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City Preps for Coronavirus

The City of Monrovia has no confirmed cases of the coronavirus, but is preparing, with tasks for each city office:

City Manager's Office

The City Manager's Office is responsible for preparing public notices, press releases and communicating on behalf of the City. At this time, the City Manager's Office is preparing to provide daily updates related to COVID-19 so Monrovians know where to get latest information.

In addition, the City Manager is designated as the City's Emergency Services Director. This means that in the event a Disaster Proclamation is necessary, the manager would request the City Council to make such a proclamation if Council is in session, or may issue the proclamation when out of session, provided Council formally adopts within seven (7) days. A Disaster Proclamation recognizes the existence of a local emergency and assists the City to mobilize resources and provide emergency response.

Personnel policies and procedures, as well as general updates to employees, are also provided by the City Manager's Office. Communicating effective training, hygiene and updates are important for our first responders, public works crews and hundreds of city employees to pursue a safe working environment.

Police Department

In the police department, the Dispatch Center is handling all emergency calls as it normally would. However, dispatchers are questioning callers and determining if a call concerns a person who may have signs or symptoms and risk factors for COVID-19. This query process is helpful in determining if other first responders, such as police officer or firefighters/paramedics, should prepare for a response by using personal protective equipment recommended for COVID-19. Staff is also preparing operational activities that could be necessary if a case is confirmed in Monrovia in addition to preventative measures such as supplying vehicles/equipment with personal protective equipment and training.

Fire Department

The Fire Chief is designated as the Deputy Emergency Services Director and is largely responsible for field operations during emergency events. The department has equipped vehicles with necessary supplies and is providing coordination, training and distribution of information about the event. They coordinate with healthcare providers in the area to ensure that if someone is exposed to COVID-19, that proper communication happens between the City and agencies that need to be involved, including healthcare providers, the CDC and other regional authorities.

Public Works Department

Currently, Public Works staff is ensuring all public facilities are functioning as they normally would during regular business hours. They are working hard to ensure sufficient hand soap and paper towels are available in all locations and that trash services are being collected.

According to Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the risk for contracting COVID-19 still remains low in LA County; however, all are encouraged to practice social distancing strategies that limits exposure to others who may be ill. Implementing social distancing strategies is as simple as having verbal salutations in place of handshakes and hugs, not sharing utensils, cups and linens and staying six feet apart from others at public events.

To further prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, it is recommended that all "high-touch" surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, trash cans, phones, remote controls, keyboards, tablets and bedside tables are frequently cleaned and disinfected. When cleaning, use an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered product that cleans (removes germs) and disinfects (kills germs). As always, please follow the instructions on the labels of cleaning products and disinfectants.

The City is operating in a "business as usual" context although we have made small enhancements/changes to some of our operations to address COVID-19. The City will continue to remain vigilant and committed to providing updates, information and advisories from our local, state and federal public health agencies as they become available. These updates can be seen on our website, and social media platforms: Facebook and Twitter. The next regularly scheduled update will be on Monday, March 9.

To stay up-to-date with accurate information on COVID-19, those in LA County can call 211, or view the following websites:

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Global Cases Dashboard
COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment
Source: https://is.gd/9138aW

- Brad Haugaard

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