The Rancho Santa Margarita community is understandably concerned about the spread of the Coronavirus; Mayor Bradley J. McGirr shares a message with the community regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Mayor McGirr addresses the community regarding the evolving Coronavirus situation: https://youtu.be/ohlY-HR5k_U on YouTube.
The Rancho Santa Margarita community is understandably concerned about the spread of the Coronavirus; as Mayor, I want to share the actions that the City of Rancho Santa Margarita is currently taking.
This is an unsettling, first-of-its-kind situation for our City and our Nation and I want to assure you that my colleagues and I are directing City Staff to take the necessary steps to promote public health and safety, follow all State and County orders, and ensure that essential City services continue.
As this is a public health crisis, the lead agency for our area is the Orange County Health Care Agency. Their website is ochealthinfo.com. They, along with the California Department of Public Health, are our authoritative sources for information, advisories, and orders.
The City is communicating with a range partners including, but not limited to OCSD, OCFA, Age Well Senior Services, SAMLARC, Santa Margarita Water District, Trabuco Canyon Water District, Saddleback Valley Unified School District, Capistrano Valley Unified School District, the RSM Chamber of Commerce, local businesses, and non-profits.
The City has already taken steps to prevent the transmission of the Coronavirus by suspending non-essential services at City Hall and closing the Bell Tower Regional Community Center to the public. City Council meetings will be limited to essential or urgent items of business only, and we encourage the public to listen and participate online. We are asking that you email your comments to the City Council rather than attending in person. The meetings are available via live-stream audio in real-time at www.cityofrsm.org.
One week ago, the City Manager proclaimed a state of local emergency, which provides more flexibility in how we can respond to this changing crisis. Today’s meeting was the opportunity for us as your City Council to ratify that Proclamation. This Proclamation helps our Emergency Services personnel secure vital supplies, funding, and assistance. The City is also modifying most services to reduce in-person interactions.
Our goal is to reduce social interactions and the opportunity for community transmission of the virus (i.e., flatten the curve). The City is also taking steps to prevent transmission among our staff by providing work-from-home options for designated employees. We have also suspended the issuing of citations for Street Sweeping parking restrictions until further notice, although street sweeping services will continue as scheduled.
Our individual personal actions and behaviors WILL make a difference. Please follow county, state, and federal guidelines regarding staying at home, social distancing, and limiting non-essential errands and public interaction. Work from home if you are able. Continue to practice preparedness, stock only the food and supplies you need, ensuring that others may obtain what they need for their household.
These changes will have economic, civic, and social impacts, which the City will need to evaluate and remedy as we move forward together through this unprecedented situation. Among those being hardest hit are many local businesses that have been forced to close or drastically alter their business practices for an uncertain period. These businesses provide income for families in our community. Please, whenever possible, support our local restaurants by ordering pick-up, drive through, or delivery. Many of our restaurants are offering grocery services and special family meal options, so you can help those impacted by this crisis, obtain provisions, and enjoy the restaurants you love at the same time. We are working the RSM Chamber of Commerce on a comprehensive list of restaurant services.
Our grocery stores in town have made accommodations for our seniors, and the employees on the front lines are helpful and continue to provide us with the excellent customer service we appreciate, with a smile. Let’s continue to be patient with stocking schedules and adjustments as they navigate supply and demand.
It is crucial that we identify ways to support our seniors, shut-ins, neighbors, and families given these rapidly changing circumstances. It is both heartwarming, reassuring, and a testament to the character of our great City to see social media posts of neighbors helping neighbors with everything from grocery store runs to take-out options and inventory status reports. Let’s continue to use our social media platforms to raise each other up and share vital information; a good laugh is also, as they say, the best medicine!
Finally, let’s all remain calm and composed and allow the healthcare professionals and first responders do their jobs. Support your neighbors; continue to share information and encourage best practices. Wash your hands and be kind to one another!
You can find the latest information about the City’s response to the Coronavirus at https://www.cityofrsm.org/589/COVID-19-Information.