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Stay home, except for essential needs.

Santa Rosa urges all residents to heed the Sonoma County Public Health Officer’s Shelter in Place Order and stay home, except for essential needs, in order to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

A Message From The City of Santa rosa

Last updated March 26, 2020, at 6:30 p.m. For previous video updates go here

Support for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness During COVID-19 Emergency

The City of Santa Rosa is working to support individuals experiencing homelessness and is closely following interim guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as it works to protect this vulnerable population and the community at large from the coronavirus disease. Read Interim Guidance for Responding to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) among People Experiencing Unsheltered Homelessness.

  • On Sunday, March 22, the City facilitated the relocation of 45 residents from the Samuel Jones Homeless Shelter to the Sandman Hotel in Santa Rosa. This action was taken ensure social distancing of at least six feet between bunk beds at the Homeless Shelter site.
  • Homeless Outreach Services Team (HOST) and patrol officers with the Santa Rosa Police Department are conducting outreach to individuals experiencing homelessness to provide education about the importance of maintaining social distancing and the need for safe hygiene to slow the spread of the virus.
  • The City will not disperse any encampments of individuals experiencing homelessness during the coronavirus emergency, as this can cause people to move throughout the community and increase the potential spread of the virus.

Progress is also being made to have all cities in Sonoma County merge with a Sonoma County Emergency Operation effort to implement $150 million in State funding to protect homeless Californians from COVID-19. This effort includes additional shelter support and emergency housing, portable toilets and hand-washing stations, and services to support these vulnerable individuals.

All Parks in Sonoma County to Close Due to COVID-19 Emergency

Public Health Officer issues order to stop crowded conditions. English | Spanish

Sonoma County’s interim public health officer today ordered the closure of all parks in Sonoma County to further enforce the county’s shelter-in-place directive during the COVID-19 emergency. The closure goes into effect March 24 and remains in effect until further notice. The closure applies to all agencies and jurisdictions operating parks and open spaces in Sonoma County, including city, county, state and federal parklands and recreational lands operated by private groups and nonprofits.

Personal Protective Equipment Donations Needed to Assist with the Coronavirus 

Sonoma County is encouraging the public, businesses and organizations to donate new, unused personal protective equipment to assist first responders, health care providers, and health care facilities responding to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). For a list of equipment needs and donation locations.

Shelter in your place of residence, except for essential needs.

Santa Rosa urges all residents to heed the Sonoma County Public Health Officer’s Shelter in Place Order and stay home, except for essential needs, in order to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. The Order, effective March 17th allows residents to leave their homes only for essential services, essential activities, and essential work, including:

  • Health and safety, such as obtaining medical supplies or visiting a healthcare professional
  • Services and supplies, such as groceries, cleaning supplies, and pet food
  • Outdoor activity, provided residents comply with social distancing requirements
  • Essential work or business
  • Care for a family member or pet in another household

People at high risk of severe illness from the coronavirus are urged to stay in their residence to the extent possible, except as necessary to seek medical care.

This Order excludes individuals experiencing homelessness. The City is actively working with our homeless service providers to urge individuals experiencing homelessness into our shelters where social distancing measures have been implemented to help ensure their health and safety. If you or someone you know is experiencing homelessness, call 1-866-542-5480.

All other activities, work, and travel deemed non-essential are expected to be suspended in an community-wide effort to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus in our community and to protect the health and well-being of those most at risk of becoming very sick.  At this time, ALL businesses and governmental agencies are to cease non-essential operations at physical locations.

State-wide Shelter in Place Order Issued by Governor Newsom

Additionally, on March 19, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newson issued a Shelter in Place Order that is in effect until further notice.The order means all Californians must stay home, except for essential reasons. The Governor’s Order underscores the severity of the situation all communities are facing. While much of the Governor’s Order aligns with Sonoma County’s Order, the City of Santa Rosa is working in partnership with other local jurisdictions to analyze it more closely. Once City officials determine if there are additional restrictive measures that need to be implemented locally, an update will be provided to the community.

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Preventing the Spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The novel coronavirus, which causes the respiratory disease known as COVID-19, is a member of the same family of viruses that causes colds. COVID-19 was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, and has now been detected internationally, including some cases in the United States. Because COVID-19 is new, we are learning more each day about how it spreads, and therefore, updates and information may change frequently.

Santa Rosa residents, students, workers, and visitors are urged to practice good hygiene, as this is the height of flu season across Sonoma County. Residents should contact healthcare providers if they have symptoms such as fever and cough and had close contact with someone with symptoms who returned in the last 14 days from traveling abroad. For more details, including the latest developments on COVID-19, visit

Working Together to Protect Public Health 

The County of Sonoma declared a Local Public Health Emergency as well as a Local Emergency to respond to COVID-19.Following suit with the County, the City of Santa Rosa has declared a local emergency to proactively respond to COVID-19 (view proclamation). By declaring a local emergency, the City of Santa Rosa is better prepared to respond to community spread of COVID-19. 

The City of Santa Rosa remains in close communication with the Sonoma County Department of Health Services, who is working with other Bay Area health departments, the California Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to monitor COVID-19 in Sonoma County. The County Department of Health Services is also working closely with local healthcare providers to take action to isolate and test any high-risk individuals to prevent the spread of disease and protect the public’s health. 

Prevent the Spread  by Practicing Good Hygiene  

Practice good hygiene to reduce your risk of becoming infected with a respiratory virus, such as influenza or COVID-19. Recommendation from the CDC include:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty
    • For information about hand washing, see CDC’s Hand washing website
    • For information specific to healthcare, see CDC’s Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings
  • Get your flu shot to protect against flu if you have not done so this year. The flu shot, will not protect against the coronavirus, but is encouraged for the following reasons:
    • Fewer people getting ill frees up medical resources, and
    • Avoiding the flu will help keep your immune system healthy
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a face mask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to  others. The use of face masks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

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Important Information in the Event of an Emergency

  1. Sheltering
  2. Transportation
  3. Hospitals
  4. Fire Stations
  5. Local Resources
  6. Non-Emergency Numbers
  7. Evacuation
Sheltering is appropriate when conditions require that you seek protection in your home, place of employment or other location when disaster strikes. Sheltering outside the hazard area could include staying with friends and relatives, seeking commercial lodging or staying in a mass care facility operated by disaster relief groups.

Sheltering in Place
Choosing to take shelter where are is necessary in many emergencies.

American Red Cross
During an emergency, the American Red Cross may work with the City of Santa Rosa and County of Sonoma to establish and operate designated mass care shelters. 

Even though mass care shelters often provide water, food, medicine and basic sanitary facilities, you should plan to take your disaster supplies kit with you so you will have the supplies you require. Mass care sheltering can involve living with many people in a confined space, which can be difficult and unpleasant. To avoid conflicts in the stressful situation, it is important to cooperate with shelter managers and others assisting them. Keep in mind that alcoholic beverages and weapons are forbidden in emergency shelters and smoking is restricted.

The City of Santa Rosa with American Red Cross and other agencies has identified City Community Centers, High Schools, Middle Schools and other facilities to help address sheltering needs for our community and for special, access and functional needs individuals and groups. During and/or after an emergency, information on those facilities will be provided through public press release releases.

Non-Emergency Assistance Information
2-1-1 Sonoma connects residents with non-emergency health, human, and disaster resources. Dial 2-1-1 for information during an emergency.