Mayor’s update: Together, our ‘can-do’ community will meet these challenges
Update from Paso Robles Mayor Steve Martin, March 25, 2020:
–We are a little more than a week into the Coronavirus challenge and I want to give you a thumbnail sketch of where we are now. A little more than a week ago the world and our city looked very different. We went to work, we shook hands and we didn’t stand in line to shop at the supermarket. We didn’t worry so much about toilet paper. Things have changed.
Today we spend more time at home. We teleconference, or we’re trying to learn how to teleconference. Our hands are red and dry, or should be, from all the hand-washing and we are suspicious of every cough and sneeze. As of the recording of this report, there are dozens of people in our county who have tested positive for COVID-19. As expected, most of these cases are mild, but some are serious. The office of Public Health expects these numbers to rise.
So, other than washing hands and staying away from each other, what is being done?
County-wide, health and law enforcement officials are working to implement the government’s shelter-at-home order. Now, more than ever, we rely on the Internet to get information to the public and receive public input. ReadySLO.org is “information central” where you’ll find regularly updated reports on COVID-19 services. It’s also where you will find phone numbers and email addresses to report problems and request assistance.
Hospitals are preparing for the anticipated surge in coronavirus cases. County health officials are working to expand testing capacity and get the equipment we will need. That will take time. They are also recruiting volunteers from the retired medical community. These volunteers will be needed if the “surge” center is activated at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.
In our city of Paso Robles, the Emergency Operations Center at the Public Safety Center has been activated and we are following the protocols already established in our Emergency Response Plan. City facilities are closed to the public, although services continue uninterrupted and staff is available by phone and email. The city’s website, PRCity.com, offers updated information. City Council meetings are being streamed online, giving people access to the government process and the ability to respond in real-time. I and the council may be contacted at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will have a special joint meeting of the City Council Friday, March 27 at 9:30 a.m. The meeting will be live-streamed and available to play later on YouTube. Visit www.prcity.com to access it.
Many are concerned for the elderly and homeless. San Luis Obispo County has put trailers in Paso Robles and Atascadero for the homeless. The County has also arranged with four hotels to house the homeless who become ill with the coronavirus. Services are available to help the elderly with prescription and food delivery. Again, consult ReadySLO.org or call (805) 543-2444.
County-wide, schools have closed. In Paso Robles, the School District continues to serve hundreds of free breakfasts and lunches to students under the age of 18 at four campuses. Check the school website for details.
Our businesses are struggling. Many have been closed by the stay-at-home order. The Paso Robles Chamber, Main Street, the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance and TravelPaso have stepped up to provide assistance with relief resources. The Chamber has established a new website which includes lists of some of the local businesses which remain open. Visit pasostrong.org.
Our food supply chain is intact in spite of the increased level of purchases by people trying to stock up for this emergency. We’ve all made our frightened dash to the market. We’ve stood in line and maintained social distancing. Now it’s time to take a step back as food and essential goods flow back into our stores, filling the shelves. There is no need to hoard.
And so, we have come to this point. We have had our world and our neighborhoods changed in ways we did not expect. We have mobilized, separated ourselves, prepared for the worst and begun the momentous work of healing the infected, protecting the un-infected and slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
Call it phase one. Phase two is coming. The difference is that now we are stronger, more focused, more prepared and more committed to take on the reality of this fight. There are still challenges ahead. Together, our “can-do” community will meet them.
Stay informed, stay involved and stay strong Paso Robles.
- Follow all local COVID-19 coronavirus news updates
- San Luis Obispo County COVID-19 website – readyslo.org