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The original item was published from 5/13/2020 10:41:45 AM to 5/13/2020 11:14:51 AM.

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Posted on: May 13, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Re-Opening of City Departments and City Hall

We will be eventually be opening Departments and City Hall to the public, however, this date is not yet determined. When we do reopen, we must begin to make a plan for a safe and sanitary workplace.

A Few Important Reminders about Coronaviruses and Reducing the Risk of Exposure:

  • Coronaviruses on surfaces and objects naturally die within hours to days. Warmer temperatures and exposure to sunlight will reduce the time the virus survives on surfaces and objects.
  • Normal routine cleaning with soap and water removes germs and dirt from surfaces. It lowers the risk of spreading COVID-19 infection.
  • Disinfectants kill germs on surfaces. By killing germs on a surface after cleaning, you can further lower the risk of spreading infection. Disinfectants are in short supply, alternative disinfectants can be used (for example, 1/3 cup of bleach added to 1 gallon of water, or 70% alcohol solutions).
  • Always wear gloves appropriate for the chemicals being used when you are cleaning and disinfecting. Additional personal protective equipment (PPE) may be needed based on setting and products.
  • Practice social distancing, wear facial coverings, and follow proper prevention hygiene, such as washing your hands frequently and using alcohol-based (at least 60% alcohol) hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
  • Employees are directed not to share computers or office equipment. Equipment that must be shared, such as copiers, should either be assigned to one person or shall be sanitized by the employee after each use.
  • THE MOST IMPORTANT item we can stress is……. If you do not feel well, and are exhibiting signs of symptoms associated with the COVID-19, you must STAY HOME. Symptoms of COVID-19 include:
  • Fevers of 100.4 or greater, chills, muscle and body aches, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell.
  • If upon arrival to City Hall if appears that an employee is visibly sick the employee will be sent home.

There will be an opening of City Hall and we need to develop a plan to re-open.

This guidance is intended to ensure the cleanliness and safety of your and our workplace. As we have a limited maintenance staff (Tim and Charlie), each employee is responsible for cleaning and disinfecting their own respective work areas and spaces. Each Department will be responsible for overseeing their respective employees to assure they are cleaning and sanitizing their work areas.

  • Evaluate your workplace to determine what kinds of surfaces and materials make up that area. Most surfaces and objects will just need normal routine cleaning. Frequently touched surfaces and objects like light switches and doorknobs, telephones, and keyboards, will need to be cleaned and then disinfected to further reduce the risk of germs on surfaces and objects.
  • Some surfaces only need to be cleaned with soap and water. For example, surfaces and objects that are not frequently touched should be cleaned and do not require additional disinfection.

If your workplace has been unoccupied for 7 days or more, it will only need your normal routine cleaning to reopen the area. This is because the virus that causes COVID-19 has not been shown to survive on surfaces longer than this time.     

We can routinely use ready-to-use sprays, concentrates, and wipes. Each product that we have in use here at City Hall has been shown to be effective against viruses that are harder to kill than viruses like the one that causes COVID-19.

It is also recommended that we use 1/3 cup of bleach added to 1 gallon of water, (or 70% alcohol solutions). Bleach bottles will be available for all departments and Tim will make the solutions up in spray bottles.

We have also purchased Purell Covid-19 wipes that are individually packaged and will be distributed to each department within City Hall.                               

Continue routine cleaning and disinfecting

Tim Wilson will take the lead on cleaning and disinfecting all bathrooms both public and private, within City Hall as he has done since the shutdown.

We are in the process of obtaining hand-sanitizer stations at both entrances to City Hall, along with the entrance to the Council Chambers and EOC.  

  • Routine cleaning and disinfecting are an important part of reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Normal routine cleaning with soap and water alone can reduce risk of exposure and is a necessary step before you disinfect dirty surfaces.
  • Surfaces frequently touched by multiple people, such as door handles, desks, phones, light switches, and faucets, should be cleaned and disinfected at least daily. More frequent cleaning and disinfection may be required based on level of use. For example, certain surfaces and objects in public spaces, such as point of sale keypads, should be cleaned and disinfected before each use.
  • As we slowly open up for meetings, and general business, we will need to continue proper social distancing, social gathering, and access the areas afterwards to properly disinfect.  
  • The Inspection Department will be responsible for the cleaning and sanitizing of their “shared” vehicles.

Departments within the City of Michigan City

Attempting to develop a plan for each department is not logical so Department Heads are tasked with developing and implementing their own plan. These plans should be submitted to the Mayor’s Office for approval.

In overseeing your respected workplaces, Department Head plans should include considerations about the safety of their custodial staff and other tasked employees who are assigned to carry out cleaning and disinfecting. These individuals are at increased risk of being exposed to the virus and to possible toxic effects of cleaning chemicals and solutions. Staff should wear appropriate PPE for cleaning and disinfecting. Please include a program involving the vehicles assigned to your respective departments. 

To protect your staff and ensure that the products are used effectively, they should be instructed as to proper use, and application of disinfectants per the manufacturers guidelines. 

Reopening the City requires all of us to move forward together using recommended best practices and maintaining safe daily habits in order to reduce our risk of exposure to COVID-19. 

Remember: We’re all in this together!

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