STORY BY NAINA SRIVASTAVA, PHOTOS BY ARYA NASIKKAR
Public facilities in Los Altos will reopen for in-person service beginning Sept. 2.
Since Mar. 2020, all city facilities — including City Hall, the Police Department and the Maintenance Service Center — have been closed to the public in adherence with county COVID-19 guidelines, offering services virtually instead of in-person.
Los Altos’s “Return to In-Person Plan” consists of altered facility hours and new safety protocols that align with COVID-19 guidelines.
The new facility hours are as follows.
- City hall: Tuesday–Thursday, 7:30 a.m.–12 a.m., 1–4:30 p.m.
- Police department: Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
- Maintenance service center: Monday–Friday, 7 a.m.–4 p.m. Closed every other Friday.
“We recognize the pandemic is not over and have taken the appropriate steps to reopen our facilities,” said City Manager Gabriel Engeland in a city press release. “We are eager to serve the community in-person again, and welcome residents back to our facilities safely.”
With increasing concern over the COVID-19 delta variant as in-person services resume, facilities will take proper precautions, including the usage of air purifiers and plexiglass dividers.Visitors will be required to wait outside of facilities until called by staff in order to prevent crowding within the spaces, and facilities will continue to sanitize high-touch surfaces, provide hand sanitizer and enforce social distancing.
To ensure safety, staff will be extensively trained and provided with resources and support. Many practices which have been implemented during the pandemic will remain as options in order to maintain accessibility and flexibility in city services, including filing documents online and meeting with staff virtually.
“It is a requirement inside City facilities that all employees and visitors wear masks and practice physical distancing,” Engeland said. “We will also continue offering online services and virtual appointments to lessen the number of visitors to our facilities.”
The city will continue to monitor the current COVID-19 situation, and newly-implemented measures will be reevaluated after 30 days.