City of Ames Announces Steps in Response to COVID-19 Virus
The City of Ames is announcing that beginning Monday, March 16 through April 3, 2020, all tours of City facilities and use of City building meeting rooms by outside groups will be discontinued. Additionally, the Ames Public Library has announced it is discontinuing programs held in the Library and use of Library rooms by outside groups for the same period of time. City officials will review the situation at the end of this period and determine whether to extend this decision.
Mayor John Haila explained, “We regret this temporary disruption, but are confident everyone will understand these actions are geared to helping protect the health and safety of our citizens and continuing to provide essential City services to the public.”
This action is consistent with the medical experts’ advice to discontinue large group meetings in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus so the medical system is not overwhelmed.
Mayor Haila emphasized, “The City, in concert with our local partners, has been developing plans for the potential impact of this disease on our community. Two weeks ago, we never could have imagined how the lives of everyone in our country would be altered by COVID-19. The City of Ames is not immune from this situation. I can assure you that the City is doing everything possible to deal with this crisis. However, each of us must be prepared to incorporate increased precautions into our everyday actions by following the advice of our medical experts: wash your hands frequently, adhere to social distancing, and stay home if you are sick.”
The suspension of City building meeting rooms does not include City board or commission meetings or the City Council, but City staff is evaluating options to move some of these meetings to a conference call format.
As the spread of the virus continues to evolve, citizens should expect other changes in services as the City’s response to the COVID-19 virus is implemented. The Mayor is urging everyone to pay attention to information disseminated by public health authorities. Information and resources, including links to public health authorities, are available at www.cityofames.org/COVID19