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City Manager Weekly Update Blog Series: March 8, 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 8, 2021 Council meeting, click the video below.


Red Tier eases restrictions; allowing increased indoor activities:

  • Indoor dining at up to 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
  • Museums, zoos, and aquariums can open indoor activities at 25% capacity.
  • Palo Alto Art Center has reopened as of Saturday, March 6. Hours of operation are Tuesday- Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Gyms and dance and yoga studios can open at 10% capacity. Retail stores and indoor malls can open at 50% capacity.

The Public Health Officer’s Mandatory Directive on Travel is lifted, although quarantining after travel is still recommended in alignment with the State’s Travel Advisory. For more details, go to

California Public Health updated its face-covering recommendations broadly requiring the use of face coverings for members of the public and workers in all public and workplace settings where there is a high risk of exposure. It also offers when to use double-masking. Check out the recommendations here.


County Vaccine Updates Available at

Availability of vaccines locally continue to be limited. Staff is working with Santa Clara County and health care providers to meet the needs of the community. Multiple stakeholders are advocating for increased availability.

Vaccinations eligibility continues for healthcare personnel, long-term care facility residents, and people who are age 65 and older. Access has expanded to workers in education and childcare, emergency services, and the food and agriculture industries.

COVID-19 Testing Continues To Be Critical:

COVID-19 testing availability this week in Palo Alto includes Tuesday March 9. Dates next week include: March 16, 17 & 19

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


Uplift Local Effort Continues Connecting the Community to Expanded Local Business Access

University Avenue and California Avenue continue to provide pedestrian only areas connecting the community to outdoor dining and retail opportunities

Next Uplift Local Community Check In on Tuesday, March 16 at 5:30 p.m.

I invite the community to join me and other City staff as we share Uplift Local and other City updates and offer an open opportunity for the community to share their experiences, ask questions and more.

For other ways to experience the City’s Uplift Local effort and for meeting details including the Zoom link can be found at


Visit King Plaza at City Hall to see the newest public art installation, Arbor, by Oakland artist Adam Marcus.

The sculpture is a visual interpretation of Palo Alto’s urban forest. The artist used the database of over 45,000 public trees in the City’s Open Data Portal to generate a three-dimensional map of this aspect of the city’s ecology. The temporary artwork will remain on display through early 2022.


Join us for a new event series called Wellness Wednesdays!

The new series starts next week on March 17 at 5:00 p.m. with an Introduction to Mindfulness for Adults with Chief Robert Jonsen. Other future topics include earthquake preparedness, teen mindfulness, creative wellness, musical wellness and more!

These new monthly events will be virtual for now and focus on building community wellness and well being. To register for the March 17 event, go to

This webpage also shares additional wellness resources as we manage through the pandemic together. These events and other community-focused elements will be presented as part of the City’s Community and Economic Recovery Strategy, set for Council consideration on March 22.


Tentative Council Items

March 15:

  • Castilleja School Project Council Consideration/Action

March 22:

  • Prescreening of Town & Country Village proposal for medical office use
  • Grand Jury Response on “Why Aren’t There More Female Fire Fighters in Santa Clara County“
  • Community and Economic Recovery Strategy

March 23:

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

April 5

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

April 12

  • Regional Housing Needs Allocation Appeal
  • Consideration of Boards, Commissions and Committees Term Limits

April 19

  • Sustainability/Earth Day Study Session
  • Proposed Near-Term Rail Safety Improvements at Churchill and Alma


City Manager Comments Blog Series at:

Gain Coronavirus Updates at:

Sign Up for Coronavirus Updates at:

Call us: (650) 272–3181

Community Support Call Center is available to answer community questions



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