Update from the Mayor – After school/preschool closures, Price Gouging | COVID-19 updates

South San Francisco, CA   March 13, 2020 Press Release

I realize the South San Francisco community is concerned about the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), as are we. This is a first-of-its-kind situation for our community, and a public health crisis, but please be assured that we are taking all the necessary steps to protect the public’s health. The City of South San Francisco continues to track and monitor the public health situation in our community, including participating in the San Mateo County briefings as well as monitoring advisories issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


The City has already taken steps to prevent the transmission of the Coronavirus by cancelling numerous community events. Our goal is to reduce social interactions and the opportunity for community transmission of the virus. Your personal actions and behaviors matter. Please follow county, state, and federal advice about increased personal hygiene, reducing in-person contact, and limiting non-essential travel. If you are a host or are a member of a social gathering, please consider delaying or cancelling events.


Informing the Community on the Latest Local Developments

The leading agency focused on public health and responding to the COVID-19 virus is the San Mateo County Health Department. As of Friday, March 13, there are 20 confirmed coronavirus cases San Mateo County.


Residents with non-medical, non-emergency questions about the coronavirus can call 2-1-1 or text 211211 at any time, day or night. 2-1-1 is a confidential service available in 180 languages.


Price Gouging is Illegal

The Governor issued a proclamation of a state of emergency to deal with the novel coronavirus or COVID-19 on March 4, 2020. Price gouging, as defined in Penal Code section 396, is illegal after such a proclamation or declaration. Specifically, it is a crime to sell items such as consumer food items or goods, and emergency or medical supplies, during the state of emergency or local emergency for a price that is more than 10% greater than the price charged by the seller of those goods or services immediately before the proclamation or declaration of the emergency. A violation of section 396 is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $10,000.


A person who would like to report an incident of price gouging in San Mateo County should contact the District Attorney’s Office by calling (650) 363-4403


Childcare and After School Programs


*Summer Camp Registration, March 14 (new process TBA)

Information about a modified process for summer camp registration will be coming soon. This information will be communicated via e-mail to all participants who have registered for the summer camp lottery. Updates will also be posted at www.ssf.net/rec.


*Preschool, Before and After School Program, R.E.A.L. Program (March 16 – April 3)

In response to the San Mateo County Health Department’s recent guidance to cancel or postpone large events in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 within the County, and the South San Francisco Unified School District’s school dismissals, the City will be closing the following childcare programs effective March 16 – April 3 in an effort to promote the social distancing needed to help slow the spread of COVID-19:

    • Little Steps Preschool
    • Siebecker Preschool
    • Westborough Preschool
    • Buri Buri Before & After School Program
    • Monte Verde Before & After School Program
    • Ponderosa  Before & After School Program
    • Spruce Before & After School Program
    • Los Cerritos REAL program
    • Martin REAL Program


City Closures/Suspensions

  • Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the City Clerk’s Office is suspending passport and notary services effective Monday, March 23, 2020. The City of South San Francisco takes the health and safety of residents, visitors and employees very seriously. Per the direction of the San Mateo County Health Department and Mayor Garbarino, we have made the difficult decision to postpone all “non-essential” citywide events, classes, gatherings, including Passport and Notary services. We expect to resume services on Monday, April 6, 2020. Please visit the U.S. Department of State – Passport Acceptance Facility Search Page to find the nearest location to apply for a passport. Should you require an emergency passport appointment, please contact the U.S. Department of State at 1-877-487-2778.
  • In addition, the Magnolia Center, 601 Grand Avenue, is closed.


Event Cancellations/Postponements

In addition to what was previously sent out in the Mayor’s Letter from March 11, 2020 – here are additional cancellations.

  • AARP Tax Assistance at Magnolia Center, March 14 – March 29

The City’s event calendar is being updated to reflect cancelled or postponed events as needed.


Please refer to the City calendar on our website, www.ssf.net.


South San Francisco Unified School District Closure

Out of an abundance of caution and for the safety and well-being of our community, the school district has decided to dismiss its students from school beginning Monday, March 16th through Friday, April 3rd, with continuity of education and operations. This means that all school-related activities will be cancelled, including classes, athletics, arts, clubs, and planned field trips. Students are not to be on campus during this time, and staff will practice safe hygiene/health protocols and social distancing while on campus. During the closure, they will continue to work with the health departments and will gain a better understanding of the situation. They will also use the time to do a thorough and deep cleaning of their campuses.


During this period of closure, all student absences are considered to be excused.


Reliable Resources

County officials recommend residents rely on official channels from news and information about COVID-19 and efforts to contain its spread.


Residents should check with the South San Francisco Unified School District about schools, not social media posts from unaccredited websites, for instance. The following provide reliable and trusted information:


San Mateo County Health



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention



South San Francisco Unified School District







Richard Garbarino



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