Everything local communities must know in regard to COVID-19

Local+City+Councils+have+issued+updates+in+regards+to+the+COVID-19+Pandemic.+Updates+range+from+food+banks+to+street+sweeping%2C+and+were+last+updated+on+April+12%2C+2020.+Photo+credit%3A+U.S.+Air+Force+Graphic+by+Rosario+%22Charo%22+Gutierrez

Local City Councils have issued updates in regards to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Updates range from food banks to street sweeping, and were last updated on April 12, 2020. Photo credit: U.S. Air Force Graphic by Rosario "Charo" Gutierrez

Edgar Mendoza, Community Editor

With the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing, and each city implementing different policies and closures, it may be tough to know what’s closed or what’s still going on.

From street sweeping to public facilities, here’s what has changed in Bellflower, Lakewood, Cerritos, Norwalk, Paramount and Downey.

Please note that all cities are following the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health “Safer at Home” order for the control of COVID-19.

The order directs all residents to stay at home until May 15, 2020 and to limit activity to only essential activities, such as medical care and grocery shopping, and to essential businesses and infrastructure work as listed in the order.

Everyone is required to wear a face mask when entering essential businesses throughout the state of California.

All cities have temporarily stopped issuing citations during street sweeping, and have begun switching to appointment-only meetings for permits. Water services and trash collection will continue as normal, and many cities have launched virtual recreation centers.

The following list will cover what has changed in regards to specific city policies:

Bellflower:

All city facilities will be closed until further notice; however, physical appointments for services will still be considered on a case-by-case basis and in a way that maintains social distancing standards.

The Bellflower Sheriff Substation will remain closed to the public until further notice.

Various LA County Sherrif’s Department personnel have been shifted from current positions to patrol functions in order to be more available for visible street level service.

Less serious crime reports, such as those involving property, will be written via phone conversations rather than deploying a deputy out into private party residences.

Individuals can still conduct business at the substation in-person on a limited basis by appointment only

Street Sweeping enforcement is linked to environmental regulations from the state, so this enforcement will resume April 13.

Bellflower’s fixed route and Dial-A-Ride transportation services are operating as scheduled for now.

Mayor Juan Garza has issued, “reminder to stay calm, be kind to one another, wash your hands, practice social distancing and stay home whenever possible. Now is the time to do everything we can to prevent the situation from getting much worse. Together we will get through this.”

Lakewood:

Lakewood has activated its emergency radio station (1620-AM) on news and special services available to Lakewood residents during the coronavirus crisis.

Lakewood’s Recreation and Community Services staff have created a virtual recreation center where residents of all ages can access free exercise videos, fun educational sites like games and museum tours, and other ideas at www.lakewoodcity.org/VirtualRec.

Street sweeping will continue throughout Lakewood but no citations will be issued at least through April 20. The city is considering extending this timeframe, with more information soon to come.

All Lakewood playgrounds are closed and gathering in the park is prohibited.

Lakewood property owners who are unable to pay their property taxes by the April 10 deadline due to the direct effect of the public health crisis may submit an online request for penalty cancellation beginning April 11.

 

Cerritos:

The city has issued a local emergency for the foreseeable future. More information can be found here.

Mayor Naresh Solanki has reached out to County of Los Angeles Supervisor Janice Hahn to express his strong interest in a COVID-19 testing site in the city of Cerritos.

The Cerritos Sheriff’s station is currently still open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The city’s overnight parking restrictions will not be enforced until at least April 19 and until further notice. In addition, citations will not be issued for vehicles parked on the street on street sweeping days.

The Cerritos on Wheels (C.O.W) fixed route service will operate Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will arrive at each bus stop every 60 minutes.

Due dates for borrowed library materials due now will be automatically extended through June 1, 2020 and customers can return materials in the drop boxes located at the Cerritos Civic Center.

City Hall and the Cerritos Senior Center are closed and all events and classes are cancelled.

All events at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts have been cancelled and the ticket office will be contacting ticket buyers.

 

Norwalk:

In response to COVID-19, all city-sponsored events and programming have been suspended through April 30.

The Norwalk Senior Center is providing frozen meals for adults over the age of 60. To request the food program, contact the Senior Center at 562-929-5580.

The city has temporarily suspended parking citations for street sweeping through April 30.

The Norwalk Senior Center is providing frozen meals for adults over the age of 60. To request the food program, contact the Senior Center at 562-929-5580.

Norwalk Transit will not be charging fares through April 19.

Mayor Margarita L. Rios has issued a statement, saying that “The City Council recognizes that, now more than ever, we must work together to take care of one another, our families and most vulnerable. I am extremely proud of our community, my colleagues on the Council and City staff, who are doing an exemplary job at meeting the needs of our community.”

A hotline is available to take information or to take general questions, weekdays from 8a.m. to 8p.m. at 562-929-5760.

Paramount:

Paramount will be distributing free masks at Paramount Park for drive-up collection only; no walk-ups allowed.

This will take place Monday, April 13, Tuesday, April 14, and Wednesday, April 15 from 1-3 p.m. or until all masks are gone. There will be four drive-through lanes for faster service.

Masks will be distributed on a first come, first served basis to Paramount residents only with one distribution of no more than four masks per address. Only one member of each household needs to be present.

Paramount has also launched a dedicated hotline for residents to call with questions about COVID-19. The number is 562-220-2242 and it is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week, in both English and Spanish.

The Public Safety Department will no longer be issuing warnings or citations for vehicles parked during posted sweeping hours until further notice.

The City of Paramount, as of March 17, 2020, is only issuing building permits that are of an urgent nature.

Online fitness classes, visual and performing arts sites, games and crafts, educational resources are all available at paramountcity.com/virtualrecreation

Downey:

For city-sponsored events and classes, refunds will be given accordingly and city staff will work with the various partner agencies to reschedule events for future dates.

The Downey Farmers Market will remain open as it is considered to be “essential facilities” (such as grocery stores) and many of the community members rely on the Market to purchase their food.

The Downey Police Department will remain open for business as per usual hours.

Dial-a-Ride transportation services will continue without interruption.

Staff will begin a Senior Wellness Check program for Downey senior residents. Patrons can register to participate by contacting 562-904-7238.

The Downey Farmers Market will remain open as it is considered to be “essential facilities” (such as grocery stores) and many of the community members rely on the Market to purchase their food.