Following Mayor Dr. Tim Mahoney’s emergency declaration Monday, March 16, The City of Fargo is announcing several measures designed to protect its citizens and visitors from the COVID-19 virus.
Beginning the morning of March 17, Fargo Cass Public Health will activate a Health Department Operations Center (DOC) to coordinate efforts among the many public and private entities involved in the fight against COVID-19. The DOC will serve in a central role for the City’s prevention and response efforts, in addition to providing proactive advice to the City Commission and administration.
City leadership is working around the clock to prepare for and respond to this ever-changing challenge. All City departments have been required to prepare for the implementation of continuity of governmental operation plans. All City-sponsored travel for work-related purposes has been cancelled and the ability to work remotely is being implemented when possible. Any City staff members returning to work from personal travel are subject to stringent return to work criteria to protect other staff members and the public.
Administrative meetings are held daily to assess the evolving situation and potential impacts.
The City recognizes the importance and criticality of the vital core services it provides each day; Fargo is fully committed to offering the following essential services:
- Robust public safety services via the Fargo Police and Fargo Fire Departments
- Core Fargo Cass Public Health functions
- Fargo Public Works operations, including streets, sewers and mains
- Drinking water
- Wastewater services
- Solid waste and recycling services
- Core MATBUS public transit services
- Inspections on residential and commercial facilities
The following actions are being put into place effective on March 17:
- All Fargo Public Libraries will close for a period of 30 days
- Events at the FARGODOME and Fargo Civic Center will be suspended for the next 30 days
- No water service terminations will occur for the next 30 days to ensure that economic hardships do not hinder a household’s access to safe, clean and reliable drinking water
- Meetings of City-appointed boards, committees and commissions will be suspended for the next 30 days (with the exception of the Fargo City Commission and Fargo Planning Commission, which are legally-mandated)
- The City is discouraging any unnecessary in-person visits to Fargo City facilities and instead suggests usage of the City’s website, FargoOne app or telephone calls
- Municipal Court operations will continue to be evaluated and may be suspended
- City leaders encourage businesses to follow the Center for Disease Control’s Guidelines for Businesses
The City is stressing the importance of utilizing reliable sources of news and data, while encouraging area residents to subscribe to the City of Fargo and Fargo Cass Public Health’s social media channels for updates.
Mayor Dr. Tim Mahoney stated, “Fargo is a strong community. After just witnessing the incredible volunteer spirit at Sandbag Central last week, we’re now asking for the public’s assistance in responding to this challenge. Engage in social distancing, stay home if you are sick and wash your hands. Purchase the food and supplies you need, but please refrain from unrealistic stockpiling. Remember that we are only as strong as our collective community; even if you are a healthy person, you can be a carrier and infect others. Through today’s actions, we are preparing but not panicking. I’m asking you to be smart about this by neither underreacting nor overreacting. Together, we will persevere and be even stronger than we were before.”