FREDERICK - Mayor Eddie Whitworth issued a state of emergency proclamation to protect the health and safety of its citizens in response to the Coronavirus outbreak following authorization by the city council during an emergency meeting Wednesday, March 18.
The state of emergency began Thursday morning after it was signed by Whitworth and will remain in place indefinitely.
CITY FACILITIES CLOSED
Under the emergency order, all city facilities are closed to the public. Those include administrative offices at city hall along with the police and fire departments, Carnegie Library and other municipal workplaces are closed to the public during the state of emergency period. Each of those facilities will remain open during regular business hours to conduct business with the public via telephone, fax, email or the utility office drive-through window at city hall for payments of water and electrical service.
Frederick’s Memorial Civic Center will be closed for events during the state of emergency period.
Meetings of the city council and various commissions, boards and committees will be postponed or cancelled during the state of emergency period and all municipal court dockets are cancelled until May 1 with previously scheduled court business to be rescheduled.
RESTAURANTS TO CLOSE DINING ROOMS
Local restaurants, bars, and other venues are directed to transition to take out or delivery options as soon as it is practical. Also, locate fitness and exercise facilities, churches and schools are directed to discontinue group activities and to increase their facility cleaning regimes.
Frederick’s Subway restaurant announced Thursday that it had already closed its seating/dining area, but will remain open to accept take out and drive-through orders.
NO UTILITY DISCONNECTIONS
Authorization was issued to the city manager to discontinue the disconnection of utility services such as water and electricity for non-payment during the emergency state. However, overdue utility payments will not be forgiven.
REQUEST FOR HOSPITAL AS CRITICAL ACCESS FACILITY
Furthermore, the city is submitting a request to the federal government to designate the Frederick Memorial Hospital as a critical access facility for local residents and other citizens during this period.
City Manager Robert Johnston said that Mayor Whitworth issued the state of emergency after city officials had reviewed the situation.
“We listened to our president, the governor and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to see what we should do to protect the lies of the people of Frederick,” he said.
SCHOOLS OUT UNTIL APRIL 6
Students of Frederick Public Schools were out on spring break last week. Classes have been cancelled until April 6 due to a directive by the state Department of Education, according to a posting on the district’s Facebook page. All school activities have been suspended until classes resume. The district was set to begin delivering breakfast and lunch meals to its students beginning Monday and continuing until April 6. until that time. A food pantry and backpack programs are also planned.