Greetings, all. This has been another busy week…
Unfortunately, our most pressing issue is the surge in COVID-19, which has caused Yolo County to slide back into the most restrictive Purple Tier, closing in-door dining, gyms, and church services, and increasing restrictions for other indoor activities. Social gatherings appear to be the primary cause of the surge, and as we retreat inside with the colder weather and for the holidays, the risk will become greater if we don’t take precautions.
Health experts have been warning about a Fall surge if we weren’t more careful. I should probably share at this point that one of my brothers is a doctor. He contracted COVID last spring as a front-line medical professional and brought it home to his family, so I have been acutely aware of how sneaky and vicious this virus can be. Three of my five siblings have had it.
I understand people have different perspectives on risk and the data; however, the more we follow public health guidelines by wearing a mask, avoiding indoor activities with people outside of our household bubbles, and washing our hands frequently, the sooner we can turn the tide and open back up.
The economic impacts of these new restrictions hurt us all at many levels, practically, financially and emotionally. Together we can help support the community by shopping local, ordering restaurant take out, and contributing to community causes that warm our hearts; we will get through this.
City of Winters Public Facility Changes
Given the COVID-19 surge and the need to do our part in helping to minimize community spread of the virus, beginning Monday, November 23rd, we will close the lobbies at City Hall and the Public Safety Facility to walk-in customers. We will pivot our services as much as possible to online, remote meetings, email and by phone in order to reduce direct in person contact with the public without disrupting our services to the public. City Hall is not closing, and staff will continue to be available by email or phone. Please visit our website at www.cityofwinters.org for more information or call the main line at (530) 795-4910 and you will be transferred to the right person.
For utility payments or any correspondence with the City, please use the payment drop box in front of City Hall. We will forward receipts and credit accounts for any cash overpayments (no change will be provided; accounts will be credited).
We are also implementing changes internally, allowing employees to work remotely, at different locations, and with alternative schedules so that we can spread ourselves out more effectively inside City Hall. The Police and Fire Departments, and Public Works, have already implemented protocols to protect themselves and the public on calls and in the field.
Governor Newsom’s Limited Shelter In Place Order aka “the curfew”
Effective Saturday, November 21st at 10:00 p.m., for counties in the Purple Tier (like Yolo), social gatherings between more than one household are prohibited between 10 a.m. and 5 a.m. In other words, no get togethers or socializing with people you don’t live with after 10 p.m.
Non-essential businesses must close between 10 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. but that does not include restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, or any other establishment that sells items considered essential for our well-being.
The Limited Shelter In Plan Order also does not mean that everyone has to be home by 10 p.m.You may still order take out, pick up groceries, get gas and walk the dog. There is no impact to essential businesses or employees who work late. The order is intended to stop the social gatherings with people outside your household after 10 p.m. The restrictions will be in effect until 5 a.m. on December 21.
City Council Meeting December 1st
With the Thanksgiving holiday, we will publish the packet next Tuesday. Key items on the agenda for the public:
- An ordinance reinstating the collection of the suspended Transient Occupancy Tax for hotels, lodgings and short term vacation rentals, and
- An update on the Downtown Outdoor Dining Area, opening up Main Street during the week, and the status of the $200,000 CARES Act grant the City received.
Please continue to reach out to introduce yourselves as I make my rounds throughout the community, and thank you again for the warm welcome. A very Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. There will be no Friday update next week as the City is closed Thursday and Friday for the holiday.