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Andy's Updates is the city of Anaheim's monthly email newsletter, bringing the latest Anaheim news right to your inbox.

See the news for March below, and scroll to the bottom to subscribe to the newsletter email alert to make sure you don't miss out! 

Corona

We are closely tracking coronavirus and regularly sharing updates with our residents, businesses and visitors.

At this time, there are no active coronavirus cases known to the city here in Anaheim.

You can see regular updates and public health best practices at Anaheim.net/coronavirus.

As of March 9, the Orange County Health Care Agency, the lead agency for coronavirus in our region, has one active, current confirmed case in Orange County.

That is in addition to three presumptive cases pending confirmation testing from the federal Centers for Disease Control.

OC Health’s running count as of March 9 includes one prior confirmed case from January, in which the patient fully recovered, for a total of five.

That is up from four reported cases on March 6: three presumptive cases pending confirmation testing and the January recovered case.

OC Health is provides updated information at the end of each Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Four of the cases are related to travel. One is from person-to-person contact.

None are from what is known as community spread — cases with no connection to travel, close contact with someone infected or some other clear cause.

To protect patient privacy, OC Health is not disclosing cities of residence or other details beyond gender and age group.

As with communities across the country, it is likely Anaheim could see cases. You’ll see coronavirus infection cases referred to as COVID-19.

The city of Anaheim, led by Anaheim Fire & Rescue and our Emergency Management division, stands ready to respond to any cases here.

As a major visitor city, we are trained, prepared and equipped for a range of incidents, including infectious diseases.

We are tracking real-time updates from the federal Centers for Disease Control, the California Department of Public Health and the Orange County Health Care Agency, which serves Anaheim and all of Orange County.

We are also tracking coronavirus cases in Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Riverside and other California counties and cities, as well as developments across the nation and globe.

Anaheim daily life, including schools, workplaces, theme parks, conventions and sporting and entertainment venues, continues as usual.

There are no federal, state or local health advisories for Anaheim.

At this time, planned conventions, meetings, sporting events, entertainment and operations of theme parks continue as usual.

Anaheim has seen some events deferred, including Natural Products Expo West 2020, which had been scheduled for early March at the Anaheim Convention Center, as well as some smaller corporate meetings and conferences.

The postponements do not reflect any concern unique to Anaheim. They are the result of updated and evolving corporate travel policies and business decisions made by event organizers in a time of limited travel and heightened awareness.

Anaheim and our partners across the city are following best practices and commonsense steps.

We ask everyone here to do the same. Staying healthy, whether it is avoiding the common cold or this new form of coronavirus, takes everyone.

Around Anaheim, you will see extra hand sanitizing stations and messaging about best practices.

You can find best practices at Anaheim.net/coronavirus.

There remains a low risk of coronavirus in Anaheim.

If you are healthy, have not recently visited an outbreak region or been in contact with someone who has the virus, the risk is believed to be low.

Anyone with special considerations — the elderly, those with existing respiratory conditions or compromised immune systems, pregnant women or those caring for infants — should be mindful of the coronavirus outbreak, just as they should be with the flu or other airborne illness.

Those with special considerations should always follow medical advice and best practices for traveling and going about daily life.

Orange County is likely to see more confirmed cases, as the result of testing and increased awareness of coronavirus symptoms.

The Orange County Health Care Agency began testing on March 1. The ability to test locally means more cases that already could be present in our area will be detected.

That is a good thing. Patients will be treated and cared for, which helps to prevent the spread here.

We will continue to closely monitor the situation and evolve with it. We will always act and advise in the best interest of public health in our city.

iStock-691523992

Mark your calendars to make Anaheim count!

On March 12, you can start filling out your Census form online at 2020Census.gov.

The Census is our nation’s once-every-10-years count of everyone who lives in America.

And there’s a lot at stake for Anaheim.

Each year, Anaheim sees more than $100 million in federal funding we use for affordable housing, fixing roads and improving libraries and community centers.

We get much of that funding because of Anaheim’s Census count.

So we need everyone here to be counted, from babies to grandparents.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a citizen — the Census seeks to count everyone who lives here, regardless of where you were born or your immigration status.

And it’s totally safe.

Personal Census data is the most protected in our county. No one — not the police, immigration, the president or even a judge — can access your personal information.

So do it for Anaheim! Fill out the Census starting on March 12!

And you can find more information at Anaheim.net/Census.

Security

This month, we introduced enhanced security screening at City Hall.

The new safety measures include security screening for all visitors to City Hall at both the front entrance and at the pedestrian bridge from the parking structure.

Everyone entering now goes through brief metal screening, similar to what you see at stadiums and other venues. At the main City Hall entrance, this is done with standing metal detectors, and at the bridge it is done with a handheld metal detector wand.

Bags and other items coming into City Hall will be inspected. While all are welcome at City Hall, dangerous items are not. You can find a list of prohibited items here.

When you arrive at City Hall, Anaheim Security staff will also ask you to show a form of ID so they can give you a visitor badge.

They’ll also be there to help with metal screening and bags, provide extra assistance to anyone who needs it and answer questions.

These new safety measures are part of a planned expansion of the security screening we implemented at our City Council meetings last year.

They are the result of an internal safety audit and analysis of other cities by Anaheim’s Executive Safety Committee and are being implemented at the direction of Anaheim’s city manager.

The measures are not a response to any known threat or incident. They do reflect a time of added security risks and responsibilities.

They bring Anaheim City Hall in line with practices at other cities, government buildings, sports venues and major public places.

Ultimately, they are designed to safeguard anyone who visits City Hall and to provide peace of mind for residents and visitors.

Everyone is welcome at Anaheim City Hall, and the safety of all who visit is a responsibility we take seriously.

You can find more information at Anaheim.net/security.

senior

Anaheim is a great place to live, but affording housing here can be a challenge, particularly for seniors.

Now Anaheim seniors can get emergency help and up to a year of rent assistance under a $645,000 city pilot program.

The Senior Safety Net program starts this month and operates out of the Downtown Anaheim Community Center.

Here’s a quick overview of what the program offers:

  • $350,000 in rent assistance for qualifying seniors, funded by federal Home Investment Partnerships Program money
  • $250,000 for emergency housing assistance, funded by former Anaheim redevelopment agency money that can be used for emergency housing services
  • $45,000 for case management and counseling funded by federal Community Development Block Program money

Counseling, case management 

 All Anaheim seniors 55 and older can access one-on-one counseling and case management to help prevent housing challenges and to take advantage of services and programs available from nonprofits and government agencies.

Counseling services include initial interviews and personal assessments, referrals to nonprofit and government programs and referral to the Senior Safety Net’s rent assistance service as needed.

Emergency Assistance

Low-income Anaheim seniors 55 and older can qualify for emergency financial help to deal with housing affordability issues.

Emergency assistance prioritizes the neediest seniors in our community, those earning about 30 percent of Orange County’s median income of $97,900, and also focuses on those earning about 50 percent of the county’s median income.

Emergency assistance includes:

  • Moving costs: up to $1,000 for a move to stable housing or to secure housing after being displaced
  • Rent catch-up: up to $3,000 or two months’ rent for someone who has fallen behind in payments
  • First and last: assistance up to $3,000 for first and last month’s rent
  • Security deposit: up to $3,000 or two months’ rent
  • Other expenses: considered case by case for expenses that impact someone’s ability to pay for housing, with a maximum of $4,000

Rental Assistance

Anaheim seniors 62 and older can qualify for rental assistance payments for six months with extensions not to exceed 12 months.

The program prioritizes low-income seniors spending up to 50 percent of their income on rent.

Qualifying seniors pay 50 percent of their monthly income toward rent with city payments covering the balance up to the Anaheim Housing Authority’s fair market rent payment standards of $1,526 for a one-bedroom and up to $3,052 for a three-bedroom.

You can learn more by calling (714) 765-4500 and asking about the Senior Safety Net program.

WAND

West Anaheim is gearing up for delicious food, lively entertainment and family fun at the 24th annual Western BBQ on April 18 at Maxwell Park.

The barbecue features food booths, live entertainment, a raffle, free cake and activities for the whole family.

Children’s activities will include pony rides, games, animals, the Anaheim Public Mobile Library, a reptile show and more.

Adults can enjoy a garden center, craft and food vendors, community resources and a silent auction.

The day’s entertainment will include performances from local school groups and demonstrations by the Anaheim Police Department, including appearances by the Mounted Enforcement Unit, along with other stage performances.

Admission to the event is free and all are welcome.

Volunteers are always welcome. If you’re interested, visit Wandbbq.org.

WAND BBQ:

  • When: Saturday, April 18
  • Time: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Where: Maxwell Park, 2655 W. Orange Ave.
  • More: Wandbbq.org
Packing House

Love local history?

We’ve got plenty of it here in Anaheim.

And we’re celebrating our history this month with our annual NEA Big Read community-wide reading event at Anaheim Public Library.

This year’s book is Thornton Wilder’s classic play, “Our Town.” Set in 1901, the play tells the story of a small fictional town in New Hampshire and gives an interesting perspective on time, companionship and daily life in a classic American small town.

While the play tells a story of a fictional small town, we’re taking this opportunity to teach the community more about Anaheim’s history, since we started as a small town as well.

Celebrate the kickoff of the NEA Big Read with us on March 14 at 2 p.m. at Central Library with a special appearance by famed local historian Charles Phoenix, who will give his well-known “Big Retro Disneyland Presentation.”

Anaheim Library will have a host of other programs and activities surrounding this year’s Big Read, so check out Anaheim.net/LibraryCalendar for more details.

Community Art Day

Art

The canvases painted by community members with messages of hope and healing bring joy to those staying at Anaheim’s homeless shelters every day.

They were the result of our first Community Art Day last year, a partnership with Anaheim Public Utilities and Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center.

It was a great success. So we’re doing it again.

Join us on March 14 at Muzeo, 241 S. Anaheim Blvd., from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to paint a canvas that will bring happiness to someone in need.

We’ll bring the supplies. So grab the family and come make a difference. All ages and skills are welcome.

Please register in advance, since space is limited, by emailing events@muzeo.org or calling (714) 765-6465.

Utilities

Looking for ways to make your home more green but not sure where to start?

Anaheim Public Utilities is hosting free workshops that will teach you how to plant a sustainable landscape in your yard. You’ll learn about drought tolerant landscapes that save water and energy, while also lowering your utility bill.

Each workshop will have a different theme, and one will be offered in Spanish.

Turf Removal/Garden Transformation Workshop

  • April 11
  • 9 a.m. to noon
  • Brookhurst Community Center

 California Friendly/Native Plant Landscape Workshop (en Español)

  • May 9
  • 9 a.m. to noon
  • Ponderosa Family Resource Center

Please RSVP by emailing bzimmerman@anaheim.net or calling (714) 765-4412.

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