FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 12, 2020
Contact: Lisa Thurber
Director of Communications
City of Fayetteville Taking Steps to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
City of Fayetteville officials are closely monitoring and evaluating information about COVID-19. We are following guidance from the Arkansas Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and taking precautionary measures within our facilities to help prevent the spread of germs.
New information is coming in daily on this rapidly-changing situation, and the City activated its Emergency Operations Plan last month in response to growing concern about the health and safety of Fayetteville’s residents, visitors and business. The latest information and updates are available on the City’s COVID-19 web page.
Today, the City of Fayetteville implemented several actions to help reduce unnecessary risk of exposure and transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
Mayor Jordan has issued the following guidelines, effective immediately for all City Staff:
- Air travel for business purposes has been suspended for all City staff. This guideline will be re-evaluated at the end of March.
- Staff business travel out of state by car will be evaluated by managers based on meeting location and group size and must be approved by the Chief of Staff and the Mayor.
- Staff currently out of state on business travel will self-monitor their temperature and health upon return, for a period of no less than 14 days.
- Staff are encouraged to use caution and good judgment when engaged in personal travel to or through regions with confirmed cases.
- Staff should continue practicing preventative measures as outlined by the CDC.
The City is also evaluating staffing levels required to ensure the continuation of core services. City staff are encouraged to consider virtual meetings in place of face-to-face meetings with multiple attendees.
On service calls, first responders are taking steps to reduce exposure risks and protect core services. They are equipped with personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves, with additional equipment on the way. First responders are limiting direct contact with community members during emergency response events, especially in long-term care homes where residents have an elevated health risk and are more susceptible to COVID-19. By limiting unnecessary exposure during service calls, responders likewise reduce the potential for unknowingly transmitting the illness to others.
At this time, the City is reviewing upcoming meetings and events and considering whether these should continue as scheduled for the immediate future. Individuals, groups and organizations currently planning to hold private events are urged to prioritize the health and safety of residents and visitors and consider postponing or rescheduling events to a later date. This approach is subject to change based on new information about COVID-19.
Fayetteville police and fire officials have been working with the Washington County Department of Emergency Management and Arkansas Department of Health to help prepare and educate emergency responders for emergencies such as COVID-19. Representatives from local schools, businesses, the University of Arkansas, ambulance services, regional health care facilities and emergency responders are involved in preparations for this situation as well.
Please check the City of Fayetteville’s COVID-19 page, Fayetteville-ar.gov/covid19, for the latest information and updates. Additional information and resources on preventing the spread of this illness is available at http://www.CDC.gov.