The city of Sacramento is taking new steps to combat the spread of COVID-19, including closing city council meetings to the public, canceling major events of more than 250 people, and banning evictions for economically affected tenants.
“If it helps save lives, if it helps reduce the number of people infected, then it is certainly worth shutting down business as usual,” Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said during a press conference on Thursday. Sacramento City Council to vote on the measures on Friday, March 13 at 1 p.m.
The plans come a day after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that large gatherings of more than 250 people should be postponed or canceled until the end of March. Gatherings of less than 250 people will be permitted if the organizers ensure that participants are at least six feet from each other. Gatherings of people at higher risk of contracting serious illness from COVID-19 should be limited to a maximum of 10 people.
But places like Los Angeles call for events of 50 people or more to be canceled or postponed.
“No one is trying to put on a fake cheerful face about an unprecedented circumstance because the public health issues are very, very real,” Steinberg said. “If we stay together, if we keep calm, if we do the right thing and support each other, we will get through this with minimal disruption and hopefully minimal serious illness and / or death. “
According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the elderly and those with chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, heart disease or lung disease, as well as those with severely weakened immune systems, are most at risk of complications from COVID-19 .
The plan would also create an emergency declaration to help businesses and residents manage insurance claims and create a million dollar economic relief program for local businesses such as restaurants, stores and daycares. . Steinberg says he will provide zero-interest loans of up to $ 25,000.
The city is also considering free parking at the meters after 4:30 p.m. for 30 days, help for student families who need food if schools close, help for the unemployed, and $ 250,000 for emergency sanitation and supplies. cleaning for the homeless.
“We also need to be more concerned about our homeless population and our goal is definitely to get people inside,” Steinberg said. “We are moving as quickly as possible, including construction of the small native village in north Sacramento, hopefully within a few weeks.”
The mayor reiterated that it is important that sick people stay at home and that it is vital that everyone follows clear sanitary guidelines to wash their hands.
“I want to tell the people of Sacramento, this is a difficult and stressful time and I think we should all recognize it. But we have to stay calm and not panic, ”said Steinberg. “We are a resilient city and we will make it happen together. “
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