County Health Officer Order posted online.

The RISE Guide, or Reopening In Safe Environment, is available for public review and feedback at ReadySBC.org under "COVID-19: RecoverySBC."

Logistical support guidelines for reopening businesses are available on the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce website, at www.santamaria.com/COVID19-Recovery.

 

Essential Services

Updates for selected businesses including food facilities - County Health Officer Order of April 5, 2020
Actualizacion para Negocios Selectos Incluyendo Establicimientos de Alimentos (Spanish version)

Essential services are to remain open such as:
Gas stations
Pharmacies
Food: Grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, take-out and delivery restaurants
Banks
Laundromats/laundry services

TIPS WHEN SHOPPING
We are thankful for all of the dedicated grocery workers who are working extra hours, away from their families to ensure that our grocery stores are stocked. Stores remains open. Wear a mask the store. Practice social distancing outside and inside the store. Buy only what you need. Be aware of your store's special hours or procedures. Learn more at https://enoughforallca.com/

Santa Maria local grocery stores with special hours.

Business Resources

The City of Santa Maria is committed to keeping the business community informed. The City working closely with its partner, the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce. Here are some resources:

Grant program launched to help small businesses in Santa Maria (apply Sept. 1 to Sept. 9)

Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce webpage: COVID-19 Resources for Businesses

Santa Barbara County Workforce COVID-19 Business Resource Guide

City's support for local hotels (deferring TOT payments) news release and forms for hotels


Restaurant map: The City is making it easier for residents to support local restaurants with a new website they can access by phone or any device. The resource maps the local eateries still open for business during the COVID-19 emergency.

SBA Disaster Loan Process

Santa Barbara Foundation COVID-19 Response Effort for Santa Barbara County

Workplace Health hygiene

Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office (price gouging complaints)

Paying Bills

Water/trash bill
Or, call (805) 925-0951 extension 2217 (English) or 2218 (Spanish)
Or, utility payment drop box at City Hall doors, or drop box in the lower level of the Civic Center parking structure
Unable to pay your water, sewer and trash bill ? The City is waiving delinquent utility billing fees that occur because of the impacts of COVID-19, is not turning off water for non-payment, and is providing payment arrangements.

Mixteco speakers may click here to hear audio instructions how to pay their City utility bill
Pueden hacer clic aquí para escuchar instrucciones de audio en Mixteco sobre cómo pagar su factura de servicios públicos de la ciudad.

Alarm program bill
Customers with payments or questions about business licenses or utility bills are encouraged to first call (805) 925-0951

Unable to pay your electricity or natural gas bill? PG&E will not turn off your service. PG&E also offers payment plan options. Customer service: (800) 743-5000.

Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) also will not turn off service due to nonpayment. Customer service: (877) 238-0092.

Evictions During COVID-19

There is Federal, State, and City guidance about evictions. Federal: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services issued an Order halting residential evictions related to COVID-19 through December 31, 2020. State: On Monday, September 1st, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a five-month extension to measures aimed at preventing millions of tenants from being thrown out of housing for missing rent due to hardships caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Under the new legislation, which goes into effect immediately, tenants who pay at least 25 percent of their rent from September 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021 will be protected from eviction. However, those who fail to meet the minimum rent payment could be removed beginning February 1, 2021. The extension also gives tenants a reprieve on unpaid rent between March and August, but allows landlords to sue for the back rent during that period beginning in March 2021. To qualify for the protections, tenants are required to sign a declaration affirming a COVID-19 hardship. Governor's announcement. State website: Rent relief guide (tenants & landlords) City: The City of Santa Maria adopted a temporary moratorium, evictions of residential and commercial tenants in the City for non-payment of rent related to COVID-19 financial hardships. Here is the news releases about that temporary moratorium. The City's Local Emergency Order placing a temporary moratorium on evictions has no termination date. Section 8 of that Order states that it shall remain in effect unless rescinded by the Director of Emergency Services.  

VIDEOS: Tenant-Landlord webinar of May 8th English, and Tenant-Landlord webinar of May 8th in Spanish.

 

More information is available here: https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/03/19/governor-gavin-newsom-issues-stay-at-home-order/

Coronavirus rumor control from FEMA

City Services

To protect the safety and wellbeing of the community and its employees, the City of Santa Maria is taking steps to continue providing services to the public. The City declared a local emergency on Wednesday night, March 18, 2020. This action is another tool to get resources for the community. No specific actions for residents is directed. City offices are staffed and continue to operate but public counters are closed to limit interaction and ensure social distancing.

Effective 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 26th, passengers aboard SMAT are required to wear face masks/coverings.

 Post Covid Flushing  Post Covid Flushing

 

Mayor's Messages:

VIDEOS

Mayor Alice Patino explains the County is classified as "purple" meaning widespread risk, and steps to slow the spread.
Mayor Alice Patino encourages everyone to follow these health practices...
La Alcaldesa Alice Patino alienta a todos a seguir estas practicas….

Mayor's Letter-to-the-Editor of April 7, 2020

Mayor Patino issued a statement assuring the community that the City is committed to taking all possible steps to ensure the community's health and safety. In Spanish (Declaración para la comunidad de parte de la Alcaldesa Alice Patino)

30-second video message from the five Mayors in northern Santa Barbara County:

 

City Services

 

Many City services and instructions are available online, allowing customers to pay a bill, find phone numbers to contact staff, or submit requests, forms, applications, questions, and comments via email. Before making a trip, please check the City’s website, www.cityofsantamaria.org and review the list of services below to see if you can save a trip to City facilities and limit interaction.

The Police Department continues to provide services. Its lobby counter is closed, however, the Records Bureau may be contacted at pdrecords@cityofsantamaria.org or (805) 928-3781 ext. 2590. Also, to limit unnecessary person-to-person contact, officers are handling many non-emergency calls for service by phone. Dispatchers are screening all callers and asking them if they have a fever or other health symptoms.

The Fire Department continues to provide services. Firefighters are showing up in a gown, face mask, and protective gloves. This is for their protection as well as yours, to reduce exposure and minimize the spread of the virus.

The public counter is currently closed. General questions may be submitted via phone or e-mail. In person transactions are conducted on an as required basis by appointment only.

Fire Administration: (805) 925-0951 ext. 2255  fire@cityofsantamaria.org

Fire Prevention: (805) 925-0951 ext. 8533 fireprevention@cityofsantamaria.org

Fire Inspections: (805) 925-0951 ext. 2502

 Community Development Department: For building and planning customers while the public counter is closed:

  • General customer service questions are being handled over the phone or via email.
  • Permit submittals are being received by way of a drop-off bin. Plan check fees can be collected over the phone (805) 925-0951 extension 2241 by credit card, with exception to high amounts for which a check remains appropriate.
  • Work related to permit issuance can be done with minimal contact with a customer. Permits can be issued to the customer in one exchange, by appointment, after all other work has been performed and fees have been collected.
  • Business licenses can be submitted via email, and the City will collect fees by phone.
  • For building inspections, please call (805) 925-0951 extension 2510.  Please leave your building permit number, job address, inspection type, a preference of either AM or PM and a reliable contact phone number.  Your inspector will contact you between 7:00 a.m. and 8 a.m. on the day of inspection to coordinate.  Inspection request must be received a minimum of one business day prior by 4:00 p.m.

Department of Public Works:

  • The Department of Public Works recently reopened its administrative offices to the public. It is recommended customers contact its administrative offices, before an in-person visit, as a number of items can be handled over the phone.

     Public Works – Engineering and Transit Divisions
    110 South Pine St., Suite 221
    Santa Maria, CA 93458
    (805) 925-0951 extension 2225

     When conducting business with the Engineering and Transit Divisions, please note the lobby is limited to one customer at a time, and face masks are required. If you are unable to wear a face mask, call (805) 925-0951 extension 2225, and staff will make arrangements to meet you in the courtyard of the building.

  • General customer service questions can be handled over the phone (805) 925-0951 extension 2225, or via email.  Email links are available on the City website under Public Works Services.
    Encroachment permits can be submitted via email.  The application and email link is located on the City Website under Public Works Services. The City can collect your fees by phone. If you would like to pay with a check, call (805) 925-0951 extension 2225, to make payment arrangements. 
    Encroachment permit inspections are continuing as normal. Please contact the inspector listed on the permit to schedule an appointment. 

  • Public Works Operations – Facilities, Fleet, and Streets Divisions
    810 West Church Street
    Santa Maria, CA 93458
    (805) 925-0951 extension 2229

     When conducting business with Operations staff, please note the lobby is limited to one customer at a time, and face masks are required. If you are unable to wear a face mask, call (805) 925-0951 extension 2229, and staff will make arrangements to meet in front of the building. 
    General customer service questions can be handled over the phone (805) 925-0951 extension 2229, or via email. Email links are available on the City website under Public Works Services.
    For concerns regarding streetlights, traffic signals, sidewalks, potholes, and City facilities, call (805) 925-0951 extension 2229. Email links are available on the City website under public Works Services.
    To reach a member of the Fleet Division, call (805) 925-0951 extension 2232.

The City Attorney’s Office has closed its public counter and continues to answer phone calls at (805) 925-0951 extension 2310. The Code Enforcement Division can be reached at extension 2420.

The Public Library and all four branches are closed, so try the Sidewalk Pickup Program that started Monday, June 29. Programs are postponed. Patrons are encouraged to take advantage of free online Library services and e-materials such as e-books, audio books, etc. at www.cityofsantamaria.org/library.

Recreation and Parks facilities are closed. Programs are postponed. Watch our new "how to" videos, such as music lessons, working out, make origami, learn basic soccer skills, and more! Staying active is vital to mental and physical wellbeing. Read this post.

  • The public is encouraged to watch City meetings online (live web streaming) or cablecast on Comcast Channel 23.
  • Employees are being continually educated and are advised to utilize social distancing, clean their work areas, and use personal protective equipment.
  • City offices remain open by phone at (805) 925-0951.

The Utilities Department is closed. This includes the public counters at the Santa Maria Regional Landfill (2065 East Main Street) and at the Wastewater Treatment Plant (601 South Black Road). Customers are encouraged to conduct their City business by phone at (805) 925-0951 extension 7270 or by email to utilities-green@cityofsantamaria.org for a response as soon as possible. 

The Santa Maria Regional Landfill remains open to the public at this time. The hours are 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily. On the weekends, landfill inquiries may be directed to (805) 925-0951 extension 7253. 

The Septage Receiving Station at the Wastewater Treatment Plant remains open to the public at this time. The hours are 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Friday.

To stay updated on any additional news regarding City operations of facilities, customers are encouraged to use the City website at www.cityofsantamaria.org and stay updated about City news on Twitter at https://twitter.com/City_SantaMaria

Links to other institutions in Santa Maria and their COVID-19 responses:

 Foodbank: https://foodbanksbc.org/
Qualifying seniors can call 2-1-1 to request home food deliveries
 Marian Medical Center:
https://www.dignityhealth.org/central-coast/locations/marianregional/coronavirus
 Santa Maria-Bonita School District: http://www.smbsd.org/
 Santa Maria Veterans Administration Clinic: https://www.losangeles.va.gov/LOSANGELES/emergency/index.asp
 Southern California Gas Co (SoCalGas) bill payment options and services

WHERE IS MY IRS PAYMENT?

Across the country, some stimulus payments have already been directly deposited into people’s bank accounts — be sure to check your account to see if yours is there, as this process will continue over the coming weeks. The payment information from your 2018 or 2019 tax returns is used to distribute this stimulus payment to you. If you received your tax refund electronically in those years, you will receive this payment electronically to your most recent bank account on file.

If the IRS does not have direct deposit information on file for you for tax years 2018 or 2019, this payment will come to you by mail to the last address you provided the IRS. These paper checks will start being issued in early May—starting with individuals with the lowest incomes—at a rate of about 5 million checks per week. This process could take up to 20 weeks.

https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment

 

Local Health Emergency is in place Countywide. Social distancing and personal hygiene are very important.

For the latest local information on COVID-19, please visit the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department portal https://publichealthsbc.org/.

Steps to protect yourself from all infectious diseases

Updated information: The County Public Health Department Or, call the PHD information line at (833) 688-5551.