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The original item was published from 3/18/2020 3:33:00 PM to 3/18/2020 3:33:37 PM.

News Flash

City News

Posted on: March 12, 2020

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


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.

Updated information will be provided here as it becomes available.

Current News

UPDATED: Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at 9:45 AM

  • 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.
  • The CDC is urging a halt to gatherings of 50 or more people for the next eight weeks.
  • For the health and safety of all Californians, Governor Gavin Newsom has implemented new restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Californians over 65 years old and those with underlying health conditions have been urged to self-isolate in their homes. Bars, nightclubs, pubs and wineries have been asked to close their doors. Restaurants should be closed for in-restaurant seated dining and should be open only to drive-through or other pick-up or delivery options.
  • Most Humboldt County Schools have decided to close in response to COVID-19. A list of school closures provided by the Humbodt County Office of Education can be found here.
  • There are no currently confirmed or reported cases of COVID-19 in Arcata. The City of Arcata is actively working with Humboldt County health agencies to protect our community, prepare for local cases and assist in maintaining the health and safety of our region.
  • 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 begin 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 Coronavirus Assessment Tool that can help you evaluate risk factors for contracting the illness. Click here to access the tool.
  • The overall risk of exposure to Humboldt County residents and visitors, including Arcata, is expected to rise as community spread of the virus has reached the State of California. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected. 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.
  • 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.
  • The Humboldt Waste Management Authority’s Eureka Recycling Center, located at 1059 West Hawthorne Street in Eureka, will be closed until further notice in an effort to slow or prevent transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

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 Meeting & Event Cancellations

UPDATED: Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at 9:45 AM

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

  • All remaining City of Arcata meetings are cancelled through the month of March, with the exception of the City Council meeting which will take place via teleconferece on Wednesday, March 18 at 6 PM.
  • Members of the community are encouraged to stay home and watch the meeting live online here, on our YouTube channel or on television via Access Humboldt Channel 10.
  • Community members who wish to submit public comment for the teleconference meeting are asked to email or drop off written comments via drop boxes located in the City Hall parking lot off of 7th Street and next to the USPS mailbox outside of City Hall on F Street. Public comment must be received by 5 PM on Wednesday, March 18.
  • Comments for specific agenda items and general public comment will be accepted until 5 PM on Wednesday, March 18.
  • Community members may also view the meeting live in Council Chamber at City Hall and submit public comment via teleconference. Social distancing practices will be in place, and seniors, those with underlying health issues and those feeling ill are encouraged to stay home.
  • Arts! Arcata has been cancelled until further notice.
  • Equity Arcata’s Home Away From Home Potluck scheduled for Sunday, March 29 has been cancelled.
  • The Godwit Days Spring Migration Bird Festival scheduled for April has been postponed.

More information regarding City meetings, programs and events will be provided as it becomes available.

City Hall, Social Distancing  & Bill Payments

UPDATED: Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at 9:45 AM

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 beginning Wednesday, March 18. 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 and debit cards 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.

Water, Sewer & Recology Service

  • Recology Arcata curbside garbage and recycling pickup has not been interrupted. 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.

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 (AMRTS) will be operating with reduced bus service until further notice. The Orange Bus
    Route will be the only operating bus route available from 7 AM to 7 PM until further notice.
  • Email 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.
  • Public playgrounds are closed.
  • Public open spaces, City Parks, the Arcata Community Forest and the Arcata Marsh & Wildlife Sanctuary will remain open. All public trails remain open to the public, and community members are highly encouraged to practice social distancing while enjoying the trails and parks.
  • 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.
  • To help protect the health of older adults in the community, 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. Reservations for take-out meal service is required and may be done so by calling 707-825-2027.
  • 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.

Reminders & Resources

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

  • Follow the recommended guidelines on social distancing. Avoid large events, small gatherings and 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 even if feeling well.
  • Stay home if you are feeling 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 are ill.
  • Do not visit senior centers or health care facilities if you are feeling ill.
  • 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, including resources for individuals, employers and business owners, please click here.

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