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City to close facilities under ‘moderately high’ virus risk

LOCK HAVEN – Lock Haven City Manager Gregory Wilson issued the following statement regarding the city’s COVID-19 infection rate and the closure of city owned property:

“On July 20, 2020, City Council enacted Resolution 1586 amending Resolution 1368 enacted March 18, 2020 proclaiming a State of Emergency in the City of Lock Haven. Under the resolution of July 20, if the city’s zip code were to have a COVID-19 fourteen-day incidence rate that exceeds 50 per 100,000 residents for five days in a row, listed as “moderately high” by the CDC, steps would be taken by the city to mitigate the spread of infection that can be caused through close contact and surface contact.

Home to Lock Haven University, the city residents testing positive for COVID-19 at the university are not necessarily being reflected in the daily numbers provided at the zip code level by the PA Department of Health.

Excluding the positive tests from the university, the city zip code’s 14-day incidence rate has climbed from 16/100,000 two weeks ago to 117/100,000 with 17.6% of tests administered in the last week returning a positive diagnosis. An incidence rate exceeding 100 per 100,000 is listed by the CDC as a high risk. Again, that excludes the positive cases from the university which, if added to the city’s rate, gives a 14-day incidence rate of 384 per 100,000 with 12.8% of all tests performed in the last week returning a positive diagnosis.

Excluding the university’s positive cases, the city’s zip code has 18 new infections in the last 7 days. Including the university’s positive cases, the city’s zip code has 36 new infections in the last 7 days and 80 within the last 2 weeks, with most of those numbers representing residents and “off campus” students.

Even without taking into account the spike in cases from tests performed by the university, the city zip code’s 7-day and 14-day infection and testing rates show a community that has now entered the “high risk” incidence rate as defined by the CDC.

Under the resolution of July 20, when the city’s zip code COVID-19 fourteen-day incidence rate exceeds 50 per 100,000 residents for five days in a row, listed as “moderately high” by the CDC, the following will now be implemented beginning Wednesday, Sept. 9:

– City Hall, the Public Works Facility at Second Avenue, and the Wastewater Treatment Plant will be open by appointment only. All appointments should be with a single representative of a project or program as possible.

– No on-site meeting shall exceed 3 people in the City Hall conference room, or 10 people in City Hall Council Chambers. No meeting in a conference room at any public works facility shall exceed 4 people.

– All meetings of City Council as well as meetings of its Authorities, Boards and Committees, shall be held remotely through teleconference or video conference only.

– The City’s Piper Airport will be closed to the general public except for active tenants and those engage in essential travel.

– All city playgrounds and court-play facilities will be closed

– All organized field sport activities with existing approvals for the use of city-owned fields will need to operate without use of bleacher seating, or use of benches or dugouts and update their safety plans to accommodate the same.

– Employees who can work remotely must do so at least 50% of their workweek and are to coordinate on-site work to reduce crossover of on-site hours in order to reduce the number of people inside their facility at any given moment increasing safety to other staff, clerks and administrative and public works and safety personnel.

– All city staff, including department clerks, administrative staff, public works and public safety personnel shall remain at their regular shifts and continue to adhere to worksite safety procedures including consistently wearing masks and regularly disinfecting the workplace throughout the day.

– For the sake of public gatherings, the city shall restrict the use of parks and other city-owned facilities to 25 or less people at a time including city-sponsored or approved events.

– City-approved organizational events must provide updated Certificates of Insurance or letters from their insurer assuring continued coverage of the event while the city is in a “Moderately High” or “High” 14-day infection rate.

– The Friday and Saturday opening of the Pedestrian Mall on E. Main Street and a portion of N. Grove Street shall continue as permitted by the state, to accommodate retailers to sell outside and restaurants to serve outside because of the reduced capacity of in-business restrictions.

These restrictions on city-owned property and buildings will remain in place until the city’s zip code fourteen-day incidence rate falls below 50 per 100,000 residents for fourteen days in a row, returning to the “moderate” incidence rate as defined by the CDC.

The city encourages all businesses, organizations, nonprofits, fire stations, educational facilities and libraries to review their current COVID-19 mitigation plans in light of the increased incidence rate in the city’s zip code which is home to more than 18-thousand county residents including some three thousand students at Lock Haven University.”

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