COVID-19 Updates

UPDATE - 5/26/2020 - Faith-based and Retail Services to Reopen

LA County announced, today, its commitment to keeping residents "Safer At Work And In The Community", and is further aligning its COVID-19 recovery efforts with the State’s California Pandemic Resilience Roadmap. The new Health Officer Order, to be issued later today, allows for the resumption of faith-based services, in-store shopping at low-risk retail stores, drive-in movies and other recreational activities.

The following are highlights fromthe recently updated Order issued by LA County's Department of Public Health (DPH), which emphasizes physical distancing requirements, cloth face coverings and other safety protocols must be observed:

Faith-Based Organizations
Faith-based organizations may resume services, with the number of congregants limited to less than 25% of the building's capacity, or a maximum of 100 people, whichever is lower.

Indoor & Outdoor Retail Shopping Centers
All indoor and outdoor retail shopping centers may now open for business at 50% capacity.

Flea Markets, Swap Meets & Drive-Ins
All flea markets, swap meets and drive-in movie theaters may also resume operations.

Pools, Hot Tubs and Saunas
Pools, hot tubs and saunas that are in a multi-unit residence or part of a homeowners association may also now open.

Public Protests
Individuals may participate in an in-person protest as long as attendance is limited to 25% of the area's maximum occupancy, or a maximum of 100 attendees, whichever is lower.

County residents may take part in all-permitted activities while continuing to practice physical distancing and wearing a cloth face covering when in contact with others. You are still encouraged to remain in your residences, as much as practical, and limit close contact with others outside your household (both indoor and outdoor).

Gatherings of people not from the same household are still prohibited, except for faith-based services and in-person protests.

UPDATE - 5/20/2020 - LA County Guidance for Retail Business Owners

LA County wants to guide you and your businesses as you embark on the Road to Recovery. In order to boost the local economy, and maintain the public's safety during the COVID-19 health crisis, LA County's Health Inspectors are making their rounds to ensure businesses (like yours) are in compliance with the Health Officer Order.

If you're a retail business owner, these are the 5 areas LA County Inspectors will cover: 

(1) Workplace policies and practices to protect employee health
(2) Measures to ensure physical distancing
(3) Measures to ensure infection control
(4) Communication with employees and the public
(5) Measures to ensure equitable access to critical services

Make sure you're compliant, by following the full checklist here.

To help you protect employees and customers, alike, LA County has also created signs. These are ready to be posted on-site, to remind everyone how they can protect themselves (and others) from COVID-19. Here's an example:

COVID-19 Posters to be put up at retail businesses
You can download the:
"Curbside Pickup Only" 
"Please Stay Away if You're Sick" 
"Please Stay 6 Feet Away" 
"Wear a Cloth Face Covering" posters here
If you still have questions on compliance, call LA County's Department of Public Health at (888) 700-9995 or visit the LA County DPH website for more information

UPDATE - 3/31/2020 - SCE

We have received a handful of inquiries regarding why the City is allowing Southern California Edison (SCE) to continue working on critical infrastructure upgrades during the time a local emergency has been declared.  We understand having power out can be an inconvenience to our residents, especially during the “Safer at Home” orders from the State and County. The City has requested that SCE only complete work that is critical to public safety or increases the reliability of their network during this time. Further, if work is to be completed, we have asked them to either keep the power during the repair, if practical and safe, or to schedule the repairs at nighttime.     The reason we are allowing critical infrastructure work to continue is to provide more safety to Sierra Madre residents, since upgrading the power lines reduces the risk of wildfire and increases reliability.     We understand the work is not convenient, but we believe it is necessary.  We are working with SCE to reduce the impacts as much as possible and to accommodate residents that have special circumstances, and require power for medical equipment. You can visit the following link from SCE to learn the latest on outages – they have committed to rescheduling all non-critical outages and prioritizing those impacting public safety:


UPDATED COUNTY ORDER: Over the weekend the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health revised their Safer at Home Order. A link to the FAQ and the Revised Order are at the end of this post. The new order prohibits all indoor and outdoor gatherings and events of any kind in public or private. The original order limited gatherings to no more than 10, now any gathering is prohibited. Further the order specifically requires all non-essential businesses to cease in-person operations and close to the public. The new order narrows the definition of essential business. The revised order requires salons, nail salons, and clothing stores, to temporarily close. There are additional stores that are now ordered to cease operations as they are no longer defined as essential. The order is currently set to expire on April 19, 2020 but the Health Department can extend or take additional measures as it deems are warranted. All Essential Businesses as defined in the order that are not required to close to the public are required to practice the following infection control precautions:

1. Practice social distancing by requiring patrons, visitors, and employees to be separated by six (6) feet,to the extent feasible.
2. Provide access to handwashing facilities with soap and water or hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
3. Post a sign in a conspicuous place at the public entry to the venue instructing members of the public to not enter if they are experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness, including fever or cough.
4. Adhere to communicable disease control recommendations provided by Public Health.

UPDATE - 3/21/2020 - SAFER AT HOME - Bailey Canyon Park and Mt. Wilson Trail

In response to direction received from County and State officials for maintaining social distancing, the City will be closing Bailey Canyon Park and Mt. Wilson Trail. Portions of the trails do not allow for 6-foot compliance and the decision was made to close the trails for overall public safety. The parking lot for Bailey Canyon Park will also be closed indefinitely. We regret any inconvenience.

Road closure notification signs and barriers in place this morning, were quickly moved or destroyed by folks interested in using the hiking trails, are now back in place. The trails remain closed until further notice due to the COVID-19 adherence of the “Stay Home” notice. Future violators ignoring these barriers, will be cited, with the possibility of having their illegally parked vehicles towed. The SMPD along with the residents in the Bailey Canyon Park, Mt. Wilson Trail and Chantry Flat Gate neighborhoods appreciate your cooperation.


We've had lots of inquiries about the multiple "safe at home" orders issued last night by Los Angeles County and the State, including which order is applicable in Sierra Madre. For clarity, the order from the Governor is the controlling order. The State order allows for local governments to adopt restrictions that are greater than what is included in the State order, but local governments cannot reduce or eliminate regulations in the State order. The City Council has this authority in Sierra Madre and may decide to discuss the order and apply further restrictions at a future Council meeting. Currently, this discussion has not been placed on a future agenda.

In order to provide some clarity around what the safe at home order means for Sierra Madre businesses, where we have received the most questions, we are using the interpretation provided by Los Angeles County.

Businesses considered essential:

Grocery stores, certified farmer's markets, restaurants (delivery or takeout only), food cultivation, livestock, farming, fishing, social services, news media, government, public safety, gas stations, auto repair and supply, car dealerships, banks, credit unions, financial institutions, hardware stores, nurseries, building supplies, pet wellness and grooming, plumbers, electricians, exterminators, custodial/janitorial workers, handyman services, funeral home workers and morticians, moving services, HVAC installers, carpenters, landscapers, gardeners, property managers, private security, mailing and shipping services, laundromats, dry cleaners, laundry service providers, computer or office supplies, shipping or trucking of essential goods, infrastructure, public works construction, construction of housing, airports, ports, water, sewer, gas, electrical, oil refining, road and highways, public transportation, solid waste collection and removal, internet and telecommunications systems, childcare facilities, home-based care or residential facilities for seniors or those with disabilities, legal services, payroll or accounting services, military or defense contractors, hospitals, clinics, laboratories, dentists, pharmacies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, other licensed healthcare facilities, healthcare suppliers, home healthcare service providers, mental health providers, licensed medical cannabis dispensaries, medical or scientific research, hotels, rental units, and suppliers of goods used at any other essential businesses.

Businesses that are not considered essential:

Bars or clubs that don't serve food, arcades, museums, athletic venues, concert halls, gyms, theaters, bowling alleys, malls, and retailers that don't sell essential goods.

Additionally, based on the comments from the Governor, we are keeping our parks and trails open, but closing our playgrounds. If you leave your home, please always practice social distancing.


City Council will be holding an emergency meeting tonight at 6:30PM in regards to the COVID-19 situation. The meeting will also be available to watch on Facebook Live and on Channel 3. If you wish to participate in this meeting, you can call or text your questions/comments to (626) 355 - 6214 or email your questions/comments to

UPDATE - 3/16/2020 - Intervale Lunch Program

As a result of the current COVID-19 situation, the Intervale Lunch Program has been altered. Please read the following carefully.

Participants of the program will be given their hot meal packed to take home. No hot meals will be served in the Hart Park House and no gatherings will be allowed in the Hart Park House.

March 16th and March 17th, 2020 – No lunch service will be provided

Starting Wednesday, March 18, 2020

  • 2 box lunches and 3 frozen meals will be available for those who have a reservation for pick up
  • Each Wednesday for the next 2-4 weeks, participants with a reservation can come to the Hart Park House during the lunch service time to pick up and take the offsite prepackaged meals to go
  • Participants will need to bring their own bags to transport

EACH person with a reservation must be present in order to receive their meal

NO allowances will be made and each participant must sign for their meals. Each week a reservation must be made to receive the prepackaged meals.

If you are not an ongoing participant but would like to receive meals, you must call the YWCA office line to make reservations at 626-960-2995

If you have any questions, please call the Community Services Department at (626) 355 – 5278 x702

Seniors, 60 years of age and older can participate in the YWCA Intervale Daily Lunch Program held at the Hart Park House Senior Center. Meals are a suggested donation of $3.00 for Seniors 60+. Daily reservations are necessary and the menu subject to change without notice.

Please reserve your lunch by calling 626-960-2995 at least 24 hours in advance and call the day prior by 12 Noon.

UPDATE - 3/15/2020

We have already implemented several changes in an attempt to keep our employees, their families, and the community safe, and aimed at slowing the spread of Coronavirus. As you know, City Hall and all City facilities are closed tomorrow. In addition only essential employees are to report to work. The changes announced below are effective immediately and will remain in place indefinitely. We will be announcing additional changes that will also go into effect immediately and remain in place indefinitely. The City Council will meet Tuesday (3.17.2020) evening at 6:30 to declare a local emergency.

We will continue to make decisions both proactively and responsibly, and as we receive new or better information, we will update and change our response plan. Please continue to check your email as well as the City's social media and web page to stay up-to-date, and as always, please call or email me, or your supervisor, if you need clarification or have any questions, concerns, or ideas.

We have two sets of changes, the first list impacts employees and the public. The second list will be changes that impact the public only.

These are the list of changes that are effective now. After our meeting on Monday (3.16.2020), this list will be updated.

Changes for City Staff and Public:

Please note, all regular full-time and part-time employees will continue to be paid their usual rate and salary, and there will be no changes to benefits, regardless of working status, including quarantine, directions to stay home, reduced hours of work, or alternating shifts.

City Hall and all City facilities are closed to the public indefinitely. This includes the Police Department. We will be operating with essential personnel only, but this personnel will include a number of employees to answer phone calls, emails, and social media contacts or requests as they are received from the public. City Hall will continue to operate, but will not be accessible to the public.

We will stagger start/end times of shifts and rotate days when employees come to work. We will also move working locations and stations to establish 6 ft. of space between office employees.

We will implement an expanded work from home/telecommute program, to include VPN access for all managers and directors, and any other employee where it makes sense.

We are eliminating all non-essential travel, including conferences and training, until further notice.

All vacations will be cancelled or denied for employees who are subject to recall.

We will be implementing a screening and quarantine program for all employees. If any employee feels sick they will be required to stay home. Any employee that fails screening, will be sent home and asked to self-quarantine for 14 days. The employee will not be allowed to return to work until approved by a doctor or the conclusion of the quarantine period.

We are working to secure childcare for employees who need it. If we are able to provide this service, it will be offered free of charge.

We will work with the Fire Chief and Acting Police Chief to implement appropriate changes in public safety. These changes will be communicated directly to each department by Chief Norwood and Acting Chief Amos.

Any employee with an underlying health condition will be offered the opportunity to stay at home until we are able to return operations to normal.

Again, all employees will receive their normal wage and benefits during the time these changes are in place.

Changes to the Public:

All Commission and Board meetings will operate under the Governor's Directive suspending certain elements of the Brown Act. We will encourage all Commission and Board Members to call in for meetings. If they do not prefer calling in, we will limit the number of attendees in person, as to not violate the 6 ft. of distance practice.

We will provide a space for public dialogue/comment as required by law, but will strongly encourage public comment to be given by phone, text, or email before and during the meeting.

We are suspending all water/utility service disconnections.

We are suspending all late payments and penalties for utility bills that come past due during this time period.

We will allow repayment plans to be made to the maximum practical benefit of the customer during this time period.

We will consider all financial hardship claims from our residents whose work status is impacted during this time period.

We will suspend all overnight parking enforcement with the exception of parking that is a hazard to public safety during this time period.

As stated above, this list will change as new or better information becomes available. As a City we remain committed to the safety of our employees, their families, and the community. Our primary mission at this stage, as a government, is to protect public safety and our first responders from any unnecessary exposure, so they can continue to provide critical services and respond to the needs of our community.

Please remember:

Wash your hands often and at least for 20 seconds each time
Cough/sneeze into your elbow
Don't touch your face
Stay more than 6 ft apart and practice social distancing at all times
If you feel sick, stay home
Limit all travel to the extent practical
If you are older than 65 or have a chronic condition, isolate at home

If you have ideas that will improve any of the items on the list above or think we should add or change what is on the list, please contact me.

Gabriel L. Engeland
City Manager
City of Sierra Madre

UPDATE - 3/12/2020

Sierra Madre City Hall will be closed to the public on Monday, 3/16/2020, to allow staff to prepare in response to the COVID 19 situation. Public safety services will still continue as normal.  Please only call 9-1-1 if you are experiencing an emergency. All non-emergency calls can be directed to (626) 355-1414.

With Los Angeles County declaring a local health emergency and given what is currently known about the severity and growing anxiety around COVID-19, the City is taking precautionary measures to help safeguard our residents, visitors, community partners and city employees.

As such, out of an abundance of caution, the decision has been made to cancel all City events, and planned meetings that do not have any required and/or discretionary items scheduled. This cancellation will remain in effect through March 31st, and will continue to be re-evaluated as we get closer to that date.

This cancellation includes all City events, commission/board meetings, field uses, and Hart Park House meetings (groups and organizations that have reserved the Hart Park House for meetings can still have their meetings). In addition, the Library will be closed until further notice.

The upcoming Huck Finn Fishing Derby and Family Campout has also been cancelled. City staff will be contacting all registered families and participants to inform them of this cancellation.

The City will continue to provide updates as the situation warrants. We appreciate your support, cooperation and patience during this time.

You are welcome to contact City Hall at (626) 355-7135 for any questions or concerns.