City of Moscow Reopening Some Facilities and In-Person Services
The City of Moscow is moving to reopen in-person services according to Governor Brad Little’s Stay Healthy Order and Idaho Rebounds Plan, which went into effect on May 1, 2020.
Many City services have been modified to meet the requirements of the Governor’s previous Stay Home Orders and Mayor Bill Lambert’s Public Health Emergency Orders, which have now been terminated. Examples include closure of City buildings, playgrounds and suspension of recreational programs.
In a phased approach to reopening, similar to the Governor’s Stay Healthy Order, in-person access to some limited public services will be open beginning Wednesday, May 6. Facilities that are reopening will follow specific social distancing and sanitization requirements as outlined in the Idaho Rebounds Plan guidelines and the Stay Healthy Order.
Facilities that will resume in-person service for the public include:
- City Hall, 206 E Third Street
- Human Resources
- Community Events
- Finance - Utility Billing
- Police Department, 118 E 4th Street
Visitors will be required to wear masks as appropriate when visiting City facilities. Disposable single-use masks will be provided at all open facilities for those visitors who do not have a mask.
Measures the City has adopted for opening in-person services as outlined in the Idaho Rebounds Plan guidelines have been implemented and include the following:
Social Distancing - Maintain the six-foot physical distancing requirements for employees and customers.
- Facilities that can conduct business without in-person interactions will continue to do so.
- Floor stickers to be applied in public areas to provide reminders for social distancing
- Facilities unable to provide space for more than one person and meet 6 feet minimum allow only one person in the facility at a time.
Enhanced Sanitation/Hygiene Practices - Provide adequate sanitation and personal hygiene for employees, vendors, and patrons.
- Hand sanitizer stations in place throughout offices.
- Ensure frequent disinfection of the facility as well as regular cleaning, especially of high-touch surfaces
- Disinfectant wipes or spray and paper towels to be kept at every work station.
- Stations are to be wiped down upon employee’s arrival, departure, and after every interaction with another customer or employee.
Personal Protective Equipment/Mask Protocols - Personal use items such as masks, face coverings, and gloves may be required to be used by employees, customers and visitors. The City has provided cloth masks to all City employees.
- Masks are required to be worn at any time employees are working with customers or anticipate working with customers.
- Masks are required to be worn in office settings when the six-foot social distance between customers and/or coworkers cannot be maintained. This includes vehicles.
- In public places, masks are to be worn when social distancing cannot be maintained and when close to other employees or working in crews.
- Visitors will be required to wear masks as appropriate when visiting City facilities. Disposable single-use masks will be provided at all open facilities for those visitors who do not have a mask.
Limit Interactions When Possible - Provide services while limiting close interactions with customers.
- Plexiglass partitions have been installed at all customer service counters.
- Online options and drop boxes are to be used where possible for applications, payment, etc.
Restrict Non-Essential Business Travel - All non-essential business travel has been suspended.
Maintain a Healthy Workplace - Strategies have been identified for addressing ill employees, which include requiring COVID-19 positive employees to stay at home while infectious, and include keeping employees who were directly exposed to a COVID-19 positive employee away from the workplace, and the closure of the facility until the location can be properly disinfected.
- The guidelines for employees who are sick are outlined in the City’s Sick Leave Personnel Policy. It is the general philosophy of the City that employees who are ill have primary responsibility to stay home if they are sick. Supervisors are required to work with their employees in enforcing this philosophy for the safety of the individual who is ill, fellow employees, and the public.
- If other practices are identified as appropriate for specific types of situations, such as screening of employees for illness and exposures upon work entry, requiring non-cash transactions, etc.
Services that are still available, but public access will remain closed due to limitations on the ability to maintain social distance mandates will continue to be accessible via the web, email and phone include:
- City Hall - Legal Office
- Paul Mann Building - Building Safety & Planning
- Water Office Building
- City Council meetings will continue to be conducted remotely
- City Commissions will not meet during May, with some exceptions for Board of Adjustment, Planning & Zoning, and Tree Commission when conducting land-use and/or quasi-judicial functions
Public facilities and services that will remain closed until Phase 2 of the Idaho Rebounds Plan guidelines, tentatively scheduled for May 16 include:
- Hamilton Indoor Recreation Center
- Eggan Youth Center
- Restrooms at Playgrounds
- Advisory Commission Meetings
As additional services are reviewed, and plans are made to reopen in-person services under the Idaho Rebounds Plan guidelines, additional information will be shared with the public via press releases, social media, and the City’s website.
City Facilities & Services Affected by COVID-19
Council & Commission Meetings
- City Commission meetings are suspended until Phase 2 of the Idaho Rebounds Plan guidelines except for those Commissions that have legal or quasi-judicial business, including the Planning and Zoning (for application processes), Board of Adjustment, and Tree Commission on an as-needed basis only.
- All Parks & Recreation facilities and programs are suspended until Phase 2 of the Idaho Rebounds Plan guidelines. City-managed playfields will be prepped for summer use and maintained to be ready when needed.
- The City will not terminate water, sewer, or sanitation services for non-payment of bills through the end of April. Further consideration will be given and assessed as the situation unfolds.
- Latah Sanitation:
- Administrative Offices - All Latah Sanitation Inc. Administrative Offices will remain open but are closed to the public. For assistance please call 208.882.5724 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Latah County Transfer Station– Revised procedures have been implemented to continue to maintain minimum face-to-face interaction and social distancing between customers and scale staff. Specifically, this includes charging self-haul fees directly to utility billing accounts with the City of Moscow. Customers should bring a driver’s license or other form of picture identification.
- Moscow Recycling Center– Yard waste drop-off facilities at Moscow Recycling and the Latah Sanitation, Inc. (LSI) Solid Waste Processing Facility have been reopened to the public; please keep proper social distancing practices in mind when visiting these facilities. Call Latah Sanitation at 208-882-5274 for more information about these services.
- Rural Recycling Collection Stations– Closed.
- Rural Brush Collection Stations– Closed.
- Collection Events
- Curbside Solid Waste Collection– Garbage collection is an essential service and Latah Sanitation Inc. is currently operating the same routes and schedules as usual.
- Curbside Recycling Collection– Latah Sanitation Inc. is currently operating the same routes and schedules as usual.
- Bulky Waste– Collection events in rural Latah County will remain open, with exception of the Transfer Station collection site
- In keeping with the CDC’s recommendation limiting public gatherings to 50 people or less, any City permit authorizing groups of greater than 50 people before the first week of May has been revoked or will not be approved.
- Gatherings taking place later in May will be evaluated in the coming weeks. Notice of the potential cancellation will be sent directly sent to permit holders. Cancellations are subject to become more restrictive, depending upon the progression of the pandemic.
- Community events canceled include Hemp Fest held annually in April, and Renaissance Fair, scheduled for May 2-3.
- The first regular day of Moscow Farmers Market has been postponed until June 6. Beginning May 16, the Community Events Division will offer a pre-paid contactless pick-up location as part of this season’s operations. Officially titled the "Motor-In Moscow Farmers Market," patrons can place orders with Moscow Farmers Market vendors online and schedule a pick-up time at Moscow City Hall. Visit https://www.ci.moscow.id.us/824/Motor-In-Moscow-Farmers-Market for more information,.
- Artwalk planning will be managed online and electronically, with plans to host the event pending further information or COVID-19 concerns.
Actions Taken in Response to COVID-19
This City of Moscow’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) response is designed to follow and support State and Federal guidelines. The City of Moscow has taken several actions in the past weeks in support of those guidelines in an effort to mitigate and prevent the impacts of COVID-19 in our area. Actions taken in regards to COVID-19 include the following:
- City Staff presented to Administrative and Public Works Finance Committees the process for updating the City’s Pandemic Preparedness Plan.
- Weekly regional meetings in Latah County kick off.
- Weekly regional meetings Whitman County attended by Moscow representatives.
- President of the United States issues Proclamation on Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak.
- Mayor Lambert issues Proclamation of Local Disaster Emergency in the City of Moscow due to COVID-19, effective for 7 days.
- City Staff presented updated Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Plan to City Council.
- Council passed Resolution 2020-05 authorizing extension of March 13 declaration, extending the Mayor’s March 13, Proclamation of Local Disaster Emergency . Extends March 13 Proclamation of local disaster to May 5.
- City provides curb-side signage and approval for interested businesses.
- 116th Congress passes Family First Coronavirus Response Act.
- Council approves addition of City Code – Emergency Powers Ordinance (Ordinance 2020-03 was approved unanimously establishing enactment of Title 1 Chapter 11- Moscow City Code Entitled Emergency Powers).
- Mayor issues Public Health Emergency Order 20-01: Restricts gatherings of groups of more than ten persons within the boundaries of the City of Moscow. This prohibits dine-in service for bars and restaurants, but the Order does provide for curbside pick-up, take-out and drive-through of food and/or drink service. These limitations and restrictions do not apply to businesses that serve fewer than ten individuals at a time, nor do they apply to grocery stores, gas stations, and pharmacies, nor to emergency overnight or day shelters that provide food service to persons experiencing homelessness. Effective for 7 days.
- Council approves Resolution 2020-06:, extending Emergency Order 20-01 to May 5.
- Mayor Lambert issues Public Health Emergency Order 20-02: Order No. 20-02 orders "there shall be no gatherings in groups of more than ten (10) persons within a facility within the boundaries of the City of Moscow." This mass gathering order applies to the general public which includes educational institutions and any assembly, including churches and religious organizations. Order No. 20-02, also includes business closures for gyms, tattoo parlors, barber shops and salons. Orders 20-01 and 20-02 do not apply to childcare/daycare services and facilities.
- Governor Brad Little Issues Statewide Stay-At-Home Order.
- Council approves Resolution 2020-07: Extends Emergency Order 20-02 to May 5.