City of Walnut Creek Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
May 26: Retail operations have resumed with limitations; curbside pickup/online ordering only
The Count Health Officer has issued a new Health Order allowing some retail operations to resume with guidelines in place to ensure safe operations. View the details and associated guidance on the Health Departments' coronavirus website.
Graduations, Farmers' Markets, Religious Services - thinking about programs and events in a time of COVID-19
Contra Costa County's Health Officer has issued several new Health Orders recently, among them one that will allow for a new type of graduation ceremony or religious service based on gatherings in vehicles. The Health Officer is relying upon data from 5 indicators to show progress in flattening the coronavirus curve, and as more success is seen, restrictions are slowly eased back. Find out more about the vehicle gatherings at the County's website.
Walnut Creek's popular Sunday Farmers' Markets look differently now, with food vendors only, and social distance monitors making sure people are keeping a safe distance apart and wearing masks. For seniors and others who can't get out to the Farmers' Market, we have a new option through our Neighbor Express program. The Farmers' Market and our Arts + Rec staff have teamed together to offer the chance to pre-order vegetable and fruit boxes, and have them delivered by our Neighbor Express volunteers. You can call 925-322-0264 to get assistance on how to order in advance.
Open for Business? Let us help you get out the word!
Many of Walnut Creek's businesses are open and providing essential services. Restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacies and many service-oriented operations. How can you find out which ones are open and when? Try our Open Business website that makes the information easy to find. If you operate a business that is open during this shelter at home period and is not in our database, look for the List My Business button in the upper right corner of the page.
To our open essential businesses, we thank you and are happy to support you during this difficult time.
Essential City Operations Continue; City Facilities Remain Closed
While our City programs and facilities are closed to the public, essential City services remain available and staff continue to be ready to help through this difficult time period. We are hearing from many residents who want to report situations where people aren't following the social distancing guidelines. If you see something that concerns you, please call the Police Department at 925-943-5844, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On March 19, the City Council ratified the proclamation of a local state of emergency, which gives the City Manager greater latitude and authority to make important and timely decisions. The Police Chief has outlined how public safety operations have been affected. City staff, when practical and possible, have moved to working remotely, but are available by phone or email. Each department's webpage has information on how to reach staff.
Thank you to all of our Walnut Creek community for your efforts to stay informed and keep your family and friends safe. You can get the most current updates by following our social media channels and subscribing to our email notifications.
Contra Costa Health Services COVID-19 hotline: (844) 729-8410 between 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Starting Wednesday, April 22, members of the public must wear a mask when they:
• work at an essential business
• are inside an essential business, such as a grocery store
• visit a healthcare provider or facility
• wait in line for or ride public transportation
Businesses must take reasonable measures, such as posting signs, to remind visitors about masking, and not serve customers who do not observe the order. Workers do not need to mask if they are alone in a personal office but must put them on when others enter.
The new order does not extend to people driving in personal vehicles alone or with members of their households. Contra Costa residents are encouraged to continue to observe safe physical distancing when they go out to exercise or for recreation.
When outside, everyone must carry masks or face coverings and use them whenever they come near six feet of others outside their own households.
People engaged in more strenuous exercise, such as running or bicycling, should stay further apart from others while breathing heavily and take steps to avoid breathing on others, such as moving to the other side of the road to avoid pedestrians and wearing a mask if possible.
The new order does not replace the county's stay-at-home health order or the need to maintain physical distancing, wash hands frequently and cover coughs and sneezes – all fundamental to reducing the spread of COVID-19.
The order does not require children 12 and younger to wear masks. Children 2 years old or younger must not wear them because of the risk of suffocation.
Face coverings can be anything made of cloth, fabric or other permeable material that covers the nose and mouth and the lower part of the face. Medical-grade masks are not required – a T-shirt or bandana works fine, Dr. Farnitano said.
Masks with one-way valves for easy breathing do not qualify as face coverings under the order because they can release respiratory droplets into the surrounding air.
Visit cchealth.org/coronavirus to read the order or for more information about COVID-19. Visit the Centers for Disease and Control for video instructions to make and use cloth face coverings.
The emphasis for now is to make sure anyone with symptoms can get a test. If you do have any symptoms, free tests are now available by appointment only in Contra Costa County. You can call 1-844-421-0804 for a confidential screening by a health professional. Telephone screenings will be available from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
- Bedford Gallery
- Clarke Swim Center
- City Hall
- City sports fields and sand volleyball courts (for rentals of organized activities)
- Civic Park Ceramics Studio
- Civic Park Community Center
- Heather Farm Community Center
- Larkey Swim Center
- Lesher Center for the Arts events and all rentals of City facilities will be canceled through April 30, 2020. The productions of Pride & Prejudice and 9 to 5 will be postponed. All ticket holders for those and other suspended performances will be contacted by staff regarding ticket exchanges or refunds. Renters and producers will be contacted by staff regarding options to reschedule or receive a refund of rental fees.
- Shadelands Art Center
- Tice Valley Gymnasium
- Walnut Creek Tennis Center
- All City playgrounds, volleyball and basketball courts, and horse shoe pits
- City dogs parks at Heather Farm Park and San Miguel Park
- All Contra Costa public libraries, including the Walnut Creek and Ygnacio Valley libraries
- Open Space trails
Boundary Oak Golf Course: Golf is now available at Boundary Oak Golf with safety precautions including golf carts limited to one rider per cart, reduced capacity on the driving range, and increased cleaning of high touch points. Additional information on policies and access to booking tee times are available at here.
Tennis and Pickleball Court: The Heather Farm Tennis Center will reopen when sufficient Lifetime Activities staff have been scheduled and trained to ensure smooth operation. Reopening information will be available on the Lifetime Activities site. Outlying courts in various parks, including the pickleball courts at Rudgear Park, are open for use. Signs will be posted with protocols for safe play, including singles play only and no off court gatherings allowed at benches or picnic tables. Full guidelines are available online here.
- Heather Farm Skate Park
- Disc Golf at Walden Park
- All public restrooms
- All park walking trails and grass areas are open for responsible socially distancing. Please remain at least six feet from visitors that are not members of your household when visiting outdoor facilities.
The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors used its emergency powers under state law to pass a comprehensive eviction protection and temporary rent freeze urgency ordinance for all residential and commercial properties in the County during a special Board meeting on Tuesday, April 21, 2020. The vote was unanimous.
The urgency ordinance temporarily prohibits evictions of residential and commercial real property tenants in Contra Costa County impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and establishes a moratorium on rent increases. This law applies to properties in all 19 cities in the County and in all unincorporated areas. To the extent that a city has adopted a law on the same subject matter, then its provisions would apply in that city.
Protections granted to residential and commercial renters include:
• Prohibition on Evictions Due to Unpaid Rent - A property owner cannot evict a tenant for failure to pay rent if a tenant demonstrates loss of income or out-of-pocket medical expenses related to COVID-19. This prohibition lasts through May 31, 2020 unless extended by the Board of Supervisors based on the continuation of the local emergency.
• Ban on No-Fault Evictions - A property owner cannot evict a tenant for any "no-fault" reason except to protect the health and safety of the owner or another tenant, or to allow the owner or their immediate family to move into the residential unit. This ban lasts through May 31, 2020 unless extended by the Board of Supervisors.
• Moratorium on Rent Increases - Temporary freeze on rent increases through May 31, 2020 (this date may be extended if the local emergency lasts longer). State law prevents this freeze from applying to residences built within the last 15 years; single family homes, townhouses/condos unless owned by a corporation, investment trust, or LLC; owner-occupied duplexes; hotels; care facilities for adults/elderly; school dorms; group housing.
• Grace Period to Pay Back Rent - Tenants who demonstrate loss of income or out-of pocket medical expenses related to COVID-19 have 120 days after May 31, 2020 (or any extension of this emergency law) to pay past due rent. This does not relieve a tenant of their obligation to pay rent.
• No Late Fees - Property owner may not charge or collect late fees for unpaid rent from a tenant who demonstrates loss of income or out-of-pocket medical expenses related to COVID-19. This ban on late fees extends until 120 days after May 31, 2020 (or any extension of this emergency law).
• Retroactivity of Eviction Protections - These protections apply to eviction notices and lawsuits served or filed after March 15, 2020.
• Tenant's Right to Recover Damages - An owner who violates this new law by attempting to evict a tenant or retaliating against the tenant can face a civil action by the tenant for injunctive relief and/or money damages.
Read the full document Ordinance No. 2020-14 (PDF), which is also available on the county website. For COVID-19 information and resources, visit Contra Costa County at www.contracosta.ca.gov and Contra Costa Health Services at https://cchealth.org/coronavirus. If you have questions, contact our Call Center 1-844-729-8410, open daily from 8 am to 5 pm (available in English and Spanish). For assistance after hours in multiple languages, please call 211 or 800-833-2900 or text HOPE to 20121. For the latest updates, follow @CCCounty and @CoCoHealth on Twitter.
Please visit Housing and Social Services during COVID-19