Fountain Valley ends declaration of local emergency for COVID-19

The Fountain Valley City Council this week terminated the declaration of a local emergency that was put into effect during the early days of the pandemic.

A staff report acknowledged COVID-19 as an ongoing threat to the public, but it cited medical advances in stating the city no longer needs to exercise emergency authority to address the issue.

The council declared a local emergency concerning the pandemic on March 17, 2020, giving the city increased ability to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 through a variety of actions, including authorization for outdoor dining and activities for local businesses and to provide testing and vaccination sites to combat the virus.

Orange County residents have experienced a cumulative 661,016 reported coronavirus infections so far, according to data provided by the Orange County Health Care Agency Tuesday. The agency also reported 202 patients hospitalized earlier this week with COVID-19, with 30 of those being treated in intensive care units.

Fountain Valley, which in 2021 had an estimated population of 56,495, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, has experienced 10,930 confirmed cases of COVID-19 during the pandemic.

Guidelines update for F.V. day-care facilities

Also at its meeting Tuesday, the City Council approved amendments to the municipal code that bring the city into compliance with state law as it relates to family day-care homes.

Prior to the passage of State Senate Bill 234 — the “Keeping Kids Close to Home Act” — on Sept. 5, 2019, a distinction had existed between small family day-care homes (up to eight children) and large family day-care homes (up to 14 children).

The legislation eliminated the distinction between small and large family day-care centers. Therefore, those with up to 14 children are allowed to operate within the city’s residential zones.

Fountain Valley had previously regulated large family day-care homes by requiring permits and subjecting them to rules regarding hours of operation, drop-off and pickup, and employee parking.

Licensing and regulation of the facilities will be handled by the California Department of Social Services.

A city staff study of several Orange County cities found that most do not allow for large adult day-care facilities in residential zones. The council opted to prohibit large adult day cares in residential zones. They will be allowed in commercial zones with a conditional use permit.

Small adult day-care facilities (those with six or fewer adults) are allowed in residential areas.

City Council candidates forum set for Sept. 27

Thirteen candidates have qualified for the November ballot in the race for three seats on the Fountain Valley City Council.

A candidates forum will take place in the Council Chambers at City Hall on Tuesday, Sept. 27 from 6 to 8 p.m. The event is open to the public.

Candidates for Fountain Valley City Council include Glenn Bleiweis, Cindy Cao, Kim Constantine (incumbent), Jim Cunneen, Shaun Diamond, Nancy Dugay, Patrick Harper (incumbent), Rudy Huebner, Steve Nagel, Michael Mau, Eugene Murray, Darrell Mymon-Brown and Dwight Shackelford.

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