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The original item was published from 4/8/2020 4:36:00 PM to 4/9/2020 4:54:26 PM.

News Flash

City News

Posted on: March 12, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Information on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)


UPDATED: Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 4:30 PM

The City of Arcata is monitoring COVID-19 and is working with, and following all recommended guidelines from, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the California Department of Public Health and the Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services.

The spread of COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation, and the City is dedicated to keeping the community safe and informed during this unprecedented time.

There are currently 50 documented cases of COVID-19 in Humboldt County, and community spread, meaning that the source of the virus is unknown, has been confirmed among 7 of those cases. 

Many of Humboldt County’s cases are located around areas with the largest populations—Eureka, Arcata, Fortuna and McKinleyville. The City of Arcata is actively working with Humboldt County health agencies to protect our community, prepare for more local cases and assist in maintaining the health and safety of our region.

As the number of local cases continues to rise, all residents are encouraged to stay at home to slow the spread of the virus.

More information on the number of local COVID-19 cases will be provided by the County here as it becomes available.

The City will continue to closely monitor the situation and is prepared to implement protocols as risk of COVID-19 exposure increases in Arcata and greater Humboldt County.

Updated information will be provided here as it becomes available.

Shelter in Place Orders

UPDATED: Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 4:30 PM

In the strictest response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States so far, the Governor has ordered all California residents to shelter in place until further notice. This order is to ensure the maximum number of people self-isolate to the greatest extent possible, while allowing essential services to continue, in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.

California residents may leave their homes to seek or provide essential services such as obtaining medical care or supplies, grocery shopping, refilling prescriptions and caring for an ill family member. Those who leave their homes are expected to maintain social distancing guidelines and keep a distance of 6 feet away from those not in their household.

For answers to frequently asked questions about essential services pertaining to this order, please click here.

Click here to see the order in its entirety.

Failure to comply with any provisions of this order constitutes an imminent threat to public health. The order carries the force of law and breaking it could result in a misdemeanor.

Hours before the State issued order, the Humboldt County Department of Public Health put an order in place that directs all individuals living in Humboldt County to shelter in place beginning midnight, Friday, March 20. Given that the San Francisco Bay Area is experiencing outbreaks of COVID-19 with extensive community spread, Humboldt County recognizes the imminent threat presented to the public’s health. 

On Monday, March 30, Humboldt County issued an updated Health Order further enhancing the Shelter in Place requirements for County residents.

To find Humboldt County’s current list of allowable, essential services pertaining to this order, please click here.

Updates include:

  • The order does not specify an end date. The order is now in effect until rescinded.
  • The order prohibits short-term rental properties, including hotels, vacation rentals and campgrounds, from renting to non-County residents or non-essential workers providing services to the community.
  • The order further limits activity in parks and other outdoor recreational areas that facilitate public gathering.
  • The order clarifies the definition of essential businesses.

The updated order can be found here. To read the original County order in full, please click here.

For more information from Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services, click here.

Updated information will be provided as it becomes available.

Other Local News

  • The California Department of Public Health and Humboldt County Health officials recommend members of the public wear face coverings when leaving their homes on essential business. Click here or more guidance.
  • The Humboldt County COVID-19 Compliance Tip Line is now active. If you are concerned that a person or business is not complying with the Shelter in Place Order, you are welcome to call (707) 441-3022. You will be asked to leave a message with the location and details regarding the violation. County Emergency Operation Center Staff will follow up on all information received. You do not need to leave your name or a call back number unless you want a return phone call, and all information is kept confidential.
  • Public Health strongly recommends that individuals cancel non-essential travel. Travel not only increases your own risk of acquiring a COVID-19 infection, it increases the risk within our community. 
  • High-risk travel is no longer limited to international destinations. Any travel to areas with community level transmission presents opportunities for exposure to COVID-19. All travelers to these areas, whether international or domestic, should be self-quarantining, which means staying at home except for accessing needed health care, for at least 14 days upon return. 
  • Three recent flights may represent possible local exposure to COVID-19 infection, either because an individual on board has become a confirmed case or because a close contact whose test is pending was on board.
    • 3/16/20: United Flight #5827 from Los Angeles Airport to Arcata
    • 3/18/20: Delta Flight #4124 from Seattle to Medford, Oregon
    • 3/18/20: United Flight #5555 from San Francisco Airport to Arcata
    • It is important that individuals on these flights quarantine at home for 14 days after their flight and contact Public Health or their health care provider if they become ill with fever, cough or shortness of breath or other symptoms of concern. This act of quarantining is critically important during this period, as we have yet to see clear community transmission in Humboldt County. It will help to slow transmission within our community, reduce risk for our most vulnerable residents and will lessen the impact on our health care system. This tool, in addition to sheltering in place, helps everyone remain healthy.
    • If you were a passenger on these flights and are ill, please contact your health care provider for guidance or the County Community Information Line by calling 707-441-5000 or emailing general questions about travel and quarantine, please call 707-441-5000.
  • The Arcata Community Forest and the Arcata Marsh & Wildlife Sanctuary are experiencing high volumes of visitors since the stay at home orders have been in place. Although the statewide shelter-in-place order permits people to go outside for fresh air and exercise, both state and local governments have been shutting down overcrowded public spaces, and Governor Newsom announced that many state park and beach parking lots will close to prevent overcrowding. 
  • The City would like community members to continue to be able to enjoy pubic trails during this time, and Community Forest and Marsh visitors are highly encouraged to walk or ride bicycles to avoid parking lot gathering much as possible.
  • Arcata City playgrounds, the Arcata Skate Park and City basketball, tennis and all other playing courts are closed until further notice. 
  • The City of Arcata has taken steps to formally recognize the existence of a local emergency. This Proclamation does not signify an increased risk to Arcata residents, but strongly acknowledges the existing risk COVID-19 poses to the community. The Proclamation allows the City additional flexibility to acquire resources, manage essential City staff, provide or receive mutual aid from other jurisdictions and assists in securing State and Federal Disaster funds. Click here to read the Proclamation in full.
  • California State Health & Emergency officials have issued new guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in bars, restaurants, food trucks and farmers’ markets. Please click here to read the updated guidelines.
  • Humboldt County Schools are closed in response to COVID-19. A list of school closures provided by the Humboldt County Office of Education can be found here.
  • Humboldt County has declared a Local Health Emergency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in California and beyond. This action is expected to free up additional resources within the County and increase coordination between local, state and federal authorities working to respond to the outbreak. The emergency declaration will also support the Humboldt County Public Health Laboratory, which is now able to complete on-site COVID-19 testing locally. 
  • The Humboldt County Joint Information Center will now provide daily updates about local COVID-19 testing capabilities and results. The information will be updated Monday through Saturday and will be posted here.
  • St. Joseph Health has developed an online COVID-19 Assessment Tool that can help you evaluate risk factors for contracting the illness. Click here to access the tool.
  • Humboldt State University has taken many precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on campus and will now operate virtually through the end of the semester. For the most recent updates from Humboldt State University, please click here.

Please click here for the latest local updates from the Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services or to sign up to receive Humboldt County Health Alerts.

Community members may also contact the County directly by emailing or calling (707) 441-5000.

For medical advice or questions regarding COVID-19 testing, contact Humboldt County Public Health by emailing or calling (707) 445-6200.

This City of Arcata GIS team put together a dashboard of real-time maps and data that shows world’s current COVID-19 status (provided by John Hopkins University), in addition to weather, traffic, natural disasters and PG&E power outages. Browse and explore the Arcata Community Real-Time Dashboard to see how GIS data is helping us gain a better understanding of our world and make more informed decisions. This application currently works on desktop computers using supported browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Microsoft Edge.

City Meetings & Events

UPDATED: Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 4:30 PM

The City has decided to cancel most meetings and scheduled all events as a precautionary measure to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Meetings scheduled to take place will be held via teleconference.

  • Members of the community will be able to watch City Council and Planning Commission meetings live online here, on our YouTube channel or on television via Access Humboldt Channel 10.
  • Members of the public may provide public comment before and during the meetings by sending comments by email to
  • Emailed comments must identify the agenda item number in the subject line of the email.
  • Comments will be read into the record, with a maximum allowance of three minutes (approximately 500 words) per individual comment, subject to the Mayor’s discretion.
  • If a comment is received after the agenda item is heard, but before the close of the meeting, the comment will still be included as a part of the written record of the meeting but will not be read into the record during the meeting.

Americans with Disabilities Act Accommodations:

  • Any member of the public who needs accommodations should email the City Clerk at or call (707) 822-5953. The City Clerk will use their best efforts to provide reasonable accommodations to provide as much accessibility as possible while maintaining public safety.

City Hall, Social Distancing  & Bill Payments

UPDATED: Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 4:30 PM

In collaboration with state and federal recommendations that support efforts to prevent or slow the spread of COVID-19, Arcata City Hall will have limited access to the public until further notice. Face to face interaction with City staff will only be available by appointment.

To continue to serve the public during this unprecedented time, the City has made the following adjustments:

Water & Sewer Billing

  • The Finance Department will continue to receive water and sewer payments during this time.
  • Residents have the option to pay water and sewer bills online here or by phone by calling the City’s automated bill system at (707) 827-1114. Credit, debit cards and electronic check will be accepted with these payment methods.
  • For those who require cash or check transactions, drop boxes are located in the City Hall parking lot off 7th Street and next to the USPS mailbox outside of City Hall on F Street. 
  • Call (707) 822-5951 (dial 1 to reach a live representative) or email to make special service requests, in-person appointments or for other City-related billing inquiries.
  • The Governor signed an executive order that restricts water shutoffs to homes and small businesses while the state responds to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the executive order will restore water for occupied residences that may have had their water shut off as of Wednesday, March 4, 2020 - the day the Governor proclaimed a state of emergency due to COVID-19. The City of Arcata had already instituted this policy ahead of the State requirement.  

Water, Sewer, Recology Service & Compost Bins

  • Recology Arcata curbside garbage and recycling pickup has not been interrupted, although bulky waste pick up has been cancelled in Arcata and throughout all of Recology’s service area. To find Recology’s coronavirus updates or sign up for online bill payments, please click here.
  • The Environmental Services Department would like to remind all residents of the importance of only flushing toilet paper down the toilet. Sanitary wipes marketed and sold as “flushable wipes” can severely impact the sewer pipes in your neighborhood and cause blockages and overflows into your home. Sewer overflows create an additional public health risk in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Paper towels, disinfecting wipes, flushable wipes and all other materials besides toilet paper should always be disposed of properly inside of a trash container. The sewer system is not designed for thicker wipes and paper products.
  • To make composting more accessible to Arcata residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Environmental Services Department is offering free delivery to all residents who purchase a compost bin. Backyard compost bins may be purchased for the discounted price of $25 by contacting the Environmental Services Department by email at or by calling (707) 822-8184. Proof of residency within Arcata city limits is required.

Building & Engineering

  • Plans and documents for all permit applications and questions pertaining to building permits and inspections can be submitted or made by emailing or by calling (707) 822-5956 or (707) 825-2128.
  • Information related to encroachment permits, parking permits, sewer lateral certificates and other general information inquiries can be made by emailing the Building & Engineering Department at or by calling (707) 825-2128 or (707) 825-2174.
  • For inquiries related to Streetlights and Water & Sewer email or call (707) 825-2175.

Community Development Planning

  • To reach the Community Development Department, please email or call (707) 825-5955.
  • To contact the Community Development Director, email or call (707) 825-2045.
  • General Inquiries related to allowable use, zoning, or development standards call email or call (707) 822-5955.
  • Submit a planning permit application to or call (707) 822-5955.
  • For project specific related questions, contact the assigned planner or call (707) 822-5955 to be directed.
  • For COVID-19 resources for local businesses provided by the North Coast Small Business Development Center please click here.
  • Foodworks Culinary Center and business assistance inquiries can be emailed to
  • Cannabis-related inquiries can be emailed to
  • Residents with Tenant-Based Rental Assistance questions are asked to email or call (707) 825-2152.

Public Transportation

  • Arcata & Mad River Transit System (AMRTS) must only be used for performing essential activities or services while County and State stay at home orders are in place. Essential activities include grocery shopping, traveling to and from work to operate essential businesses, or maintaining essential governmental functions.
  • It is important for individuals to take safety precautions to help slow the spread of COVID-19, especially when traveling in public spaces, and those who rely on public transit to perform essential activities must comply with social distancing requirements to the greatest extent possible.
  • In order to maintain physical distancing requirements for bus drivers and riders, AMRTS passenger fees will be waived.
  • All bus passengers are encouraged to wear a mask and gloves, and riders must enter and exit busses from the back doors.
  • Humboldt County bus patrons who require mobility devices are asked to contact City Cab at (707) 442-4555 to make alternative transportation arrangements two hours before their desired departure time.
  • Arcata & Mad River Transit (AMRTS) will be operating with reduced bus service until further notice. The Orange Bus Route will be the only operating bus route available Monday through Saturday from 7 AM to 7 PM.
  • Due to heightened COVID-19 concerns, many bus lines operating outside of Arcata have been cancelled or are providing limited service on reduced schedules. Humboldt County transit riders are encouraged to visit Humboldt Transit Authority’s website at for more information.
  • Email AMRTS transit inquiries to or call (707) 822-3775.
  • Amtrak Tickets can be purchased at or by calling 1-800-872-7245.
  • Greyhound tickets can be purchased at or by calling 1-800-231-2222.

Arcata Police Department Services

  • Emergency services provided by the Arcata Police Department will continue to operate 24 hours a day. In order for first responders to prepare accordingly, when calling 911 for emergency assistance, community members are asked to let the dispatcher know if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms.
  • Community members are encouraged to call (707) 822-2428 for non-emergency related assistance to reduce potential COVID-19 exposure to the community and first responders before visiting the Police Department office.
  • Parking tickets can be paid on-line at or by calling (707) 822-2428.
  • Preferential Parking applications can be paid for and made on-line also at
  • Alarm permit payments may be paid over the phone or by calling (707) 822-2428.
  • All cash or check payments can be dropped off at the drop box located outside the Police Department Office or mailed to City of Arcata Attn: APD.
  • Records Requests can be submitted via email to faxed to 707-822-7936
  • Live Scan fingerprinting services have been suspended until further notice.

Environmental Services & Recreation

  • Please email or call (707) 822-8184 to reach the Environmental Services Department
  • The Arcata Marsh Interpretive Center is closed to the public until further notice.
  • The Arcata Skate Park is closed until further notice.
  • Public playgrounds, tennis courts and basketball courts are closed until further notice.
  • Public trails remain open to the public as of now, and community members are highly encouraged to practice social distancing while enjoying the trails.
  • All recreation programs have been suspended until further notice. Email or call (707) 822-7091 to reach the Recreation Division.
  • For ongoing and future recreation programs, click here or call (707) 822-7091.
  • For facility rental information, click here or call (707)822-7091.

City Manager’s Office

  • For all general inquiries, email or call (707) 822-5953.
  • Public records requests can be made by emailing the City Clerk at

City Facilities Staff are dedicated to following protocol recommended by the CDC by disinfecting City Hall public and open office areas regularly, and Department staff is completing additional surface disinfection on an as-needed basis.

All members of the community are highly encouraged to follow social distancing guidelines currently recommended by the California Department of Public Health at all City facilities and public spaces. For more information on these guidelines, please click here.

Additional Resources

UPDATED: Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 4:30 PM

Meal Resources for Children

  • Humboldt County Office of Education School Meal pick up times and locations for all children under 18, can be found here.

Stay at Home Activities for Children

Resources for Seniors & Individuals with Underlying Health Conditions

  • For more information on designated shopping hours for Seniors and individuals with underlying health conditions at local grocery stores and pharmacies, please click here. In addition to what is mentioned in the document, Wildberries Marketplace is providing a shopping hour for seniors daily from 6 AM to 7 AM.
  • The Humboldt Senior Resource Center has modified in-house dining service until further notice, including the senior lunch program at the Arcata Community Center. As of now, HSRC’s three Senior Dining Centers will continue offering their Home Delivered Meals and offer a take-out meal service once a week. 5 frozen meals will be provided once a week on Wednesdays at the Arcata Community Center. Reservations for take-out meal service is required and may be done so by calling 707-825-2027.
  • Cooperation Humboldt has been coordinating a program to connect seniors with volunteers to run errands for them, including picking up groceries or medicine. Click here for more information on how to access this service or become a volunteer.  

Arcata Open Business Directory

Please click here for more information about Arcata businesses that are open online, offering virtual classes, selling gift certificates and offering food delivery or take-out services to locals while we shelter in place.

Food Storage

  • To learn more about food storage to prevent food waste during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, please click here.

Small Businesses

  • The Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services is asking businesses and organizations to complete the COVID-19 Economic Impact Survey. Their team is collecting data now and on an ongoing basis because early reporting will help them prepare a comprehensive estimate of business losses and damages in order to start applying for emergency response funds as soon as possible. If you are a Humboldt County business owner or manager, please click here to take the survey.
  • To find the latest COVID-19 small business resources, provided by the North Coast Small Business Development Center, click here.
  • Small business owners are encouraged to sign up for the Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness Group, especially if you have concerns about a serious disruption to your business. Please click here to sign up.
  • State resources provided by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development can be found here.
  • Click here to for COVID-19 facts on laws enforced by the California Labor Commissioner’s Office.
  • Resources regarding sick leave, family leave, disability and unemployment insurance provided by California’s Employment Development Department can be found here.

COVID-19 Business Resilience Emergency Loan Program

In response to business impacts related to COVID-19, the City of Arcata is committed to providing technical and financial support to Arcata’s businesses. Information about the City’s new COVID-19 Business Resiliency Emergency Loan Program as well as the City’s existing loan programs can be found here.

For more information, please email or call (707) 825-5955.

Arcata COVID-19 Eviction Moratoriums

The City of Arcata and the State of California have temporary measures in place to support tenants who have lost income due to COVID-19. Both programs are available to renters currently residing in Arcata. You will find an overview of both programs here.

For more information, email or call (707) 822-5953.

Please remember these basic steps to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses like COVID-19:

  • Abide by shelter in place orders and follow all recommended guidelines on social distancing. Avoid situations where you are in close contact with people who could be ill and not yet experiencing symptoms.This is where transmission of the virus is most likely.
  • Seniors age 65 and older should stay home.
  • Stay home if you are feeling like you have allergies, if you are sick or if you have a fever.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow, and throw used tissues in the trash and wash your hands immediately.
  • Avoid close contact (within 6 feet) with people who do not live in your household.
  • Do not visit senior centers or health care facilities.
  • Call a medical provider and self-isolate at home if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Do not go directly to a health care provider, call first to arrange for testing.
  • If you are severely ill and in need of immediate medical attention call 911 and inform them that you may have COVID-19.

For more detailed information on COVID-19, please click here.

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