March 12, 2020
The City of South Bend is actively monitoring Coronavirus (COVID-19) in our area and taking appropriate steps to mitigate its spread.
“It’s important that we all take steps to protect the health and wellbeing of our residents, especially those most vulnerable to the disease,” said Mayor James Mueller. “The City will continue to follow the advice of public health experts and provide updates as the situation evolves.”
Vulnerable populations – which include those 60 years or older or with underlying health conditions – may be more susceptible to complications from a COVID-19 infection. The City encourages members of vulnerable populations to avoid large gatherings and asks that those who are sick stay home and contact their healthcare provider.
Individuals at any age are considered at higher risk if they have health conditions such as blood disorders, chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease, compromised immune system, current or recent pregnancy in the last two weeks, endocrine disorders, metabolic disorders, heart disease, neurological conditions, lung disease, or other chronic conditions associated with impaired lung function or that require home oxygen.
In line with recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the St. Joseph County Health Department, the City of South Bend recommends practicing common-sense health safety tips and social distancing, including:
-Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap is not available.
-Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
-Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
-If you become sick, stay home and contact your healthcare provider.
-Utilize cough and sneeze etiquette by coughing or sneezing into your elbow or a tissue.
-Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces daily.
Members of the public are encouraged to visit the St. Joseph County Health Department website at sjcindiana.com/302/Health-Department and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov to learn more about the COVID-19 outbreak.
The City is also currently implementing the following steps for our employees:
-Limiting non-essential work travel. Employees are recommended to closely evaluate the need for travel and comply with CDC travel guidelines. Upon returning from a City-related work trip, employees who are able to work remotely are encouraged to do so for 3 days and to self-monitor and stay home if they develop symptoms. City employees who have traveled to an area with a Level 3 warning from the CDC – currently including all of Europe, China, South Korea and Iran – will be required to work remotely for 14 calendar days.
-Allowing remote work. Employees who are able to perform their work remotely may be permitted to with supervisor approval.
-Limiting non-essential in-person meetings. Employees are encouraged to explore options for virtual meetings when feasible.
-Encouraging personal mitigation techniques. While City operations continue, we advise employees to heed CDC recommendations for limiting the spread of COVID-19, maintaining to the extent possible a distance of 6 feet between individuals and disinfecting surfaces daily.
-Stressing sickness protocol, by encouraging employees and visitors who exhibit symptoms to stay home and contact their healthcare provider.
The City will continue to monitor this situation closely and scale up or down our mitigation response as it evolves.