Preparing for COVID-19

Microscopic view of coronavirus

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The following is a press release prepared by the City of Emmett detailing particulars of what is being done locally in response to COVID-19.

The City of Emmett staff is doing all it can to keep Emmett residents and city staff safe from the effects of the current viral pandemic. The City’s website at provides competent and factual information you can use. As fluid as this situation is, we will do our best to keep it updated daily in order to give you solid resources for making good decisions about the current situation.

City staff has a three-tiered concept of how it performs daily operations at this time. Tier 1 is the current situation. This extends to April 30th barring a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Gem County: We will no longer reserve city property for public events; common notices of our preference about how you interact with city staff, i.e., call or email to do business with city offices or drop off utility payments in drop boxes provided, have been posted on all city buildings open to the public. The Library through its separate board has elected to close at this time. Barring an emergency requiring a public hearing under the law, staff will not schedule public hearings between now and April 30th. If one is required to be scheduled, staff will provide all necessary information about how to view or listen to it on your computers.

Tier 2 activates should a confirmed case of Coronavirus arise in Gem County. At that time all city buildings go into a hard lockdown. Dealing with city offices by phone or email will be required. All employees who can work remotely, will do so. City council meetings will take place remotely as authorized by state statute. The police department will issue guidance on which complaints must be handled by phone or email and which ones will result in a face-to-face meeting with an officer.

Tier 3 activates only should a city employee acquire the virus. Among other things, this will involve the deep and stringent sanitizing of all city buildings and areas and equipment used by city staff. Department heads will determine which employees rotate in and out based upon a reduced staff footprint, and, in conjunction with the city council, a determination will be made addressing which city services can be legally reduced and which can be legally suspended and for what length of time.

At 8:00 a.m., 18 March, Wednesday, Mayor Petrie will declare a state of emergency for purposes of federal reimbursement (if any extra city costs are incurred). This will be a formality for funding purposes and not an escalation of danger to the public. Right now, risk is low for acquiring the disease in our city.

Editor's note: Messenger Index will continue to post information provided each day by health and governmental agencies regarding the current coronavirus pandemic. These articles should be outside the paywall on this website and viewable for all with or without a subscription. 

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