Coronavirus declared a pandemic as shutdowns quickly becoming reality

Culver City has enacted several measures to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus — also known as COVID-19 — after a case of the virus was discovered in the city late last week. These measures mainly follow in the footsteps of the city of Los Angeles, who also implemented many of these changes days before Culver City did.

The city announced in the early morning hours of March 13 that the first case of coronavirus within the city has been confirmed, with another potential case waiting on test results to confirm. The city has yet to release details on either case due to patient confidentiality.

This has resulted in a variety of changes and closures within the city, most notably the banning of sit in dining, as well as venues that would encourage congregation, including entertainment venues, concert venues, theaters, gyms, art studios, and other places were people may be encouraged or forced to disregard social distancing. These restrictions do not apply to crucial places needed for survival, such as grocery stores, food banks, and pharmacies, and will last until March 31 unless extended further.

The idea of social distancing is to prevent the spread of the virus as much as possible by staying isolated from people. It is possible to have the virus and transmit it without having any symptoms, so the only sure way to keep it contained is for people to not place themselves in a position to either infect of be infected unknowingly.

CCUSD also announced that day that schools would be closed starting Monday, March 16, and the situation would be reevaluated at the end of the traditional Spring Break period on April 3. Students who may need to pick up materials in their lockers/classrooms and/or access to a Chromebook/charger can check out the technology at their school office between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Any CCUSD student that receives a district-provided lunch can continue to receive grab and go lunches at the Culver City High School cafeteria through Friday, March 20, between 10:30 a.m. and noon. This grab and go service will resume after the scheduled Spring Break if schools are still closed at that time.

Distance learning began Tuesday, March 17, and will continue through Friday, March 20. Please look for further information by April 2 regarding the possibility of continued distance learning after Spring Break. Visit the Culver City Unified School District website for more details on distance learning.

The Culver City Senior Center has been closed beginning Saturday, March 14, but essential services such as meal distribution and social services have and will still be provided. Registered participants in the Senior Center nutrition program will be able to pick up lunches at the Senior Center on Mondays and Thursdays from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., while frozen meals will be provided on other days. 

A new directive from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works states that “older adults 65 and older must send a family member, friend or caregiver who is under the age of 65 to pick-up meals” at Congregate Meal sites. For registered Congregate Nutrition Meal patrons under the age of 65 and those who are 65+, who have a family member, friend, neighbor or caregiver under the age of 65 who can pick-up the meal, please use our drive up service located in the Senior Center parking lot Mondays and Wednesdays between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

For registered nutrition patrons ages 65+ who do not have anyone to pick up their meals, the City will deliver frozen meals on Mondays and Wednesdays between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The home-delivered meals program will also continue to provide meals to our local housebound seniors. If you have questions regarding meal pickup or home-delivered meals during this time, please contact the nutrition program staff at 310-253-6712. More information can be found at the Parks, Recreation, and Community Services page on the Culver City website.

The Culver City Farmer’s Market also announced Thursday that they would be closed through at least April 14. At this time, no reductions or changes in the Culver City CityBus service are planned. The most updated information about Culver CityBus Service can be found on its new app, Next CCBus. Any future reduction or change in service will be updated real-time in the app.

The City has installed 3 handwashing stations along Venice Boulevard under the 405 Freeway to provide an opportunity for our unhoused community to wash their hands frequently, in accordance with the advice of public health officials.

The state of California has also issued new, stricter guidelines for hygiene, including the following new recommendations:

• Individuals should avoid non-essential gatherings. 

• Home isolation for all seniors in state of California 65 and older and those with chronic conditions.

For those living paycheck to paycheck, the city of Culver City also enacted an eviction protection policy, which states that no landlord shall evict a residential tenant in the City of Culver City during this period of local emergency if the tenant is able to show an inability to pay rent due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In that same vein, Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) announced a suspension of service disconnections to any customers who are having a hard time paying their bill. This policy will remain in effect until further notice. Customers are encouraged to call 877-238-0092 to speak with a representative about their bill. SoCalGas customer service is available 24 hours a day.

For more information, visit the Culver City Coronavirus webpage.