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Posted on: May 19, 2020

May 19, 2020 - Letter from Mayor Adam Eisen

Things are moving quickly, aren’t they? Lots of changes happening both within San Mateo County and statewide. As we see restrictions modified, please do remember that social distancing and wearing face coverings are still just as important as ever. Cont..

Dear Half Moon Bay Community (Para ver esta carta en español, oprime aquí),

Things are moving quickly, aren’t they? Lots of changes happening both within San Mateo County and statewide. As we see restrictions modified, please do remember that social distancing and wearing face coverings are still just as important as ever. Maybe even more important, so that we maintain the progress we have made over the past two months and reduce the potential for a resurgence, as we start easing into our adapted normalcy.

Memorial Day Weekend is coming up, and we know that this is typically a very busy weekend for us here on the coast. The new County public health order went into effect yesterday and includes modifications to recreation and beach access for County residents. Take a look at that language below. 

State vs County Orders – Where do we stand?

We sent out a Special eNews on Friday outlining the new County order which went into effect yesterday. If you missed it, a PDF of it is available on our page (scroll down to “Recent News”).

To briefly summarize, the County has aligned with much of the State’s “early Phase 2” components, and the following modifications were made:


Additional businesses allowed to operate with certain restrictions include: retail stores (and related retail supply chain operations) such as bookstores, jewelry stores, toy stores, clothing and shoe stores, home and furnishing stores, sporting goods stores, and florists. These retail businesses may operate for curbside or outside pickup only, which may include a drive-through window. Customers must not enter the store, and workers must adhere to social distancing protocols. Businesses involved in manufacturing, warehousing, or logistics may operate only to the extent that they are manufacturing goods or providing support for these retail stores.

Other businesses that may resume operations include those offering services that do not require close customer contact, such as pet grooming, dog walking, car washes, appliance repair, and residential and janitorial cleaning and plumbing. The order also allows for offices to reopen even if they are not considered essential businesses—but only for persons who cannot perform their job duties from home. These businesses must ensure that there is minimal contact between employees and members of the public, and no indoor person-to-person commercial activity. They must adhere to social distancing requirements and the face covering order.


The new order removes the previous order’s limit on travel for recreational activities (residents no longer have to stay within 10 miles from home for that purpose). However, to reduce gathering and crowding near the coast, it imposes specific limits on access to the areas west of Highway 1. Between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., all public access to parks, trails, and beaches west of Highway 1 must be initiated from one’s residence and may not involve the use of a motor vehicle to travel (unless necessary to accommodate a physical impairment where the individual’s residence is within reasonable walking distance of the beach). 

Outdoor facilities with high-touch equipment or that encourage gathering must remain closed to public access. Such facilities include playgrounds, gym equipment, climbing walls, picnic areas, dog parks, and barbecue areas.

We have received many questions from businesses on whether they specifically are allowed to open up with the required modifications in place. Anyone with specific questions can call 211 or visit the County’s shelter-in-place FAQs online where you can find relevant information under the subheads Essential Business, Outdoor Business, and Construction. All of San Mateo County’s health orders are also available online in multiple languages.

#WaveofStrength Roadmap to Recovery:

To our local businesses, I encourage you to visit our COVID-19 daily update web page and the San Mateo County COVID-19 Business and Worker Resource webpage - on those pages you’ll find extensive lists of local, statewide, and national resources are available.

In the meantime, the City is working with our local and regional partners to develop a Local Recovery and Relief Plan for the Half Moon Bay community. Now more than ever, it is important that we hear from you on your recovery and relief needs. Please take a moment to Join the Conversation on Half Moon Bay’s future and complete a survey online.

We appreciate your feedback as we continue to engage and update the community on Half Moon Bay’s local recovery needs.

Coastside Comeback:

Coastside Comeback was created in April 2020 in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and the subsequent shelter-in-place measures. The site is maintained by the Half Moon Bay Downtown Association for the benefit of local businesses on the Coastside from Montara to Pescadero, providing a central hub for gift card sales that can provide much-needed revenues to businesses in our area.

The implementation of social distancing measures and the shuttering of “non-essential” businesses during the outbreak has had devastating effects on the small business community. Every small business we talk to has the same request – they need revenue, and quickly. They have what their customers want – merchandise, food, lodging, etc. – but the current environment makes it impossible to provide it in the usual manner. So, to our Half Moon Bay and Coastside community members: if you have the means, buying gift cards now can provide revenue to small businesses so they can weather this setback and continue to serve our community for years to come. The businesses you support today are the ones that will be here for you tomorrow.

Disaster Aid Relief Available for Undocumented Immigrants in California

California is providing one-time state-funded disaster relief assistance to undocumented adults who are ineligible for other forms of assistance, including assistance under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and pandemic unemployment benefits, because of their immigration status. This state funding is expected to reach about 150,000 undocumented adults.

The California Department of Social Services has selected twelve immigrant-serving nonprofit organizations to help individuals apply for and receive this disaster relief assistance in their region. An undocumented adult who qualifies can receive $500 in direct assistance, with a maximum of $1000 in assistance per household.

Catholic Charities of California will be providing the available aid to undocumented immigrants in San Mateo County. Please contact them at 866-490-3899 or

SAMCEDA Business Survey:

The San Mateo County Economic Development Association (SAMCEDA) is conducting a survey of businesses throughout the County to gauge how they can be most effective in assisting local businesses moving forward through the phased reopening. Please consider completing the survey here. The survey will close on Tuesday, May 26 at 5 p.m. The data from the survey will be shared with each city and chamber of commerce within the County so that together we can design, develop, and implement the most impactful tools needed for small business reopening and recovery.

May 19, 2020 City Council Meeting:

Tonight’s City Council meeting will include a COVID-19 Study Session at 6:00 p.m., followed by our regular meeting at 7:00 p.m. As “usual” special remote protocols will be in place:

Participants via Zoom can make live comments during the public comment portion of each agenda item. If you wish to comment on an item without participating via Zoom, please email your comment to prior to the meeting, or prior to the close of the public comment period for that item. Comments received will be read aloud at the meeting. Please note that public comments will be limited to three minutes.

As always, feel free to email me with any comments or concerns. And be sure to stay informed by visiting the City’s COVID-19 Daily Updates webpage, and our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Nextdoor feeds.

Together in Partnership, 

Mayor Adam Eisen