Utilities Assistance & Coronavirus Update for City of Palo Alto Utilities Customers


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City of Palo Alto Utilities Subscribers, 

This is an important update on the latest coronavirus (COVID-19) developments. Last week, the Santa Clara County Public Health Officer joined five other Bay Area jurisdictions to announce that it will implement the State’s Regional Stay at Home Order effective Sunday, December 6 through at least January 4, with the potential for longer temporary restrictions based on hospitalizations and ICU capacity. More information on the State’s Regional Stay at Home Order, including the limitations on businesses and activities, can be found here.

The City will continue to provide updates in a dedicated coronavirus newsletter (subscribe here) as new information becomes available. The most recent coronavirus email update is provided below. We respect that you subscribed to this Utilities newsletter for updates on Utilities programs, news and events. As a result, we will plan to send updates specific to the coronavirus in this newsletter when new, critical information arises that the entire community should be informed of. 

During these challenging times, your community-owned utility is here to help! 

  • Rate Relief and Payment Plan Arrangements to help those who are experiencing financial hardship and struggling to pay utility bills. Please contact our Utilities Customer Service Call Center at (650) 329-2161 or UtilitiesCustomerService@cityofpaloalto.org with questions about your utilities account or bill payment. You can also view this information online here.
  • No-Cost or Low-Cost Efficiency Tips to keep utility costs low at home and work. Visit cityofpaloalto.org/efficiencytips or call the Home Efficiency Genie at (650) 713-3411 for a free phone consultation about your home's utility bill, energy and water consumption. 
  • Home Efficiency Genie Virtual Assessments are available to help you safely identify ways to increase efficiency, cut costs, and improve the comfort of your home. Sign up at efficiencygenie.com
  • Support for Local Businesses is available through local grants, state and financial resources, our Uplift Local campaign, and more. Find details at cityofpaloalto.org/businessassistance
  • More Ways to Save with our rebates, services, and resources! Visit cityofpaloalto.org/utilityprograms

If you have specific questions or concerns related to your utilities account or billing services, please do not hesitate to contact Utilities Customer Support Services at UtilitiesCustomerService@cityofpaloalto.org or (650) 329-2161. We strive to deliver excellent customer service despite some changes in City services. We are all in this together! Please be safe and take care.


The City of Palo Alto Utilities Team

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Coronavirus Report
December 9, 2020
  • State Changes Restrictions Related to Playgrounds, Communities Under the Regional Stay at Home Order Can Reopen Playgrounds
  • Reminder: California Avenue and University Avenue and other Downtown Streets Temporarily Open to Vehicular Traffic, Supporting Easy Access to Takeout & Retail Options and Curbside Pickup

Read the full Coronavirus Report for more in-depth information.

Looking for COVID-19 case data by city? View Santa Clara County's COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

City of Palo Alto and Santa Clara County Updates

State Changes Restrictions Related to Playgrounds, Communities Under the Regional Stay at Home Order Can Reopen Playgrounds
Today, the State changed its restrictions related to playgrounds, allowing communities under the Regional Stay at Home Order to reopen playgrounds. As a result, all Palo Alto playgrounds including Palo Alto’s Magical Bridge Playground will reopen, tomorrow, Thursday, December 10. Please remember to wear a mask, use sanitizer, and gather only with people of the same household. Limit playtime to 30 minutes per household, per County guidelines. For the City’s webpage sharing safety tips and additional playground details, go here. For other questions about the State’s Regional Stay at Home Order, go here.

Reminder: California Avenue and University Avenue and other Downtown Streets Temporarily Open to Vehicular Traffic, Supporting Easy Access to Takeout & Retail Options and Curbside Pickup
In Palo Alto, the shift for restaurants to only offer takeout and delivery triggered a temporary reopening of California Avenue, University Avenue, and Ramona Street to vehicular traffic to facilitate easy community access to retail and restaurant options. As a result, California Avenue and University Avenue, and Ramona Street reopened to vehicular traffic as of Tuesday, December 8. The City is pivoting quickly to help restaurants with signage to connect community members to take-out, and curbside pick-up and delivery options.  This is a temporary change that serves everyone – restaurants, retail, and public access. Please consider ordering takeout from your favorite local restaurant or buying holiday gifts from your favorite local retail store during this challenging time. Check out Palo Alto business promotions at upliftlocal.org

What To Do If You're Sick

What to Do if You're Having A Health Emergency 
If you feel you are having a health emergency such as a heart attack or stroke, please know that you can and should still go to the hospital for treatment.  

Check your Symptoms: Contact your medical provider if you are experiencing coronavirus symptoms, and stay home until you have clear guidance from your provider. The CDC has a webpage set up to help detect symptoms of coronavirus. Other helpful resources are available from Stanford Health and Palo Alto Medical Foundation.

Coronavirus Testing Options: Most coronavirus testing facilities require a physician’s referral. Find a testing site near you. In addition to obtaining a referral for testing by your primary physician, the Project Baseline system can be used to get screened online. Those with a likelihood of needing a test will be directed to drive-through testing sites in Santa Clara County and San Mateo County. Go here for more. Stanford Medicine expanded priority COVID testing at their multiple drive-through sites to include frontline essential service workers, such as first responders, grocery store clerks, public service personnel, and more.

Call Us. We Are Here for You.

Call us if you have questions. We are here to help. The Community Support Call Center is available at (650) 272-3181. You can leave a message and city staff will follow up with you within one working day. We are also available online! As a reminder, please only call 9-1-1 if you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency. 

Reporting Public Health Order Violations

To report a suspected public health order violation that does NOT require an immediate response by law enforcement, please visit the County of Santa Clara’s COVID-19 reporting portal at www.sccCOVIDconcerns.org. You can fill out your complaint online, and a County-designated enforcement officer will investigate. For languages other than English, please call the County of Santa Clara’s Advice Line at 1-866-870-7725 to report your complaint.

To report a suspected public health order violation that requires an immediate response by law enforcement, you are welcome to call the Police Department’s 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Personnel from the Palo Alto Police Department will respond, though the first goal of officers will be to provide education and seek voluntary compliance. We are confident that our community members will do their part to comply with the temporary restrictions.