SANTA MONICA—The city of Santa Monica announced on Tuesday, January 10, they would be lifting their emergency health order for the Coronavirus on February 28, 2023 after three years of being in place. 

The decision was made by Santa Monica’s Director of Emergency Services and City Manager David White. This decision to end the emergency came the same day the Los Angeles City Council voted again to end its local emergency by February 1. It coincides with Governor Gavin Newsom’s sunset order.

The initial executive order was issued on March 13, 2020 by former City Manager, Rick Cole. It has been followed by 44 supplements, with the latest issued on November 21, 2022 which is set to expire at the end of next month. Some of the supplements included one that extended residential eviction for reasons other than nonpayment of rent, prohibition of large gatherings of 20 people or more, and face covering requirements. 

According to the Chief Resilience Officer for the Office of Emergency Management, Lindsay Call, at the height of the pandemic, the City’s Emergency Center, which states that it has prioritized community health and safety throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency, had 287 staff members and currently has 15. “We are here to celebrate progress,” she said to City Council on Tuesday.

City Council urges residents to continue getting COVID booster shots, as only 34 percent of residents have received one since September 2022.

Call mentioned the 287 Santa Monicans that passed away as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the 25,000 that were infected. As of December 31, 2022, the seven-day-adjusted average number of cases for Santa Monica is 123 and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention community level for Los Angeles County remains at medium. “We’re not totally out of he woods yet,” Call said. 

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has also implemented requirements for all California workplaces for the next two years, which includes free testing to all workers and Clover Park testing site will continue until at least the end of March.