March 6, 2020
Dear Neighborhood Council Colleagues,
You and your Neighborhood Council can help your community get ready for and respond to the possible threat of coronavirus in Los Angeles. 
In order to help LA better prepare for and prevent the spread of coronavirus - aka COVID-19 - Mayor Garcetti officially declared a state of local emergency for the City of Los Angeles on March 4th. 
While there are only a few known active cases in the region at this time, an official declaration of emergency like this one allows a Neighborhood Council (NC) to exercise their Emergency Authority. 
What is NC Emergency Authority and how is it used?
NC Emergency Authority allows a Neighborhood Council’s President or Chair to use their discretion to direct the immediate use of NC funds for services and/or supplies related to recovery and mitigation efforts for the declared emergency. 
Up to $1,000 of NC funds are authorized for use in this manner, without prior board approval. Over $1,000 in NC funds may be allocated for services and/or supplies pertaining to a declared emergency, with prior approval by the NC board at a properly noticed public meeting. The Department recommends reporting all NC fund authorizations for declared emergencies at your next board meeting, so that your action gets entered into the official record.
In an Emergency Authority case like this one, the NC President or Chair may authorize the NC Bank Cardholder to utilize their NC bank card to purchase items and services to facilitate their community’s ability to respond to the declared emergency. 
Such expenses must be within the stated spending limits, and are strictly for emergency services/supplies under the circumstances described above. Expenditures of this type are classed in the Outreach subcategory. For a complete overview of expenditures of NC funds in declared emergencies, see pp. 38-39 of the current Neighborhood Council Funding Program manual .
Meeting attendance & management
As a reminder, board and committee members must be physically present in order to be counted as in attendance. However, a Neighborhood Council board or committee has the discretion to cancel a meeting if they think they will not have quorum. 
To help your stakeholders stay up to date with NC business during this time, you can choose to livestream your meeting to your website, Facebook page, or YouTube channel. If you do choose to livestream, make sure to announce where and when your stakeholders can tune in. Let your stakeholders know that commenting on the livestream does not count as a public comment on an agendized item. You can provide an email address and deadline for comments to be submitted instead.
Where to find reliable, up-to-date info on coronavirus in Los Angeles
Many of the coronavirus news stories are international or national in scope, so it’s important to monitor reliable local sources to get the news that’s most relevant to your community. 
Though a case has been reported in Los Angeles County, the risk of acquiring coronavirus in the LA area is low, especially if you follow simple steps to keep hands clean (wash for 20 seconds with soap and water, or use alcohol-based sanitizer) and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. 

Get the latest verified news on coronavirus cases in Southern California and download infographics in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Korean to share with your stakeholders via the LA County Public Health’s portal

Learn more about what the City of Los Angeles is doing to prepare for and prevent the spread of coronavirus at the Mayor’s coronavirus webpage

Have questions? 
Please contact your Neighborhood Empowerment Advocate or your NC Funding Representative if you require further assistance.