SACRAMENTO, Calif — In a meeting closed off to the public but streamed online because of the coronavirus concerns, the Sacramento City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to halt tenant evictions until the public health emergency is lifted.
The emergency policy gives tenants who can show that they have been affected by the coronavirus up to 120 days to pay rent after Sacramento County ends the local public health emergency. The tenant must tell their landlord of their situation before rent is due. (You can find the link to give to your landlord here.)
The ordinance is specifically for tenants who tested positive or are caring for a household or family member who is sick with COVID-19, or those who have been laid off or lost hours from work because of the virus.
Additionally, tenants can have their evictions halted if they were told by a government agency to stay home, self-quarantine, or avoid being around others, or have to miss work to care for child whose schools were closed as a result of the virus.
The moratorium does not apply to commercial and small business tenants who have been hit hard by county and state guidelines for residents to stay home to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The city council said that it is still working to find relief for business owners.
The vote comes the same day that the county issued directives for residents over 65 as well as those more vulnerable to the virus to shelter in place during the public emergency. The county also directed younger residents to stay at home "to the maximum extent possible except when going to essential sites."
At least 40 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the county, and two people have died, public health officials said. Both people who died were older than 70 years old and had underlying health issues.
The city also halted late fees for utilities and water shutoffs as well as extended active land use permits to help economic growth.
According to the CDC, coronavirus (COVID-19) is a family of viruses that is spreadable from person to person. Coronavirus is believed to have been first detected in a seafood market in Wuhan, China in December 2019. If someone is sick with coronavirus, the symptoms they may show include mild to severe respiratory illness, cough, and difficulty breathing.
Currently, there is no vaccine, however, the CDC suggests the following precautions, along with any other respiratory illness:
- 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 with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
The CDC also says facemasks should only be used by people who show symptoms of the virus. If you’re not sick, you do not have to wear a facemask. The CDC says the immediate risk to the U.S. public is low.
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