Spearfish committed to providing services through COVID-19 pandemic
SPEARFISH, SD (March 12, 2020)– Following the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) announcement that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has reached pandemic status, the City of Spearfish recognizes the significance of the pandemic, has a plan in place, and will continue to provide services to our community for the duration of any local outbreak.
“Spearfish is committed to the wellbeing of its citizens,” Mayor Dana Boke said. “We are all in this together and will continue to adapt to the conditions to best serve the health, safety, and wellbeing of our community.”
The City encourages all citizens to take precautions to protect their wellbeing and echoes the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) recommendations for everyday preventative actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
The City asks the public to assist in the prevention efforts by utilizing electronic services available, such as paying utility bills online versus entering City Hall, and by considering the wellbeing of their neighbors and staying home from public facilities like City Hall, Spearfish Rec Center, Grace Balloch Memorial Library, etc., if they have symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Those who are experiencing symptoms are directed to call their healthcare provider before going to a clinic or hospital – even if they already have an appointment. This will help the healthcare provider’s office to take steps to keep others from getting infected or exposed.
Even with the best prevention, Spearfish will feel the impact of the pandemic, both directly and indirectly, and during the outbreak, the City is committed to providing critical services, which include:
- Wastewater treatment
- Water treatment
- Snow removal
- Solid waste removal
- Sewer/Water collection and distribution
- City leadership
The City is also considering the following resources which it will assist:
- Daycare for critical service employees
Depending on the duration and extent of the impact of COVID-19 on the community and City staff, valuable services may be temporarily unavailable or postponed. Valuable services include:
- Recreation and aquatic center and all related programs
- Rubble site operations
- Public facility rentals
- Engineering and floodplain administration
- Building services
- Planning services
- Motor Pool
- Hydroelectric production
- Human resource services
Losing access to the valuable services listed above is an inconvenience to the public; however, the City’s first priority is to ensure delivery of critical services. All City resources and staff will be redirected as necessary to ensure the continuity of critical services during the outbreak.
“The City is well positioned and prepared for the COVID-19 outbreak and will make changes to the preparedness plan as the extent of the virus becomes known,” City Administrator Mike Harmon said.
The City will use CivicReady, an electronic mass communication tool through the City’s website, as its primary communications tool during the outbreak. The City encourages citizens to sign up for CivicReady to receive alerts, and updates will also be posted on the City’s website, www.cityofspearfish.com. In addition, the City will utilize Facebook, email, local media, and other communications tools readily available to communicate possible public facility closures, loss of access to the valuable services when/if they occur(building permits, engineering, planning, etc.), and other COVID-19 related news.
The City has been in contact with Black Hills State University and the Spearfish School District and has joined their planning efforts for a unified approach and steady flow of information between the governmental agencies.
The City has also posted personal health safety tips and COVID-19 awareness messages in public locations. Additional signage encouraging those who are sick to remain at home and consider the wellbeing of their neighbors in public facilities has been ordered, and the City continues to evaluate additional options to sanitize public facilities.
Staff will continue to monitor briefings from the White House, CDC, and South Dakota Department of Health to stay aware of the recommendations, best practices, and most recent updates to stay properly prepared for the changing conditions during the outbreak. The City is also in communication with Monument Health and the Spearfish Emergency Ambulance Service to ensure the agencies work together to provide necessary medical services and emergency medical services.
If a known infection presents itself in a public location, the City will provide notice to both visitors and employees, and staff will work in conjunction with Mayor Dana Boke to determine when and if public meetings will be held and when and if public facilities will close. In the same manner, the City is analyzing all positions, and as needed/practical, will direct staff to work from home. During the outbreak, work-from-home decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and keep the public apprised as information becomes available,” Mayor Boke said. “We thank the public for its help with preventative measures to keep people healthy through this pandemic.”