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Good morning. I would like to provide you with a few updates on how the City of Lewes is working hard to contain the spread of the Coronavirus and prepare for the rising number of cases we expect to see.
First, it appears that my message from yesterday left some people with concern that I was encouraging owners of second homes in Lewes to come here to ride out the crisis. This was not the intent. Unfortunately, we have seen an influx of people as schools and workplaces have closed. We wanted to stress to people that everything is closed here and that our healthcare system is prepared to deal with our year-round population’s needs in the midst of the crisis, but not a large influx. If you are considering coming to your second home in Lewes, we ask that you stay home.
The City has closed all City-owned public restrooms and the parking lots for our City beaches. Governor Carney is expected to make an announcement closing Delaware beaches later today. We ask that all residents comply with the order. Our Police Department will enforce compliance with all closures mandated by Governor Carney.
Unfortunately, many have not heeded the recommendations for social distancing that is necessary to flatten the curve. While a walk, bike ride, or run may be perfectly healthy especially now, congregating in parks or on our trails will contribute to spread of the virus. Allowing children to play on our playground equipment is not safe at this time. The virus can live on these surfaces for a long time, more easily transmitting the virus. We will be monitoring our parks and trails, and if we observe gatherings of people, we may need to consider closures.
Our Police Department is prepared and will remain vigilant to protect and serve our population and keep themselves safe and healthy. They are staying abreast of the recommendations for our first responders so that they can effectively do their jobs during this crisis.
Our Maintenance Department is continuing to work as well, focusing their priority on safe collection of trash and recycling. To help do your part, please do not leave any bags or other items outside your trash and recycling carts. These items will not be collected.
We have some administrative staff working from home, and will be getting others up and running soon as well. We will continue to provide services, but some services will be more challenging as we need to ensure the safety of our workforce. For example, inspection services are difficult to provide while maintaining social distancing. Decisions about these services will be made on a case-by-case basis.
If you need to contact one of our departments, the City’s website has contact information for each department. Department managers are monitoring e-mails and will respond accordingly. I am also monitoring e-mails and will respond to any questions or concerns you share with me. Communication with our constituents is a top priority.
I will send a separate e-mail with information provided by Beebe Healthcare regarding protocols for testing along with other resources to keep you informed of how you can keep yourself safe.