News Detail

How New Shelter in Place Order Applies to Palo Alto

How New Shelter in Place Order Applies to Palo Alto


The City continues to evaluate the latest Shelter in Place Order which goes from May 3 at 11:59 p.m. through May 31. The Order eases some restrictions such as construction activities and some outdoor activities, while ensuring social distancing requirements and other safety protocols. 

From a City perspective, here are a few changes planned, with more evaluation and work underway to interpret the Order: 

Construction Resuming- Development Services Center staff are anticipating construction resuming, while observing new safety requirements and social distancing restrictions set by the County. City inspectors will be available by appointment only. Construction projects must assign one point of contact and follow the new safety protocols established by the Santa Clara County Public Health Officer. We are scheduling inspections starting Tuesday, May 5. Those needing inspections must call to (650) 329-2496 to schedule. 

City Infrastructure Projects Resuming Work-The City is in discussions with contractors leading City infrastructure projects to explore resuming work, while ensuring new public safety protocols including social distancing restrictions such as Animal Shelter Medical Suite Remodel, Charleston Arastradero Corridor Traffic Calming Project Phase 1 and Phase 2, Utilities water main and sanitary sewer main replacement projects on Fulton Street and Ruthelma Avenue, and the JMZ project. Projects confirmed to restart next week include Cal Ave Parking Garage, and the US Hwy 101 Pedestrian/Bike Project. 

City Tree Work Resuming-The City tree crew will be returning to work beginning Monday, to address safety projects. 

Parks Remain Open: Parking at Foothills Park and Baylands Open Weekdays Only through May 30, Arastradero open to vehicle access as of May 23-Parks remain open at this time. The City opened Foothills Park and Baylands Open Space Preserves on May 6 to vehicular traffic on weekdays only and will reopen on weekends as of May 30, with modifications to ensure visitor safety and social distancing restrictions are enforced through one-way trails and other measures. Arastradero will open to vehicle access as of May 23. Please follow all posted rules to ensure your safety and the safety of others. When parking lot capacity becomes full, City staff will turn cars away to ensure the safety of visitors and staff. Due to the high visitation rate at Open Space Preserves, all Open Space areas will remain closed to vehicular traffic on the weekends, though they are still accessible by foot and bike. Open space restrooms at Foothill Park, Baylands and Arastradero Open Space Preserves will also reopen. Drinking fountains, and picnic and barbecue areas remain closed.    

Tennis. Pickleball Courts and More open as of May 6-The City is also reopening tennis courts, pickleball courts, basketball courts, the skate park and athletic fields while ensuring public health and safety through ensuring social distancing and only playing with members of the same household. All courts and athletic fields will be open on Wednesday May 6. Please help us ensure the safety of the community by following posted rules.  If rules are not followed, the City will be forced to close these facilities.  

Other Closures Continue- Several City facility closures continue to be in effect including pools, dog parks, picnic tables and benches, barbecue areas, outdoor gym equipment, our golf course and playgrounds. Closures are in the interest of public health and safety and in response to the Santa Clara County Shelter in Place Order restrictions. Staff is in discussions with our golf course operator to reopen with modifications and as more details are known, we will share updates.  

Gardening or Landscaping is Allowed-As of May 4, employing gardeners or landscapers for routine, regular, cosmetic upkeep of yards is permitted under the Public Health Order, where social distancing of at least six feet can be maintained between all people.

Please stay at or close to home, this will save lives. There is now new County, State and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance regarding use of cloth face coverings, sharing that there is limited evidence to suggest that use of cloth face coverings by the public during a pandemic could help reduce the spread of transmission.

Face coverings primary role is to reduce the release of infectious particles into the air when someone speaks, coughs, or sneezes, including someone who has COVID-19 but feels well. Cloth face coverings are not a substitute for sheltering in place, physical or social distancing, washing hands and staying home when ill, but they may be helpful when combined with these primary interventions. Under the new County Shelter in Place Order effective as of May 4, the County strongly urges face coverings when outside of the home and requires face coverings when any community members visits an essential business within the County.

To stay informed on the latest Covid-19 developments, go to our website dedicated to this health pandemic here. You can also sign up for our Coronavirus Daily Report here.

Last Updated: May 4, 2020