Irvine officially declared a state of local emergency following the passage of several City Council resolutions last month which implemented new preventative guidelines and regulations for city operation to address the spread of COVID-19.
These resolutions, which were passed by the City Council on March 24, implemented a number of precautionary measures aimed at mitigating the spread of the virus and addressing the economic implications of social distancing orders.
Measures outlined in the documents include the closure of certain city facilities to the public, an expectation that a hold be put on commercial and residential evictions and utility service disconnections from late payments, and the implementation of new safety guidelines for retail businesses, such as the provision of protective gear to employees and limitations on the number of products purchased per customer.
“We are closely monitoring developments and working with partners to mitigate these serious impacts to our community,” Irvine Mayor Christina Shea said during a press conference on March 27.
The actions taken by the City Council through these resolutions largely correspond with directives by state and federal officials. An executive order issued by California Gov. Gavin Newsom on March 16 specifically permits local governments to impose limitations on evictions and rent increases to ensure housing security during the pandemic.
The Irvine Emergency Disaster Council has also implemented additional guidelines beyond those outlined in the resolutions, complying with new regulations from health officials that require grocery store and pharmacy staff and clerks to wear protective face masks.
“Given the check-out process at these retail locations, it is nearly impossible to adhere to the six-foot safe distance protocol, making this new face mask requirement a necessity,” Shea said in a press conference on April 6.
According to county health officials, 91 new cases were reported Wednesday in Orange County, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 1,016 with 17 deaths. The City of Irvine has 89 confirmed cases with no fatalities.
As of April 8, there are 19,063 confirmed cases with 507 deaths in the state of California.
“[This] increase in reported cases is one of the factors of increased testing,” said County Health Officer Dr. Nichole Quick in a press release. “This serves as a reminder of the importance of staying at home and social distancing when leaving the household for essential activities, or to work at an essential business. It is our responsibility to help protect the community and work together to flatten the curve in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.”
Danielle Dawson is a Staff Writer. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.