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The Piedmont Highlander

The Piedmont Highlander

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City of Piedmont follows Alameda County orders in response to COVID-19



The Alameda County Health Officer issued a revised and extended shelter-in-place order on Monday, May 18 with no expiration date. Shelter in place and social distancing provisions will continue, and certain businesses may resume operations while following specific business regulations.

According to the Alameda County Public Health Department, “[The May 18 order] is effective immediately until amended, superseded or rescinded.” As of June 2, the county has 3,515 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 13 in Piedmont, and 97 related deaths overall.

Businesses that may resume operations include retail stores for curbside or storefront pickup and/or delivery only as well as manufacturing businesses, logistics, and warehousing permitted to operate under the state Resilience Roadmap.

The May 18 order supersedes Alameda County’s May 1 revised and extended shelter-in-place order that extended shelter-in-place until Sunday, May 31. Following the May 1 order, Piedmont reopened a majority of its parks, according to the City of Piedmont website.

“The City made the decision to reopen our parks with some operational changes,” said Piedmont’s Assistant City Administrator and City Clerk John Tulloch.

Grassy areas such as Piedmont Park, Dracena Park, Coaches Field, and Crocker Park were reopened following the May 1 order, Tulloch said. However, certain outdoor facilities such as Piedmont Community Pool, Linda Dog Park, and all basketball courts and playground structures remain closed, according to the City of Piedmont website.

“We’ve opened up these grassy areas so that residents who’ve now been sheltered-in-place for over a month can go and get exercise in a way that is in compliance with the shelter-in-place orders,” Tulloch said.

If residents do not comply with the mandatory regulations, Piedmont will have to close these spaces once again, according to the City of Piedmont website. Piedmont’s parks were initially closed beginning on April 1 in compliance with the Alameda County’s earlier orders.

“We initially closed Hampton Field because we were seeing too many people gathering there and not following the spirit of the order,” Tulloch said.

People from outside of one household were gathering in parks to play group games, he said.

“The shelter-in-place order on the county level and [Piedmont’s] rules about parks are not guidelines; they are mandatory,” Tulloch said.

Piedmont Police Department (PPD) officer Jasdeep Singh said that he started his job at the PPD when shelter-in-place first started in March. Singh said officers have been seeing five or six people walking together, but it is difficult for them to determine whether they are in the same family or not.

“Government code 8665, which [concerns people who do] not follow emergency guidelines that the state puts out, is an infraction, so [people can get] a ticket,” Singh said. “Usually, we give out verbal and written warnings.”

Violators of the order can be fined up to $1000 or six months in prison, according to the City of Piedmont website.

“We don’t want to write any tickets,” Tulloch said. “We want our community members to be out there enjoying the parks in a way that complies with the shelter-in-place orders from the county and from the state.”

Singh said Piedmont’s middle schoolers seem to be outdoors more than high schoolers.

“Hopefully all high schoolers have actually been following the rules,” Singh said.

With the May 1 order, construction projects, landscaping, and limited childcare and recreation programs in Piedmont were allowed to resume while following the regulations, according to the City of Piedmont website.

Piedmont also opened up its tennis courts on Friday, May 15, according to an email from Tulloch.

“Tennis play is available by reservation through the Recreation Department,” Tulloch wrote in the email. “No other City facilities have been reopened since parks were reopened in early May.”

In addition, the City canceled all Fourth of July events including parades and block parties this year, according to a release from Tulloch on Tuesday, May 12.

“For the first time since its inception in 1965, the City of Piedmont will not hold the annual Fourth of July Parade and party in the park due to the COVID-19 outbreak,” the release said. “As disappointing as this is, the City recognizes that the most important thing right now is to keep the community safe and healthy.”

Freshman Julia Banuelos said she has been primarily staying indoors, but with the opening of the parks, she was able to safely go on a walk to a park with her family.

“I think Piedmont has been really stringent about making sure people are six feet apart,” Banuelos said. “I think opening up the parks and lifting some restrictions is a good thing for now.”

As Piedmont awaits the subsequent order from Alameda County, the City has not yet made any decisions on what additional facilities will reopen and when, according to the email from Tulloch.

Information regarding COVID-19 regulations in Piedmont can be found on the City of Piedmont Website:

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