More Changes to Salem City Programs Following State Guidance Related to COVID-19

Posted on March 16, 2020

Salem, Ore. — The City of Salem is following Governor Brown’s guidance and new rules addressing large gatherings and social distancing designed to slow the spread of COVID-19.

To help slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce opportunities for continued transmission of the virus, we are making changes to some of our programs and services. Through April 9, 2020, the City will suspend advisory board and commission meetings, and community events and activities including fire station tours, police ride-alongs, and Citizen Police Academy.

The City will continue to provide emergency response, public safety and other essential services, including water service to all customers. Through April 9, 2020, the City will not shut-off water service to customers due to non-payment to ensure residents can wash frequently in accordance with the Center for Disease Control’s recommended sanitation practices while at home.

Other services and programs will be impacted, including:

• Salem Public Library. Salem Public Library will close temporarily its physical locations beginning Monday, March 16, 2020 and remain closed through April 9, 2020. The decision to temporarily close Library locations has been made because attempts to redistribute furniture have not resulted in recommended social distancing and we have new information about how long the virus may be able to persist on inanimate surfaces. We are asking patrons to keep materials at home until they reopen. Staff will remain available via phone, provide virtual reference and information services with those using our online resources (e-books, movies, etc.) for the first-time, reader advisory and other engagement and learning videos.

• Center 50+. Because Center 50+ serves a population considered to be at higher risk for contracting the virus, serves more than 250 people each day, for whom we cannot guarantee social distancing, Center 50+ will close effective Monday, March 16, 2020, for the next 30 days. Congregate meals offered Monday through Friday at Center 50+ will continue through a drive-up option. Follow for virtual program offerings during this time.

• Salem Municipal Court. All violation trials, including parking ticket trials, scheduled to occur on or before April 30, 2020 will be continued to a future date to be set by the Court. If you have concerns about potential exposure even though you are not ill, contact the Municipal Court to request a reset of your appearance. City of Salem Municipal Court is urging anyone who is sick and experiencing flu-like symptoms to request a reset of their scheduled appearance by calling 503-588-6146 or faxing 503-588-6441. Those represented by an attorney should call their attorney to make arrangements. All jury trials All jury trials currently scheduled between now and the end of April will be reset to a future date.

Our administrative offices will remain open. We are also encouraging those who can accomplish City business without coming to City offices to do so. You can contact us with questions. Many City services are available to the community via our website. Building permits may be submitted online. Utility bills, parking tickets, and other business with the City may also be conducted online. If you come to a City office, lobbies will remain open to visitors and you can expect we have increased the frequency of cleaning at each publicly facing space.

The City of Salem has been coordinating with the Oregon Health Authority and Marion County Public Health for several weeks on our preparations for and response to COVID 19. They are the public health authorities for our area. We continue to rely on their guidance and direction, referring the public to these authoritative sources and providing links to them, the Centers for Disease Control and other health authorities on the home page. For more information and questions about COVID-19, please refer to the following resources:

• OHA Emerging Respiratory Disease page:
• Washington Department of Health:
• CDC COVID-19 page:
• CDC travel notice:
• WHO page:
• Register for Press Releases:
• Register for: Community Alerts, City of Salem
• Call 211 with Health Concerns/Questions


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