City Postpones/Cancels Public Gatherings in Accordance with State Recommendations
Newport Beach has postponed several large public gatherings and will postpone or cancel other, smaller gatherings following the release of guidelines from the California Department of Public Health aimed at slowing the transmission of COVID-19 (coronavirus).
The state recommendations include postponing or cancelling large gatherings of 250 people or more, postponing or cancelling smaller gatherings in venues that do not allow social distancing, and limiting gatherings of high-risk individuals to no more than 10 people, at least through the month of March.
Based on these recommendations:
- Newport Beach will postpone or cancel several upcoming, City-sponsored community events where 250 people or more were expected to attend. These include a teen job fair scheduled for March 21, the March 27 City track meet, the April 4 Mayor’s Egg Race, the April 22 OASIS Volunteer Recognition event, and the Special Olympics Basketball Tournament April 25. Additionally, the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce has postponed the March 20 Police Appreciation Breakfast.
- To reduce potential exposure among high-risk individuals as described and recommended by the California Department of Public Health guidelines, the OASIS Senior Center facility will close beginning tomorrow, March 13, through Friday, April 3. Meal delivery will continue, as will transportation services for essential needs such as medical appointments and grocery shopping.
- Newport Beach Public Library gatherings, such as Story Time and Author Nights, are cancelled or postponed at all branches through the end of March.
- City Hall will remain open. City Council and Planning Commission meetings will take place as scheduled. Notices will be sent advising the public that these meetings can be viewed live through the City’s website and comments can be accepted through e-mail. As with City Libraries, City Hall cleaning crews have increased the use of disinfectants, with special attention to areas of high public access and frequent contact points.
- Some commission and committee meetings may be moved to the Council Chambers and televised. Others may be rescheduled if the agenda items are not essential to the continuation of core City functions.
“While we recognize the impact that these steps will have on our many of our residents, our first priority is to protect public health,” said Mayor Will O’Neill. “By following the California Department of Public Health guidelines, the City of Newport Beach will do everything we can to help slow the transmission of COVID-19.”
In addition to limiting public gatherings, the City is taking additional steps at its facilities to reduce transmission of the virus:
- Cleaning crews at City facilities are using heavy-duty disinfectant in areas with high levels of public contact, such as front counters. Janitorial staff is also taking measures to ensure that points of frequent contact, such as door knobs, restroom push plates, and elevator call buttons, are being disinfected on a regular basis.
- Wherever possible, the City will encourage social distancing, such as rearranging furniture in public waiting areas and reconfiguring public computer terminals at Library facilities to allow more space between patrons.
City officials are in close contact with public health officials at Hoag Hospital, the Orange County Health Care Agency, the California Department of Public Health, surrounding public safety officials and will continue to adjust practices as federal, state, and county official guidelines are updated in the coming days and weeks.