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City Council Provides Direction on City's COVID-19 Response
City Council Provides Direction on City’s COVID-19 Response
El Cajon, CA – On April 14, the El Cajon City Council provided direction to move forward with a number of programs to help residents, businesses, and homeless individuals in El Cajon during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The stay at home orders and pandemic is impacting every sector of our community,” stated City Manager Graham Mitchell. “With the Council’s feedback, City staff will immediately begin to implement programs to help our residents and businesses.”
The City Council presented some of the likely impacts to the community following the pandemic. The City is concerned that many businesses will struggle while closed. In addition, many residents are either experiencing unemployment or underemployment.
The City Council approved 12 programs to help the community including:
- Providing residents assistance with utility bills,
- Providing residents assistance with rent,
- Delaying sewer bills through June,
- Eliminating any late sewer fees in 2020,
- Assisting seniors to access groceries,
- Promoting and financially supporting existing food distribution throughout the community,
- Setting up a business resource website and reaching out to businesses,
- Waiving late business license renewal penalties,
- No longer enforcing banner and temporary use regulations at business sites,
- Providing additional homeless shelter opportunities,
- Providing transportation to the homeless to access regional resources, and
- Providing free on-line recreation classes.
Additionally, the City Council adopted a resolution strongly recommending that owners of rental properties in the City refrain from raising rent for a 60-day period beginning April 15th. Tenants are also encouraged to proactively communicate with landlords about financial hardships during this time.
Heartland Fire & Rescue Fire Chief Steve Swaney provided an update on the City’s confirmed COVID-19 cases. As of Tuesday, the County reported a total of 113 cases in El Cajon, but not all of those cases are within the City’s boundaries. El Cajon’s ZIP codes—which the County of San Diego uses to group cases—includes portions of unincorporated San Diego such as Rancho San Diego and Crest which has artificially inflated the City’s daily numbers. Also, about half of El Cajon’s cases are from one skilled nursing facility.
This week, the County started tracking positive cases among the homeless population. County-wide as of Monday, 13 homeless individuals tested positive for the virus of the County’s almost 2,000 cases.
Regardless, Chief Swaney urged everyone to adhere to the County Health Orders by maintaining physical distancing of 6 feet, avoiding gatherings except with members of your household, and to only go out for essential needs.
For additional information about these programs and other resources, visit the City’s COVID-19 webpage at www.cityofelcajon.us/covid19.
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