Mayor addresses concerns about public meetings
Worried residents buying supplies amid COVID-19 outbreak
Vallejo Mayor Bob Sampayan says Vallejo City Council and board meetings will continue for the time being after the California Department of Public Health issued recommendations Thursday suggesting that large gatherings of 250 people or more should be postponed or canceled to slow the rate of transmission of COVID-19.
“We’re not at that point, yet,” Sampayan said by phone Thursday about cancelling government meetings in Vallejo. “We are closely monitoring the situation for any change in conditions.”
The city of Concord said it was cancelling a special council meeting set for Thursday night, “in light of public health concerns related to coronavirus and in compliance with State and County recommendations for social distancing…”
The meeting has been pushed back to March 24.
Meanwhile, a rumor circulated online Thursday stating that four students at Jesse Bethel High School had contracted COVID-19.
When asked if this was true, Mitchell Romao, chief operations officer for the Vallejo City Unified School District, directed the Times-Herald to view the district’s web page about COVID-19 instead.
“If a VCUSD staff member or student tests positive with COVID-19 the Solano County Public Health Department will notify the Superintendent, at which time a communication plan will be put into action to notify the appropriate individuals affected,” the district says on the page in response to a question on what happens if a student or staff person tests positive.
The district further says it won’t be closing schools.
“The school and district actions at this time are to prepare for the possibility of widespread transmission of COVID-19 should an outbreak occur,” officials added.
Health officials further advised that smaller gatherings, held in venues which do not allow “social distancing of six feet per person” should be postponed or canceled.
“We are asking people to follow the guidelines from the various health agencies — wash your hands, if you feel sick, stay home,” Sampayan added.
Sampayan said that he, along with City Manager Greg Nyhoff are planning ahead should there be a need to close City Hall because of the virus.
“There might be a need to limit access to City Hall to necessary personnel only,” he said. “We’re trying to stay ahead of the game.”
Meanwhile, news broke Thursday that the Vallejo Sports Hall of Fame ceremony, set for Saturday, has been canceled in response to COVID-19. It joined a handful of other local events also canceled out of precaution.
Across the country, store shelves have emptied out as residents have bought paper towels, toilet paper, hand sanitizer and water. The Walmart Neighborhood Market in Vallejo has faced similar conditions as fear of coronavirus has caused a run on these items.
State health officials said that as of 7 a.m., Thursday, there had been 198 positive cases and four deaths in California.
A small stock of paper towels is all that remains at the Walmart Neighborhood Market at 10:30a.m. Wednesday as fear of coronavirus home quarantines have caused a run on toilet paper, hand sanitizers and water.