We are in this together. The City encourages the community to stay informed, practice good hygiene, be aware, and be prepared. As a community we can continue to slow the spread of COVID-19 by using recommended best practices.
Uplift Local Weekly eNewsletter
Each week, the City provides updates in the Coronavirus Report section of the Uplift Local email newsletter. Find COVID-19 updates, tips, and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Santa Clara County Health Department, and other healthcare governmental agencies.
Isolation and Exposure Calculator
A new Isolation and Exposure Calculator is available from the CDC to help determine what you should do if you test positive. Find the calculator here.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Revised COVID-19 Guidance
The CDC announced on August 12, 2022 a loosening of their COVID-19 guidance to help make informed decisions to protect yourself, your family, and your community from severe illness. Know your risk and take preventative steps such as vaccination, getting boosted, and wearing a mask. If you are sick or symptomatic, you should take action by receiving a COVID-19 test, wearing a mask, and isolating yourself for at least 5 days if you’re infected. Read more about the CDC guidance here.
For the latest Coronavirus news and updates, City information, upcoming community events, and free mental health and wellness resources, please see the latest Uplift Local newsletter.
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Get a Vaccine
All individuals age 5 and older who live, work, or attend school in Santa Clara County are eligible to be vaccinated.
Hundreds of millions of people have now received these safe and effective vaccines. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department strongly recommends that anyone aged 5 and above get vaccinated now. If you have completed your two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccines and it has been 6 months since your last dose – or your one-dose J&J vaccine and it has been 2 months since your last dose – it is strongly recommended you get a booster as soon as possible.
With the recent approval of the Pfizer vaccine for 5- to 12-year-olds, the County of Santa Clara has made the Pfizer vaccine, which is the vaccine approved for that age group, available at all of its vaccination sites. The County is also working with pediatricians throughout the region to ensure they can also offer vaccination to their patients.
Getting vaccinated has never been easier, as the County and other vaccine providers have established many vaccine clinics throughout the county. Many of these vaccination sites do not require appointments, and many offer weekend and evening hours.
Find a vaccine site near you
There are several testing locations in Palo Alto, with new sites being added. Santa Clara County offers COVID-19 testing that is free, easy, and safe at more than 50 sites across the county. There are many choices to meet your needs, including drive-thru, walk-up, and bike lane options. Find testing options near you.
Masking is Strongly Recommended
Santa Clara County Public Health Department has switched from a mandate to a strong recommendation when it comes to wearing a mask. Vaccines remain the most powerful tool in the fight against COVID-19, including the Delta & Omicron variants. Nonetheless, the Omicron variant can cause breakthrough cases in vaccinated individuals. In those instances of infection in a vaccinated person, a mask prevents further spread. Bay Area health officials urge all unvaccinated residents 5 and older to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Get vaccinated.
Mask Best Practices as of March 2022
To protect yourself and others from COVID-19, the CDC and Santa Clara County Public Health Department continue to recommend that you wear the most protective mask you can that fits well and that you will wear consistently. Different types of masks offer different levels of protections.
- Wearing a cloth mask does not provide adequate protection against COVID-19, specifically against the more contagious Omicron variant.
- The best mask protection is to wear a tight-fitting KN95, KF94, or N95 that completely covers your nose and mouth with no gaps and a nose wire to prevent air from leaking out the top.
- Double masking a cloth mask on top of your surgical mask provides extra protection over simply wearing a surgical mask.
It is important to remember that any mask is better than no mask. Learn more about the different types of masks available.
Mask Use and Care
Wearing a mask or cloth face covering can slow the spread of COVID-19 by limiting the release of virus into the air. COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick. Based on what we know about COVID-19 vaccines, people who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic. Follow these tips to protect yourself and others.
Wearing a mask doesn’t take the place of other precautions like a vaccine or physical distancing. After vaccination, masking is the next most powerful tool we have to protect ourselves and each other.
Where to find: Many online sellers now offer masks in a variety of materials. The CDC maintains a list of NIOSH-approved N95 masks.
Improve How Your Mask Protects You: The CDC provides guidance on how to improve the way your mask protects you. This includes making sure your mask snugly fits your face, consider wearing two masks, and what to avoid. Read this CDC article discussing the science behind "double masking."
Utility Rate Deferred Payment Plans
Palo Alto utility rate relief is available to both residential and commercial customers. The City’s proclamation of a local emergency instituted moratoriums on disconnections for non-payment, late payment fees, and full-bill payment requirements for City of Palo Alto Utilities residential customers. Customers can make partial payments, without penalty, and without risk of disconnection for non-payment. The total of missed payments (except Late Fees, which will be waived in their entirety) will continue to be owed, but customers will be eligible for an extended payment plan of up to 18 months from the proclamation termination.
If you are struggling to pay your utilities bills, you may qualify for our Rate Assistance Program, which provides a 25% discount on gas and electricity charges and a 20% discount on storm drain service fees. If you qualify for the Rate Assistance Program, you will also be able to receive free home efficiency upgrades through our Residential Energy Assistance Program. You can equalize your monthly payment into twelve equal amounts through the Bill Payment Plan. Through ProjectPLEDGE, Utilities customers in good standing with their own accounts may donate funding on a one-time or recurring basis to help another Utilities customer. If you are in need of financial support, you may apply for one-time assistance. You may also donate if you would like to support this program. Customers seeking further information or needing assistance can call (650) 329–2161. Utilities Customer Service can help with questions associated with these programs. Customer support is available through the call center, online customer account service at https://mycpau.cityofpaloalto.org/portal/, or email at UtilitiesCustomerService@cityofpaloalto.org
How to Keep Your Family Safe
CDC guidance by category
How Businesses Can Get Help