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City Manager Weekly Update Blog Series: March 22, 2021

Learn about recent City of Palo Alto updates and news.

Each Council meeting, City Manager Ed Shikada provides “City Manager Comments” sharing recent City news, and updates for the community to stay informed on important issues facing the community. This blog series summarizes these weekly updates.

If you’d prefer to watch the City Manager share this week’s updates and news at the March 22, 2021 Council meeting, click the video below.


Santa Clara County continued in the State’s Red Tier, along with 87% of the state. The County moved to the less restrictive Orange Tier as of Wednesday, March 24. To move to a higher tier, counties must meet case rate and test positivity for two weeks.

Orange Tier Eases Several Indoor and Outdoor Activities

  • Hair and nail salons, retail & malls, personal care: indoors allowed with modifications
  • Museums: indoors at 50% capacity
  • Places of worship: indoors at 50% capacity
  • Movie theaters: indoors at 50% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer
  • Hotels: open with modifications
  • Gyms: open indoors at 25% capacity and can open indoor pools
  • Restaurants: open indoors at 50% capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer
  • Wineries, breweries and distilleries: open indoors at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer
  • Bars: outdoor only
  • Non-essential offices: encourage telework but can reopen in-person
  • As of April 1- Professional sports and Live performances: outdoor audiences up to 33% capacity

For more, go here.


Find County Vaccine Updates at

Availability of vaccines locally continues to be limited.

Vaccinations eligibility continues for:

  • Healthcare personnel, long-term care facility residents, people age 65 and older
  • Workers in education and childcare, emergency services, and the food and agriculture industries
  • People with certain significant, high-risk medical conditions or disabilities

For more go here.

COVID-19 Testing Continues to be critical

Testing through Curative:

  • Every Tuesday at Mitchell Park Library Parking lot
  • NEW! Downtown location weekly on Wednesdays starting March 24 at outside City Hall on Ramona Street

MORE ON THE NEW DOWNTOWN TESTING LOCATION: The Curative testing van will be parked in the parking spots on Ramona (bordering City Hall). Patients will check-in there and then walk a very short distance to the plaza itself to self-administer their test. Testing check-in is on the Ramona St. side of City Hall. Free parking is available on A Level of the underground parking garage. Walk-ins welcome!

Testing through the County/City:

  • April 2 & 16 at Mitchell Park Community Center

Go to for timely information on upcoming testing opportunities and to book your appointment online.


California Avenue and University Avenue Pedestrian Only Areas Continue

The City’s Uplift Local effort continues to connect the community to outdoor dining, retail and ways to be together while safety protocols remain in place. We urge those that are cycling to these areas to walk bikes in the pedestrian only zones. Wear a face covering and continue social distancing and other safety practices, even if you’ve been vaccinated. Your actions save lives.

For other ways to experience the City’s Uplift Local effort and for Uplift Local community meeting details go to


Stanford announced that it will expand on-campus residency for the spring quarter starting March 29. Juniors and seniors will be allowed to return to campus, with safeguards in place to protect community health:

  • Most undergraduate instruction will continue to be remote, whether or not students choose to live on-campus or elsewhere.
  • Students on campus will have mandatory twice-weekly COVID-19 testing, through the university, along with two-test arrival testing for newly arriving undergraduates.

The City and Stanford University will be coordinating communications. Stanford is also reviewing lifting restrictions to public access areas on the campus


New event series focusing on community wellness and wellbeing continues on the third Wednesday of every month at 5:00 p.m. Missed last week’s event with Police Chief Robert Jonsen where he led an introduction to mindfulness? Watch the event recording on the City’s YouTube Channel. Join us on April 21 for Earthquake Preparedness, sign up for this and future events here.

For all dates and more details about this event series, go to


2019 Independent Police Auditor’s Report and Supplemental Report

A new Independent Police Auditor (IPA) Report was released publicly with the March 22, 2021 Council agenda. Find the report here. As noted in the report, the IPA contract and future reports will be back for Council consideration before their summer break. Typically, the IPA produces a written public report to the City Manager and City Council twice per year summarizing the IPA’s conclusions and comments. Attached to this memo is the written public report by the IPA for calendar year 2019.

All IPA reports issued since 2006 are posted and available on the City’s website, here.

In addition, for details about other accountability measures within the Police Department, go here:


March 23:

  • Connecting Palo Alto Rail Grade Separation Update and Final Report From the Expanded Community Advisory Panel (XCAP)

March 29

  • Continued Castilleja School Project Council Consideration/Action (Public Comment taken on March 15, no additional public comment period on March 29)

April 5

  • Unhoused services Study Session
  • Police Department Year in Review Study Session
  • Council selection of the Housing Element Working Group

April 12

  • Study Session to Review the Citizen Satisfaction Survey Results
  • Consideration of Boards, Commissions and Committees Term Limits

April 19

  • Sustainability/Earth Day Study Session
  • Council to consider including extending the City’s parklet program and street closures as part of the City’s Uplift Local efforts

April 26

  • Continued Connecting Palo Alto Rail Grade Separation Discussion (tentative)

May and Beyond

  • Prescreening of 123 Sherman to redevelop as a Mixed-use Project
  • Recommendation on the North Ventura Coordinated Area Plan
  • Human Relations Commission recommendations related to CDBG funding
  • Regional Housing Allocation Appeal
  • Council/Planning & Transportation Commission Housing Element Study Session
  • FY 2022 Budget Actions

For City Council meeting materials go here:


City Manager Comments Blog Series at:

Gain Coronavirus Updates at:

Sign Up for Coronavirus Updates at:

Community Support Call Center is available to answer community questions: Call us at (650) 272–3181



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