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City Closing All Public-Facing Sites & Postponing Events through March 29, 2020
After careful consideration, and in light of Governor Newsom and the Marin County Public Health Officer’s newest guidance on Sunday, March 15, the City of Novato is electively closing all public-facing sites and cancelling all programs beginning Monday, March 16 and continuing through Sunday, March 29, 2020. With the health of our community in mind, this decision is a preventative measure aimed at reducing community exposure to COVID-19.
During this uncertain time, the City and our dedicated staff are working hard to ensure essential City services remain available. We are engaged in the response and prevention efforts for COVID-19 and are working closely with our county, state, and federal partners. The City has robust emergency plans and protocols in place.
Our first responders are on the job prioritizing the health and safety of the community. To help limit the spread of coronavirus, we encourage the public to utilize our online police reporting services at novatopolice.org or calling our 24/7 non-emergency line at (415) 897-1122. In the event of an emergency, dial 9-1-1 for assistance. If your report or emergency requires in-person police response, please know that under certain circumstances and in an effort to comply with social distancing recommendations, our officers may request you exit your residence for police interaction. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we care for the community at this time.
Some ways you can help during this time, while maintaining social distance include:
- Checking in on your elderly and immunocompromised neighbors
- Being patient and kind with one another
- Supporting our local businesses by:
- Shopping online with businesses that have websites;
- Buying gift cards to utilize at a later date;
- Utilizing delivery or curbside pickup.
Details on closures, cancellations and modifications to City services:
The City Administration building and public-facing lobby, located at 922 Machin, is now closed. Essential services are now by appointment only. If you have urgent City business that cannot wait, please call 415-899-8900. Many services and information are available on our website at novato.org.
We are asking the public to postpone all non-essential permitting and plan processing.
Public Counter: Drop-in activities through One Stop Shop will cease until further notice and assistance will be by appointment only. Permits will be issued, and plan check processing will be accomplished through appointment only and electronic coordination.
Building inspection: We will be limiting on-site inspections and substituting photographic documentation, self-certification and deferred inspections whenever possible. More information will be forthcoming as staff finalizes these processes.
Planning and Zoning: No appointments will be made in the short term; however, questions can continue to be submitted to planning staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Code Enforcement: Most activities will continue as scheduled except for those which require employees to enter residents’ homes.
City Council Meetings
At this time, the regularly-scheduled Council meeting on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at 6pm will be held and remains open to the public. The City offers many ways for you to watch and participate in City matters without attending a meeting in-person. Our City Council meetings are streamed live at novato.org/watchmeetings and on Novato Community Television Channel 27 (Comcast) and Channel 70 (Horizon). Additionally, public comment for Council agenda items can be submitted online via our new eComment feature when an agenda is posted at novato.org/councilagendas. Written comments can also be submitted by email to email@example.com or the City Clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to support, oppose, or otherwise comment on an upcoming agenda item, please consider sending in your comments prior to the meeting rather than attending a meeting in person. If you are still planning to attend a meeting in-person, please note that there will be new protocols in place to enforce good hygiene and social distancing guidelines, including limited seating and attendance during the meeting.
During this closure, staff is available during regular business hours to answer questions over the phone. Please visit novato.org/contactus for business hours and a listing of facility phone numbers.
The following sites remain closed from Monday, March 16-Sunday, March 29:
- Margaret Todd Senior Center at 1560 Hill Road
- Downtown Recreation Center and Gymnastics Center at 950 7th Street
- Lu Sutton Childcare & Preschool at 1800 Center Road
- Hill Gymnasium at 1560 Hill Road
- Hamilton Community Center & Preschool at 503B South Palm Drive
- Hamilton Community Gymnasium at 5530 Nave Drive
- Old Hamilton Gymnasium at 115 San Pablo Avenue
- Hamilton War Room at 500 Palm Drive
- The Hamilton History Museum at 555 Hangar Avenue and the Novato History Museum at 815 DeLong Avenue
Parks & Fields
At this time, all parks and fields remain open and previously-scheduled private event reservations during this period will be honored.
- All public workshops related to the budget are now cancelled including:
- Tuesday, March 24 budget workshop at City Council
- Saturday, March 28 budget workshop
- All adult athletics are cancelled during the period of Saturday, March 14-Sunday, March 29;
- Novato Senior Citizens Club has suspended the following programs through April 30:
- Country Western Dinner on April 15
- Oakland Zoo trip on April 16;
- Covia, formerly the Novato Independent Elders Program, located at the Margaret Todd Senior Center at 1560 Hill Road, is suspending their activities through Friday, March 27;
- The Novato Live Concerts at City Hall on Saturday, March 14, 2020 and on Saturday, March 28, 2020 are cancelled; and
- Irish Dinner at Margaret Todd Senior Center on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 is cancelled.
Prevention & Good Hygiene Remain Key
The best way to reduce the risk of becoming infected with a respiratory virus, whether the flu or COVID-19, is to practice good hygiene:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing;
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available;
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or crook of your elbow (not your hands). If you use a tissue, throw it away and wash your hands afterward;
- Avoid touching your face;
- Stay home from work or school if you have a fever or are feeling sick;
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe;
- Get your flu shot to protect against flu.
Additional information, including what to do if you are feeling sick and official updates from Marin Health & Human Services are available at novato.org/coronavirus.