By: Bill O’Connell
Early in the Delta Village Council meeting on April 20th, Mayor Bob Gilbert spoke at length on the seriousness of the coronavirus or COVID19 and what actions the Village is taking to keep the community and its employees as safe as possible. “To think that this thing can’t spread like wildfire, were kidding ourselves,” said Mr. Gilbert, speaking on the highly contagious nature of the virus.
“Its ridiculously high in our country and its higher than any other country.” He cited several examples such as a pork processing plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota where 700 of the 3700 employees were found to be infected with COVIS19 and the state prison in Marion, Ohio where 1800 of the 2500 inmates were also infected with the virus.
“In Delta, we’ve taken a lot of steps to help curb the virus,” the Mayor continued. “We closed the parks. We cordoned everything off including the shelter houses and picnic tables. We are not, as of yet, going to open up for any softball or sporting events.” That could change but for now we’ve suspended those.”
He also said that the employees of the Water department, the Wastewater Department and the Street Department are considered essential and would continue to work under new guidelines.
The Police Department personnel have transitioned to working 12-hour shifts four days in a row followed by eight days off. “The purpose is to not have multiple bodies in the Police Department at the same time,” explained Mayor Gilbert.
“They are cautious when they go out on calls. They ask the public to use the telephone so there is no (physical) contact. They will be available if there is an emergency and if there are things they need to address immediately they will respond. They are trying to keep a hands-off policy so they do not contract the virus.”
Brad Peebles, Village Administrator, then discussed a memo that was sent to all departments under his jurisdiction and to all Council members titled “Actions Required Associated with COVID 19 Pandemic”.
The memo read, in part, “All employees will be required to take your temperature and record it upon arrival at your department. Electronic thermometers will be placed at the Water Plant, Sewer Plant and Memorial Hall.”
“A chart shall be used to record and maintain employee’s temperature by the administration. Any employee with a temperature of 100 degrees or greater will be required to return home. At this time, it will be with pay not impacting paid time off that have been accumulated.”
“Masks, with the anticipated continued shortage of N95 masks for the foreseeable future, will be provided to each department. These masks can be washed and reused (each employee will be responsible for adequately cleaning and sanitizing your equipment). Each employee shall clean and sanitize your work area at the beginning and end of your shift. Sanitizer will be provided to each department.”
“Employees shall minimize contact with residents or individuals outside of your operation. Any required interaction must be with the use of preventative measures while maintaining a safe distance to avoid the possibility of being exposed or exposing others.”
Mr. Peebles reported that his office is working with staff and talking with the Fulton County Health Department regarding operating policies on a temporary basis once the Stay at Home Order is lifted or becomes less restricted.
In other news, Councilman Michael Tanner requested to hold a meeting of the Village Services Committee on May 11, 2020 at 5:30 p.m. to discuss water rate increases.
The next meeting will be on May 4, 2020 at 5:30 p.m. using a format yet to be decided at this time.
Bill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org