May 19, 2020
Over two months ago, Livermore, along with the rest of California, began sheltering in place. We did so to keep each other healthy and ensure our hospitals could care for those in need. Shelter in place has largely proved successful in Livermore and the region, so the Bay Area is slowly opening back up.
We all want to move forward to reopen our economy, especially to save those businesses and households most at risk. Reopening will only be successful if everyone continues to follow the necessary protocols to keep our community safe. Otherwise, cases will likely increase and instead of continuing to move forward, we could find ourselves stepping back, as has happened in other states and countries. California, Alameda County, and the City of Livermore all rely on research and public health guidelines to direct us forward. As such, five criteria must be met before businesses can reopen safely. We must:
- ensure hospitals have enough beds, equipment, and people to handle a future surge;
- have the ability to adequately test the population for the virus;
- be able to keep the number of cases and hospitalizations flat or decreasing;
- get enough personal protective equipment to go around; and
- contain the spread successfully.
As a region, we are close to meeting these metrics and have slowly begun to open. A few weeks ago, construction, landscaping, and nurseries reopened. The County is now opening other businesses, step by step.
Livermore businesses are a central part of our community. City Council wants to help Livermore businesses open as quickly as is safely possible. Safety precautions, different for each type of business, protect employees and assure potential customers that they can shop with minimal risk.
In anticipation of reopening, City Council directed staff to help merchants safely expand into adjacent outdoor areas. As of May 12, businesses can apply for a free temporary use permit that allows for additional outdoor seating, retail space, or curbside pick-up (apply at: www.cityoflivermore.net/outdoor-dining-display). Recognizing that each situation is unique, the City stands ready to help businesses find the best possible solution. That could mean combined seating areas and street closures, dedicated delivery areas, and/or grouped pick-up zones. Please contact the Planning Department for help at (925) 960-4450 or [email protected].
Businesses cannot succeed without the community continuing to observe safety precautions. We have integrated wearing masks, practicing physical distancing, and washing our hands into our daily lives. Let’s continue to act safely and responsibly, so we reduce risk to ourselves and allow economic progress to continue as quickly as possible. Let’s continue to support Livermore businesses and care for those who need help during these difficult times. We are Livermore and we will get through this together.
Livermore City Council