Menlo Park Mayor Cecilia Taylor reminds locals the importance of sheltering in place and lists county resources
Editor’s note: While this letter is addressed to Menlo Park residents, much of what Mayor Taylor addresses is applicable to Atherton, Woodside and Portola Valley as most are Sana Mateo county mandates along with resources.
Dear residents of Menlo Park,
Thank you for following the health officer’s shelter-in-place order. It is encouraging to see our city come together.
Sheltering in place is the most important action your family and you can continue to take to prevent the spread of COVID-19. To emphasize, this means that you must shelter in place with people you live with. It does not mean that you socialize with your family members living in the neighborhood or town, gather with your neighbors in the evenings, or have your children play with their friends on your block.
Your elected officials and the City of Menlo Park are updated regularly by the county and state with new information about the virus, the number of people who have tested positive and new resources available.
I would also like to address questions that have come up in conversations and emails from you.
If you’re an employer of a gardener, nanny or housekeeper and are able to continue to pay them without requiring them to do the work, we all deeply appreciate your role in helping them shelter in place. Please continue to support the health and well-being of these families who support your households in normal times.
For employers who are unable to pay their gardener, nanny or housekeeper during this time, share resources available through Samaritan House with your employees so that they can receive support during this crisis. You are a direct link between the city/county and that employee.
A question has been asked repeatedly regarding gardeners continuing to work. However, the county health order and related frequently asked questions state that gardeners are not an essential service unless they are providing maintenance related to the health and safety of that household.
Here are other resources that you can share with neighbors, employees and family members:
If you are home with young adults, students or elderly family members, you might be feeling overwhelmed or experiencing stress. San Mateo County Health has tips for coping with stress during infection disease outbreaks.
Sometimes it is difficult to know who lives with whom. Do not assume if you see a group that they are not social distancing. It is possible that all the members in that group reside in the same household. Each household in the City of Menlo Park may reflect a different demographic.
If you are in need or showing signs of any symptoms related to COVID-19, call 2-1-1 call your doctor for further information. Project Baseline offers an online screening tool and testing for COVID-19 for those who qualify. If you need a ride to the Project Baseline testing site in San Mateo, please call 650-779-9375.
If you know people who are undocumented, there is monetary assistance available for them. Contact Samaritan House at 650-347-3648.
If you are unemployed, the State began providing an additional $600 per week in benefits. If you apply for unemployment online, it takes about three weeks from application submittal to receive benefits.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with relationship abuse or domestic violence, CORA is available as a resource. Call 800-300-1080.
For our unsheltered, homeless population, the county, state and city are working on a comprehensive plan. Check the County’s Center on Homelessness website for updates or contact one of the County’s Core Service Agencies.
We continue to provide access and inclusion for all our Menlo Park residents at any level of need. The city is working to address concerns about outreach to our Spanish-speaking community members, elderly and the homeless.
Continue to stay home for the health and safety of all, especially our doctors, nurses, health care workers and other essential service workers. Practice human kindness and compassion toward yourself and others. Our actions during this time will define who we are as a city and community.
All the best, Cecilia Taylor, Mayor of Menlo Park
InMenlo file photo (c) 2017