The COVID-19 challenge continues. The City of Paso Robles has opened its Emergency Operations Center and declared a local emergency. City facilities including City Hall, Police & Fire, Library, Senior Center and Centennial Park have been closed to the public. City staff continues to work and offices are accessible via telephone or online. A complete and constantly updated list of municipal actions may be found at the city’s website, www.prcity.com.

There is some confusion regarding federal and state edicts regarding business closures. As of March 17, 2020, it is recommended that bars, tasting rooms and dine-in restaurants close. At this time the recommendation is not enforceable and officials are relying on business owners to comply. According to the Governor’s office, this could change and could be made mandatory. Gyms and farmers markets are among the businesses exempted from these recommendations, but many of these are also altering operations or closing. For the most recent rulings on these issues, as well as other COVID-19 health information, consult the San Luis Obispo County Health Department or the Centers for Disease Control.

This week, the Paso Robles City Council altered the way it conducts its meetings. Audio streaming is available at prcity.com/youtube. Council members have the option to attend via telephone and public input will be taken in person, via telephone or by email. I teleconference daily with local health officials and electeds to stay current on the situation and glean the best practices from our colleagues.

We have expedited downtown traffic concerns to provide more access for food delivery vehicles. The Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce is moving to support local business by creating pasostrong.org, a resource for financial and other support. The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance and TravelPaso organizations are working to address the impacts of the virus on tourism.

Our primary concern is the health of our citizens and, to that end, we will continue to exercise best practices and an abundance of caution as we move forward. Government cannot do this work by itself. We must all work together to maintain social distancing, administer personal hygiene, and utilize health resources intelligently. Doing so will blunt the progress of the virus, maintain our quality of life and protect the capacity of public health to assist the most seriously affected.

As always, I am available to speak with anyone about these and other issues. My email is smartin@prcity.com. My phone number is (805) 227-7210.

Thank you all for remaining calm, in control of your personal health and committed to taking care of each other.

Stay informed. Stay involved. Stay strong, Paso Robles.

Listen to the audio here

Getting through this together, Paso Robles