Spring has stretched into summer and while closure protocols remain in place, the Town of Los Gatos has been progressively re-opening.
Safe Summer Reading
Socially distant opportunities are ever-expanding. The Town Library is working hard to circulate your summer-reads safely. Residents can now check-out material online with safe patio pick-up for books, CDs, and DVDs. Virtual services include online classes and remote storytimes in addition to the virtual library services already in place.
Unfortunately, increasing virus spread has led to a rollback on opening many indoor services. Outdoors, however, there’s plenty to do!
Back in May the Town Council began work and the April-approved reallocation of $1.9M in surplus to bolster local COVID-19 economic recovery. Some of this has been used to help create the outdoor expansions into temporary parklets.
If you haven’t been downtown recently, it’s all hustle and bustle with the new setup. Patio dining is now available at many of your favorite restaurants. Personal services including hair salons, cosmetologists, nail salons, and barbershops are now also open for business – outdoors and by reservation only. The weekly farmers market is still open for business every Sunday.
While indoor malls remain closed you can still enter shops in outdoor malls or at standalone stores, so window-shoppers, follow the posted rules and enjoy stalking the shelves!
Re-Opening the Outdoors
Trails and parks remain open with social distancing requirements. Boating on Vasona Lake is open with plenty of safety protocols in place. County parks have yet to reopen playgrounds, water fountains, and group picnic sites, according to their website, so keep that in mind when you plan a Vasona visit. Town parks have reopened some sports equipment (such as tennis courts), and playgrounds, picnic tables, and BBQ areas are all open for use. The Town of Los Gatos is accepting picnic site reservations online again.
The Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce is working hard to keep local industry strong!
You may have seen signs in lawns or someone wearing a shirt which reads “We got this LG!” in bold letters. This is a campaign run by the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce, which is working non-stop to support the many local businesses that are affected by the pandemic.
The upbeat message of this campaign is to stay positive and to strengthen community spirit! If you love strolling through downtown Los Gatos, or you’re missing your favorite shop, you can still support many of these businesses from a safe social distance so that when you’re able to come back, they’ll be there, too. But it’s not just lawn signs and t-shirts. We Got This LG! is introducing events like the Shop Local Raffle and a Mother’s Day Virtual Gift Shoppe to incentive’s shopping and introduce locals to more Los Gatos businesses.
Of course, to join the campaign you’ll want to know what’s open. The Chamber is keeping track of that, too, and has provided information on which shops, restaurants, and even services that are providing socially distant experiences.
The restaurant list is your one-stop-shop, which offers hours of operation, delivery vs curbside pickup information, links, and phone numbers. (Their list is much more extensive than my Takeout Food for Shelter in Place from March!) Check out the merchants page for information on pickup or mail delivery on practically everything: wine, clothes, toys, fresh flowers, gallery artworks, and craft supplies! Under “Other Services” are a collection of service-providing local businesses that are providing remote or curbside options, such as online fitness classes, curbside or delivery repairs, and tele-consultations. On the essential services page you can find out what’s open for your essential needs in Los Gatos.
Beyond the campaign, the Los Gatos Chamber continues to be an essential resource to businesses as well as for customers and clients. Take a look at their calendar and you can see there are Digital Marketing Webinars, virtual mixers, and classes to help members manage the changing market. The Chamber is also supporting FeedtheNeed (aka #FEEDtheNEEDBAYAREA) to help bring free hot meals where they are needed most: seniors, displaced employees, and medical workers. You can find out where meals have already been distributed in Los Gatos and donate to the cause though the link.
Most importantly, remember this won’t last forever and…
Yesterday the Town of Los Gatos provided an update on the status of Music in the Park during this coronavirus pandemic. Sadly, the Sunday afternoon music events must be skipped in 2020 due to health and safety reasons. Here’s the town’s statement about Music in the Park skipped in 2020:
UPDATE: Due to the unprecedented events of the COVID-19 pandemic, the anticipated continuation of restrictions on large gatherings, and to maintain the health and safety of our community, the Town of Los Gatos has made the decision to postpone the 2020 Music in the Park Summer Concert Series. We look forward to continuing this beloved family friendly tradition in 2021.
As is the case virtually everywhere else, Los Gatos has many coronavirus cancellations for upcoming events. In the last week, the number of cases of Covid-19, or the novel coronavirus, in Santa Clara County has tripled, and the county has responded by increasingly restricted the number of people who may assemble, from 1000 to 250 to 100 (under several strict conditions) over just a few days. The government, as well as business owners, religious leaders, educators, another others are cancelling all optional events. Doctors are telling us to postpone non essential surgeries. The message: as much as possible, do social distancing. Stay home, stay away from others – especially crowds where you cannot keep 3′ or better, 6′ away from everyone else.
To that end, most religious, educational, and secular gatherings are closed – part of a huge movement of coronavirus cancellations.
The Library will be closed to the public beginning March 14, 2020 until further notice.
Town administrative public counters will be available by appointment only beginning March 16, 2020 until further notice.
All public meetings scheduled for the week of March 16 through March 20 (except for the Town Council meeting) are cancelled.
The March 17, 2020 Town Council agenda has been updated to include only consent items on the agenda and the Town encourages the public to abide by Public Health guidance and avoid public gatherings.
Other coronavirus cancellations or schedule changes in Los Gatos this season
The Great Race – cancelled
The Los Gatos Wine Walk – spring Wine Walk cancelled (see you in October?)
Mountain Winery Crab Dinner (Mar 15) – cancelled
Cat’s Hill Bicycle Race (Mar 21) – cancelled
Generally, groups of 100 are more are prohibited, but all large gatherings are discouraged, so most events will be cancelled. Please check whichever event it is you are interested in with that host.
Los Gatos school closings and online learning due to the coronavirus
This situation is changing daily, so please check with whichever district or private school applies for your child. Overall, schools are closed for anywhere from 2-4 weeks as of this writing. Some are going to online learning.
For public schools, whether elementary, middle, or high school level, all are following the county’s requirement to shut the doors for the time being. Most appear to be closing school for 3 weeks, then continuing with the spring break, and re-opening on April 13th, after the break. It does not appear that public school students will have any distance learning or online education. (Many of the private schools will have distance learning employed.)
Campbell Union School District – (link is to COVID 19 statement) – “The County Superintendent of Schools announced today that all public schools in the county will close from March 16 – April 3. Consequently, Campbell Union School District will close schools to students until April 13. This includes our week of spring break.”
Union School District – (link is to COVID 19 statement) – “The Santa Clara County Superintendent of Schools and all county district superintendents have decided to close schools for three weeks from Monday, March 16, 2020, through April 3, 2020….At this time we will adhere to our current calendar for spring break, which is the week of April 6, 2020, with an anticipated return date of April 13, 2020.”
Loma Prieta Joint Union School District– (link is to COVID 19 statement) Same schedule as above, 3 week closure of the school per the county, followed by normal spring break before classes are anticipated to resume.
St. Mary’s (Catholic school) – The Catholic Diocese of San Jose is closing all schools from March 13 through Friday March 27. The schools throughout the diocese, including St. Mary’s in Los Gatos, will be implementing “distance learning” beginning Monday March 16. (The school’s website says nothing, but I did know to check the DSJ site.)
Hillbrook School (private) – Hillbrook will be implementing a distance learning program also (per popup on the website) “Hillbrook School campus will close and in-person classes will be suspended starting Monday, March 16. Our distance learning program will begin Tuesday, March 17 and continue through Friday, April 3. We plan to reopen campus and resume on-campus learning on Monday, April 13.”
Los Gatos Christian School – I don’t see anything on the school’s website regarding cancellation of classes (or distance learning). However, it’s attached to Venture Christian Church, and on that site it did mention the school being closed. “LGCS will not hold classes on campus during this time. Visit lgcs.org for pertinent details and specific information related to the school.” (But the website says nothing as of this writing.)
JCC or Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center in Los Gatos – (link to COVID-19 statement) “The JCC has shut down for two weeks, starting March 13, in an effort to protect against the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). At the end of March we will evaluate the situation and determine whether to re-open at that time. ”
I know that there are other educational institutions, from pre-school to high school, not listed here. Please check your particular institution or district, especially if you did not get correspondence from your own school on this matter.