UPDATED March 18 at 6 p.m.

MONMOUTH — On March 17, Monmouth Mayor Cecelia Koontz signed a state of emergency declaration in response to COVID-19.

All city buildings and offices will be closed to the public beginning Thursday at 4 p.m. March 19. Phone and online operations will continue as usual. This does not include vendors and contractors working with City departments.

Status and hours of operation are updated below.

The City is following Governor Kate Brown’s direction and Oregon Health Authority guidance on the following areas for the next 30 days:

In city facilities:

The Monmouth Senior Center is closed to walk-in traffic. The office will continue to take phone calls at 503-838-5678.

The Meals on Wheels Program will continue deliveries, however there will be no in-center meals. The tax assistance preparation program was canceled.

The Monmouth Public Library is closed to walk-in traffic.

Online services, such as access to the library's catalog, eResources, Library2Go ebooks and digital books, and the video streaming resource, Kanopy, will still be available to patrons wherever they have internet access.

Check the library's website or call 503-838-1932 for more information.

Municipal court cases scheduled for Wednesday, March 18 will be rescheduled due to court closure that day. To set up a new date, contact the court clerk at 503-751-0136, otherwise clients will receive notification early next week.

City Public Meetings:

The city is applying social distancing recommendations currently and evaluating options for teleconferencing or limiting number of participants or meetings as options. Social distancing means remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance of 6 feet from others when possible.

City events hosting more than 10 people in high risk populations are canceled.

The public is requested to conduct as much city business over the phone or internet in lieu of coming into city buildings in person. Most city business can be conducted remotely.

Monmouth Police Department is closed to walk-in traffic, but is still accessible by a call box in the lobby for non-emergencies or by phone at 503-838-1109.

Utility and court customers are encouraged to use the online Xpress Bill Pay service to pay their utility bills timely, or dropping payments in the drop box in the City Hall alleyway, or call 877-880-4038 to pay over the phone, rather than coming into city hall to pay in person.

Utility shut-offs for the month of April will be waived and disconnect for non payment and late fees will be waived for April as well.

Internally, the city is working on several actions to reduce the spread and impact of COVID-19.

Examples of the actions include:

Issued an administrative policy that provides guidance regarding key employee issues including:

• Provide paid time outside the standard leave accruals in the event the city requests an employee quarantine themselves.

• Relax normal leave request procedures so that individual employee situations can be handled faster.

• Allow employees to work remotely if their positions allow for it.

• City departments are coordinating additional sanitization and cleaning schedules.

• Evaluating options for non-essential staff to telework, when feasible, particularly individuals with underlying conditions or family members with underlying conditions.

• Evaluating the limitation of non-essential work travel.

• Cancel large work-related gatherings.

• Encourage personal protective measures among staff, e.g., stay home when sick, handwashing, and social distancing.

• Evaluating optional work schedules in the event mission-essential staffing needs to be increased or mission-essential staff become limited due to illness.

• If social distancing is not an option as in cases for police, employees are issued appropriate personal protective equipment.

The city of Monmouth staff is constantly in contact with both local and State public health authorities and making adjustment to our practices as direction changes from these authorities.

The city will update information on its website and Facebook page.

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