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City of Lompoc piggybacks on state mandate, encourages residents to stay at home

City of Lompoc piggybacks on state mandate, encourages residents to stay at home

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Lompoc City Manager Jim Throop speaks during Tuesday's meeting about measures the city could take to lessen the spread of the coronavirus.

In line with directives from the state, the city of Lompoc on Friday formally asked its residents to remain at home, except for essential needs, in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The announcement from the city, which declared a local emergency on Tuesday, came a day after Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a similar order statewide. The order will stay in place until further notice.

Essential services that will be permitted to remain open include gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores, farmers' markets, food banks, convenience stores, takeout and delivery from restaurants, banks and laundry services.

Noncompliance with the order could result in a misdemeanor violation, but a statement from the city noted that the Lompoc Police Department "expects our community will willingly comply with the order."

While the city has also announced closures or limited access for many of its facilities, city officials revealed Friday that the city was in the process of developing an Emergency Operations Center at the Dick DeWees Community and Senior Center, 1120 W. Ocean Ave.

That operations center, according to the city, will be staffed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays with employees able to answer questions regarding the coronavirus and direct community members to resources. The center will not be physically open to the public but will be accessible via phone at 805-875-8071.

Along with that center, residents also will be able to access coronavirus-related resources on a webpage created by the city at www.cityoflompoc.com/community/coronavirus-local-information-and-resources.

Willis Jacobson covers the city of Lompoc for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter @WJacobsonLR.

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Along with declaring a local emergency, which made the city eligible for potential reimbursements from FEMA, the City Council voted unanimously to waive late fees and nonpayment shut-offs for utility customers, to close City Hall to the public beginning Wednesday, and to cancel all future committee and commission meetings — except for those of the City Council and Planning Commission — through April.

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