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Updates Regarding County Services During Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

On March 16, 2020, the Santa Cruz County Public Health Officer announced a legal order directing residents to shelter at home until April 7. The order limits activity, travel and business functions to only the most essential needs.

During this time, the County of Santa Cruz is modifying services to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Many in-person services have been suspended, and customers are asked to conduct business online and by phone, email or appointment.

Essential services are defined as those necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of the community. All Santa Cruz County hospitals and health clinics continue to remain open. Services provided by law enforcement and first responders will continue, and many departments will operate with modified services to minimize in-person contacts. County departments are encouraging residents to conduct business and access services with the County either online or by phone and email whenever possible.

This website will be updated as new information become available.

For the latest guidance and information on COVID-19, please visit www.santacruzhealth.org/covid.

The Agricultural Commissioner will continue to receive phone calls, emails and requests for appointments in order to provide essential public services that are necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of our community. Until further notice, the public counter is closed to walk-in customers and services are being offered through a variety of electronic methods and by appointment. Please call 831-763-8080 for assistance, or go to the Agricultural Commissioner’s webpage.

The Agricultural Cooperative Extension will continue to receive phone calls and emails in order to provide essential public services. Until further notice, the office will be closed to walk-in customers and will not be taking in physical samples or questions from clientele and the general public. Please call 831-763-8001 or email cesantacruzcounty@ucanr.edu to request services, or go to the Agricultural Extension’s webpage.

The Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter will continue to provide the following services deemed essential:

  • Adoptions by appointment – Please view adoptable animals online and complete adoption application online and call 831-454-7200 for assistance
  • Lost pet searches – Please view lost animals online and call 831-454-7200 for assistance and to file a lost animal report
  • Surrendering animals
  • Owner requested euthanasia
  • Redeeming lost pets
  • Stray animal drop-off
Due to the restrictions in place because of COVID-19, the Watsonville Shelter is temporarily closed until further notice. All animals and essential services have been relocated to the Santa Cruz location:
Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter
1001 Rodriguez St, Santa Cruz CA 95062
Open daily from 10 am to 6 pm
Please call 831-454-7200 before visiting the Santa Cruz and Watsonville Shelters for these services as they may require an appointment. If you found an animal or have a sick or injured animal between the hours of 10 am and 6 pm, please call 831-454-7200 for assistance. For after-hours assistance with a lost, sick or injured animal, take the animal to:
Santa Cruz Veterinary Hospital
2585 Soquel Drive, Santa Cruz CA 95062
831-763-5400

In coordination with Santa Cruz County, the following services will be suspended until further notice:

  • Planned Pethood spay/neuter services
  • One Stop services (i.e., Vaccinations)
  • In-person license renewal and donations (online)
  • Trainings and group meetings
  • Non-emergency officer responses
  • Humane education presentations
  • Benefit Shop

More information can be found on the Animal Shelter’s website.

Assessor’s Office
The Assessor's Office will offer limited services until further notice. Please call 831-454-2002 for assistance.

The Assessor’s webpage is also an excellent source of information, and the office urges taxpayers to seek answers to common questions online. During this period, the office asks for your patience and understanding with any delayed response.

Recorder’s Office
The Recorder's Office will not provide services for walk-in customers until further notice. Services will be provided as follows:

  • Real Estate – Customers are encouraged to submit documents through title companies which can submit them electronically. The office will also process documents sent through the mail. Documents can be placed in the drop box outside the Recorder’s Office.
  • Birth, Death, and Marriage Records Requests – Requests for vital records (birth, death, and marriage records) submitted submitted online through VitalChek and sent through the mail will be processed. Completed requests will be sent through the U.S. mail.
  • Official Record Purchases – Official Records (purchase of copies) submitted through the mail will be processed. Completed requests will be sent through the U.S. mail.
  • General Phone Calls and Emails – Phone calls, voicemails and emails will be answered based on availability of staff.

For updates and additional information, please go to the Recorder’s webpage.

The Auditor-Controller is a central service organization providing the accounting, payroll and financial support to the operations of the departments providing direct client services.

The following divisions will provide modified services to support ongoing operations countywide:

  • Payroll Division
  • Claims/ Accounts Payable Division
  • General Accounting Division
  • General Administration

All other divisions will be providing services on a limited basis. Please contact each division by phone or email, and the calls will be routed to available staff. The Auditor-Controller’s webpage provides information on their services and hours during this time.

County Supervisors and staff are accessible by phone, email and appointment between 8 am and 5 pm., Monday-Friday. Please call 831-454-2200 for assistance. Additional contact information for supervisors and staff can be found online.

Meetings of the Board of Supervisors that are held in Board Chambers can be viewed on the County’s agenda portal. Please note if you attend the Board of Supervisors meeting in-person, you will be required to maintain appropriate social distancing, including to maintain a distance of six feet between yourself and other individuals.

The Department of Child Support Services lobby is open from 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday, for payment kiosk access. Customers may also drop off documents at the front desk. Please call 866-901-3212 for assistance with child support cases. Customers can also communicate electronically with the department via Customer Connect. Child support payments continue to be accepted online. In-person services are limited at this time.

Meetings of advisory boards and commissions may be cancelled on a case-by-case basis, upon consultation with the applicable commission chairperson and supporting County departments. Cancellation notices will be posted on individual commissions webpages and will be sent to commissioners and interested parties.

The County Administrative is available by phone, email and appointment. Staff will also assist walk-in customers from 8 am to 12 pm, Monday through Friday. Staff will maintain a distance of six feet for all in-person visits to the office. Please call 831-454-2100 or email infodesk@santacruzcounty.us for assistance.

Clerk of the Board
The Clerk of the Board is available by phone, email and appointment. Only critical and significant issues will be responded to at this time. Please call 831-454-2323 or email Christine Berge for assistance.

Cannabis Licensing Office
The Cannabis Licensing Office is available by phone, email and appointment, but is closed to walk-in customers. Only critical and significant issues will be responded to at this time. Inspections will continue by appointment and will be limited to outdoor, hoop house and greenhouse cultivation operations. Please call 831-454-3426 or email Michael Sapunor. 

Economic Development
The Office for Economic Development is available by phone and email, but is closed to in-person visits. The office will continue to facilitate entitlement, project permitting, and work to retain existing employers, as well as continuing efforts to attract new firms that could benefit the region. Please call 831-454-3407 or email oed@santacruzcounty.us for assistance.

The office is also coordinating with cities, chambers and business partners to provide federal, state and local resources and guidance to businesses to lessen economic impacts caused by COVID-19. All businesses are encouraged to closely document their short-term and long-term financial impacts related to COVID-19, as this could be the basis for future allocations if funding is identified or awarded to our community from the federal or state level. For more information, please visit our “Coronavirus (Covid-19) Guidance for Business” webpage.

Homeless Services
The Homeless Services Coordination Office is available by phone, email and appointment. Please call 831-454-3402 or email hsco@santacruzcounty.us for assistance.

Marriage Ceremonies: Couples can book a marriage ceremony online. We are limiting the number of people in the wedding room to the couple and one witness. Weddings can be streamed live on the internet for other guests to watch. Outdoor weddings are also available and are also limited to the couple and one witness.

Marriage Licenses: Appointments to obtain a marriage license must be made by calling 831-454-2060.

Passports: Passport appointments will not be taken at this time. If it is an emergency, please call 1-877-487-2778 or go to the U.S. Department of State’s website.

Fictious Business Name Statements: FBNs must be filed by mail. Forms and instructions are available online.

Notary Oaths: Notary oath filings will be done by appointment if the filing expiration date is imminent.

One appointment will be offered every half hour to limit the number of people in the office at any given time.

For more information, please go to the County Clerk’s website, call 831-454-2060, or email info@sccoclerk.com.

The County Clerk reserves the right to refuse service to anyone exhibiting signs of illness. Customers are encouraged to bring their own pens and wash their hands before and after visiting the office. Staff are following public health guidelines of washing hands often, cleaning work surfaces frequently, covering coughs and sneezes, maintaining social distances, and staying home when sick.

The District Attorney’s Office has worked with its justice system partners to ensure that the criminal justice system is operating to serve the needs of public safety, defendants and victims during this health crisis. The office remains open but closed to walk-in customers. Contact information is available on the District Attorney’s webpage.

Court deadlines for arraignments and trials are being extended, and the District Attorney’s Office is working with criminal justice partners to determine court services that will remain open and available. For court information, please go to the Superior Court’s website.

The Elections Department continues to be open. The canvass for the March Election is in progress, and the vote will be certified by March 31. Election results will continue to be updated and posted online. All voter education and outreach events have been cancelled. Voters who require services are encouraged to call 831-454-2060, email info@votescount.com, or go online.

The General Services Department, including administration, facilities, custodial, fleet, warehouse and purchasing, will be open with limited staffing to support County departments. Any planned bid openings will occur as scheduled, and bids will be accepted as long as they are date stamped prior to the bid opening date and time.

Parking enforcement at the County Governmental Center has been suspended.

Behavioral Health Division
All services will remain open and available, however services are primarily conducted via phone as a majority of staff will be working remotely. In upcoming weeks, video conferencing with providers will be available to clients who require face to face contact. Psychiatrists, reception staff, mobile crisis services, select supervisors and managers, and Behavioral Health Director will remain on site. Home-based visits have been reduced, with an increased reliance on phone and video visits. Changes are effective until further notice.

Clinics Division
Clinics remain open, including lab and x-rays. Patients and visitors are screened at the door. In-person visits have been reduced to essential and urgent visits only. Other services such as Integrated Behavioral Health and Medicated Assisted Treatment support are being provided via phone when possible. Watsonville Clinic has a drive-through respiratory clinic available for patients. Outreach to homeless encampments have increased, and screenings as Homeless Persons Health Project will continue. Vaccinations to children as well as flu vaccinations to all will continue to be offered. Patients are encouraged to stay home unless symptoms require an evaluation by a medical provider. Phone consultations with providers are being offered for patients to determine if being seen in person is necessary.

Environmental Health
All services will remain open, including Consumer Protection, Hazardous Materials Program, Land Use, and Water Resources. A majority of staff are working remotely, however Clerical staff will remain onsite with a rotating schedule to assist clients. Any applications should be emailed to env.hlth@santacruzcounty.us, and, after receiving an invoice, payments can be completed online. Parcel and Facility Electronic File search will not be accessible on lobby computers, but rather available via the Environmental Health website. All programs will continue to operate during normal business hours.

Public Health Division
All services will remain open, including EMS, Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program, Bicycle Traffic School, Whole Person Care, Child Health and Disability Prevention, Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention, California Children’s Services, and Vital Statistics. It is strongly recommended that clients schedule appointments via phone, and mail in or email all applications and referrals when possible. Hands-on therapy within the Medical Therapy Unit is temporarily suspended, with therapists available by phone for emergency equipment questions. SUDS is operating remotely, continuing Friday Night Live remotely. CARE Team are temporarily discontinuing home visits, but continuing check-ins via phone. Family Health is temporarily discontinuing home visits, but continuing check-ins via phone. SSP is operating normally, but screening clients prior to entering the facility. All programs will continue to operate during normal scheduled hours.

Adult Services

  • Adult Protective Services - Adult Protective Services (APS) is currently following State guidelines that allows APS programs to collect and review information related to the client’s situation and needs by phone prior to conducting a face-to-face/in-person visit. Priority will be assigned to those at highest risk and in imminent danger and APS will be coordinating with law enforcement for in person responses.
    Call 831-454-4101 or toll free 866-580-HELP (4357)
    Fax 831-454-4290
  • In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS)
    Apply for IHSS Call 831-454-4101
    Fax 831-763-8906
    Contact your IHSS social worker Contact your IHSS social worker directly or call 831-454-4101
  • IHSS Payroll
    Electronic Timesheets Sign up for electronic timesheets and direct deposit at www.etimesheets.ihss.ca.gov. For assistance with electronic timesheets, call the IHSS Service Desk at 866-376-7066.
    Request paper timesheets
    Payroll discrepancies
    Call 831-454-7315
    Fax 831-454-4290
    E-mail: hsdihssfiscal@santacruzcounty.us
  • IHSS Public Authority
    Live Scan Currently unavailable
    Enroll as an IHSS Provider Online at www.reva-pa.com
    Provider registry assistance Call 831-454-4036
    Provider supplies Call 831-454-4036
  • Veterans Services Office
    Assistance available by phone Call 831-454-7276
    Fax 831-458-7116

 

Employment and Benefit Services

Employment and Benefit Services offices are modifying operations to limit unnecessary face-to-face contact. All essential services continue to be provided by phone, online and mail while access to the walk-in service centers will be limited.

  • Employment Services
    CalWORKs Employment Services
    (Welfare-to-Work)
    Call or email your Employment Training Specialist
    WIOA Participants Call or email your Employment Training Specialist
    For other employment or business services, including how to file an unemployment insurance claim, go to the Workforce Santa Cruz County website.
  • Medi-Cal, CalFresh or Cash Aid Benefits
    Use MyBenefits CALWIN or GetCalFresh to:
    • Report changes
    • Apply for benefits
    • Submit reports and documents
    Call 888-421-8080 to:
    • Report changes
    • Apply for benefits
    Use mail to:
    • Report changes
    • Apply for benefits
    • Submit reports and documents
    Use My Santa Cruz County to:
    • Submit reports and documents

 

Family & Children’s Services

  • Child Protective Services
    Call 831-454-4222
    Fax 831-454-4717

    Child Protective Services (CPS) is currently following State guidelines that allows CPS programs to collect, and review information related to the client’s situation and needs by phone prior to conducting a face-to-face/in-person visit. Priority will be assigned to those at highest risk and in imminent danger.

    To Report Child Abuse:
    Family and Children’s Services is still operating and can be reached at 831-454-2273 or toll free at 877-505-3299.
    • Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
    • In cases of an immediate emergency, always call 911 for law enforcement intervention. Where the situation is not an emergency needing the police, reports should be made to the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline.
  • Foster Care and Adoptions
      For questions about foster care or adoption, call 831-345-2700.
    Live Scan Currently unavailable
    Foster Care Orientations Currently unavailable
    Resource Family Approval Foundations Class Currently unavailable

 

ISD IT Support continues to be the conduit to request assistance. If you have remote worker related questions, we urge you to explore the documentation on the County Remote Worker team site. ISD will not be providing drop-in support. Any in-person assistance will be handled via scheduled appointments.

Programming, GIS, Networking, Server Team and IT Support will continue to provide services, using remote networking tools like Teams to reduce the risks of virus transmission. The technology is such that very few services require the physical presence of IT staff but when necessary, staff will be deployed as appropriate.

Duplicating will be rerouting all incoming mail to their office in the basement of 701 Ocean. They will sort all mail into department specific bins and schedule self-service pick up and drop off times for departments to collect and drop off mail.

The Radio Shop will be operating with reduced staff on site. Twenty-four hour support for the radio communication systems will continue as always.

Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) meetings may be cancelled on a case-by-case basis following consultation with the LAFCO Chair. For more information about upcoming LAFCO Meetings, please visit the LAFCO website.

Applications for boundary changes, such as annexations, are still being accepted. Please note that the LAFCO Office includes only two staff members. Regular office hours still apply but changes may occur. Therefore, LAFCO staff encourages applicants to contact the LAFCO Office prior to submitting any proposals. Please call 831-454-2055 or email info@santacruzlafco.org for assistance.

County Parks will keep areas open that are conducive to safe social distancing. Parks facilities that are closed include Simpkins Swim Center, visitor centers, museums, and group picnic areas. All programs, special events, recreation and education camps are cancelled.

Parks crews will maintain and ensure customer safety in the parks, open space and trail areas that remain open. All parks and restrooms will continue to be open sunrise to sunset.

For private events, reservations and special use permits, County Parks is suspending its cancellation policy. The public may cancel any events or reservations with a full credit to a later time or refund.

The Personnel Department is available to serve internal and external customers from 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. The in-person customer service window will be open from 8 am to 12 pm, Monday through Friday.

Services will be supplemented through appointments, email, telephone, and video conferencing in the areas of risk management, employment services, equal employment opportunity, and employee relations salary administration. In-person trainings will be suspended until further notice.

Please call 831-454-2600 for assistance. If you receive the department’s voicemail, please leave a message as these messages will be picked up frequently. Alternatively, if you have direct contact information for staff, feel free to reach out to them directly.

The Planning Department is available by phone, email and appointment in order to provide essential public services that are necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of our community. Until further notice, the public counter is closed to walk-in customers. The department will continue to receive eplans. Please go to the Planning Department’s webpage for specific instructions and assistance.

Probation Department offices are currently open, response time to phone calls and messages may take longer or may be delayed until after the shelter-in-place order expires, is rescinded or superseded on or before April 7, 2020.

Juvenile Probation Offices
The lobbies remain open during normal business hours with limited access. All Juvenile court hearings will only take place in Felton. The Evening Center is closed until further notice. Azteca soccer programming is suspended until further notice.

Felton Office
3650 Graham Hill Road
Felton, CA 95018
831-454-3800

Watsonville Office
1430 Freedom Blvd., Room 14
Watsonville, CA 95076
831-763-8070

Juvenile Hall
Juvenile Hall operations continue. In-person visitation has been suspended, and access to telephone and virtual visits for youth and their families is being provided. All programming provided by community-based organizations has been suspended. The Probation Department is collaborating with the Santa Cruz County Office of Education to continue offering educational services for youth at Juvenile Hall remotely. There are no school staff on site.

3650 Graham Hill Road
Felton, CA 95018
831-454-3800

Adult Probation
The lobby remains open during normal business hours with limited access. Walk-ins are strongly discouraged. The Probation Service Center is closed until further notice. For Adult monthly reporting electronically, please use this link and click Divisions and select Adult Services: https://www.santacruzcounty.us/Departments/ProbationDepartment.aspx.

For court information, please go to the Superior Court’s website.

Santa Cruz Office
303 Water Street, Suite 9
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
831-454-2150

Watsonville Office
1430 Freedom Blvd. Room 14
Watsonville, CA 95076
831-763-8070

The Department of Public Works (DPW) provides essential services such as roads, water, sanitation, drainage, solid waste, and facility construction. These services require the active support of all DPW employees. To provide uninterrupted service, the department will continue to be available by appointment, website or telephone to meet the needs of the community and the department’s employees.

Issues may be reported through My Santa Cruz County. In addition, many services (e.g., sewer permits, survey information) are offered online and most questions can be answered by phone. Please call 831-454-2160 for assistance as this may eliminate the need to visit DPW’s facilities. The Buena Vista Landfill and Ben Lomond Transfer Station remain open with modified hours for essential disposal needs.

Patrol Operations
The Sheriff’s Office is dedicated to ensuring public safety and will remain open 24x7 in order to respond to emergencies. All essential functions are open with appropriate precautions being implemented in order to reduce exposure and ensure the safety and health of our community. Our substations, public lobbies and visitor access may be temporarily closed to the public during this public health emergency and all sick visitors will be turned away.

If you need law enforcement assistance, please call 9-1-1 for all emergencies, 831-471-1121 for non-emergencies, or 831-454-7620 for general information.

Correctional Facilities
In order to protect the health of inmates and staff, all in-person visitation has been suspended. The Sheriff’s Office understands that visitations are important to both those incarcerated and their loved-ones; however, this step is necessary in order to limit the spread of COVID-19. In-person visitations will be reestablished as soon as it is safe.


To limit the spread of the virus, taxpayers and members of the public are directed to follow the shelter in place instructions and make all tax and collections payments by mail or online. Please do not mail cash.

The Tax Collector’s lobby expects to be closed. In the event a taxpayer must come to the office in person to complete their transaction, they are encouraged to make an appointment. Appointments are subject to staff availability and may change so please call 831-454-2510.

The property tax deadline, as mandated by the State of California, is 5 pm on April 10th. In the event the shelter in-place order is extended, taxpayers may request cancellation of any penalties that have accrued on their accounts. Access this request form online.